The Shaw Invasion

This is what Friendship looks like.
This is what Friendship looks like.

Shaw is a careless dot in the middle of the San Juan Islands. On a map, it kind of looks like a cowboy boot with a broken spur. In my heart, it looks like my friends laughing behind an old cabin, drunk off of Jam Jar wine.

In November 2010, on a day full of strange fiction coming to life, we gathered gold maple leaves the size of a giant’s hand into bouquets. We ordained Emily a minister and pretended to marry each other with Eskimo kisses on the mossy ground behind the cabin. (The boys hit golf balls around in the front, oblivious to our silliness.) Afterwards, the brides jumped into a rusted, orange hollowed-out Charger with a cardboard “just married” sign in tow.

The ceremony concluded with this photograph and a reception of spiked hot chocolate and more Jam Jar wine, enjoyed around a snapping fire.

The mainland is full of responsibility – jobs, bills, irksome social media we can’t seem to live without. But on Shaw, nothing exists but the moment and the limits of our imaginations and friendships.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Truth is Stranger than Fiction; Post II

Jam Jar

The Jam Jar wine gets cleaned out of Shaw’s only store when the “Lush You Crew” sets foot on the Island.   After our trip a week ago Saturday, I imagine there’s another case en route to stock up for our next trip.   Adrienne suggested I forward this shot over to the makers of Jam Jar to show them where and how people enjoy their wine. 

Continuing on in my gratitude journey, I am thankful for my “lushes” (which is more of a term of endearment within our friend group than a reference to any drinking habits).   I haven’t had a group of friends like this in my life.  There is a lot of support within the group and never any back-biting.  Plus, these ladies just know how to have fun! 

A BIG Congratulations to Adrienne, who is now a proud first-time Auntie!!


Thankful, Day 2:  Rick.  A.k.a. Slow, Rickshaw, Rickles. 

Rick, I am thankful for your persistent Monday night calls three years ago trying to convince me to eat one of your spaghetti dinners.  I enjoyed your signature moves on stage at the Upfront Theater while the performances lasted. 

For some reason, my angst with life was displaced, and I was unreasonably angry with you at the beginning of the year.   I see clearly now, that you have a good heart.  I know you can come over and enjoy a good bottle of Chianti, and I can spill my secrets to you.   You are like a brother to me – when I miss my three brothers back home so much.  I have a hard time opening up to anyone, and it took me a while to appreciate who you are and where you came from.  But, Rick, you are one of the things that makes Bellingham GOOD.   I never have to put on a facade or pretend to be anything other than what I am. 

Rick, you are one in a million.  Thank you for being exactly, precisely 100% who you are at all times.


As I’ve stated previously, 2010 has personally been a tough year.  Between learning how to study again and taking tests, a bad break-up, and discovering how much my property value dipped with the economy, I feel exhausted.  If that weren’t enough, the pre-election attack ads threatened my last nerve.  Following that political sepsis that poisoned the nation slowly throughout the past couple months, leaving me nauseated with click of the TV remote, I decided it was time for healing.

For the rest of this month, to celebrate Thanksgiving and all the blessings in my life, my daily post will be about something for which I am thankful.  I think healing can only come when we choose to see the positive and live our lives in a way that helps support each other rather than tear down. 

Because she is closest to home (literally), my first “thankful” post is dedicated to my roommate, Jessica. 

Jess is a strong, beautiful Italian woman who (as insiders know) obtained something our group calls “LUF” status.  I can’t share what that acronym means in this blog, but it has to do with her ability to be blatantly honest with everyone around her, telling it like it is.  You can trust Jess absolutely with anything, and I needed her positive energy in the house when she moved in last June.  Jess can power through any bad or uncomfortable situation in life and make the most of it.   For her unique outlook on life and her strength, I am thankful.  

These blue chairs are for you, Jess!  🙂

Just for you, David

I took a trip out to Shaw Island on Saturday with some friends.   Few people seem to know that Shaw exists, which is good because without the touristy vibe and the traffic experienced other places in the San Juan Islands, it makes for a peaceful afternoon.

These well fed birds hitchhiked over to Shaw with me.  There’s food on the upper deck of this particular ferry, and their eyes are fixed on the windows as if they’re preparing to attack.

I’m dedicating this post to my photo-walking friend David.  He’s been looking for birds to photograph for some time now, and his ever elusive subject seems to follow me around instead.