Monday, October 31, 2016

October 31- Mindful Monday Summary

"For twelve years we MacDonalds have been living on an island in Puget Sound. There is no getting away from it, life on an island is different from life in the St. Francis Hotel, but you can get used to it, can even grow to like it."
Opening lines from "Onions In The Stew" by Betty MacDonald

My Photo Before Dawn
 Today is the last day of my 31 Days of Writing in October. The month went much more slowly because each morning was dedicated to paying attention to what I know and want to know about the place I live. As I scroll through the posts I see what we as a family have been doing for 30 years on this island. I see posts about our homes, people we taught, help we received, and the beauty surrounding us. A blessing was cast over us when we decided to make the ferry travel permanent.  

Photo by Kent Phelen

   I hope my writing has improved. If it has it would be because I have faithfully followed three bloggers, who write very well, during their own 31 Days of Writing.
   Let me introduce you to Michelle from Pen and Hive. Her subject this October was 
"You: Sustainable: A Guide to Small Improvements for a Better Life." From her writing I learned to look at my own habits and desired goals. Are they sustainable? Will I be able to continue with them for the next 20 years? My performance needs some tweaking but overall I think I can sustain the life I'm living now for many years to come.
   Lesley from "Life In The Spacious Place", is a favorite blogger friend from Scotland. She chose to share Christian music everyday. Inspirational stories from those songs helped me learn how the composer was inspired. You can see her table of context here.
  Lastly, I followed Annie, from "Sharing Stories Of Life and Faith", through a very interesting discussion of StrengthFinder,a book written by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton, first published in 2001. At the heart of the book is the internet based "Clifton Strengths Finder," an online personal assessment test which will outline the user's strengths. The authors advocate focusing on building strengths rather than focusing on weaknesses. Annie wrote personal stories about recognizing her own strengths and how these strengths influence her family. I found myself looking carefully at my own and feeling grateful that they come naturally to me. Things that come easily are not to be discounted. 
    I wish I could have read more posts by other bloggers. I did stop in, now and then, to read others and cheer for those who finished and for those who started and found it wasn't the right time. In the coming months I will continue writing on Mindful Mondays, where I write about my word Mindful of 2016 and on Fridays with Five Minute Friday, where writers give their full attention to expressing their thoughts based on five minutes. I hope to pop back in with Ann Dee Ellis  as she leaves some prompts on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Through that group I met Dalene, from "The Compulsive Writer", whose prose really fire up my thinking.
   Again, thank-you for reading along my journey. I love this island which I call home. Rest assured I will be leaving pictures and stories for months to come. 

If you missed some posts click here to see the other days of writing.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

October 30- Meditation And Prayer

              As the dew from heav'n distilling,

                 Gently on the grass descends
                  And revives it, thus fulfilling
                 What thy providence intends,

Over the last few months meditation has become a daily practice. My Christian worship needed revitalization. Prayers were becoming too rote, church service too tiring, and at the heart of my lack was a reactive mind. How could my Heavenly Father send his dew from heaven when I was not listening with attention? So I turned to meditation experts who knew how the mind works and who can give tools to quiet the reactive mind. Here is a inner script of my reactive mind:

I'm going to meditate for 15 minutes. In and out, my breath seems jagged. Wish I had more stomach muscles so that I could feel them engage when I hold my breath. Hold my breath? Why am I holding my breath? Oh yeah, extend your breath by slightly holding at the inhale and the exhale. My foot feels jammed into the floor. I should put a blanket on my mat to make it softer. Knees are tight but not bad. Ahh, my knees, when will I get a doctor's opinion about whether they are shot? I hate doctors. No time to start that process. I'm holding my breath again. Long exhale.........I should scan my shoulders. Are they tight? Tiny twinge in my neck. That is where I hold all my tension. I'll put my shoulders back and sit up straighter. That feels good. Has it been 15 minutes yet? Peeking at the clock......What, only three minutes have passed. I think I may found the secret to stopping time. Meditation!

