Thursday, June 13, 2013

Our Commercial Debut

About a week ago, I got a call at 8:30 pm (witching hour). 


“Would you and your family come act in a commercial for Skagit Valley tomorrow morning at 7:45?”


Of course we would.


We love our community.  Maybe I don’t say that enough, but I am really, extremely happy we landed where we did. 


It’s beautiful here.  Mountains, rivers, lakes, the Puget Sound, islands, farmland, and only an hour-long drive to get to a giant city (Seattle).  Skagit Valley is much bigger, population-wise, than where I grew up, and the opportunities afforded us in our careers, in raising kids, in education, healthcare, and numerous other aspects of life are so much more abundant.  But it’s also NOT a nameless, faceless city.  There is no rush hour.  There are community parades and street fairs.  There are all-comers track meets.




I think I always knew, in the same way that you know that your heart pumps blood to your organs (like, it works and it’s great, but you don’t ever think about it), that I-5 pumped money into the local economy.  After all, my business relies on I-5 and our proximity to it for shipping forty plus packages a day, not to mention the weekly freight shipment of a pallet or two.  And I knew that Canadians liked to drive down and shop at the Outlet Shoppes (I can’t stand that spelling of ‘shops’) and I’d even heard the statistics of 71,000 cars and trucks going by us on the Interstate every day.  But when the bridge went down, much like having a heart attack, our community fully realized the impact of all those drivers.  Because now they’re not there, driving on I-5, getting off the freeway to eat at IHOP or shop at Costco.  They’re clogging up the county roads and city streets, so even those of us who aren’t using the interstate to get around are experiencing congestion and often deciding to stay home.


In three weeks, just about every restaurant and retailer, from Wal-Mart to the corner convenience stores, has experienced at least a 60% loss of business.  They’re cutting back staff hours and worrying about paying bills.  I know this is true, I’ve talked with many of them.  And the fact is, you can still get to them.  I have done my grocery shopping this week.  I bought paint at the local paint store to redo the trim on our house.  Charles and I are going to make a special trip this weekend so that he can pick out a present for Jamie’s birthday (he wants to get him wooden train tracks for his trains) at the downtown toy store.  I took my brother to the airport shuttle in Burlington (across the other bridge) this morning in what should have been the second busiest part of the day for traffic, right before 9 am (5-6 pm is the busiest).  It’s slower, sure, especially on the main detour routes.  And the congestion causes idiocy (see previous post), but the lack of I-5 is not going to keep us from visiting the berry farms for a flat of fresh, sweet, local strawberries this weekend.  After we run a 10k on Saturday, eat breakfast at a restaurant in our sweaty running clothes, and watch the Berry Dairy Days parade, that is.


We’ll bounce back, because we’re a community, in every sense of the word.  The temporary bridge will be up soon, and maybe things will feel more normal again.  Maybe blood will return to our extremities.  Maybe people who see this commercial will want to come here, despite the traffic.  Because it really is a wonderful place.



Charles, Jamie, and I are in the crosswalk at about 0:25 walking with someone who is not Tony.  I am completely obscured, but Charles and Jamie are not.

1 comment:

Julia said...

you're famous! And now I'm convinced to make the trek to Skagit Valley. If only I had a friend to visit up there... :)