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The first column I wrote for this newspaper, ten years ago, gave readers a requested recipe for Pad Thai. It’s okay for people sensitive to wheat because it uses Thai rice noodles.

About twenty-four years ago I was enrolled in an Episcopal course given by the Diocese of Olympia called Formation for Ministry. It was meant to equip lay people to live out their call.

For Gregg Curry, Ragged Glory was a sound birthed from the radio of a Mercury Montego he drove down Southern highways in summer with the windows down.

 I’ve always liked the saying, “If I knew the world was going to end tomorrow, I would plant an apple tree today.” Although often erroneously attributed to Martin Luther, it’s something he very well could have said, and I feel the sentiments behind it are rich and instructive. Some think Anne Frank’s father Otto said it.

Grandma Ada said, “Now you take this piece of yarn for bait and run the safety pin through it, find four feet of string and a stick for a fishing pole”. “Be careful and don’t fall out of the boat.”

In January of 2012, I wrote a summary in this column of the decision at the Durban UN Climate Conference to kick the can down the road with a promise to produce a binding agreement at the 2015 conference that would take affect in 2020.  Previous  to Durban, in Copenhagen, the world agreed that global warming must be limited to 2 degrees Celsius. 

Coming to Vashon! Open Space for Arts & Community and Debra Heesch present Shook Twins, with opener John Craigie.

Welcome to the Outlaw Blues! Welcome to the JD Hobson Band.

Each year during the first two weekends of December, the Maury Island home and workspace of artists Christine and Darsie Beck makes a phantasmagorical transformation into the hottest holiday happening on the Vashon Island Artist Studio Tour.

Tuesday, December 8, 6:30PM at the Penny Farcy Building, Voice of Vashon (VoV) will partner with Vashon Community Care Foundation (VCCF) and the Vashon Maury Community Food Bank to present a community Town Hall and a new twist on VCC’s Telling Stories series.  “Who’s Hungry on Vashon” will explore, with stories and a community forum, the current state of food insecurity on the Islands. 

On December 4, 5 and 6, VAA Center for Dance presents its annual Nutcracker at Vashon High School Theater. This production features more than 50 dancers, showcasing five graduating seniors. New choreography includes the Arabian Princess danced by senior Hannah Van Dusen

The Keepers of Point Robinson and the Vashon Park District invite you to our annual open house, on Sunday, 6 December, from noon to 4 PM.

As I write it is the week before Thanksgiving, and I am thinking about things for which I am thankful, and how hard it is to feel thankful when the brokenness of the world seems to be anything but a gift. I turn my attention from woes to gratitude.

“Pieces of April” and “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” are must haves in my Thanksgiving traditions.  At some point, in the coming days, I will watch both of them. They will both make me feel hopeful for humanity and grateful for all I have. They are stories of people with little, who find out they have much.

Formed from deep within the Westsound Union, Rippin’ Chicken plays a greasy brand of funky, bugaloo and soul jazz, executed with creative ease by three funky brothers from different mothers who LOVE to play together.

The Vashon Youth Chorus under the direction of Marita Ericksen will perform with the Vashon Island Chorale at their Winter Wonderland concerts on Saturday, Dec 5 (7:30pm) and Sunday, Dec. 6 (3pm) at Bethel Church.

Cooking the traditional centerpiece of a Thanksgiving meal is easy; the directions come with the bird. But what do you do with the leftover carcass? There’s a lot of good meat on it, well worth the time to cut off that meat and transform it into a big pot pie, or a casserole.

Two community meetings have been scheduled this fall on Vashon Island, when community members can learn more about a proposal to build mountain bike trails in King County Parks’ Dockton Forest.

There was a mighty crash in the breakfast nook and our table was covered with broken glass and curtains.  There was something moving under the curtain which turned out to be a Chinese pheasant.  This one lived but the two previous birds that tried to use our nook as a flyway had met their demise.

Once again, our venerated Southern Resident killer whales provided much material for this news cycle. Prospective subject matter for this column included “Resident orcas penetrate Quartermaster Harbor for the first time in recent memory,” or “Late breaking: L Pod matrilines off West Seattle.”

The Seattle International Comedy Competition is the REAL “Last Comic Standing.” 26 Days, 22 Shows, 18 Venues from Vancouver to Bellingham. 33 comedians from the U.S., Canada, UK, Europe, Australia, and Africa.

The concert will feature “One Voice” by the Wailin’ Jennys, as well as a new composition based on a poem by Thich Nhat Hanh. The show will continue with Toto’s popular 80’s hit, “Africa”, Sweet Honey in the Rock’s “Ella’s Song” and special trio performances by choir founders, Tom Pruiksma, Shane Jewell and Emily Pruiksma.

Wow! We are blown away by the response to our call for stories about what makes living on Vashon so special. And we’re moved by the outpouring of desire, willingness and sincerity that Islanders share in their stories, poems and reflections. More than 150 Islanders sent in writing to be included in the project; we are so grateful and inspired by the responses!

The sun was just beginning to brush the tops of the mountains outside of Butte as I left there the other day. The temperature was in the low teens and there was a light dusting of snow all around, although the roads were thankfully bare and dry. It was the state of the snow the night before that sealed the deal on my pulling over for a warm rest stop inside an inn that was a part of a national network of such places.