I'm hauling ass down 6th Street. It's a straight shot to the ferry. It's 11:13 a.m.. The ferry leaves at 11:15 a.m. and there's not another ferry until 1 p.m. It's a 25 mph zone. I'm easily going 40 mph.
"I think we're going to make it, Mama," says LittleVirgo, optimistic as usual. She loves speculating on whether we're going to make the ferry or not, and if we're going to be the front car or side car or last car.
"I hope so babe."
I tear around the corner to the ferry line, totally blowing the stop sign. There's no one there anyway. I see the mechanical arm at the ferry ramp going down. I also see Kirk, my favorite ferry worker, still standing with his ticket puncher. I roll the window down and wave frantically to him, slowing the car down. I see him talk into his walkie-talkie.
"Can we squeeze on?"
"Yeah, we can still squeeze ya on," he says with a smile as I give him my Frequent Rider punch card. "We love ya and you have a cute daughter."
I laugh and smile. "You have no idea how many pickles I've gotten out of with her cuteness. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"
The arm raises just for us and we're the last car on the 11:15.
I've done my fair share of complaining about how hard island living is, and god-knows the rain and gray clouds make it even harder some days, but making the ferry really turned things around for me and LittleV. It's like, we've done it. We've paid our dues. We stuck it out. We worked hard. Now, we've made it. The island opened it's gates just for us, and let us in, and man oh man, it feels good.
This past week LittleV and I were walking from our car, queued in the ferry line, to the bathroom at the ferry building. The sun was brilliantly shining, sailboats were criss-crossing the channel, sea planes were flying overhead, we could smell the salty air. We must have said hello to a dozen people - in their cars in line for the ferry, coming off th ferry, waiting to walk on the ferry. The "Guemes Tide" - our local, monthly newspaper, did a story this month on me and the book I'm writing about the island. The sun is setting at 9:08 p.m. We went to visit a goat farm on the island and they sent us home with fresh chevre and soap. It's just getting better and better. Sure, summer in the PNW is extraordinary and perfect and not too hot and not too cold, and it's the easiest time to live here. I'm just sayin'... I think we've made it.