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Beaches of Camano: Our Beach and my brush with the law

This is part of the “Beaches of Camano” series I am writing to celebrate and share the diverse Beaches of Camano. Paintings of these beaches will be featured in Sunnyshore Studio’s Grand Opening in December. You can read more about the project here.

https://sunnyshorestudio.com/portfolio/beaches-of-camano/

Places where we live and that we love become part of who we are. That is true for “our beach” which is across the street and down the hill from my childhood home.  (In doing the research for writing this book I discovered that our beach actually has a name: Sunnyshore Acres. But forever it will live on in my heart as “our beach”.)

For my first eleven years the beach was impenetrable and unexplored – a dense forest looked over a steep hill full of blackberry bushes guarding access to the beach. In the early 1980’s a developer cleared many of the trees on the bluff, carved a Z like road back and forth to the beach, built a bridge and brought in fill hoping to build homes on the beachfront.

He got in trouble for the landfill and the project was happily stalled for many years, creating a sacred playground just for me, my brother and sister, and my southside friends: Harry, Pat and Steve.

Harry taught me how to dig sandshrimp when the tide was low and we used them to fish for flounders and perch at the drop off at the point.

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When the tide was high the slough would fill with water my friends and I  would float on logs up the slough to the bridge. We wrestled on the bluffs overlooking the water, rolling down them, pressing each other’s faces into the dirt until one of us cried out “mercy.”

I tracked the racoons and otters and deer and duck who left their tracks in the wet sand along the slough. I never did find their hiding places in the forested woods above though I tried.

In the warm summer days we lounged on the sandy beach near the head of the slough, building rafts and playing in the warm waters.

And once we got in trouble with the law there. It was the summer before I started highschool. Harry, Pat, Steve were over at my house and we had a couple of pellet guns. We were bored and decided to have some fun so we headed to the beach. As we left my sof-hearted mom begged us not to shoot any birds; we promised her we wouldn’t.

When we got to the bluff we noticed that there was a man working with a dump truck and front loader down on the road below. Two of the gang went down to scout the situation out. They came running back to us out of breath and said they had shot the window of the dump truck and that when the man got out of the truck, they had shot him with a few pellets in the chest. We hightailed it out of there back to our house.

A few hours later mom got a call from a neighbor whose home overlooked the bluff and had seen some boys there; she asked if we had been over there and mentioned something had happened with the man working on the dumptruck, that the truck window had been shattered. Mom asked us what had happned. We lied. We told her that we had been on the bluff shooting at birds. Maybe one of the pellets had gone through the alders and hit the dump truck window, but if so it had been an accident.

Mom believed our story and we nothing happened and we thought we were in the clear. But a couple of weeks later I was down at the beach with my Australian shepherd named Brave. I had jumped off the bridge as boys do to the grass 10 feet below and Brave had jumped with me and had twisted his ankle. So I sat with him under the bridge for a while and then together we started walking up the Z drive back to our house, Brave limping next to me.

As we walked a police car rounded the corner and came toward me. If Brave would have been able to follow me, I would have scampered up the hill into the alders and brush and disappeared. But I couldn’t leave Brave stranded.

The officer stopped his car and asked me who I was.

“Jason Dorsey”

“Just who I was looking for.” He said.

Then he asked me to get into his car and he read me my rights. “You have the right to remain silent…” My heart was beating, but I kept a calm outward demeanor. He asked me what had happened the day when my friends and I were at the beach shooting pellet guns. I told him the lie.

“Jason”, he said, “I am going to go to each of your friends. And if they tell me a different story I’m going to come back and throw you in jail.”

I crumbled. I told him the whole story.

My friends and I were given misdemeanors. Our dads took us to apologize to the dump truck operator make restitution  by paying for the window. We had to write an essay on what we had done wrong and do community service too.

My parents, seeing the road I was on, took me to the Denny Juvenile justice center in Everett to show me the path that I was on and where I would probably be in a couple of years. Thankfully we learned a lesson, stayed out of trouble, and had our record cleared when we turned 16.

Most of the time, however, it was just good clean fun at the beach. When I was in highschool my friends and I had “wars” at the beach.

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We  divided into teams, building forts, and battling in hand to hand combat. One war my squad borrowed a neighbor’s boat and rowed up the slough which was full at high tide.

