Only on Vashon

Yesterday my car, Eglantine had a dead battery so that when I came out of Student Link to go home, she wouldn’t start.  It was a Wednesday which is my busiest day and I was already late getting out of Student Link.  My first thought was that I would simply have to cancel my afternoon activities.  But first I called AAA.


That is when the fun began.  The very kind gentleman at AAA asked me for the address for Student Link.  I said there really wasn’t one, but that the towing company would know where it is because Miles Towing is the only service on the island and we are a small community and Student Link is right next to the community pool.  Well the gentleman was very kind and very polite and very insistent so we finally settled on the High School’s street address, which would do Miles Towing no good, but I knew they didn’t need it anyway.


Then the AAA gentleman asked where the car was going and I said Doug’s Auto and again he needed an address (which I suspect he found on his own) but I said, I had no idea but Miles would know and it was right next to the library.  Ok, he finally got it all set up, and he said, with some amazement in his voice, yes it is Miles Towing.  I suspect that he doesn’t get too many situations like Vashon.  He then said that I had to stay with my car and that someone would be there within the hour.


Well, by this time, Nan, the head of Student Link, had discovered my difficulties and she said, no you aren’t going to wait here.  Just give me your keys and AAA card and I’ll give them to Miles when they get here.  Only on Vashon!  And then Julie, the program’s administrator, stopped by on her way into town and she said she’d give me a lift home.  So I thanked Nan profusely and accepted Julie’s offer of a ride.  I got home just in time to catch Leigh who was taking a break from work and heading out to lunch, so she gave me a ride to the Senior Center so I could teach my bridge class and afterwards gave me a ride to my therapy appointment, and finally a  ride from that appointment to Doug’s Auto as Eglantine was all ready, good as new, with her annual new battery.  Thanks to the fact that Diane never schedules many cars on the day before a holiday, even though Eglantine was their third emergency, they were still able to fix her in a very timely fashion.  And I had, of course, called both Miles Towing and Doug’s Auto to alert them to the situation and both were totally fine with how things had been worked out.  Miles gave the key to Doug’s Auto and put my AAA card in Eglantine, and all was handled easily and efficiently.


And on this Thanksgiving Day it makes me realize just how lucky I am to be living in a place like Vashon where people just pitch in and help when needed.  Life goes at a pace that addresses are frequently not needed.  We are small, and we are rural, and we are also an island so we know very well that we are all dependent on each other, sometimes, especially in winter, at some pretty basic survival levels.  And so that’s how island life runs, at least much of the time.  I was told when I first moved here over 5 years ago not to bother giving my street address when people asked where I live but just to say I’m just south of Young’s Corner.  And now, having painted my home bright purple, I am a landmark all in my own right.  People are now known to say that they live near the purple house on 87th.


I’ve never been a part of a small community before.  It has its drawbacks but it also has a great deal to offer.  Yesterday reminded me of that.  I wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving 

4 responses

  1. What a great story. Could you, say, mail a letter to someone in your community without including their address on the envelope and still have it arrive at their house?

  2. LOL! You could until the last few years when because of security worries all our mail now goes into Seattle and then back to the island and Seattle wouldn't know what to do with it. And while we have to dial 7 digits for phone numbers, we only give them as 5 digits because they all start either 463 (south half of the island) and 567 (north half of the island), so we only have to say 3-5555 or 7-5555, which I find very cool! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I would love to live in a close-knit community like that.

  4. It is a very special place! Stop by some time–just a short ferry ride from Seattle! Cheers!

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