Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Peace in the Valley

I'm from the Snoqualmie Valley.  I was born in upper part of the valley, in the town of Snoqualmie, and grew up in the lower half around Duvall.  I moved away when I left my parents house and never really returned under great circumstances.

For awhile, I convinced myself I didn't like the valley.  It was rural after all.  Ya know, the middle of nowhere?  The novelty of answering the question, "So, where are you from?" had long since worn off in my life.  I simply answered:  Seattle area.

It didn't help that after I moved away in the late 80's I was always returning.  From the late 90's on I looked after my handicapped mother.  The stability of her finances, health, and home was a burden on me.  Many many weekends were spent out there in the valley, taking care of property I hadn't lived on in 20 years.  I hardly had time to sit and visit with my mom as I was racing the setting sun to finish the lawn or whatever else was needed.  I didn't regret it, it was how we did things. 

It was a hard situation.  She grew older and living alone was a challenge.  It was never a bargain having limited mobility but she always handled it gracefully.  From my earliest memories my mom needed my assistance with something.  It had been pretty well established in my mindset that she would always need help, though I always watched at a close distance to see where the line was.  All my life I felt there were things I needed to help my mom with.

I never interfered with her independence and I was often times her only advocate when people in our lives suggested strongly that she move away.  Moving away meant leaving her friends and the community she had been so involved in.  

So when I returned to the valley, it never came with much appreciation.

Rory on the suspension bridge that crosses the Snoqualmie River
This last weekend, my older son and I took a ride on my motorcycle and we rode through the valley.  Just for fun.  No burden.  Even at six years of age he knew that we were headed out that way and we wouldn't have a whole day of work ahead of us.  He asked to stop at a park and I had to stop and think where there was one.

We headed along the west part of the valley passing by the old Carnation Farms and into the town of Carnation.  There we stopped at Tolt-MacDonald Park which features a suspension bridge that crosses the river.  I was about my son's age when the bridge was built and I remember what a big deal it was when it opened in the Summer of '76.

Next time I'm out that way I plan to visit with old friends and try to see if there's anything left to appreciate.  I bet there will be.

1 comment:

Gino said...

there will be, i dont doubt that at all.