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It was so dark that we couldn’t be seen; but we could be heard. Our enemies spotted us and began to throw M-200’s at us. . Their explosions made it seem like a real war zone . There was quite the battle on the bridge that night. Thankfully we all survived. And I have to give my dad and mom credit for letting us be boys.

It wasn’t all war at the beach. My mom took my senior prom pictures there.

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On Valentines Day weekend in 1988, a cute girl I had met my Freshman year of college named Jenny spent the weekend at our home. I walked with my sister and Jenny down that Z road in big winter coats. On the way down I put my hand in Jenny’s coat pocket. That was how we started “going out.” We got married in June of 1992.

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Sometime after I went off to college homes were built on the bluff over our beach and it became private. Thankfully, a few of the homeowners are friends with my dad and mom and they have given us permission to walk down their private road and enjoy the beach which holds so many happy memories for us.

We have walked that Z road with family and friends many times since then.

And when I do the memories of those olden days come washing over me, those happy days of youth, those friends who I hold forever dear.

This place that I love continues to haunt me with its beauty. It binds me to family and friends I love so pregnant it is with memories. In this way “Our Beach” continues to shape who I am today.

Donnie Watkins works his Magic

Donnie Watkins worked his magic and the grounds around Sunnyshore Studio are beginning to take shape. Here is a visual tour.

Donnie graded a water run off on the north side of the building to keep water away from the foundation.

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He moved the piles of dirt from the front hedge area and finished the front parking lot. It looks great!

He filled in behind the bulkhead.

And used the stones that were piled under the cedar tree as a border and retainer, sloping the dirt for easy mowing.

There’s still another couple of days work to do but I’m thrilled with the results from Donnie’s magic touch today.

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Beaches of Camano: Port Susan Bay

Over the years our lives can be woven together with the lives of our neighbors by kind words and kind acts, like hundreds of little threads binding our lives together in a place.

I was struck by this as I spoke with Barb (Hayes) Noste at their family home on Port Susan Terrace. It was a beautiful, sunny day. The water was a smooth as glass. Mount Baker reflected in the water. Barb greeted me warmly and hugged me. We sat at the table on the front porch (on the Island the front of the house is the side that faces the water) and we talked.

To prep for my interview with Barb I had asked my mom to remind me about our family’s history with Barb’s family who had been neighbors of ours living less than a mile north of us down Port Susan Terrace Road.

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Barb’s father, Dr. Donald C. Hayes, had practiced dentistry in Stanwood from 1959-1995. What I knew was that Dr. Hayes had been our family dentist, that he was a very good dentist and had always been warm and interested in my life. I remembered seeing him run on the road between our homes. Don loved to swim and would do so from Memorial Day well into September. He would even swim before work to get a little exercise in.

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Mom told me that like most children I had not enjoyed going to the dentist and that on one visit to Dr. Hayes I had “fallen asleep” in the car ride down and had managed to sleep through the whole dentist appointment; of course I had not really been asleep, but that was my way of escaping reality.

Mom told me how when I was about seven years of age, my sister April was four, and my brother Jed a newborn,  a small group of neighbors had formed a Bible Study, who Patty Paige had been a vibrant part of that study and so had Don and Audrey Hayes. Most of the time the group met at Patty’s home or the Hayes home, but sometime it met at our humble home that didn’t even have real doors but only curtains on our bathroom and bedrooms being very poor in those days with dad a full-time artist and all. Mom shared how Patty how described our little house to another person as the home “where the roses grow over the fence.”

Mom told me that one Christmas Donald and Audrey had brought beautifully wrapped gifts to our house. They had shared with mom and dad, and April, Jed and I how they talked it over with their kids and decided that they didn’t need presents that Christmas and thought it would be nice to give presents to us that year instead. Mom told me how they were nice, expensive presents. She remembers that the gift for April was a pretty teal winter coat with a hood; how it was long and soft like velvet on the outside, and on the inside a kind of cream, cute fur, like a princess coat. The memory of this kindness brought tears to mom’s eyes.

Don and Audrey Hayes supported my dad and mom in other ways too. I spotted a couple of my dad’s paintings in their home.

