November 5, 2006
I’ve presented The Fisherman’s Quilt, and now, the first volume of Port Gamble Publishing Newlsletter, (you can order it by email to pub@PortGamblePublishing.com) at a variety of shows this fall: the La Conner Quilt Festival, the Seattle Singles Yacht Club NW Harvest benefit dinner, and the Pacific NW Booksellers’ Association. Maybe my mom was speaking the truth when she said she got me from the Gypsies, for I do love the traveler’s way of life. Living on an island, as I do, presents a distinct lifestyle, especially in terms of commuting. Where I once spent four hours a day commuting to my day job, now I can walk into “town,” the village of Eastsound, in ten minutes. But the logistics of getting off the island can be daunting and unavoidable, as I experienced in attending the fall tradeshow of the Pacific NW Booksellers Association in Portland on October 14. I arrived at the ferry landing an hour early, so I’d be sure to get on the boat to Anacortes. Earlier in the week, one of the ferry’s engines started acting up, so my ferry was going at nearly half speed, and running an hour late. Then the fog, which had just burned off around noon, started rolling back in. I boarded the ferry over two hours past the sailing time. Then the interminable voyage began as we drifted through the haunting fog. When in doubt, sleep. I spread out on one of the padded benches on the ferry, and dozed off for about twenty minutes. I woke up and we were still surrounded by the thick mist, gliding slowly through the water, sounding a horn occasionally to locate ourselves in the fog. Finally a ferry worker announced, “Now arriving Anacortes,” but it was another long spell as we eased into the slip. Five hours after first arriving at the island ferry terminal, we found land again, on what was usually an hour and a half trip. I could have driven the length or the width of the state in that time! And I was still a five-hour drive away from Portland. While living on the island has presented me with the gift of slowing down, sometimes ….