This is funny but entirely true. How does meditation assist my spiritual life? Here is a example. I saw a picture of my oldest grandson being embraced by his family at the airport as he arrived home after a two year church mission. My daughter lives far away and right now, we are dis-connected, estranged, really. I tight pain seized my heart as I looked at their faces of joy. I felt excluded. Then my mind started down a story path of how I was unlovable to them. I took a deep breath. Then a curiosity opened about how this pain inhabits my body. I asked how it feels and where exactly I feel it. The notion that I was unloveable came into focus. Was that true? It was at this moment that I was able to feel the spirit. He held me gently, but firmly. Love flooded my being. Loving-kindness towards my daughter and her family replaced the old mental story. May they be happy, may they have peace, may they be healthy; these words replaced the thoughts of my ego mind. Yes, the ego mind makes it hard for Heavenly Father to communicate. Truly, he is an enemy to God. 
The twenty minutes of practice in the morning is strengthening my mind, making it more able to listen and perceive things as they really are. 

God's providence is intended to fall upon us as dew, but we must be able to absorb the blessings.

Let thy doctrine, Lord, so gracious,
Thus descending from above,
Blest by thee, prove efficacious
To fulfill thy work of love.

I am writing for 31 days this October about Island Life. Click here to see the other days of writing.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

October 29- Our Island Library

I must say I find television very educational. The minute somebody turns it on, I go to the library and read a good book. 
Groucho Marx

Our island library is a most beautiful space. Newly renovated, it has plentiful windows that provide light and warmth. I go there at least once a week and usually I stop and just sit. My heart rate goes down and I bask in the comfort of quiet and non-commercialism.

   When my family was young we loaded everyone up to go explore at the library on Monday nights. Each child migrated to a different section and cozied up to the shelves while stretching out their legs in the aisle. My husband only enjoyed reading books to the children which entertained him, as well. He would peruse the children's section and balance a huge stack all the way home.

     "I assure you that public libraries as we know them today considerably predate the 1950s. In fact, they date back to the nineteenth century--in other words, almost to the dawn of time.
       You may already have run across this while googling ancient history, but I'll tell you anyway: A man named Amit Anu had the title "Tabl Keeper" at the royal library at Ur in roughly 2000 BC. He was the earliest known librarian. No word if he was the first to tell unruly sixth-graders to shush."

                               The Straight Dope

     We, as tax payers, have kept this wonderful institution going. I don't begrudge paying money for this benefit. I even like paying my overdue fines. That amount is so much lower than when we had a full house. Librarians have kept me full of ideas for homeschooling, they pointed out the best read aloud books for my Music and Movement classes, and best, they keep me from buying a constant flow of books I would never read twice. They are an island treasure. I bet you love your public library, too.

I am writing for 31 days this October about Island Life. Click here to see the other days of writing.

Friday, October 28, 2016

October 28- Eating From the Farm

“The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it we can have no community, because without proper care for it we can have no life.” 
Wendell Berry

The farm season is drawing to a close. Dried squash vines lie haphazard in the fields like cords coming from behind computers and monitors. Tomato plants hang in their cages, curled from mildew and early morning frost. Island farms are jewels in the crown of island life. Saturday Market is almost over and many of us are mourning the loss of fresh Swiss chard, kale, and those beautiful salad greens laced with Johnny Jump Up flowers. 

   To raise your own food and then market it to others is a brave endeavor. Your vegetables could rot in the rain, your cow escape and be killed by a car on the highway, or a sudden heat wave could wilt all your lettuce.  But, a farmer meets each challenge with resolve. She will plant again, buy a new cow, make more cheese, and artfully arrange whatever is fresh in the stand. 

My favorite part of going to the farm stand is wondering what is available. To peek into the farm fridge and find not only fresh milk and eggs, but, Fromage made with tiny chives is a delight. Holding a bouquet of curly kale makes me giddy. Knowing my farmers personally is comforting because I trust their claims. If they say they are organic I believe them and see first hand what means they achieve this end.  Eating is important to my family and island life makes us aware of abundance not just quantity.

I am writing for 31 days this October about Island Life. Click here to see the other days of writing.

Welcome FMF friends and thank-you for reading my words.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

October 27- An Island Gift, Claiming Creativity

Creativity itself doesn't care at all about results - the only thing it craves is the process. Learn to love the process and let whatever happens next happen, without fussing too much about it. Work like a monk, or a mule, or some other representative metaphor for diligence. Love the work. Destiny will do what it wants with you, regardless. 

Elizabeth Gilbert

It all started when I signed up for an online class. The syllabus was The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown.

