only on vashon – the weekly rundown 4/16/21

We’ve continued our discussion from last week about unwritten rules. The US Constitution took 116 days to write, and we banged out one hundred rules in under two weeks. Our latest amendments involve driving. After leaving the North End ferry, you must imagine you are at the Daytona 500 and race all the other drivers up the hill. Then you will be first to the four-way in town, where you can proceed to let everyone else go first, thus blocking traffic for two miles.

We also give directions based solely on landmarks that no longer exist. Go past K-2. Pass up Sound Foods. It’s near Burton Elementary. It’s right next to Zombies (or Dairy Queen, depending how far back you want to go.)

You can also say where a store is based on what used to be there. You can describe something as “Where Treasure Island used to be,” or “Where the Quilt Store was before they closed and had that cool party.” 

Lower Queen Anne is renaming itself Uptown. This is terribly wrong because they should obviously call themselves Overtown. Now that they’re the home of the Climate Pledge Arena, they need a snazzy new name for branding and attracting tourists. So they chose the name that half the locals use anyway. Upper Queen Anne will keep its name. Islanders will hence start calling Upper Queen Anne “the place just north of Lower Queen Anne.”

I wonder if we name things that used to be because Vashon lives partly in a bubble of nostalgia, and every time we direct someone past the Portage Store, we’re reasserting a past and a culture we don’t want to let go of.

Maybe we’ll manage to get back to June 21, 1947, when the aliens came to Maury Island. 

The traffic at Fauntleroy is out of control, the dock is seismically unstable, and all options are on the table for changing things up. The city may build a new dock with an extra slip, or they may close down the whole thing and send the triangle route boats straight to Downtown Seattle (aka south of Lower Queen Anne, near the 99 Bridge.) They may even speed up the payment process or add a stoplight. And, if we dream big enough, maybe they’ll fill up boats before sailing instead of keeping to a schedule by running empty boats. Or the grand plans may get stuck in committee and never get funded, as the dock slowly succumbs to the elements and we all just row ourselves overtown when we need to stop at Costco. 

An internet provider is offering a tech makeover for an American town. Some folks suggested Vashon apply, on account of the absurd struggles people have had just trying to get a few feet of cable run to their houses. What would we say on our application? “Small town needs faster internet so we can more efficiently inform each other when our sheep get loose.”

Speaking of sheep on the loose, some sheep were on the loose, as was a small dog that a group member described as “maple-bar shaped.” All have returned home safely.

Someone is looking for a duck whisperer, and someone else rescued a chicken from the jaws of a raccoon and is looking for the chicken’s owner. 

Finally, if you need some more plants for your garden, a group member is offering some from her yard. You dig. 

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 rundown 4/16/21”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.