Mom told me how after she had been diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2015 she and dad had been driving out of the parking lot of Camano Chapel and had seen Dr. Hayes walking out from the service and had stopped to talk to him. They had told him about mom’s cancer diagnosis and upcoming treatment. And he had said “Oh you should talk to Barbara. It would be good to get together with Barbara.” It turns out that Barbara had just been through cancer treatment herself. Mom didn’t pursue it at that time. But a few weeks later Barbara called her out of the blue and asked if she could stop by. Barbara brought quite a few hats for mom to wear and had all kinds of helpful hints and was as mom put it “so nice and supportive.”

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So all of this was in my mind when I met with Barb who shared with me more of the history of her family and their relationship to Port Susan Terrace Beach.

Donald had met his wife Audrey in Alaska. She had four kids at that time. Barb says that her dad would tell her the story that he had said to Audrey that he would marry her if he could have another four kids with her, (with a smile on his face)! And she had said “you bet.” And they did. Eight kids in all.

Don & Audrey Hayes moved to Stanwood, Washington in 1959. When Dr. Hayes set up his practice that year they had originally lived – all ten of them: Donald and Audrey, Sharon, Gary, Steve, Tom, Mary, Ann, Jim and Barb the youngest – in a modest house on Cedarhome Drive in Stanwood. Don & Audrey bought a lot on Port Susan Bay on a beach with the bay’s namesake called Port Susan Terrace which is on the east side of the island. The family spent their summers there and soon built a small beach home. When Barb was four they moved there full time.

The Hayes family would later build another home down the road on the same beach.

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Barb and I walked north to their family’s first home on Port Susan Bay.

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And as we walked told me about each of their neighbors from when she was a child. There were the Ceis’s who lived at the northernmost home and who had kids a little older than the Hayes children. Then there was the Hopen family who lived in an A-frame and whose dad had once owned Glasply boats before it went bankrupt. They had three kids the same age as the Hayes kids named Debbie, Vickie and Chris. Barb said, “Their home was the most fun place to be at. They had the best snacks and you could get away with murder.”

Next was Dr. Lance and his family.  Then the Powell’s, and then it was the first Hayes house. Next to them was the VandeGeest home, and next to them the Hickocks. Barb shared how Gene Hickock who had been the president of the Port Susan Terrace Association had passed away just a few months after her dad’s passing. Continuing south down the beach were the Johnson, Tronson, Ogden, Rasmussen and the Bettgers’ beach homes. Behind Rasmussen’s, on the other side of the road, were the Chamberlain and Sortland families. Next came the Bohon’s and the Rondeau beach homes. Barb shared how Jim Rondeau used to referee professional boxing. Next to Rondeau’s was the Burn’s family who had 4 kids the same age as the younger Hayes children. Then came the Hayes home (a different family with the same last name) and then Donald and Audrey Hayes’s new home they build in 1976.  South of the more recent Hayes home was the Rust family who had a son named Bret who was a year older than Barb. And furthest south, the last home on the street, was the Will’s place which is a sprawling estate with amazing grounds.  Though there are now newer families and beach homes that share the beach, many of the families from years ago have passed down their beach homes to the next generations.

As Barb shared I realized that here in this place all of these lives had been woven together with years and years of memories, acts of kindness and neighborliness: like helping each out when the water washed over the bulkhead and flooded the yards, which it does every five years or so.

Barb shared how the kids had grown up together and had been free to roam for hours.

They would go the cove to the south where the water was warmer and swim and play.

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They would catch bullheads, get an old grill, start a fire and cook them. They would take a rowboat out to the cove to the north and net crab in the shallow water. They would build multi-level rafts using hammers, nails and ropes.

They would play on the big rope swing in the back lot. They kept busy with their escapades and tried to stay out of trouble.   Barb said that when they got older waterskiing became the big thing. Many beach residents had boats and they had gotten pretty good at waterskiing.

Talking with Barb was a window into their world: I learned how Dr. Hayes had played the accordion as a young man and continued to play it even as recent as a few weeks before he passed away, how he loved to fish and hike. Audrey and Don and many of their children fished in both the Puget Sound and in the oceans off the Washington coast and Vancouver Island and continue that tradition to this day. How Audrey had been a homemaker and on top of raising eight kids took care of the office bookkeeping. Late at night she would put all the bills and receipts and paperwork on the table and straighten out the books and take care of the paychecks, often working to one or two in the morning.

But most of all from Barb I saw how her family and neighbors and, in a way, all of our lives had been woven together over the years there in that place. And I reflected on how just like the long warm days of summer softly merge into the crisp short days of fall, and the low tide gives way to the hide tide, those magic days of childhood couldn’t last forever.

