Well, here I am again. Back at my desk penning my first column in weeks. For those who didn’t know, and it appears that’s limited to a very few, I’ve been away on vacation.
For two full weeks, the family and I cruised British Columbia getting sunburned, swimming in Desolation Sound, enjoying phenomenal sailing and spending way too much money, though much of it was on basics such as food. It’s a wonder Canadians in Vancouver haven’t all starved to death; a gallon of milk costs around 10 Loonies, which is about $7 bucks. No joke. Don’t get me wrong, it was still awesome — expensive, but awesome.
It does appear The Record did just fine without me. I’d secretly hoped for frequent and desperate calls for help, but the Wonderwomen from up north who took turns warming my seat — Editors Jessie Stensland and Megan Hansen — either lost my number or are, perhaps, skilled professionals. It’s likely a combination of both as the papers looked great.
As mildly depressing as that was, there’s no place like home. We returned Saturday to a plum tree heavy with fruit. These are the mini plums, the ones no bigger than a golf ball. They may be small, but they’re unparalleled in taste. Being flavored with free helps, especially coming off a pricey getaway.
In any case, Monday eventually came. And like any good vacation homecoming, my first week back was a busy affair with highs and lows. It included a primary election, which always means holding the front page and scribbling out a story in 20 minutes or less at 9 p.m. on Tuesday (this year that earned me a nice letter to the editor concerning my need for a dictionary — duh); company management meetings where I learned we have the highest subscription growth rate of all of Sound Publishing’s 40-plus titles (thanks for the support South Whidbey!); and the untimely and tragic death of yet another South End resident who was killed by an alleged drunk driver. Fortunately, the week ended on a positive with the annual fair, arguably one of best weekends of the entire year.
Incidentally, I was again asked to don the robes of power and judge the popular duct tape contest. I accepted, of course. As with all of Whidbey’s elite, I never pass up opportunities to wield real influence and might. It was also a chance to gorge on funnel cakes, also known as elephant ears, while shamelessly rocking out to my new favorite band, Hair Nation. As I mentioned to a friend, I remember when many of those hits were released. Yup, I’m older than people think, though I’m not nearly as ancient as some like to imagine. A couple of years ago, a guy at the fairgrounds said he thought I was in my 50s. God save the man from ever pursuing public office.
Anyway, vacation is fun and all, but there’s no substitute for plums and power — it’s great to be home.