Cultural Appropriation or Storytelling?

How do we learn about other cultures? Do we only take in what we have personally seen and experienced? Do we read about them, learn the language, study the art and artifacts, listen critically to their music, or try to create within another culture entirely? This is probably the prickliest topic there is for anyone…

Read More

Setting Things Right

This autumn has stirred in some unexpected areas of the American psyche a fresh appreciation of Indigenous culture, the foods, the languages, and the teachings of the First People on whose lands we, the newcomers, reside. It’s not merely a personal awakening. There seems to have been a subtle but noticeable shift in our cultural…

Read More

Learning Lushootseed

Wind blowing through treetops, the snap of a dry twig, water rushing along a rocky streambed, these are among the many sounds of nature replicated by Lushootseed, the language of the Coast Salish people of the Pacific Northwest. It bears no relation to languages born in Europe, Africa, or Asia. Although it has existed for…

Read More

Shiloh Everett Nelson

There’s nothing quite like holding your grandchild for the first time. The slight wiggle, the intoxicating baby smell, the wonder of new life filling your arms. My husband was enthralled, not just with the handsomeness of the baby, the dimples, the dark blue eyes and perfect little fingers, but even with the feeling of gas…

Read More

Halloween With Whidbey Island Orchestra

Whidbey Island Orchestra has been around for approximately eighteen or so years, and I’ve been privileged to conduct it for the past five years. Our mission statement says that we exist to provide an opportunity for island musicians to perform orchestral music and to bring that music to our community in free concerts. This means…

Read More

Our Pandemic Tent

As the Delta Variant has made its way into our everyday vocabulary, we have reassessed our willingness and ability to dine with anyone outside of our bubble, and frankly, even within our bubble. Whidbey Island lies in the Puget Sound, very much a garden community of greater Seattle, and so our rainy season begins in…

Read More

The Darwin Garden

Mother Nature has a way of humbling us all. This year we thought we had the garden all figured out. We purchased a lot of heritage and heirloom seeds. We created a very logical garden plan for our deer-fenced 30’x20′ raised bed veggie garden. We added organic soil and compost. The books about companion planting…

Read More

The Life-Saving Bubble

So these are the friends who have saved each other from depression, misery, and frozen TV dinners during the pandemic. At the very beginning of the Covid 19 lockdown in the early spring of 2020 we took turns meeting in front of our homes, shivering in the chill wind with glasses of wine in gloved…

Read More

Cooking From The August Garden

Here in the Pacific Northwest we’ve had several heat waves this summer. The fires burning in Canada and throughout the west have also impacted our air quality, so no one is running around outdoors the way we usually do. Nevertheless, our orchards and gardens have continued to produce, so using this time in our kitchens…

Read More

A Summer Afternoon

a dining table with floral decorations and plates

Henry James had it right when he said, and I’m probably paraphrasing here, “The most beautiful words in the English language, a summer afternoon, a summer afternoon.” How many of them have we allowed to slip by year after year while we’ve toiled to pay for the homes and gardens we never take the time…

Read More