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I asked Barb what their family home and the beach meant to her now. She said that it is such a peaceful place but that somehow it was different now. That it was very sad and lonely without the people who made it is so alive.

Barb told me how when her mom was in hospice care the family had made a commitment to keep her at the house not put her in a nursing home. She told me how her dad had cared for his beloved Audrey around the clock. On the days she had enough energy he would push her wheelchair in front of the glass windows that looked at Mount Baker. There she would do jigsaw puzzles; she loved and watched the beautiful scenery. Barb said that her mom had watched the sky above Mount Baker for so many years that she could predict, based on the cloud configurations, when it would rain: “It’ll rain in three days” she would say; and she would be right!

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During those Hospice months (January through August 2013), Barb came every night from her home on Camano to attend to her medical needs and to get her mom ready for bed. The only reprieve for her dad was when one of the children would come out to help with mom’s needs. She told me how just a few short years after her mom passed away, her dad followed.

Barb said “it’s the tides of life. Things change. And you just focus on all the blessings you have and that you have had.”

One of those blessings is the family home on Port Susan Terrace that looks out at the sunrise over the Cascades and that can catch the sunset to the northwest.

 

Sunnyshore Studio Progress Report – September 15th, 2016

Sunnyshore Studio hosts our first Art Workshop led by my gifted artist-brother Jed Dorsey on November 3rd-5th.

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Eight people have already signed up with a number of others who have expressed interest and a cap of 15. I expect it to fill up soon. You can learn more and sign up at: https://sunnyshorestudio.com/portfolio/upcoming-art-workshops-and-classes/

We celebrate our Grand Opening “Beaches of Camano” show on Saturdays December 3rd, 10th and 17th. On display will be original artworks showcasing the 30+ Beaches of Camano. An accompanying Coffee Table book titled the Beaches of Camano featuring those artworks and stories of Islanders who live on and love those beaches will help you celebrate the beautiful beaches of Camano and share them with others.

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Here’s an example of one of my brother’s paintings. It is of Tillicum Beach.

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There is a lot of work to get ready for this Workshop and the Grand Opening.

Here’s a brief status report on that work.

Gary Holloman and his team have done wonderful work on the trim.

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The upstairs trim is done.

And the downstairs trim is coming along nicely. Trimming out the posts gives the Gallery area a great finish!

The trim in the Gallery/Studio should be finished today (September 15). Then all that will be left is installing the granite island and kitchen counter top, putting in the plumbing, and setting up the stove & pipe.

And the deck was stained. It looks great.

A lot is happening on the outside as well.

Donnie Watkins took out the big cedar tree that was going to be to close to a future house, whose roots would get entangled in the septic system, and which blocked our view of the water.

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The cedar logs sit by the woodpile ready to be cut up for firewood.

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Donnie moved the stones from under the cedar. They are ready to be placed as a retaining wall east of the bulkhead.

In the next couple of days Donnie will grade around the Studio, add some gravel for the pouring of the front and back porches and a walk that will go between them and install the septic drainfield.

Here are a few pictures of Donnie and I talking through the plans.

As I give this report I’m so thankful to God for the grace that has allowed this dream of mine that stretches all the way back to 1998 to come to fruition. Here’s a video that tells more of that story.

Sola Deo Gloria

 

Beaches of Camano: Utsalady Bay & Point

On Saturdays December 3rd, 10th and 17th Sunnyshore Studio hosts its GRAND OPENING titled Beaches of Camano.

The Dorsey family are teaming up to paint the 32+ beaches of Camano and publish a coffee table book Beaches of Camano that will celebrate those beaches and help newcomers to our Island enjoy these beaches as well.

One of those beaches, Utsalady Bay is rich in history. Enjoy its story here:

There are at least two tales of how Utsalady Bay got its name. One goes like this. An early settler of Utsalady was Scottish. When his wife had their first son he went around telling everyone It’s-a-laddie, thus “Utsalady”. Another is that it is an old Indian name that means “berries.” Whatever the origin of its name it has a rich history.

Utsalady Bay once was at the center of the logging industry on Camano Island, with a mill, a store and tavern. Down on Utsalady Beach there was also the Mellum Hotel. In those days, the logs were brought in by horses and carried off by ships with tall sails.

