only on vashon -the weekly rundown 03/19/21

A great shift has occurred on Vashon- a change to the landscape so stunning and irreversible that the island is almost unrecognizable. Thriftway changed the plants in their parking lot islands. 

The old bushes are gone, which helps visibility, but the new plants are small and sad-looking. We could either sit by and wait for them to grow, measuring the passage of time by how lush and verdant the islands become, or we could demand Thriftway put in more and different plants. 

Some people want blueberry and rosemary bushes, which I totally support, because then I wouldn’t have to actually go into the store to buy food and could just forage in the parking lot. 

Now that the plants are gone, where are we going to discreetly pee and throw our old disposable cups? 

The Southworth ferry terminal needs better hand dryers. Someone recommended we do a Go-Fund-Me for them. Others say to just dry your hands on your pants like an American. But the best idea was to bring your own supplies when you travel. So I’ll be bringing an electric hand-dryer with me wherever I go. 

What is digging up our lawns? Something is eating our bulbs. The list of suspects is long and includes raccoons, thrushes, deer, squirrels and moles. At my house the one and only answer is my dog, who digs holes deep enough to lie in, then springs from them like a submerged crocodile and catches a gazelle. Well, so far he’s only caught a rat and the occasional chicken. (Rip Poopsie)

He won’t rest until he’s past his ears in dirt. Then he’ll come into the house, jump on my bed, spin around three times, and sprawl. 

And speaking of digging up our lawns, what should we do about voles? The only answer that’s had any amount of success is: cat. 

Did you know the voles on Vashon may be a unique subspecies? So don’t kill too many of them.

We spotted a footprint in the mud. Was it a cougar or a large dog? A cougar leaves no claw marks, whereas a dog does. The pad of a cougar print looks like when three strawberries grow together into one giant strawberry, while the pad of a dog footprint looks like a mountain twelve eons into erosion. 

The one we saw looked somewhere between these two, meaning clearly some sort of cryptid wolf-cougar hybrid is stalking out beaches, hiding out in the branches of trees, waiting to pounce on unsuspecting tennis balls.

Someone is looking for rocks. I have loads of them in my yard. Come by any time and dig them up. Then fill the holes you left with dirt. While you’re at it, fill the holes my dog dug with dirt. I won’t even charge for the rocks!

A very recognizable car was seen driving fast. This is why I drive a grey car – to be camouflaged with the environment so no one notices me driving too slowly. People will think I’m an especially thick fog rolling through. 

Someone has a stackable washer on offer and no one made an asphyxiation joke. Who are we even anymore? 

Salads are back at The Rock! I’d order one, but I’ve filled up on salal and blackberries I found growing along the edges of a parking lot. 

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.

2 thoughts on “only on vashon -the weekly rundown 03/19/21”

  1. I so enjoy your columns! Informative yet with light notes of humor…or perhaps, dense chortles of side splitting laughter. Would love to find a published collection of your articles!

  2. I totally love your column. But I think you should include the number of animals on the loose. It seems that Vashon animals – from cows to peacocks – just want to be free. They’re seen roaming everywhere and poor Amy Carey has her hands full trying to reunite them with their owner. But no one seems to get it – the animals on Vashon don’t want to be reunited. They want to be free.

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