Island Politics

Our island is divided.

All of the sudden the idilic, peaceful Whidbey Island that we know and call home is all over the news and heating up debates among young and old, Democrats and Republicans. A small group of concerned citizens living in the middle of the island, in the charming town of Coupeville are suing Naval Air Station Whidbey and it’s Commander. They claim the noise that jets make during night training in and out of Outlying field that is close to their homes is unbearable and more that Navy anticipated. So much so they chose to found an independent study and file a lawsuit in Federal court.

Nothing can be worse and more unpatriotic then complaining against our Armed forces. Looking from a simple and emotional point of view saying that our brave men and women should go into battle without proper training on how to land jets on aircraft carriers in the middle of the night is selfish and rude to say the least. I am the first one to agree they are loud and I do believe the concerned citizens that it makes their daily lives and their livestock uncomfortable. One can easily choose to support either side of the story and argue it passionately until the bitter end. And so far seeing that our island is mostly inhibited by Navy families and those who’s livelihood depends on Naval Air Base and it’s future on Whidbey Island the support for a few who choose to sue is non existent.

As a Navy wife my logical respond would be: Base has been here longer then most of the houses of people who are suing. We all sign acknowledgement that we are buying property in a flight path and it’s expected noise level. Let them fly, if you don’t like it-MOVE.

As a passionate advocate for supporting local farmers that are living on Ebey’s Landing I might say: let the local business grow and go back to natural, sustainable farming which clearly does not include noise pollution.

But as much as my gut agrees with the Navy wife stands and my passion for eating locally and supporting the farmers will not subside I am appalled by all. Because everybody supporting the Navy is now boycotting local business south of our town and our favorite pizza place is counting empty tables. Because the few silly locals who got pumped to support this lawsuit will be the most hated neighbors for years to come. Because the genius that decided to print T-shirts saying “Close OFL” and “Save OLF” will make a fortune. And when all is said and done this lawsuit will take it’s course regardless of what people say and think and how many heated comments are left on Facebook regarding it.

Ultimately this is all money based. Whenever someone chooses to sue a large entity there is money to be made. No matter how right of wrong the Citizens of the Ebey’s Reserve for a Healthy, Safe & Peaceful Environment are, at some point or the other a settlement will be made. Some lands will be bought out at a larger then market price, someone will get to build a development there in years from now and sell it at a premium, something that we have no idea about will come out of this.

And my pregnant friend who is kissing her pilot husband goodbye as he deploys will sleep restlessly hoping that he clocked enough hours of night landings before runway was closed. My friend who has the best restaurant on the island will worry how to support his family as his business declines. We will all rally up in town with signs and protest instead of going for a hike this Saturday. There will be rude exchanges and things being said in haste but in the end it really isn’t about us.

My five year old son asked me a few weeks ago at Farmer’s Market what they are selling at the stand called ‘OLF‘. I told him to to go and ask them. They politely explained to him they mind the jet engine noise and are trying to make it go away. He looked at them puzzled and said ‘They are noisy for sure. But you don’t want my Daddy to go away, do you?’

My only wish is to see the bigger picture. That we will be neighbors for generations to come, that Navy pilots will fly for our freedom for generations to come, that life will go on. Let us all get along and let the politicians do the politics. In the end whoever stands to make a profit out of this ‘Whidbey Island war’ will do so. But for the rest of their life they will sleep uneasy. And not because of jet noise, but because of guilty conscience.

Mightee kids

Let us start with a disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.

Sometimes I run into incredible things. Simple, yet life changing things. I see the potential, I get involved and I feel an overwhelming need to share it with the world.

I have openly spoken before about my difficulties with being charitable. Over years I supported causes I was passionate about only to realize that I had a lot of reservations about how the business of helping was being run. Recently I broke off my long standing monthly contribution to a major charity organization because they kept sending me elaborate mail. I felt like they are pouring all the money I send them into postage and printing and not the children that needed help. Yet I really want to help. And more importantly I want my son to grow up being kind, compassionate and willing to help.

And then Mightee kids came along. To say that I love this company and what they stand for is an understatement. The plan is simple: every month they design a cute T-shirt with a certain cause in mind, send it to your child along with a lovely card that helps you explain what that particular charity stands for. From every T-shirt sold $5 goes to that cause. They bring awareness to many smaller, unknown charities which have great impact to less fortunate children around the world. Not to mention the shirts are beyond adorable too!

I am sure you will all agree it is a great idea. But what really struck a cord with me was Little J’s response to the first T-shirt we received. He was eager to discuss autism after I read him the card and explained how the T-shirt we bought will help other children. He wore it proudly and talked about how he helped someone at his show and tell in Preschool. He even offered to pitch in for next month’s T-shirt! And because it is something he will wear often it is a great reminder in his life how he too can make a difference in this world.

As you probably gathered by now I am bias. I think this is a perfect gift for your child, for your child’s friends and to take to the next baby shower you are invited to. It is a gift that will keep giving. So it really is a gift for you. Because nothing feels as good as doing good.

For all you rushing over to Mightee Kids website I have a little surprise! They gave me a code for free shipping to share with you during the month of May for your first tee.

Enter northwestmommy at the checkout.

Now go and be Mightee!

For all you eager to share this great cause you can stay in touch with Mightee kids on Facebook and Instagram too.

Beware: being Mightee is known to cause extreme happiness! As shown here:

photocrati gallery

Just keep running

I ran my fastest 5K today.

It was fueled with anger and dismay. Ocean and it’s wast blueness as my companion, eagles and hawks flying above me and green grass underneath me. My favorite trail to run. But I could not get the images of marathoners approaching the finish line on Monday out of my mind, the explosions blasting as they look behind them. What should have been an euphoric end to one of the most important events and hardest earned accomplishments in their life turning into horror. I ran and I wondered if that could have been me. Standing in the crowd one moment with my son, cheering on the runners and in a split second becoming the headline at the 5 o’clock news. And I got angrier with every step.

I thought about people. How thousands of us are born each day and begin our story. What causes some to turn so horrible that they would intentionally hurt another. And not even a particular person that might have caused them harm, but an innocent stranger. And even worse, a child. I ran and I wondered if I have ever met such a person in my life. And I got scared thinking my son might. So I ran faster.

For the first time ever I turned onto the road. Without my knee brace every step was hurting more. Every time my left foot landed on the concrete, sharp pain shot through my knee, reminding me that life is not perfect. I know my days are full of peace and happiness. My biggest worry is being late for preschool drop off and my dog’s hotspots. I worry about our health and what we put on the table. Sometimes, but I try not to, I worry about my husband being deployed again. I know that there are unimaginable things happening everyday, children dying of huger, people dying in war, nature going wild and taking lives. I know there are tragedies that we should strive to eliminate and there are some that we cannot control. How amidst of all that someone decides to bring more sadness in the world is beyond me.

I kept running. Pain and sadness my companions and the wind that was picking up, I struggled to find inner peace and just be. To find a way to spread the word that even I, who had my fair share of adversity can be happy and look forward to what life brings every morning. That no matter how terrible the situation, violence is never the answer.

How do we recover? From 9/11, to random shootings to Boston Marathon explosions, how do we go on not worrying about what is behind us, what is in front of us and if the stranger next to you might harm you? How do we go on?

I took this photo earlier today:

At the time I was in the saddle. I tightened the reins and said whoa. My horse trusted me against his instinct to stop long enough so I can take a picture of a wild animal. Deer trusted my dog not to hunt and kill him. There we were, all four of us standing in the sun, sharing a moment of trust. Guess that is all we can do.

And when trust fails us… We cannot help ourselves but to loose a little faith in humanity.