I did not understand that the application part of the class would happen through art journaling. I liked buying a little empty journal book and my first set of gouache paints but I didn't get it. Brené didn't get it either, she was not comfortable with art. But she surrounded herself with artist and writer friends who helped her see how to use creativity to integrate emotions. Yes, as a vulnerability and shame researcher, her work indicated that "The Wholehearted" people she studied had creative outlets, all of them. So, how does writing down your story, painting a representation of your inner life, or making up a song integrate the most beautiful and the most difficult parts of your life?

  Recently, I listened to a podcast with Elizabeth Gilbert, who was interviewing a young woman song writer. She was grieving the loss of her sister to cancer. She told about her fear of writing music again because the loss was so fresh and making music brought up images that were very disturbing. Elizabeth suggested she let the music guide her to what was bubbling up into her heart. Later, in another call, Elizabeth asked how her creative juices were doing. A joyful song had emerged, quite to her surprise. The music had bridged the gap from pain to joy. 

What is the fear when we pick up a brush?

The fear is that we won't be good enough. Good enough for what? Good enough to have others applaud at our greatness? Then that is true in my experience. But, if we embark on the path of creativity to integrate our inner life with our outer life then it is much more likely that we are good enough. My love of art is sustainable. I can do it the rest of my life, as long as my hands work. It brings me joy and satisfaction. God inspires me and my island life supports my pursuit. You can view my art here.

I am writing for 31 days this October about Island Life. Click here to see the other days of writing.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

October 26- An Island Artist

"I paint simple things – the things I see, am attached to and love. Every subject contains an essence that belongs to just that moment. I get to be with that feeling while I translate it into the poetry of paint. As I become more aware, I keep learning that truth is everywhere. Painting is my way to see and tell the truth. I hope that I’ll inspire others to look twice at the beauty of their everyday lives...and to find their own way of expressing that."
Pam Ingalls

Pam Ingalls is an island artist with longevity and substance. Twice a year, at least, I spend time at her gallery show. Her subjects vary from Italian scenes, Central American images, and best, her shows of island residents. She calls herself a Russian Impressionist. I think of her as a magician with light.

Year after year I would buy her postcards, risk saying a few words to her, and take her images etched onto my mind. About fifteen years ago, while at her showing, my husband mentioned that I taught piano. She exclaimed that she had a dream of taking piano lessons. A plan was hatched. I would teach her piano and she would give me a painting. Her moderate sized pieces were then $1200. That meant a year of lessons. 

Week after week I sat beside her and guided her through scales, chords, and pieces that I hoped captured her interest. With long fingers, sometimes dotted with paint, I encouraged her to be patient as muscles and tendons moved new ways. She was very humble to try a new pursuit. It didn't come easily. I learned that she was a very hard worker. For thirty years she had supported herself as an artist. Her life was simple but at the same time very adventuresome. Our lessons had sporadic gaps when she was off in Italy painting with students. For all the romance surrounded the profession of artist I found Pam to be grounded and kind. 


    You may be wondering what painting I acquired in exchange for the lessons. She could have given me anything from her studio but she chose to paint something new, just for me. Taking pictures around my home, she settled on my teaching corner. We brought out a cello my husband was restoring and when my daughter told her that the cello was named Pete, she named the painting, Pete At The Piano.

Pam is just one of many island artists I know and appreciate. I shared her story because she sowed a seed within me to try painting myself. My home has more paintings which I received in trade for piano lessons. This one started a collection. Each piece of art has a personal story and I so admire the artists whose work is on my walls. 
You can find out more about Pam Ingalls here. Tomorrow I tell about how I braved the world of paint, canvas, and brushes.

I am writing for 31 days this October about Island Life. Click here to see the other days of writing.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

October 25- Our Island Artist Community

"The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider's web." 
Pablo Picasso

    We are an artist community. Right on the bank building, artist William Forrester painted the history of our island. Depicted are our first settlers who landed on our shores, then the farmers who civilized the forests, and also those that founded the first bank, the mural was funded by the bank, after all.


 Not to be forgotten are the many musicians, who are always present at community gatherings, who are lined up in the painting like music notes on a staff. The mural is an example of the presence of the artist here. Walking down the street galleries show dressed up canvases much like window displays in the city. Musicians play in restaurants every weekend.

