After three weeks in my new home, I am still in the honeymoon phase of my relocation. I almost expect unicorns to bring manna to my door in the evenings. When I drove to Lewiston last week, the smell of caramel corn from Bright’s Candies followed me through three counties. Most mornings my neighborhood hints of bacon on the skillet. My new pharmacist looks like a young, polished Ray Romano. Everyone I pass while walking my dog is so friendly, offering a greeting or at least a smile. Once a lady saw me carrying what was obviously a baggie full of dog poop and she asked if I would like to deposit it in her garbage can. I’m telling you: Shangri-La.
My neighbor to the west is Whitman College and they seem to be good kids and passionate educators of the caliber I appreciated during my years working at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. I sometimes pass through campus instead of driving around. One night Greek row identified itself by a couch in the middle of the road. That seems to be the extent of shenanigans here, a nice contrast to the news of keg-stands, balcony-dives and twerking I hear from local state universities. Yes, I did keg-stands and worse in my time, both at WSU and in east Lewis County. But now I’m middle-aged and go to bed by 9, even on the weekends. Bless the academic over-achievers at Whitman who don’t make much noise.
There was a little rain the first week I was here, but it has been sunny and beautiful most of the time. I need to get over the west-side attitude that any hour the sun is out must be fully appreciated (since it may be the last sun for 9 months) or I am not going to get any work done. I go out of my house wearing shorts and tank tops while the natives are bundled up for “autumn.” Feels like June in Olympia to me. Many of the houses here, including mine, don’t even have gutters! It’s a new world. A caramel-bacon-scented, unicorns-bearing-gifts, sunshiney, welcoming world.