More recently Utsalady Point was the home of one of the many resorts that dotted Camano’s beachline. Now beautiful beach homes look out over the boats across the Bay to Mount Baker to the northeast.

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Joyce Larsen Linn, a long-time Utsalady Beach resident, lived much of that history. I interviewed Joyce and her friend Andrena – who had grown up at Camp Grande and who I featured in an earlier article – at Joyce’s beautiful home at Utsalady. It was not only fascinating to hear their stories, but also special because Joyce and Andrena are old classmates and friends of my mom.

Joyce’s parents were Svend (Danish) and Ada (Swedish) Larsen. Her mother was born in 1911 and was raised on Camano Island: her grandparents, it turns out, lived at the AJAX farm, which is now part of the Danielson Farm. There they farmed cows, raised peas, and chickens and pigs and children, eight of them to be precise.

During her growing up years, Joyce’s parents lived in Bellingham. In 1950 they built a cabin on Utsalady Beach and spent their weekends there.

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At that time there we only a few other cabins at Utsalady that were part of a fishing resort after the mill went away.

Joyce remembers how at Utsalady point, just south of their cabin, there was a dock with a building on it where the Utsalady- Coupeville Ferry came in (I’m not sure if the pictures below are specifically those of the Utsalady-Coupeville Ferry, but they give an image of what it would have been like).

She remembers how one night, she, her sister Janet and Susan and Linda Anderson stayed in the building on the dock. It had a wood stove in it and they had enjoyed the fire. But as the dark of night fell, it became more and more scarry and the girls went back to their own homes and beds.

She remembers how they came up to Camano on the weekends in the winters and how each summer her mom picked her and Janet up after the last day of school and they would move into the beach cabin until labor day weekend.

For Joyce Utsalady was the enchanting place of her childhood. She put it like this: “We never had vacations. It wasn’t until after I got married that I realized that we were on vacation all summer long. Our beach house was Grand central station. Mom and dad loved to entertain. And they had a large family. Every weekend we had a houseful. The more people came, the more potatoes my mother would peel and put in the pot. Every weekend was fried chicken and mashed potatoes.”

She remembers how her dad who owned a logging co in Bellingham (Larsen logging company) brought his D8 Cat down to the beach and pulled the old unused pilings from the logging days that were stuck in the mud flats up on the beach and into a burn pile. Joyce remembers the 300 foot float dock used by her family and their friends that sat in the water in front of their beach house. The old anchor still sits on the beach in front of her home, thought the dock has long been gone.

When she was in the 7th grade, the Larsens moved to Camano Island permanently. Joyce’s dad had retired from logging. He purchased the old family farm from his inlaws and ran the farm himself (though Joyce said he wasn’t much of a farmer) unto 1966 when they moved into their beach cabin on Utsalady while they built their new home next door.

I asked Joyce what this place where she has played and lived so long means to her. She said, “This is my roots. This is where family and friends celebrated life together. This is what it’s all about. I have lots of good memories here.” Then she added, “I spent many hours on the beach. I never get tired of the beach.”

My question sparked more memories.

Joyce told me how one of Janet and her favorite games was walking as far as they could on top of the driftwood logs that covered the beach; when one of them fell from a long onto the sand they had lost. She looked into the distance as if she could see it still and remarked, “we spent hours doing this.”

She remembers one extreme low tide on a new years eve. That evening her family and some friends were poised to go down and clam using lanterns. Suddenly  the power went out. Joyce said, “mom ended up cooking the full dinner over an old coleman hand pump gas stove.”

I asked Joyce about the private beach public beach tension. She said, “Jason, I’m still trying to figure it out. My parents always let people walk on their beach. They felt privileged that they owned the beach, felt like it was a gift from God, and that as long as people respected the beach they were open to share it w everyone.”

She mentioned how there is the public boat launch next door and that though some people consider it a nuisance, for her she views it as entertainment. She can spend hours watching people bring their boats in and out of the water.

She reflected on how people used to live for coming to Camano’s beaches on the weekend. Joyce had cousins who lived in Mt. Vernon who would bring a great big surplus tent and spend weekends in it the back yard for the 4th of July weekends, how sometimes there would be 50 people in the back yard in tents on that weekend, and how her mom always had 3 or 4 chickens frying in a big canner in the oven.

