I had the privilege of living in the Tacoma, Washington area from 1977 to 1991. It was a treat to be able to leave work in the early afternoon and in an hour be in the bustling center of Seattle, or on the coast in Westport, or up on a mountain logging road communing with nature at the base of Mt. Rainier. Add a little more time and you could be driving the Columbia gorge through high dessert in the eastern side of the state smelling apple blossoms (if it was spring). I miss the diversity of its beauty.
People say it rains too much in Washington, but if you look up weather information for western New York State, where I now live, it actually has more grey days than Washington. New York state also has diverse areas that are breathtaking to look at and visit but there is no sight better, to me, than the sun or moon appearing from behind Mt. Rainier. I used to drive to work at dawn and want to pull over just to enjoy the sight.
A few years ago my husband and I traveled to Washington to attend a live recording session of a jazz singer friend of ours, Nancy Kelly. It was November and the “mountain was out,” as the locals say, all three days we were there. Unheard of! I took him for a circular drive over Snoqualmie, Blewett and White Pass and back into Seattle. We experienced sunshine, rain, and blinding snow on that trip in just a few hours. Now he understands how you can have any temperature you want in Washington if you are willing to drive to it.
Seattle’s Public Market is world renowned. You have probably seen a video of the guys throwing big fish back and forth. Seattle is also the original home of Starbuck’s coffee. The first shop was on a side street between the market and the waterfront. You had to know where it was or you would miss it. Now there is a Starbuck’s on most every corner of the U. S.. When I have a cup it brings back memories of going to that first store.
The Army, Air Force and Navy are well represented in Washington. That’s how I ended up there, as an Air Force wife. The wife part didn’t last long, but my memories of living in Washington are vivid and happy. I hope you get to visit there one day and the mountain shows itself for you to gaze at. And, if my novel ever gets published, you’ll find the Washington setting is almost as important as any of the characters.