More Stories

A Lavender Wind Wafts Over Whidbey

by Shawn Berit in Farming, More Stories

There is a place on Whidbey Island whose very name evokes opposing images: rustic and elegant, tranquil and stimulating, delicate and forceful. From this place, one can see the Olympic Mountains, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and a landscape of pines and prairies. Some consider this one place to be the essence of Whidbey Island. This place is Lavender Wind Farm.

100-Word Story: Managing Tough Times

by Guest Contributor in More Stories

Jake kept his sense of humor about everything except Minnie’s lung cancer. Jake was a typical, confident 65-year-old Texan; Minnie, an 85-year-young feisty Native American. They had many worries: the cancer, finding a home for their 16-year-old granddaughter, and managing Jake’s drinking.

One morning, Jake met me at a café in their tiny Texas town. Delightfully, he greeted everyone who walked into the cafe with: “This here’s Karen, our hospice social worker. She’s psychologizin’ me.”
“Jake,” I began, “some folks believe feelings come down to: sad, glad, mad, or scared.”

He liked that simplicity and began sharing his feelings.

Enjoy the Sights, Sounds, and Smells of the Whidbey Island Fair

by David Welton in More Stories

Did you miss the fair this year? Or did you go and want to re-live the memories? Through his photos, David Welton enables you to smell the kettle corn, hear the brass band, and see what a pig pile actually looks like.

Preparing for the Fair Days of Summer

by Patrick Craig in More Stories, Whidbey Island Fair

As I stop in the middle of the street, my finger twitches over the turn signal lever. In a split second, I turn left into the parking lot because, for the first time in almost forever, I am a civilian, or worse, a rube, sucker, or perhaps one of the ruder, off-color terms some carnies have for those not conversant in the ways of the midway.

Any other time, I would have turned right into the fairgrounds, just as I had most of the previous decades of my life, either as a newspaper reporter or a 4-H dad and volunteer who helped set up displays and held lunches and jackets for kids now far too sophisticated for mom-inspired demands like that.

Today, it feels different. I’m not around to interview the two-headed pig or encourage gluttony by praising the guys in the rib-eating contest. I’m not even there to see if my kid won any ribbons. This moment at the fairgrounds in Langley feels very different, for seconds anyway, until I get a little dust on my shoes and begin feeling the deep-fried, sugar-coated nostalgic excitement that is the fair.

Tractors on Parade: John Deere Enthusiasts Converge on Engle Farm

by Kate Poss in Farming, History, More Stories

Like classic cars, two-cylinder John Deere tractors hold their appeal, and men with farming blood running through their veins, such as Bob Engle, collect them. Engle’s family farm on Fort Casey Road dates back to the 1850s, when his ancestors arrived to claim land as part of the Oregon Donation Land Claim Act.

The Cascade Two-Cylinder Club (C2CC) approached Engle and asked him to hold a rally at his family farm. The club serves nearly 200 members throughout the northern part of the state, including Lynden, Sedro Woolley, Anacortes, Bow, and Whidbey Island. The nonprofit club, formed in 1993, is made up of collectors who restore and preserve antique John Deere farm equipment and who gather throughout the year for parades, plow days, festivals, and tractor pulls.