Thankfully, Utsalady Beach is accessible to the public who are able to enjoy a boat launch and enjoy the beach and the views. For my money, the most enchanting time at Utsalady is in mid to late July in the evening at high tide. Then you will find the smelters with their nets waiting for the tap tap of the smelt in the nets. And if they are set against a backdrop of the evening sky even the better.

 

A Recap of Julian’s Summer ’16

Looking back on my summer internship with Sunnyshore Studio I find myself feeling fortunate for the opportunity it provided me. People often take spending time and vacationing with family for granted. After a tumultuous year of moving to Seattle and heading off to college on the East Coast, spending the summer with my family in our new home was extremely comforting. This internship allowed me to return home instead of spending the summer far away from my family while working in D.C, and for that I am truly grateful. This internship also allowed me to investigate my artistic side and I soon found myself rapidly gaining an increased interest in my newfound hobby of photography.

When people recall their summer memories they tend to only highlight positive memories. I will deviate from this norm and begin recapping my summer memories with the lowlights, challenges, and sucky parts.

THE BAD

  1. Barely getting any sleep while camping on Camano Island…..

and having to wake up to sunrises like this.

 

2. Having driftwood fall on you while you build a bulkhead..

 

3. Going hiking in Leavenworth and falling 300 feet down the side of a cliff.

 

4. Getting four wisdom teeth pulled

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and eating four Frosties from Wendy’s a day for a week.

5. Saying Goodbye to family and grandparents before heading back to college

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Now the good stuff!

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest!IMG_1608IMG_3904IMG_4590IMG_4759IMG_5512

 

2. Spending every day with family!

 

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3. Rafting and boating around Camano Island!

 

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4. Photography!

 

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Projects

This summer I worked on various projects for Sunnyshore Studio

I helped build a bulkhead

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Rebuilt this website you’re using!

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Open for business

Took photos of five Camano Beaches for the Beaches of Camano Art Show Grand Opening in December

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and today created and launched Sunnyshore Studio’s official Instagram account! IG: @sunnyshore_studio

Conclusion

Summer 2016 was a time filled with happiness, family, fun, and work. I grew in many ways  during this internship while working on these projects with my family. Overall I had a blast working for Sunnyshore Studio and the unique opportunity it provided for me. I am extremely grateful for my time spent with my family this summer and will cherish every memory I made this summer for years to come!

Intern #2, aka Jacob Dorsey recaps his summer internship with Sunnyshore Studio

Looking back on my time during the months of June, July, and the beginning of August, I must admit that working with my family and spending time on Camano Island will be a highlight of summers for years to come.

bulkhead 26Being near Dad, Mom, Julian, Judah, and Jackie was by no means easy at times (6 people squished into 1400 sq feet); but overall, it was a very productive time.

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Here are a few of the projects I accomplished:

Hauled Firewood from Snoqualmie Pass to Camano Island, then split it

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Designed and built book packages and mailed the packages.

 

Dug the trench for the pipes to bring water from the well to the Studio

 

Helped Grandpa bring in the winter wood

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Gardened with Grandma

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Interviewed the Artists

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Took videos of the beauty of Camano Island

Mowed and did yardwork

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Collected Driftwood and Built the Bulkhead

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Documented the changes happening at the studio

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Helped my dad conduct interviews on the beaches of Camano

There were lots of other things I did including (1) researched Air B & B and other options and provided dad and mom a proposal to rent out the Studio apartment, (2) researches publishers for the Beaches of Camano book, (3)

The Internship included plenty of outdoor fun:

We hiked in with young adults from Redeemer Redmond in Snoqualmie

 

Took a boat trip with Julian and my cousin Joshua around Camano Island

We built a raft and then burnt it to celebrate the 4th of July

We Visited and hiked Grandpa Jack’s property in Leavenworth

 

We camped out for more than a month on Camano

 

And hiked around the south end of the Island.

 

A highlight was celebrating both of my grandparents 50th wedding anniversaries

I learned more about who I am as a person, and who God has called me to be. I enjoyed my time worshiping, serving and getting to know the people at Redeemer Redmond. Athleticism abounded as well, and playing soccer and ultimate Frisbee were great ways to spend Sunday afternoons.

All in all, the way I would describe the summer is not as an intern, but as a son, brother, and grandson of my family around me.

The phrase that captures this summer perfectly is “It’s so wonderful to have you as my neighbor!” [quote from Grandma Ann]

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