Blatherings of a bone geek, bookseller, and unapologetic bird nerd. (Now with vegany goodness.)

Category Archives: Neither here nor there

In my last post I mentioned that while I love this area of the world, I don’t love the part of it where I’m spending most of my time. I realize this may sound contradictory, so I thought I’d post some pictures I’ve taken recently to illustrate my point.

When I wax rhapsodical about the Pacific Northwest, these are the types of scenes I’m usually thinking of:

Edmonds-Kingston Ferry leaving Edmonds Terminal
Mt. Baker

Mt. Baker

Approaching the town of Kingston/Olympic Peninsula

Approaching the town of Kingston/Olympic Peninsula

…or this…

Mt. Rainier, Carbon River (July 2005)

Mt. Rainier, Carbon River (July 2005)

Mt. Rainier, Carbon Glacier Trail (July 2005)

Mt. Rainier, Carbon Glacier Trail (July 2005)

Unfortunately, the area where I’m staying looks more like this…

Rt. 99 in Lynnwood

Auto Parts

Checks cashed

Checks cashed

Waiting for the light....

Waiting for the light....

This is the type of scene I see, not directly upon leaving my front door, but at least upon turning the corner. This is where I buy my groceries and wait for my bus. This is what I mean by stripmall hell. I shouldn’t complain. At least there IS a bus. And sidewalks. But everything is a long haul, and this is not exactly the scenic route.

That said, not far from the suburban sprawl I’ve posted above, there are pockets of lovely quiet green. The street where I live and work is a lot more rural than suburban (hence the lack of sidewalks along huge sections of the road). I pass scenes like these walking every day:

Cross street

Cross street

And this is what I see, standing in my driveway, facing west (apologies for the poor quality – it was taken with my phone):

The view from my driveway.

The view from my driveway.

And just a few blocks walking from the Auto Parts store above, there’s a park that looks like this:

Scriber Lake Park

Scriber Lake Park

… where I recently saw this…

Female wood duck

Female wood duck

… and this…

Hummingbird

Hummingbird

… and most excitingly, this…

Beaver

Beaver

So, this is what I mean. There’s so much to love about this area of the world. I’m just not crazy about the little corner of it where I have to go about my daily business at the moment. Rt. 99 is my lifeline; I can’t avoid it. But given my druthers, I wouldn’t be living here. While I do, I guess I’ll just keep searching out those beautiful spaces in between.

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I’ve been getting a lot of messages from people back home along the lines of “Nice stories about cute critters, but how are you?” Well, I wish I could answer that simply. Mostly, I’m too busy and tired to really dwell on how I am, which is a good thing. Idle time leads to contemplation and contemplation leads to confusion. Being busy doesn’t make all the bigger issues and questions of my life go away, but it does push them a bit to the background. “Are you enjoying it?” is another question I seem to be getting a lot from people, and another one that’s not simple to answer. “Yes” would be an honest answer. “Not always” would be equally honest. I love what I’m doing but don’t always love doing it would be one way to put it. Equally, I love this area of the world but not the part where I’ve been spending most of my time.

Being here doing what I’m doing has given me a short reprieve from having to make post-graduation decisions. It’s something I wanted to explore, but is it bringing me ringing clarity? Not exactly. Not about career and not about geography.Trying to look at questions of my place in the world is a lot like looking at the sun. Facing it head on causes me to see spots. I’m trying to look elsewhere and just glimpse it from the periphery.

So how am I? Tired, busy, happy, sad, confused, watching time slipping through my fingers and just trying to live in the moment. Same as always, I guess. Thanks for asking.