It is probably a little late in the game to be talking about my arrival on Bainbridge Island, since it actually took place almost two years ago. March 26, 2013, to be exact. But everybody gotta start someplace, right? And I guess I’m now here long enough to have a sort of hindsight. Not quite 20/20 yet, more like 20/50 at this point.
Sitting here, looking out at the gently swaying cedars, it’s easy to be philosophical. The sky is streaky with clouds and there are still not enough leaves on the trees to block the view of Port Orchard Bay. Birds are zooming over to partake of the suet feeder hanging from a hook under the eave on my deck. They like the tasty mealworms embedded therein and make a beeline — birdline? — for it the minute the sun starts coming up. There are four types of woodpeckers who dine with me: hairy, downy, flickers and that most marvelous of weirdly-prehistoric-looking creatures, the pileated. Also on tap are nuthatches, chickadees, towhees, juncos, and Steller’s jays, who make their presence known with raucous squawks. To say nothing of the delicate and lovely Anna’s hummingbirds quietly doing their thing at the other end of the deck. I will surely go broke feeding all these greedy little feathered slobs but I go happily.
And this, at the moment, is life on The Rock. A frog-shaped piece of land that Wikipedia tells me CNN/Money and Money magazine named the second-best place to live in the United States, I simply call it home. Just 10 miles long by 5 miles wide, we sit stuck like a plug in Puget Sound, 35-minutes west of Seattle as the ferry sails.
So how in the hell did a little Brooklyn girl end up here? Sometimes I shake my head and ask myself the same question. After waking up one day in Pennsylvania where I was living at the time, and realizing that there was nothing left for me in the east, a recruiter called with the promise of a job in Seattle. Since I had already been unemployed for two years at that point — somewhat forced and somewhat voluntarily, I should add — a change of venue seemed not only possible but necessary. And because my best friend lives in Vancouver, WA, the reply to, “Would you consider a job in the Pacific Northwest?” was nothing but an enthusiastic, “Yes!” So I packed up the truck and I moved to (no, not Beverly)…Bainbridge Island? Where?
Seattle is a big, fascinating city with many neighborhoods to choose from. Too bloody many neighborhoods, it would turn out, and no really clear idea of where a single person who knew no one would feel happy and safest. Oh, but did you know, just over there, in the Sound, is an island, and commuting would have to be accomplished by boat? The little Water Baby inside of me was immediately intrigued. Very intrigued. A boat, you say? A lovely white and green ferry boat, as a matter of fact. Sold, I said. I rented an apartment sight unseen from pictures on the internet and went about hauling my ass and all my stuff out here. I figured, how bad could it be? It’s only a year lease and if it doesn’t work out, I can look for something somewhere else. Nothing’s holding me anywhere. That’s a nice space to be in.
Excuse me — a woodpecker has decided to take apart my house one peck at a time — to be continued!