Are You Related?


We made it through the first week of First Grade for Maggie and it’s been mostly all super great and wonderful things, with a few poo-poo comments about how long school feels, but overall a great experience so far. Truthfully, I wasn’t sure what to expect with it all, we’re at a new school that is seriously gigantic, the number of students that attend make me go cross-eyed. No matter how many years I taught, or how many years I went to school on my own, I still couldn’t decide if I was feeling thrilled or afraid of the new adventure.

Today, the first Friday of the year, Maggie’s teacher marched out of the school with her students trailing behind her like little ducks and came directly towards me.  She obviously wanted to talk to me and I quickly ran through the list of things that perhaps I hadn’t turned in or filled out correctly. Worrying that something had happened to Maggie that needed a Private Conversation. Instead, she leaned close and asked me if I was related to someone who used to be an administrator with the same last name.

Ha, ha!!

My grandpa was a middle school vice-principal decades ago in the same distract and she remembered my Grandpa from when she was a middle schooler and he was her principal.  And now she’s teaching his great-granddaughter!!

I have no doubt that wherever my grandma is, she’s laughing and holding Maggie’s heartstrings close….because she’d be sitting right next to my grandpa if she could as he pulls out the dusty old year books to see a picture of Maggie’s teacher and see what he can remember.

For what it’s worth, I boast quite a bit about my roots running deep in Anacortes, but sometimes I forget that they’re also planted here in the ‘ole 425.


Home, Home, Home



While we were in New Zealand we stayed on a farm that was run by a family that had been farming the land for seven generations. During our week-long stay, I poured over the books left in our tent for us to read. Since the land had hardly changed, it was so easy to imagine the generations that came before us. We walked to the family cemetery and saw next to the ocean’s edge the rusted machines that once were part of the blossoming logging industry.

I spent lots of my time thinking about what it’d feel like to have a place so deeply part of a family, practically like the blood running through the veins. Every aspect about it fascinated me because as much as I want to travel, and I want my girls to know what treasures the world holds, I also want them to know home so deeply that it’s intertwined with who they are and will become. A place to forever return to.  I love leaving just as much as I coming back from a trip. I find comfort in both parts of coming and going.


We’ve been home for months and when people ask what we’ve been up to this summer, I tell them that we go to the local outdoor pool and head to Anacortes to see family. It wasn’t until we were staying at my mom and dad’s for a long weekend, housesitting while they went with my brother on a quick trip, that I realized that I do know exactly what it’s like to have a place that runs through my veins and that I’ll forever return to.

It’s been a long time since I’ve called Anacortes my true home, I’ve lived most of my adult life an hour or more away, but it is still very much a place that I consider a version of home, especially my mom and dad’s house. If my girls were to live in Anacortes, they’d be the sixth generation to do so, to stomp their feet up and down the streets, to look out over the Guemes Channel and to see the coming and goings of the summer visitors.

The local museum has gone as far to create an area specifically for my family, for the wild things they did like canoeing the Inside Passage, or having a gorilla raised like a child for a couple years, but also for being upstanding citizens of the small town. Since there have always been murals around town of the greats of my family (aunt, grandma), I’ve never stopped to consider how special and unique that is.

The time that we spend in Anacortes is always extra special and it sometimes has a magical feel to it, maybe because it can feel pretty removed from the day-to-day grind of reality. I’ve always known that our roots run deep on Fidalgo Island, and it wasn’t until I witnessed it in New Zealand, that I realized that’s something that makes our family extra special and unique.