Dawn and I sat in the car at the ferry line waiting to get on the next boat. We booked a rental in Langley, a small town on Whidbey Island, just a 20-minute crossing not far from Seattle. We still hadn’t celebrated our 20-year “date anniversary,” I’d forgotten that. The owners of the VRBO wrote happy 20th in the card. They met us in the lawn with a flash light and guided us to the back, past a family of deer. The place was cozy and clean, just what we needed. It had a sitting area on the back deck facing the water but we wouldn’t be using that, not with the blowing rain and winds. I remembered the small grocery store in town had a nice champagne selection and picked out a split, and Dawn and I sat on the sofa laughing and talking, remembering old times. We each had different pieces it seemed. That jigsaw view of life taken apart, put back together. On the refrigerator they had a map of the region and you could see how Camano Island and Whidbey had once been the same land mass; Camano looks like a baby nestled in its mother’s arms, Dawn said.
In the morning we lay in bed with the sound of the rain hitting the roof, or the sound of the heater fan blowing. It was hard to tell where one ended and the other began. All we had planned was a 7:30 show, an Alfred Hitchcock film festival: Shadow of a Doubt. There was the French bistro above the grocery store, good food, unpretentious. The oyster bar that served a nice pale ale on tap and opened at 11. A cafe we liked, some art galleries. Dawn said artists are so cool, it has to be the highest form of life. Amen to that.
I called my mom to say happy birthday, 71, and she got her card on the actual day. I could hear the joy in her voice. She was heading out and we were just waking up, and had the whole day ahead of us still.