Only On Vashon – The Weekly Community Rundown 12/11/20

The holiday season has begun, and this year is like no other holiday season in living memory, in that Granny’s has limited hours. 

To make up for this loss, neighbors have been posting all manner of items on the groups. You could outfit a whole house; there have been tables, chairs, vanities, and even toilets for the taking.

There’s also free stuff left by the road. There are raspberry bush starts in a bag by the highway, as well as rugs, firewood, and ornaments. I once got a dishwasher by the side of Bank Road that works like a charm. I now spend my days cruising around on the lookout for a washing machine.

Since we can’t go shopping, our holiday tradition of buying each other’s overgrown house plants and antique ceramic ornaments and giving them as gifts has intensified. There are driftwood wind chimes, microwave bowls, hand-painted rocks, and handmade stained glass ornaments on offer, as well as a number of music boxes and wreaths, both real and fake. All show impressive craftsmanship, and I recommend checking them out. 

You may want to load up on as many wreaths as you can because there is a 500 dollar prize for the best-decorated house on Vashon. 

Last week, the group learned that racoons will be deterred by the whirring of the fan inside an inflatable snowman, so go wild with the inflatables. 

Come to think of it, if inflatables deter raccoons, it might be a great idea to have one guard my chicken coop. I lost two chickens this week. RIP Snowball and Pepper. Maybe someone will leave a few chickens by the side of the road that I can pick up. Let me know if you see any. 

Speaking of Christmas cheer, Santa was spotted hitchhiking near the golf course. Also, someone is looking for a life-sized cardboard cutout of Rudy Giuliani. They must celebrate Christmas in a way I’m not familiar with. But it just goes to show that new holiday traditions can be added even in this bleakest of years.

Even though the holidays are taking up a lot of our energy, we’re still making time to talk about our most pressing local issue, namely, escaped farm animals. A certain group of chickens have become celebrities. They have been spotted in the road. They have crossed the road and made it to the other side. There are two camps engaged in heated battles on multiple fronts over this issue. Are farm animals in the road a charming aspect of rural life? Or are they a danger to themselves and drivers? What can we, as a community, do to better fence in each other’s animals? If a chicken is by the side of the road, is it free for the taking? 

Although there are chickens roaming the side of the road that you can pet for free, some folks are looking for more exotic animals, specifically, a rare Hungarian pig breed called mangalitsa. Turns out, the nearest one is off island. His name is Sid the Swamp Pig, and he looks like someone made a pig out of felt and wool. He has his own clothing line. Sid is giant and fluffy and reminds me of Goliath, rest his big soul. 

Two more escaped dogs were spotted near Wax Orchard, and a pet rat turned up in someone’s chicken coop. I suspect they’re meeting up with the chickens in some kind of Homeward Bound situation.

There’ve been reports of late night ding-dong-ditches. I blame the rogue chickens. 

Besides the posts about escaped animals and free kitchenware, there were posts complaining that there were too many posts about escaped animals and free kitchenware. When opening Facebook, one hopes to see a blank page. If people are posting on social media, something has gone wrong. 

As the days get shorter and the pandemic stretches on longer, we find ourselves at a loss for language. We are communicating via gifs- little bits of movies that repeat over and over, showing an emotion we have no words for, such as lifting eyebrows while wearing sunglasses. Maybe by next week we’ll discover a new emotion, expressed as a chicken wearing pants. 

We’ll see you next week!

Anna Shomsky
Author: Anna Shomsky

I'm a former teacher and a data engineer living on Vashon Island. My writing has appeared in Five on the Fifth, Women on Writing and on the Post-Culture Podcast. I wrote and produced the radio show Whispers of Vashon for 101.9 KVSH. I’ve had short stories published in the anthologies Island Stories and Chicken Scratchings, as well as through the Open Space Literary Project.

1 thought on “Only On Vashon – The Weekly Community Rundown 12/11/20”

  1. You are a great writer, and I’m grateful to have this synopsis of the past week of life on Vashon. Thank you for keeping us all in the loop!

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