explore:NW Summer 2020

Relishing the Bright Moments | explore:NW

As I write this, it’s been four months of physical distancing. I mourn those we’ve lost and grieve for those separated from loved ones, who lost their jobs, and who shut down their businesses. All things considered, my little family of four (husband, 8-month-old, and fur baby) has been holding up all too well (hello guilt!) in our country home.

I’m grateful for a yard to play in and nearby hiking trails to explore. I’ve been relishing my husband’s work-from-home status and I love watching our baby girl explore the world. (Just the other day she squealed when she saw a horse, and that sound gave me all the feels.)

But I’d be lying if I told you this time hasn’t had its challenges. Running a business while juggling a baby, without any childcare help, is pure craziness. Like everyone else, I miss the pleasure of hugging a friend, exploring anywhere and everywhere, and meeting new people.

While I’m generally hesitant to share behind-the-scenes work tales (boring!), putting together this summer issue presented some serious challenges. Not only did we scrap the original editorial calendar — we had to create a new story, in less than half the time it usually takes, all while physically distancing.

But if the pandemic has taught me anything, it’s to lean into the good. To relish the bright moments. To focus on what is possible. I hope that focusing on the positives will inspire you to do the same.

While the world is starting to open up slowly, predicting the future is best left to higher powers. Which is why this issue is centered on timeless activities that can be enjoyed outdoors — like how to fly a kite and where to find the best food for a picnic spread.

Sara Satterlee takes you out to sea for an epic crabbing adventure and Lisette Wolter-McKinley shares how the simple pleasures of a rustic cabin and walks along the beach can fuel you.

Yet this issue isn’t all cooler-packing tips and cute alpacas. We also wanted to help you connect with people. You’ll find a fun Q&A with Stephanie Smith, the owner of Lopez Island’s Holly B’s bakery. There’s an inside look at what it’s like to build and remodel in the San Juan Islands, complete with questions answered by architects about the unique challenges and beauty island projects offer.

Samantha Howard introduces you to Rahman Anderson, founder of Studio 54 Glass on Lopez Island. It’s a beautiful story that shares a glimpse into a glass blower’s life and the color found within this quaint studio.

I don’t know what comes next. But I sure know this: the best way to get there is with a positive attitude and a commitment to finding joy. I hope this helps.

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