   Knowing local artists has slowly dispelled the mystique surrounding the artist way. They are not magic, peculiar, or blessed by heaven in some way. They have surrendered to the call to take pencils, paint, paper, and reorganize the tools into expressions of deep feeling. Their inner light shines more brightly when they play their violin, guitar, or whale on a piano. I don't run in their circles, but, yet I do. I am on the fringe. The tipping point to owning my desires came when I first gave piano lessons to an artist in exchange for a painting. Tomorrow I will write about our collaboration.


I am writing for 31 days this October about Island Life. Click here to see the other days of writing.

Monday, October 24, 2016

October 24- The Last Witness To My Birth

“Instructions for living a life. 
Pay attention. 
Be astonished. 
Tell about it.” 
Mary Oliver

There is one last witness living who was present at my birth.

Meet my last living brother. He was twelve when I was born. I was a surprise as my mother was forty-three when she conceived. I followed three boys so many years later. They treated me like a princess and at some point I became an adult in their eyes. 

Below you see my birthplace, a home built by my father and brothers in West Germany, some years after they left Silesia as refugees. The trees behind the house remind me that living amongst trees is my legacy. 


    Visits from my brother to this island are momentous events.

   He loves nature and always sets out on a walk within hours of arriving. Once he left for a walk telling me he was going to the water. Hours past and finally I jumped into the car to go looking for him. He made it to the water but walked so far along the beach that he couldn't find a path back up. He emerged on someone's driveway and trudged back to my house. 

    Last April, when he came, we rode all the ferries we could because he loves standing on the front of the boat and letting the wind and sun rush through him. THIS is my brother. I love him!

Happy birthday to me, today. 

He will call and if he forgets I will call him. We learned that from our older brother who never once forgot to call us and reminded us when we slipped.

I am writing for 31 days this October about Island Life. Click here to see the other days of writing.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

October 23- My Early Morning Guests

On this sabbath day I recall a decade of spiritual growth on this island because I was blessed to teach seminary.

"Attending seminary requires sacrifice, but youth throughout the world are finding that seminary participation is worth every effort. And those who participate have something in common: their seminary experience brings them closer to the Savior and to our Heavenly Father."

Seminary is a program in my church which invites high school age youth to attend a religion class before school starts every school day. Believe me, I was way over my head most of the years I was teaching. But, my efforts were magnified and I give praise and credit to God who made the call and sustained the feeble knees. Our island had very small groups. One very special year I had two boys who came faithfully everyday. 
Seminary challenged me to learn and know the doctrine of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I could not testify of that which I did not know. 

What I Learned From Teaching Seminary

   About Teenagers-
 1. They can be fully engaged one day and have no recollection of your lesson the next day.
 2. They feel incredibly vulnerable.
 3. They want to discuss on a deep level.
 4. They need more connection to their Savior, Jesus Christ.
 5. They need motivation to read the scriptures on their own.
 6. Those who come from homes where spiritual matters are openly discussed have a stronger foundation.

   About Teaching-
1. When you are prepared as a teacher you have less to beat yourself up about when things fall apart.
2. Praying is essential.
3. The longer you teach the more there is in your vessel for The Spirit to work with.
4. Plan readiness activities in advance and have them at hand.
5. Don't be afraid to wait when you ask a question.
6. Use journals and make them important by writing in them often during the week, glue-in quotes and pictures, give open journal quizzes to insure they record information correctly, and at the end of the year pass them around to record last testimonies and thoughts from their peers.
7. You can be obsessed with teaching during the year and completely forget how to teach seminary during the summer.
8. Keep yourself focused by reading the whole Book of Mormon every summer.

    About the Holy Ghost-
1. He can high- jack your lesson and it is absolutely divine.
2. Sometimes he assists your teaching even when you don't deserve it because your students do.
3. He can connect pieces together when your lesson is disjointed.
4. He can teach your students a different lesson that you thought you did.
5. He can flood you with joy and make you feel whole.

I am writing for 31 days this October about Island Life. Click here to see the other days of writing.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

October 22- Guest Blogger Andrew

Today my son, Andrew, is writing as a guest
blogger. His visits to the island are frequent and so appreciated.                        

