EDITOR’S COLUMN | Life with a view, I can imagine it well

The sunrise Tuesday morning was a gasper, one of those multi-hued affairs that just seem impossible. Complete with fog and frost, it was too much to resist and I became a passenger in my own car. It took on a will of its own, passing the turn to work and barreling down Highway 525 toward Double Bluff for a photo.

I’m not a big sunrise/sunset shot kinda guy as they tend to be tiresome images, but I’ve been on the hunt for a cover image for one of the paper’s special sections and this was it. The colors reflected off Deer Lagoon, the fog, Mount Rainier in the background — it was perfect.

But I didn’t get the shot. I just couldn’t get there. Literally.

What I did get was “No trespassing” signs. Got a few “No parking” and “Private property” signs too. The streets of Useless Bay Colony had them all, everything but a straight-up “Get the [blank] out of here” sign.

I don’t mean to beat up on the Colony, as such signs are common place in nice neighborhoods around Whidbey. You can’t really blame homeowners from trying to keep the riffraff at bay, even if their neighborhoods are located in the best places to take a picture. That prime location is one of the reasons they’re nice neighborhoods in the first place. And people coughed up the dough to buy those houses, so who am I to complain? Just the guy who didn’t, that’s who. I guess I just wish I was part of the club. Don’t get me wrong, I love the branch-falling artillery range I call home; it’s a slice of paradise, my slice and the first one I can call my very own. But I can imagine myself living on the other side of the fence, so to speak. I might even have a servant. He or she would wear white gloves and call me sir.

“Good morning, sir, would you like the Wednesday edition of The Record with your coffee?”

To which I would respond, “Hmmm, yes I think I would. Thank you, that will be all.”

Just kidding. People with nice houses and awesome views don’t really live like that. The very idea is nonsense. My grandfather had a beautiful house, and would have been considered wealthy by any standard. He had a lovely home in Everett, and a beach cabin on Shore Avenue for nearly 50 years, one our family once treasured. That heritage is now gone, but I seem to remember my grandfather being pretty cool about property. At least I can’t think of a single instance where he chased off a beach walker who “trespassed” in front of the cabin. Even if he wanted to, I doubt the rest of the family would have stood for it.

He was probably too generous. If I had a nice house, especially one with a view or one located on the beach, I’d follow the example so common on Whidbey today. I’d have a big fence, post signs, I might even build a stone wall. And if that didn’t work, I’d have my servant tell people to beat it.

After all, the alternative — allowing someone to park on a street or walk through a vacant lot to take a picture — is simply too horrible to contemplate.