Overall, this has been one crazy summer.
Change seems a never-ending theme around the Valley as of late. There have been discussions about everything from pools and housing developments to water rights, traffic stops and the very definition of rural. (Even our paper has experienced a few shifts during the past year.)
Growth and ideas are popping out at a rapid speed, taking residents on a wild tug-and-pull between a vision of what the Valley “used to be” and the understanding of what it could become.
And then there are the curve balls that get thrown your way.
Like when the Snoqualmie Tribe’s financial and managerial partner backed out of the casino project.
I believe the familiar expression is, “Life is what happens when you’re planning something else.”
So, what’s a Tribe to do when told its $90 million, 56-acre project won’t be developing as scheduled? Change with it. In this case, the Tribe has decided to finance the project alone, delaying development, but assuring its forward momentum.
I’ve had a few curve balls of my own this summer.
In August, the first – and only – car I have ever owned finally died (remember to check your oil, kids). As such, I had to go through the painfully expensive process of putting on my “big-girl panties” and buying another one. (It was a very costly lesson I learned, though I really do like my new car.)
Over Labor Day, I took an impromptu week-long trip to Japan (my first time). This is a place known for its tug-of-war with change (as well as one where when I said I was from Seattle, the response from many was an enthusiastic, “Oh, Ichiro”).
I was there to attend the wedding of my younger cousin, who had done a study abroad program for academics and – no doubt – to have his fill of sake and anime. He ended up falling in love with a Japanese woman who is now his wife … and the soon-to- be mother of his child. I know he didn’t expect his trip to take him in that direction. Ready for this next step, though, I am all too proud to remind myself that my “little cousin” is all grown up.
Two days upon my jet-lagged return, I was offered a new dream job that requires me to part ways with this one. Starting at the end of September, I’ll be working at MSN, the Microsoft-owned Web site.
That same day, I found out that my long-term, live-in boyfriend (who had just recently started his own dream job), was told he would have to relocate to Portland by Nov. 1 (our anniversary). We haven’t figured out that part yet.
Yup, talk about change and this summer is pretty much the definition of it for me.
The sixth century Greek philosopher Heraclitus is credited with saying, “There is nothing permanent except change.” I guess it’s what we do about those changes that makes us who we are.
My car payments will be steep, but not impossible, and I am happy with my new ride.
My cousin and his wife are the happiest newlywed couple I have ever met and though his life took an unexpected turn, I know they will find success on their path together.
I know my boyfriend and I will get through this new shift, too.
And I am very excited about my career opportunity. Going to MSN is a good move for me, but it still means having to say goodbye to a job and an area that has come to mean very much to me.
For the past year, I have appreciated the way in which the Snoqualmie Valley has welcomed me into its fold and allowed me to share their stories, making a girl who moved around so much as a child that she often says she is from nowhere and everywhere at once, feel like she had found a community to call her own. And to those who had to put up with me, thank you for your graciousness. I consider myself honored to have been the local reporter for this Valley and I doubt very much I will ever be so fortunate as to have an experience of this caliber again.
I look forward to the new adventures on which I am about to embark. That being said, I will always carry with me the foundation I have developed through this experience and in this unique place that is the Valley. And for that, I thank you.