 Island Dying  

When I die, I want to be buried on the island. I want some part of me to be permanently attached to this place. Something more substantial, more material, more earthy, than a number on a census report, or a name in the high school yearbook.  

So much of my time now I spend doing things in the air. Sharing documents in the cloud. Sending messages that destroy themselves in ten seconds. Taking pictures that will never be printed.  

My memories of growing up on the island are as crisp and fresh as a newspaper just off the press. But the places that support those memories are falling down and disappearing. Burton Elementary, located over a bridge with mudflats so thick and brown they looked like pudding to my second grade eyes, was turned into a skateboard park. Vashon Elementary, along the main road, was torn down over a decade ago. When it was vacant but still standing, my friends and I broke into the gym and played basketball under barely glowing emergency lights. There's a soccer field there now, where children play who have no idea on what they stand. The high school, which had gotten a shiny new copper roof during the time I was there, has been completely replaced. 

Will my memories become as elusive and insubstantial as a Tweet, or Snapchat? Will the walls that support them stay standing? What will stop them from running downhill like a rainwater through the pines, out past the mudflats and beyond?

                                          Andrew is a teacher, administrator, and often a stay at home Dad. His writing is fresh and insightful.

I am writing for 31 days this October about Island Life. Click here to see the other days of writing.

Friday, October 21, 2016

October 21- A Park Called Nature

                          It is Friday and I'm joining my FMF friends, but I'm also continuing with 31 Days of Writing- Island Stories. Today my granddaughter Maggie is writing as a guest blogger.                          

This Is Home
By Maggie

 When a place is your home, then your heart is completely given to it. Doesn’t matter if the people there are on your side. Doesn’t matter if there are no people at all. You love the place. You love the land and the sky and the scents and even the bad things, like pounding rains and cloudy days.
 This is my home. I remember how fully my heart belongs. It is not a single event or a single place or a single memory to make a home. It takes years. Years of hope and joy and sadness and care.


I remember times I did fun things as a child. I remember hunting through a strawberry patch for sticks to use as swords in our mock fight. I remember changing behind a towel wall at the beach, and thinking that I was in a desert. It was hot that year. I remember building forts and being in wolf packs and howling just for the joy of it. We played a lot in the woods. We played tag and hide-and-seek and baseball, and when we went to the playground we played mouse-on-ground and pretended to be dragons and vampires and witches and animals. At the park we went on “expoditions” through the “horrible swamps,” and played pretend as fairies and dryads. There was a big Maple tree in one of our backyards. We would climb it and laugh and pretend we could fly. We made blanket houses from the bunk beds when the power went out and we’d pretend we were deep underground, exploring the tunnels of earth. We had flashlights and a glass tea set and dolls and wooden guns. We were adventurers.  

 I remember sad things, too. The time the swing broke and my brother hit his head. When it rained so much the roof leaked. When we played “Rat” in the dark and someone got hurt every time. When my two-year old brother wandered away and was picked up by the police. We spent all afternoon and evening looking for him. When I saw a mouse for the first time and realized I was terrified of them. When I had nightmares of spiders that wouldn’t go away, and I’d wake up night after night in the dark, unable to move, unable to cry, still feeling the creepy scrape of long arachnid legs all over my skin. When I was sick for a week with the flu. When strep throat got me two summers in a row. When Mom almost bled to death. When she was sick, horribly sick for years and I couldn’t do anything.

 But it doesn’t matter. Because this place is home. Where I can go outside and feel rain and cold air in the winter, and melt in the summer. Even when life gets hard, because, let’s face it, it was designed that way, I can connect with this place. Because it’s home.

Maggie is a high school student and gifted in writing, music, and theater, and she is my beloved granddaughter.

I am writing for 31 days this October about Island Life. Click here to see the other days of writing.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

October 20- Guest Post Jenni From The Chronicles Of Farnia

My guest blogger today is Jenni from 
She loves the island as much as I do and can write about it with adjectives and adverbs galore.

    I felt the pull of our island long before we ever “landed” here. The island called to me across the water to where we lived on the mainland, almost haunting me until we made the decision to actually move there. We were thwarted by a bad economy the first time we thought of moving and we stayed landlubbers for seven years. An even worse situation forced our hands…as if the island was saying to me, “It’s time”… And here we are. 

