Although I live in Tacoma, I spend much of my time in Federal Way, about 20 miles north of my home. I have my permanent mailbox located there, I work there, and I have lived in Federal Way over the last 14 years enough that it is more homes to me than Tacoma even. Here is a city that is coming of age. It’s an affluent bedroom community often compared to the loftier Bellevue area, but years behind. Every large metropolitan area has it’s ‘Bellevue’, it’s a place where the wealthy locate their homes and businesses, the shopping is meant only for those with generous check books or credit cards with ample room, and a place where everyone can find what they are looking for.
If you pay attention to such things, you can always tell how well a community is doing by which businesses locate there during there growth cycle. It’s always a good sign when Lowe’s and Home Depot build in your town because they are known for only locating in ‘coming’ towns. Federal Way has had both stores for some time now. Another sign is the entrance of Wal-Mart on the scene. They too, only support communities that are growing and despite the mixed reviews, many businesses thrive any where a Wal-Mart builds. Each store rightly boasts they have ‘Something for everyone!’ Federal Way recently became a two Wal-Mart town, no small economical achievement and it shows that this Bellevue-Wanna-Be town is starting to flex its muscle.
This week I am at the beach again, I’ve talked about it on many occasions. Although it is August and I am on the Oregon coast, the weather this week is very much hit and miss for sunning yourself and watching young kids try to skim board, or even younger ones wonder into the cold north Pacific surf in just their underwear! One morning I went for a walk on the beach, the sun would peek out on occasion but not so much that you’d really count on it for long. I headed south, the wind gently blowing in my face, the weather just warm enough that I wrapped my hoody fleece around my waist and continued down the beach.
Along the way I saw early morning surfers, folks walking their dogs (no size or shape of canine left unrepresented), lovers walking hand in hand, little kids bent over examining the sand dollars, and much to my surprise…a group of yoga enthusiasts, all in a neat semi-circle facing the ocean stretching as their yoga teacher directed. In my two years coming to Seaside Oregon, walking this same path along the beach, I’ve never seen this sight before. I stood and watched for a bit. A few of the yogists seemed a bit distracted to have an audience, yoga is typically a very personal, introspective endeavor in which you connect with your environment. I recall thinking at that moment the beach, like all the busy places I left behind, has something for everyone!
At the beach I find a wonderful change of pace. When I ‘do it right’, I sleep without a precise schedule, eat when the urge demands, grab ice cream at the local Dairy Queen (this time I had a banana split, yum!), and walk the beaches when I want wind and spray in my face. On this trip I’ve already learned that my beach on the north coast of Oregon has something for everyone. Sometime, you ought to come and see what I mean.
Thanks for reading this far. I hope the hot tub isn’t too crowded tonight.