Author: Kate Poss | With Photos by David Welton

Kate Poss This Is Whidbey was founded by Kate Poss for readers who are interested in cultivating our island’s quality of life, including its land, sea, and air; its people, plants, and animals; and the bodies, minds, and spirits of its inhabitants. You may know Kate from her work in island libraries through May of 2016. Her background includes a career in newspaper reporting in Los Angeles for various weeklies and dailies, including The Los Angeles Times. She was a frequent contributor to the online Whidbey Life Magazine and still writes for the biannual print magazine. David Welton Stories are highlighted by David Welton’s excellent photography. David is a retired physician who was a staff photographer for Whidbey Life Magazine since its early days. His work has also appeared in museums, art galleries, newspapers, regional and national magazines, books, nonprofit publicity, and on the back of the Whidbey Sea-Tac Shuttle!

Typically the days following Christmas and New Years are a let down. But the Langley Main Street Association  and glassmaker Callahan McVay chased the blues away by hosting the annual Sea Float Scramble last Saturday at Seawall Park and at the Langley Park for children under 5. Callahan’s miniature sea float creations were the prize and a thousand-plus of the orbs were up for grabs. Early gatherers were lucky to get a globe. Others, like a mom and her two kids visiting from the mainland, arrived too late. She bought a pair at Callahan’s Firehouse, two for $70, where the…

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I never thought I’d have the courage to do it, but I started the year with a cold dip at South Whidbey Parks and Recreation’s and the Island County 4H Teen Leadership Club’s annual polar bear plunge at Double Bluff Beach. More than 150 folks joined in on a warm-for-January first, fifty degree day. The energy was catching and powerful, making me feel like I could be fearless for 2020! Our photographer David Welton stood in his jeans in the 47.5 degree water to bravely capture the scene. Bravo, David! The hardest part was thinking about how the cold would be.…

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This year on Christmas day I was walking in Langley with my husband and son. They had gone shopping in the Star Store and while I waited out on the sidewalk, six-year-old Rhyze Greer came by with a camera and his parents Maisie and Bin. I met Rhyze at last summer’s Soup Box Derby and was taken by the full attention he paid to being a very good flag waver at the race’s end. Rhyze kindly helped a young racer cross the finish line when the racer’s vehicle ran out of steam. His cheerful focus for what he was doing…

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While meteorologist Cliff Mass writes that yesterday Dec. 20 was ‘the darkest day in Seattle history,’ Langley celebrated the Advent Season with a lantern walk that brought us light. Shannon Arndt, owner of Soundview Center Physical Therapy, wrote in a flyer: “Is it only for kids? No! This walk is a chance for all of us to show our inner light, and to use our lanterns as a symbol of our spirit as a community. It may be the darkest time of the year but South Whidbey has a lot of light to share with the world!  Everyone is invited to make a lantern…

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Banish seasonal darkness and drive into the light. The City of Langley’s streets offer an antidote to the dark season. Whether it’s Tim Leonard’s unique light show at the Machine Shop, white lights wrapped in street trees or on our store fronts, this is the time to lighten up. Our photographer David Welton captured our Village by the Sea’s love of the natural world as well with his photos of an owl, crows, a robin, and whales. This is the time of angels. Notice where they are for a mood lifter. My husband Bill Poss drove into Langley tonight–Friday, Dec.…

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By facing our feelings of grief instead of burying them, we can feel less alone and more connected with life. Susan Cyr, a licensed mental health counselor, has found her niche in grief counseling for bereaved parents. With an established practice in Shoreline, Susan recently opened an office in her Langley home. We chatted in her sunny living room the day after Thanksgiving. After our two-hour chat, I came away feeling lifted, though we’d just talked about pain, fear, and death. What we did is connect on an honest level that is balm for the spirit. “In my view, grief…

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As a mother who believes in the power of Waldorf education, Marli Jenkins––along with a handful of parents, students, educators and community members––is working to create a Waldorf-inspired high school on south Whidbey Island. The Woodhaven High School Initiative was launched last September with seven students and eight teachers. Classes take place in a yurt at the Organic Farm School, in Langley, and a current class is making pottery at a studio in Freeland. Meeting this week at the Whidbey Clay Center in Freeland while students sat at pottery wheels making clay bowls, I sat out in the sun chatting…

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It’s telling about the love for one’s production when Ann M. Johnson, executive director of Whidbey Children’s Theatre, sends an email with the words, “Thanks so much from here at Middle Earth.” Locals can visit Middle Earth as it comes to life in WCT’s The Hobbit, running Friday, Nov. 15 through Saturday, Nov. 23. When it comes to The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved children’s story, I can’t imagine a more well-told tale. It’s our family’s blueprint and has defined my life with my husband the past 45 years. We like to imagine ourselves as hobbits. “I love that you all…

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While driving into Langley at twilight, visitors may see a giant pink snail looking out the window of Whidbey Children’s Theatre. Bumper stickers claim Langley is magic, and the spirited figure adds to our ‘Village by the Sea” mystique. The snail’s last acting role was as Jean-Claude the sea snail in WCT’s production of Dr. Dolittle last summer, where its shell opened to ‘transport’ actors on a magical sea. Engineer, designer and student mentor Robert McElhinny brings the creatures to life with PVC pipe, rebar, foam, pulleys, wheels, paint, patience, and a lot of imagination. “Robert said he’d like to…

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