One year ago today, I began this blog to share my impressions on my new home on the Key Peninsula.
This is what I wrote back then: “My blog simply reflects life on the Key Peninsula as I see it through my eyes and camera lenses. I have a few thousand neighbors living south of the Purdy sand spit and I barely know them. My hope is that by recording what I see and hear that in time my recollections can paint a more dynamic picture of them and this rich and beautiful collection of communities we call home.”
Along the way you have amazed me with your hospitality and love of the land and water. I have met farmers, sailors and longtime homesteaders as I drove around the Peninsula seeking stories. Civic activists among you have bent my ears on life on our Peninsula. Some have invited me into your homes to chat about your lives.
I can tell you it has not been boring. There have been plenty to do and even more to see. I have dropped in for pancakes and juice at the Longbranch Improvement Club house. I can still picture the glorious summer day I spent with dozens of you on the docks of the Longbranch Marina. I watched and listened to your warm tributes of Geoffrey L. Baillie — certainly one of your own — for having had the vision and fortitude to see through the rebuilding of the marina’s bridge.
“He did it because he thought it was the right thing to do,” Lisa Bryan, a friend, said back then.
Bryan’s words epitomizes the spirit that is the Key Peninsula. Nothing seems impossible for the hearty homesteaders who call this place home.
Many of you swung open the gates to your farms and gardens in October, welcoming residents and visitors to experience life on the Peninsula.
“Farming is alive and well on the Key Peninsula,” said Bill Ketts, president of this year’s farm tour and proprietor of Blue Willow Lavender Farm. “It has been a vital part of its history.”
The pride you have of your home is evident in your enthusiasm — the joy in your hearts adding a spring to your steps.
The artistry in your ranks also impressed me. For instance, the display of artful scarecrows along the highway was amazing. The many artisans among you quietly crafted creations that would be welcome inside the most discriminating of galleries.
The care you have given to enriching your children’s lives warm my heart. From your young ball players on their field of dreams at Volunteer Park to the budding musicians who discovered their rhythm at “Drum Fest,” there is no shortage of rewarding activities for them to enjoy.
My lovely bride and I are blessed to be living on this lovely finger of land with front row seats to the beauty and grandeur that is the Puget Sound. It is an honor to call all of you neighbors.
Thank you Longbranch for such a wonderful year.