Only on vashon – the weekly rundown 1/22/2021

This week’s animal celebrities are a coyote who looks suspiciously like he’s part German Shepherd and three chickens who were wandering along Burma Road after the landslide. Only the coyote was caught on camera. We, as an island, are slacking on our paparazzi duties. 

I may need to go undercover to get good animal pictures. 

File ID 84785682 | © Razzers |

Dogs need social time, just like people do, and someone is proposing an all-corgi outdoor play date. On a completely unrelated note, I will need a corgi costume that fits a husky ASAP. Or, failing that, one that fits me.

We all get out the pitchforks when someone cuts in line for the ferry, but what about people who cut in line at the recycling center? Some people, rather than waiting in line and parking by the recycle bins, pull off to the side and walk up their boxes. Is this appalling behavior or out-of-the-box thinking? Surprisingly, many islanders are ok with this. 

Since I don’t ride the ferry anymore, the dump is the one place I can sit in my car, knowing my kids are safely strapped in, and read a magazine that I picked up from the mailbox and never got around to bringing into the house. I can’t imagine wanting to skip this moment of peace while also facing the ire of people who might be throwing out rusty pitchforks. 

Someone is looking for a baby monitor in order to solve a mystery. They wouldn’t disclose what the mystery was, but I assume it’s finding out who the line cutters are. 

We’ve talked a lot about how it’s not safe to feed wild birds, especially considering there’s a salmonella outbreak in the area. But what about Anna’s hummingbirds? They drink red sugar water from special feeders that other birds don’t mess with. There seems to be consensus that if you clean your feeder daily with vinegar, it should be ok. If you want to feed Anna’s hummingbirds, why not feed Anna herself? I hear there’s a new bagel shop in town. Just string a few bagels up from a low branch, and you just might catch a glimpse of me out your window, wrestling the bagel away from a squirrel.

If you have time to clean your bird feeders, then perhaps you have time to build a barn. A barn in another part of the state is being disassembled, and you can buy it along with an instruction set and put it back together on your property. Considering it takes me four hours to screw together an IKEA coffee table, reassembling a barn could be my life’s work. 

We have a lot of questions about the vaccine roll-out. We have so many questions, that the clinic is overwhelmed with calls’ making it hard for people to call and get appointments. If you need an appointment, it’s best to walk in rather than call. 

A group member has informed us that, in the other Washington, a group called Joints for Jabs is giving out free marijuana to anyone who gets vaccinated. This is a brilliant plan, and honestly, I kinda think whoever’s in charge of the global illicit drug trade would be exactly the right person to put in charge of the vaccine rollout. You might have to get your shot next to the dumpster behind a gas station, but every city, town, and unincorporated backwater would get all the doses they need. 

District 19 water is running brown. If you take a bath, it’s a bit like sinking into molten copper. Is it safe to drink? No one seems to have an answer to this. The best advice we have is to flush out pipes. So if your 4-year-old leaves the sink running for half an hour because she forgot she was washing her toys and went to get a snack, you can thank her for helping out. 

We’ve run out of media to stream, so we’re amusing ourselves by reading the descriptions of items for sale at Granny’s. They say such delightful things as “My compliments to the seamstress” about a tablecloth. They refer  to a napkin basket as a “fabulous little gem.” A set of bank books is praised because each is “as individual as a snowflake.” Honestly, this is about the level of calm goodwill that I need after the year we’ve all had. Thanks to the intrepid group member who brought it to my attention. 

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.

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