A Very Vashon Fourth of July{11}

Boz the bulldog on the front porchBoz, British Bulldog and expat, says “All is forgiven, Happy Fourth!”

The Fourth of July comes abruptly to Vashon Island. Anyone on the island with an open window and who’s not on life support cannot escape the approaching drone of the hydroplanes circumnavigating the island like furious wasps. It’s a Vashon tradition I love–if nothing else, but for the letters to the Editor that the 5 a.m. wake-up call elicits.

Then the Vashon Fourth of July settles in quietly around the island, taking in more backyard barbecues, croquet matches, bocce ball, horsehoe sets and fire-pit jam sessions than any other parcel on Puget Sound. Tables will be laden with apple pie, pesto, potato salad, kimchi, sushi and salsa (along with requisite gluten-free experiments) and the faces around the table will be a varied as the dishes served.

It’s a time for friends and family to slow down and embrace any vestige of summer that suits our fancy. It’s a day when we share the gift of laughter, knowing that today’s joy was secured by yesterday’s sacrifice. We may not speak boldly, but that does not mean the moment escapes our hearts. When the fireworks begin over Quartermaster Harbor, the night sky will ignite in celebration, as will our gratitude and thanks for the generations before us. Your hopes and dreams are alive today in us. Happy Fourth of July from Vashon Island.

Maggie and Tom on the ferry to Bainbridge Island

This photo was taken on the Seattle – Bainbridge ferry in 2003, a year before I moved to Vashon Island. Maggie and I never missed a Fourth of July on Bainbrdige Island, another local celebration well worth attending.