Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sampling and Savoring on the Sound

Puget Sound is not easily described to a person unfamiliar with the Pacific Northwest.  While it is ocean water, it isn’t exactly the Pacific.  It is a large body of water formed between the Olympic Peninsula of Washington and the rest of the state.  Seattle sits on the east side of the sound, and a number of islands are found there as well.  One of them, Whidbey Island, is one of them, and that’s where we are as we pass the midpoint of our sabbatical.

Sunset on Useless Bay

According to my friend and long time Washington resident, David, Whidbey is the longest inhabited island in the continental U.S., longer than Long Island, though not as populated.  The northern end of the island has a Naval Air Station and the largest town, Oak Harbor.  We, however, are on the southern part of the island, where a few small tourist towns serve vacationers, and where our friends have a summer home that they have graciously made available to us.  So, we enjoy a few weeks of watching the tides on Useless Bay in front of us, and behind us seeing all sorts of birds enjoying a pond.  In many ways, it is as picturesque as any setting I could imagine.  The bay’s name stems from the fact that it is so flat that when the tide goes out, you can walk a quarter mile or more away from shore without getting wet, meaning that ships that might try to come to shore would find this spot, well, useless.  But its navigational challenges are more than compensated for (in my opinion) by the sheer beauty of this unique place and the joy of walking a half mile out on the tide flats.  It really is amazing here.  Kathy and I are getting in our share of reading, some writing (including journaling), walking, praying, and thinking.  We do miss our home, family, and friends dearly, but we’re not quite ready to come home J.  But we will be, when the time is up!  For now, here are some pictures to enjoy!
Walking in downtown Langley during Choochokum, their annual arts and crafts festival, last weekend.
The tide coming in!
The tide is out!
Our current home away from home
The view behind our house.  Note the pond and fire pit.  Look inviting?