A fine week on Lopez
By the time you read this, I’ll be home from Lopez Island.
An October week on an island is a grand respite from routine. And, as I think is true of any travel, it’s a particular joy to be somewhere popular with tourists, in the off-season when tourists aren’t around.
And so it is in the San Juan Islands during the fall.
The island is quiet in October. And although islands are beautiful in every season, fall colors on the San Juans are superb. Red and gold leaves. Tawny deer. Sky that turns from blue to charcoal and back again. Early sunsets.
Our first few days were sunny and so still that an eagle landing in a treetop caused the only movement in the vicinity, as tree limbs and leaves hung motionless.
The last few days brought some heavy rain, with periods of clearing, but not a day passed without walks to the beach or along the spit road near our rented house.
Lopez shops and restaurants tend to have shorter weeks, or at least shorter hours off-season.
The public library is an exception, as it seems to keep busy six days a week, year round.
And what a great library, warm and welcoming. There’s even a fireplace, with comfortable chairs and a basket of yarn next to it, an ongoing project with an invitation to knitters to add inches of knitting—what a concept!
The televised vice-presidential debate was shown at the library-- we were tempted to attend but chose to watch at home.
Did I mention that three of my Writing Sisters and I were born in The Year of the Dragon, which gave us an excellent reason to celebrate with this week away?
During our week, we enjoyed activity and ease in equal measure. We did a fair amount of writing, which we shared aloud during long evenings by the fire. We critiqued one another’s work and did writing exercises together.
Speaking of writing, The Lopez Library and Lopez Bookshop now have copies of Writing Sister Kizzie Jones’ new children’s book, “How Dachshunds Came to Be”—a special thrill for all of us to see her book on display.
Sunday afternoon, two of us drove to Woodmen Hall, the Lopez equivalent of a grange hall, and attended the widely advertised Octoberfest.
The event, from 3 to 7 p.m., appeared to attract most families who live on Lopez—families who appeared to be wholesome and personable, well-acquainted with one another and kind to visitors! It was great fun.
The Octoberfest featured various games, craft vendors, bluegrass music, food, beer and wine and a number of outdoor activities, including horseshoes, darts, barrel roll, cookie toss and—oh, yes, the chicken drop. (No chickens were harmed.)
All in all, we four Writing Sisters had a joyful week of privileged time away. Our plan is to hang on to the delightful memories and make them last until we can do our next great get-away.