A pair of generous friends who are also WorldMark owners gave us a weekend in the San Juans at Deer Harbor. The rooms were so dazzling that between the fireplace, robes, hot tub and downy comforter I didn’t see much reason to ever leave it. But that didn’t stop us from kayaking from the marina Saturday evening. It was just as I was looking into the curious black eyes of a harbor seal that I really asked myself “What am I doing? I’m leaving the Pacific Northwest in less than a week.” Never mind of course that i never did figure out how to fit kayaking into my regular routine despite four years of living here. After a long ferry ride back this morning we decided to take Scott’s parents to the Dutch Mother’s for the best pie in the universe (and it always will be). They’d never seen Bellingham and we needed a place to work off the pie, so we dropped in on my old neighborhood. My childhooh home was for sale again. By myself I probably would have given in to shyness and kept walking, but my in-laws convinced me to ring the bell. The nicest woman i’ve ever met answered, and she let me inside. There was the living room where I’d watched Fred Astaire movies all night when I’d had chicken pox. There was the windowsill where the gummy bears melted together, next to the kitchen table where my grandmother played Yatzi by herself (and cheated). Here was the bannister my sister threw my cat off of, over the den where I watched the Disney Channel every afternoon. And there was my room again, much smaller than I remembered. Should anyone get the urge to live in Bellingham, WA, there is a very nice three bedroom house there for sale at a reasonable price. I left the terribly kind owner and walked the trail back to my old elementary school. The lights were on for the first time and I saw the library again. As we drove away from town I cried a little, the only time I have cried over moving away. There is only a week to go you see and it seemed to me only right that four years should have earned at least that much, especially when there isn’t only four years to consider, but an entire of chapter of life to close that I didn’t close the last time I left. It’s times like this when I really envy the cat in my lap, because home to her is wherever I am, and that’s enough reason for her to purr.
A fellow webcomics artist and friend Bill Barnes, that creates the VERY successful comic strip “Unshelved” has been running strips in pencil lately. Now I like seeing art that is in process. It’s a unique perspective on an individual artist. I’ve had interest in the past in my process for our comic strip, and now that I’ve seen Bill doing that, I feel better about showing some of that myself. This is a great time too as our pending move is really draining my time. So the next several strips are going to show you how Maridee looks in process. You’ll see that I work pretty durn tight with my pencils. I’d like to get to the point where I remain sketchy in my pencils and become more refined at the inks stage, but that’s to come.
Now on the move front. We are still moving to Florida and very, VERY soon! We’ll be in Florida all this week in fact, and I’m not sure how that’s going to affect our updating the strip, but I can assure you it will some. I still plan to update on my dates of Wednesday and Monday, but if something happens to keep that from being successful….well, you’ve been warned. I’m looking forward to the time when all this craziness will be over and Maridee will be back to full strength….albeit in a much warmer climate.
Now that the vacation story is drawing to its conclusion, I can acknowledge that just like always, I get a lot of ideas from my own experiences. My first year in college I attempted to participate in Spring Break with a group of friends. The hotel turned out to be a rat hole, our timing was off so no one was in town, and I did lay out in the sun all day and burn myself into uselessness for the rest of the week. There were six of us on the trip, but three of us went home with a group of guys they met at a bar and didn’t come back for days. In modern terms, in a world that has continuous coverage on missing college girls, its odd to look back on that because we really weren’t worried. None of us would have cell phones back then so there were no frantic phone calls to check up on their whereabouts, we just accepted the fact that some of us were having a wilder vacation than others. I’ll never forget how lonely West Palm Beach can be and haven’t wanted to go back since that week.