On one of the first Sundays we came to the island, we drove past the harbor on a foggy day, the mists beginning to lift…but not quite. The entire surface of the water and surrounding land was covered in low, white clouds and above that, a playful sun grinned down at us from a cloudless blue sky. I told my husband, “This is heaven.” 

“No, it’s the island,” he reminded me. “Yeah…that’s what I said.” 

      We’ve had people tell us that we won’t be at all surprised when we die and find ourselves in heaven, because heaven will look exactly like this…our island. We have the best of all worlds here: pastoral farm and grazing lands, the water and beaches surrounding us (we even have our very own lighthouse!), mysterious forests and a lovely little lake (the locals call it a pond). It is the most beautiful place I have ever called home. My roots have sunk deep in the island soil. 

      Apparently there are about 10,000 people on this island, but you would be hard-pressed to find them all. Quaint cottages, quirky houses, log cabins, million dollar mansions and manufactured homes live together nicely, tucked here and there among all the trees and along the beaches, lining the main street of our town and spreading outward. Our first cottage was a 1927 summer house overlooking the harbor. We loved it there. We were literally led to that house when our lives fell apart and we needed a place of peace, comfort, a sense of security and yes, love. 

I read somewhere that if you sleep overnight on the island, it romances you with its siren song, captures your heart and you will never want to leave it. We never want to leave. Ever. The thing is…all the people on this island smile. They smile at you from across the grocery store aisle, at the perfect movie theatre while you wait in line for organic buttered popcorn and a cherry root beer, as you meet people on the street or in the ferry line. They all smile because they are happy to live here. This is where they want to be and it makes them extraordinarily happy. People strike up conversations as you peruse the card aisle at the pharmacy, or ask you a question at the grocery store, or simply sit next to you on a bench on the main street of town and ask you how you’ve been. 

People here give. They are generous and want to give things they no longer need. Streets and highways often have cast-offs that are eagerly grabbed up by those who can find a use for something no longer needed. I scored a wheelbarrow. We left out a file cabinet. Everywhere you look there is something for someone. When one of the local businesswomen became seriously ill and racked up thousands in medical expenses, a group of people pooled their money and paid her medical bills. The churches have dinners weekly for the homeless. There is always this or that fundraiser and amazingly, they always surpass their goals. People take care of each other on this island. We are all neighbors, family and friends. 


  We watch the Strawberry Festival parade where the highlights are the synchronized shopping cart drill team and the trail of vintage tractors that wander one after another down the parade route. We delight to Mr. and Mrs. Santa who parade down main street behind the high school band for the annual tree lighting. Jack-o-lanterns, carved by the high school football team, grin eerily along the porch of the local coffee company and enviable fireworks light up the sky from the harbor on the Fourth of July. We are all about tradition here. You will even find the annual sheepdog trials here where artisans actually spin yarn from dog hair and weave it into some pretty amazing mufflers and scarves. 


Photo by Kevin Scott


We are also heavy supporters of the arts, having just built a beautiful new performing arts center. We boast an opera company, a chamber group, local artists and authors (some very famous), craftspeople and artisans of every kind and everyone on the island happy in their own sphere of creativity. There is a garden club and every year, it is the sponsor of a garden tour…we went before we ever moved here and I was amazed by the beautiful gardens and landscaped yards of people who love living here.
      Yes, we have to take a ferry to get off and on the island. But that is part of the magic. When we get on the ferry to go home, the cares and stresses and chaos of the world we leave behind stay on the dock, right where we leave them, as we glide across the waters homeward.


     Our island has small-town quaintness and charm. We are diverse here. Keep Our Island Weird, boast bumper stickers. What I feel on this island is an incredible sense of belonging…as though I always did. It took me a lot of years to “come home”…Wanderlust ever prodding me until I actually arrived. Now I never want to leave. Despite all that has happened in our past…the heartache, the chaos, the tragedy and sadness…it didn’t follow us here. The island accepts everything about us and offers that peace, serenity, comfort, deep contentment and joy that we so need.

   Jennifer Clawson Farnes lives on a island in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and an itinerant peahen maned Edith. A mother of six, grandmother of eight, she loves old stuff, finds beauty everywhere, and still without a clothesline. She writes and has been published in Bella Grace Magazine many times. Follow along with her at

I am writing for 31 days this October about Island Life. Click here to see the other days of writing.