From the Editor
Welcome to the ninth edition of Whidbey Life Magazine, a publication that celebrates the people, places, and products that make Whidbey wonderful.
This year, Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve marks its 40th anniversary as a unique public-private partnership. These 17,000 acres of fields and farms, and the homesteaders’ descendants who cultivate them, represent a living history of the island. Our scenic photographs and historical snapshots honor the accomplishment of those who acted in time to preserve this iconic landscape.
We have an abundance of jewelry makers on the island; some of them specialize in silver. What does silver demand as a material? Why are some people drawn to working with it? What are their sources of inspiration? Learn more about why silversmiths have an ongoing love affair with this precious metal.
We islanders have our unique ways of celebrating holidays—and creating some of our own. Every month seems to bring at least one parade or festival that calls us into the streets, waters, and parks to cheer, march, or strut. Read the observations of one island philosopher and one “Conductor of Fun” on the relationship of celebration to community…and relive some of Whidbey’s best events through photographs that capture the spirit of islanders who know how to throw a better party.
The county fair at the height of summer is a prime time for young people involved in 4-H to show their animals. But preparing for the big event involves months of daily care of four-footed and two-winged contestants. What does getting ready for the fair mean to the youngsters who tend, groom, and train their animals? Learn from them why 4-H occupies “first place” in the life of our rural youth.
With its beaches, inland lakes, and shoreline access, Whidbey Island offers numerous opportunities for water recreation. Whether you prefer skim boarding, swimming, diving, kite surfing, kite boarding, paddle boarding, rowing, kayaking, or sailing, Whidbey is a water lover’s paradise where you’ll find your favorite way to float.
A surprising number of artists who work in various mediums also make dolls—the variety of which reflect diverse makers and involve various materials. The personalities of these figures have little in common with the mass-produced dolls that sit on store shelves; in fact, each is distinctly different. Find out why the passion for dolls is alive and well for Whidbey’s doll makers.
It’s inevitable that the creative folks who build homes on Whidbey would design and build structures that are anything but ordinary. In this article on unusual homes, the personalities and aspirations of homeowners are revealed in the very rooms they inhabit. Although these houses hail from different eras, they have one thing in common: the vision and determination of those who built them.
Those who cycle Whidbey agree it’s a bikers’ island, from the splendid scenery around every turn to the well-maintained roads to the plethora of cafes, coffee shops, and restaurants available to serve the hungry pedaler. Experienced cyclists pass along their wisdom to the rest of us and encourage us to jump on the saddle and take to the road.
Rhubarb is the culinary herald of the warm-weather season. How do our local chefs, bakers, jam makers, and vintners use the sturdy red stalk in their creations? You may be surprised to learn the many uses of this plant that may have grown in your grandmother’s garden. (Hint: some of our nursery folks love it simply for its looks—and it’s deer proof!)
Welcome to spring and summer on Whidbey!
Editor and Publisher
Cover photo by Linda Schwarz