Dispatch from Bellingham

bellinghambayYancey and I are both from Bellingham and grew up two blocks from one another. (Roll your eyes right now if you've heard all this before.) So not only is Bellingham a pleasant town to visit, but it's loaded with nostalgia. We don't drive around in his '66 Mustang anymore (if that car could talk...) but almost every park or storefront means something.

We drove up to get Wyatt from camp, spend time with family, and avoid mowing our lawn. (We are horrible with home maintenance. Have I mentioned this yet? If we're not working, we'd always rather eat, cook, play, and socialize.) A few highlights:

Lebanese coffee at Mediterranean Specialities. My Mom knows every proprietor in town, and this was no exception. We went in to get za'atar and came out an hour and a half later. After standing and talking with the three sisters/owners for several minutes, they said, "Why don't we sit down for coffee?" A platter of baklava appeared, too. Seattleites are very good at having long conversations on the sidewalk, but we're bad at committing, settling in with each other.


Eye-popping bounty at Joe's Garden. Joe's Garden is a locally-owned truck farm right in the middle of town that's been operating since 1933. I grew up going there, and it might even be reason enough to leave all the Asian markets in my neighborhood and move up north. For $20, I got a quart of late strawberries (the best I've had this year), several tender golden zucchini, rainbow chard, 3 kohlrabi bulbs, a giant bunch of celery, the most beautiful broccoli, a pound of nectarines, early apples, and some things I'm forgetting. The produce was at its peak, the staff is knowledgeable, friendly, and without snobbery, and it just might rival late nights in the Mustang. Almost.


The Western Washington Fair in Lynden. This was Loretta's "week-without-brother" treat. She went on the ferris wheel and dizzying teacups, ate a corn dog and mini-donuts, and every inch of that place looks like it did when I went there with my friends in middle school. I like country fairs as much as I used to and marveled at little Loretta, insisting on going solo on some rides. She's a piece of work.


Picking dirt-encrusted Wyatt up from Fir Creek Day Camp. Another torrent of nostalgia. I went to Fircreek when I was growing up. It was amazing to see him make friends, take risks, and love it as much as I did. How did we get out of that Mustang and into a minivan?! Crazy.