Only on Vashon – The Weekly Rundown 03/12/2023

Cathlamet is back. She did a few runs before being too short-staffed to sail. We look forward to the expanded three boat schedule that starts in April. In preparation, WSF is running random boats at strange times to undisclosed locations. 

As one islander  says, “So it’s Saturday today right? I’m on the 645 am boat Fauntleroy-Vashon via Southworth?  I must be getting old because my eyes just don’t see this boat on any of the schedules.”

The sailing schedule is more of a guide, and if you’re lucky, you’ll catch a secret, cryptic boat that goes on a labyrinthine path, whose endpoint is uncertain.

Another islander chimes in: “One time I caught a boat that was Fauntleroy to Vashon via south worth via Fauntleroy via south worth and finally to vashon. Finally made it to vashon after over an hour.”

Perhaps the triangle route is the true Bermuda Triangle. 

Speaking of ferry troubles, we have this post: “Looking to barter. Need to find someone experienced to remove six intermittent sutures in my wrist. I will trade for plants or… save me a trip to Seattle!”

We’ve definitely been in a situation in my house where someone got a cut at 8pm on a Sunday, and we just break out the super glue, so I understand where this islander is coming from.

So many islanders offer helpful advice and support. 

“Have you tried yourself? (Sharp scissors, disinfectant, and tweezers do the trick)”

“Snip on the side of the knot, use tweezer to grab the knot, gently pull. Maybe a family member or trusted friend could help you out.”

“Snip and pull, you’ll be fine”

“You can do it yourself. It tickles”

“Wear your best reading glasses and proceed before drinking coffee! The hard part doing it yourself is to make enough room for the tip of the scissors under the thread. You (or your assistant) need to pull the thread up with sharp tweezers to make a little space if the sutures are snug. Good luck!”

“I’ve never done it, but I’m geographically convenient and not squeamish. Call me in the morning if you still need help.”  That’s the spirit! 

The last person to chime in says, “if you go sure they’ve done their job..but not too much. good wishes🌿🌺” Despite the floral emojis, this is a deeply disturbing message, if you think about it. ‘Not too much”. What would happen if she did the job too much? *shivers*

If I ever need stitches removed, I’ll just approach the nearest person at Thriftway, since apparently you all have experience with this. 

We have this old advertisement from the 1925 Sears Catalog. 

Some of us also say it’s our dream house, and a resident of Dockton has a nearly identical house, which is a testament to how well these catalog houses held up. 

Some say it needs an upstairs bathroom, but others note that people would have been happy to be able to go to the bathroom inside. 

“we had an outhouse at our first house on the Island but the house wasn’t as big as that one. In those days it was rare to have two bathrooms.”

Then an islander shared with us this beautiful poem about life in times long past: “Hence the saying “Canopy over the bed and can of pee under the bed.””

“I grew up in a similar house. I remember the beautiful maple floors, the slate roof and the scary basement where the light switch would give occasional shocks. My mom sold it in about 1975 for $33,000.” I love when people are sentimental for things that were  dangerous and potentially lethal. Like, when I remember my childhood, my sister and I would jump back and forth over these two large rocks we called the Beer Rocks because there was a bunch of broken glass between them from someone disposing of old beer bottles. If we ever slipped, we would have gotten badly cut and possibly infected with tetanus. Those were the good old days. 

But back to the price of the house. An astute islander points out, “ $938 in say 1913 is $28k in 2023 dollars.” If this would be a million dollar home today, then the price of housing has gone up 3571% in the past 100 years. 

Someone makes this random irritable comment “Waiting for kids to whine. ,”no fair, that generation had it so much easier than us!””

Why do people feel the need for a generational conflict? We all inhabit the Earth together, why needlessly fight? 

Others point out how absurd it is to be preemptively mad at people for being annoyed that they’re priced out of things their parents and grandparents could afford.  One commenter says, “Consider that your comment says more about you than it does the younger generations today. “Kids” have to face a degraded planet and environment that is the result of things you’ve likely enjoyed and taken for granted your whole life.”

And speaking of things changing, our once rural island is now becoming an inhospitable jungle of vicious, wild animals. The coyotes are taking over. We have these tales of coyote sightings that start with distant howling and end with horror stories of our pets being ripped to shreds in front of our very eyes. 

“They are getting braver. I often hear them around Bethel church late mornings.”

“it all started with posts about missing cats.”

“I want to ask some folks if they’ve ever heard a fawn scream. It’s kind of a whistling noise. We’ll be hearing a lot of that this Spring.”

“my neighbors cat was grabbed right in front of her. She was able to get the cat but only after it was seriously injured.”

“they will destroy the ecosystem of the island by eating everything. The pets will be last, but it will not be long before we see posts from folks who did not know that the coyotes were waiting for them to let their dog out to pee. “

Funny, because so much of my life is spent standing outside, watching my dog dig a hole or try to eat a rock, and waiting for him to pee. So the coyotes and I have that in common. 

Lastly, I’m bummed I missed the Maury Island Incident event at the Senior Center. They advertised it with this fabulous picture, which could double as a Disney’s Tomorrowland poster in a pinch. 

The Maury Island Incident at the Vashon Island Senior Center
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.

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