What’s Been Going On in Bellingham Washington?

Floating near Larrabee State Park, WA

Floating near Larrabee State Park, WA


Hi Guys,

A new neighbor

A new neighbor

It’s been a while since I shared a photo or story here but my absence has been the best thing for both of us. No I have not been in rehab, hospitalized or incarcerated for the good of society, I just went back to school to learn how to write. Starting with such an empty slate and having a wonderful instructor, Laura Kalpakian, author of “American Cookery”, I couldn’t help but learn something. After eight months of instruction my classmates and I read our favorite work at Village Books and received our certificates of completion. It’s nice to receive some form of acknowledgment for your efforts but over time I’ve come to realize degrees and certificates have little to do with how well a person can actually do the job. The prose certificate is sharing space in the drawer with my bartending certificate, real estate license and medical degree. All are programs I am happy to have completed but they all illustrate the beginning of an education not the finish. I have much more to learn about writing but there is no question when I read and write now I see and hear differently. Instead of just words and stories I see structure, dialogue and arc. With the help of a writer’s group and further oversight by LK, I look forward to continuing my education.



Skagit County WA

Skagit County WA


Tulips of Skagit County WA

Tulips of Skagit County WA

In addition to writing and reading, the past months have included changing wall and floor coverings, insulating and sealing the house, installing a heat pump, painting, roofing and like my writing education there’s more to do. But unlike the writing, the remodeling can be hired out. Sue has spent her time studying landscape design, tearing out grass, mulching, planting and volunteering at the animal shelter. Periodically we took breaks to taste the local microbrews, listen to live music, see the tulips bloom in Skagit County and take the ferry to Friday Harbor. I will attach a slide show illustrating our corner of NW Washington accompanied by a Jimmy Buffett tune.

But as much as I love our energy efficient home the urge to pack a bag and leave the familiar sights and soft bed is strong. Occasional bouts of discomfort, hunger and being “a foreigner” keep me humble and appreciative. Also when I travel my senses are heightened which opens my eyes and ears to more stories and hopefully now, to better-written posts for this blog. Time will tell if I live up to those expectations but please stay tuned to find out. As always thank you for reading and following and I hope you enjoy the photos.






Categories: Hiking, Washington, Writing

Tags: , , , , , , ,

20 replies

  1. It is good to see a new post from you, Tom. I always thought your writing was pretty damn good to begin with. Maybe that was due, in part, because you had some captivating stories to share. It is like you said, there is always more to be learned.

    Let’s hit one of the microbreweries soon, now that Florence and I are settled in Bellingham, and I’ll catch you up on what I have been doing, too. – Mike

    • Hey Mike,

      Thanks for the positive comments! It good to here you guys are getting settled. Sue is getting back into town tomorrow night and most Wednesdays and the 29th I have a writers group but other than that it is typically is a good night to hit a pub. Let me know. Tom

  2. good to see you writing again – my son was up there for school for a bit, and I spent some time ferrying him up and back a time or two. Love the shot of the kids and the tulips – their priorities are so spot on – love it. Welcome back – and thanks for taking the time to write and share.


  3. Hey BT- nice post. Good to see you back in the blogosphere. I don’t recognize that grey haired lady who showed up a lot in your video but she seems harmless enough. As your editor, I would add that you could add an “er” to draw to make it “drawer”. Looks like if you are back to blogging again I will have my editing job back too. Yeah! Good to have you back and your public is happy about it too. xoxox

  4. Hey Tom. Agree with everyone about it being good to see you back posting. In regards to the comment about “draw” vs “drawer” I just assumed that you were saying drawer like on of my wife’s southern relatives would say it. :-). As usual I see lots of great pictures of Sue but none of you. There is a rumor that there is something called a selfie that has been catching on. Maybe you should try one?

  5. Glad you’re back! I’ve always enjoyed reading your great writing here, your uncanny ability to cause me to feel as though I am right there with you, through your words and photos on your world travels. You inspire me to write better!

  6. Congratulations. Education is a life long process – stop learning and you stop living. You are right it has very little to do with certificates and rather more to do with a state of mind. So as long as your blogs are informative and enjoyable you’ll have an audience with or without your certficate.

  7. This is Flame’s sister. I’m so glad to see you are back. I so enjoy reading your writings and seeing you pictures of that part of the world. It is beautiful.

  8. Really enjoyed your Window on the World, Brick. I know it’s been a few mos. since your last post, but you are often visiting mine (thank you), so I knew you were around, enjoying life. Really liked your post–the photo of the boys in the mud, and really enjoyed your video. The boy flying through the air was great, the little bitty fawn, the big fallen trees, and the happy faces of your loved ones. I have always enjoyed your writing, even before the official certificate. 😀 😀

  9. You live in a beautiful corner of the world. We were just up in Friday Harbor last Friday and then over to Henry Island (our youngest daughters boyfriends family has homes on Henry Island and the uncle owns the oyster farm by Roche Harbor. Stunning scenery and a nice break from the 110 degree weather here in Arizona!!

  10. Stunning photos, Brick, and I love your post. I can’t believe you have a medical degree tossed in that same drawer. That was a good list. You have a lot of talent, I couldn’t stop reading your post before I reached the end, pulled along by your humor, story, and photos. It is good to be humble, and you really demonstrate that quality. I look forward to sharing the journey with you!

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