When my Dad retired from medicine, he and my Mom built a wonderful vacation home, complete with a La Conner zip code. I cannot, for the life of me, remember names, but give me a number and I’m all over it. 98257. Before my folks even had a house attached to their address, which was attached to that zip code, I could recite it in my sleep.

Flash forward 20-some years. I now own that home, in that zip code. 98257. But the funny thing is, instead of thinking of this as my home, I think of it as my vacation home. Which is silly when I think about it because I live here all the time. Day in-day out. My stuff is here, my husband is here (that’s another story for another day), my garden is here and my life is here. However, I still think of this house, this community – this zip code – as where I go to chill out and mosey around like a tourist. Hang on the deck, have a cold beer, watch some boats & wander through the shops.

Here’s the thing, though. I am not a tourist anymore. And I’ve decided that I do not want to be a tourist anymore. I’ve lived here, full-time, for 5 years now. This is my home. This is my neighborhood, and this is my community. I need to embrace this lovely valley and its people, and find out what the heck all the fuss is about. Sure it’s beautiful, and picturesque, and right now the fields are a wonder of Spring color.

But a community isn’t just about sitting pretty while the tourists ooh and ahh. It’s about the people who live here, work here, and make this community what it is.

So I’ve decided to start a blog. I figure this way, I’ll have to get to know my neighbors. I’ll have to get to know our town’s shopkeepers, chefs and occasional town turkey (as in the bird, not as in ‘people who do not agree with me’ or ‘the guy who never uses his turn-signal’). I’m going to have to eat somewhere besides the two restaurants I go to because I think I’m on vacation, and because they are where I always want to go when I’m here on vacation.

And hopefully along the way, someone (are you out there?) will decide to come along with me, read my blog, and share in the stories that make a community … oh, I mean my community a pretty darn wonderful place to call home.

98257. That’s my zip code and I’m claiming it. Along with my town. I’m no longer a tourist.

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