I used to feel like I had to be in Seattle, in the city, the epicenter, to be functioning. I needed the metro, the walkability, the mobility on my bike - all my friends were there, and I can't drive very far. But as Seattle continues to boom, and expand, and explode, the prices and the cost of living was an uphill battle. We were struggling to maintain, and with an ever present fear of a recurrence and the expense of current ongoing treatments, we started exploring other places to live. We considered the Washington peninsula, we looked at Camano (I refuse to call it an island since it doesn't require a ferry), we looked all over the north coast of the state, and eventually we found our perfect little spot. Edmonds. If you're not familiar with the area, or the state, Edmonds is a little seaside community just 25 minutes north of downtown Seattle.
When our mail person, Michelle found out we were moving, and we told her where we were headed, she laughed, cocked her face and said, "Are you retiring?" That's the reputation of Edmonds, that it's full of blue-hairs. But as you know me and my retirement home volunteering ways, it was one of the many things that drew us in. There's still a PCC, our local co-op grocery store that I love so dearly. We have a lovely dog park right on the water, full of sandy beach, and dog obstacle courses which Emma loves. There's a train that takes you directly into the city in one stop. Talk about an upgrade, from bus to train! (And it's the same price.) The whole town has a speed cap of about 30 miles per hour which is rarely met since no one is in a hurry - practically everyone's retired. It's the perfect place for me to drive. It's the perfect place for me to rest, to find my zen, to heal, and thrive. Our little house is less than a 10 minute walk to a hidden beach. Everywhere you go there's views of the Olympic mountains, and the emerald waters of Puget Sound. When you fill your lungs, each breath feeds you with salty ocean air. For an island girl and an island boy, it's as close as we can come to home.
I can't believe we have a home. And it has double paned windows! It's unfathomable how warm we now are; we're no longer cold to the bone. We have a tub for bathing, what a luxury! I can't wait for spring, to plant a jungle of a garden, to feed our bodies and our souls. I've joined a Monday morning writing group at the public library, and well over half have published at least one book. They're inspirational, and confident. I walk around downtown and visit with the shopkeepers, all but one so far have been family owned. It's a dream. But it's not. This is real, and it's ours; we're a part of it, and I am so grateful. Life keeps evolving, and you never know where it's going to take you. Just a few months ago we never thought we could afford a home, and continue my treatments at the same time. But when you expand your view, and reevaluate your goals and dreams, sometimes you surprise yourself. It's not as easy to see friends, but we keep in touch just the same. I'm looking out our living room window at the old growth pines across the street as they sway in the misty air and I'm filled with relief, and pure joy. Even through the troubles, and the heartache, and fear, I'm constantly reminded of our fortune. It's something I will never forget because I wear it. It's tattooed on my heart, on my soul.