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Two islands & a fort | Prime Living


Last updated 12/4/2020 at 2:21pm

Photo courtesy of SharonAnn Hamilton

Deer seem to find the humor in eating outside the officers' housing at the Fort Flagler, Admiralty Bay. Nearby sights are easy to reach, and the crowds are thin this time of year.

We were somewhat confused by the directions. Drive across the peninsula, then over one island to another island to find our destination for the day. Our goal was to explore a fort neither of us had ever visited.

Yes, we took a break from moving in. You might remember we spent more than half of this year in Europe. In fact, we were there starting in August 2019 while pet sitting to explore Europe and the local experiences. On our return, it was time to make our own nest. We house hunted for seven weeks and moved in mid-September.

I spent much of 2019 writing and publishing The Secret To RIGHTsizing, covering how to design the life and space for your desired lifestyle. But I could have benefitted from my lessons sooner. Keeping crap in paid storage facilities is a waste of money. Perhaps the art of letting go comes with practice. I stored too much for too long. Ah well, lesson learned. Again.

Early on, we decided that fixing and beautifying our nest could consume us every day for a long time, and we didn't want to be a slave to our home. We thirst for adventures. We're not hopping on a plane to go pet sitting, and we're not driving cross-country visiting relatives.

Our experiences are in the arena of local explorations. We encourage our readers to seek out the places where they've never been. No matter the weather, we can find a park, mountain, beach or forest to enjoy. We can savor all nature at our fingertips. We marvel at the colors of fall as well as the days of sunshine and rain. We savor life.

Our nest needed TLC starting with paint. Dan is a true craftsman with meticulous and carefully thought-out projects. Well, except for painting the hallway ceiling that was 26 feet tall with no way to get a ladder up that high. Fortunately, he found a 12-foot pole with a 12-foot extension and a gadget that clasps a paintbrush. Even the high places were detailed and painted. Then, we needed a break because that was hard work.

Our adventure for the day? Fort Flagler Historical State Park. It's on Marrowstone Island. Have you ever heard of that island? Or Indian Island, the one you cross to get there? If you enjoy history, you'll enjoy exploring the island battlements and lookout points.

This Army fort is one of three built to secure the Admiralty Bay entry into Puget Sound over a hundred years ago. At the point, we took a good look at the eastern portion of Whidbey Island and Port Townsend. Beach walking, hiking, and camping are available in the park. The buildings are old barracks remodeled into group retreat facilities. During the summer, you can reserve a stay in the various former homes of officers.

On the way to the fort, we had to investigate Mystery Bay Park. It's just past the hamlet of Norland. Wouldn't you have to check it out? Let us know what you think!

No matter the weather, we love freewheelin' in the PNW. The misty rain keeps many people at home, so we take advantage of the uncrowded trails. Imagine that! But we go anyway and determine to enjoy our day in all weather.

We mosey along, noticing the vivid trees of fall. We picnicked in our car at the beach. We relish this time when there is nowhere we have to be. It's that freeshwheelin' freedom feeling. We wander back home.

This morning we get a call from the freight company to deliver our hardwood flooring, and "the driver needs help to unload." So Dan and I moved 43 boxes of wood from the truck to the driveway.

When the truck left, we carried, one at a time, 43 boxes of wood up eight steep stairs into the house to acclimate. The two of us moved 5,200 pounds! We moved 2,600 pounds off the truck plus 2,600 pounds up the stairs. It's incredible what we can do together.

Did I mention the miracle this morning? We checked the weather as usual. It shows it will rain until the afternoon. Ten minutes before the driver arrived, the sun popped out, and the sky cleared up. All the time we worked on shifting the boxes of wood, the sky was sunny. Right afterward, during lunch, the weather changed. We are blessed. Again.

People ask us if we feel stifled because of the global pandemic, and the answer is "Heck no!" We take this opportunity to beautify our nest and explore the great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest.

And you can, too.

Find out more: SharonAnn and Dan's page on Facebook called petsittingaroundtheworld. Get SharonAnn Hamilton's book The Secret to RIGHTsizing (a guide to redesigning your life). Her latest program is about mentoring the suddenly single on how to build a financial and emotional fortress while processing life changes. Follow SharonAnnHamilton on Facebook or email [email protected] or [email protected]


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