San Juan Regrets

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.

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