The Herald of Everett, Washington
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Published: Sunday, March 10, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

We're not Seattle, and that's just fine

"I'm from Seattle." Have you ever found yourself saying that to somebody while you're on vacation, even though it's not true?

You know that if you said, "I'm from Edmonds," or Mountlake Terrace, or Marysville, or Clearview, somebody from New York would probably stare at you blankly.

And the part that really bites? Thanks to the "Twilight" series, if you were to say, "I'm from Forks, Washington," that New Yorker would totally know where you are talking about.

"Ooooh!" she might say. "Have you seen Bella's truck?"

Well, no, I haven't, but I have been to Olympic National Park. That's pretty cool, too.

Our proximity to three national parks is just one of about 10 thousand reasons why I'm glad to live in Snohomish County. Choosing to raise our children here was one of the best decisions my husband and I ever made.

I love that you can go out to dinner and find a place to park. I love that you can wear fleece to church. I love that I don't know anyone with a $700 Bugaboo stroller.

I love that if I were stuck at the ER because my 3-year-old stuck an apple up her nose, I know about a dozen people who would pick up my son at the bus stop for me.

I love how the farther you drive north, the more Herald paper boxes you see along every driveway. It makes me feel like I am part of a community that cares about itself.

Seattle may be "The Emerald City," but Herald readers know that there are gems all over Puget Sound.

Recently, my son and I drove up to Silvana Meats. I didn't see any urban hipsters in the joint, but I did see a lot of people who care about quality food.

When we arrive, it was crowded, but not too crowded. Somebody helped us right away and there was a buzz of friendly efficiency in the whole place.

Camano Island Coffee Roasters is the same way. My daughter and I were there last December on a day that was so cold and windy that I almost couldn't open the car door. But when we got inside, the whole place was cozy and full of responsible coffee shoppers. It was kind of like being in Seattle, only nobody had multiple facial piercings.

But please don't get me wrong, because I love Seattle, too. The Space Needle, the Pacific Science Center, the Woodland Park Zoo, Children's Hospital: It's nice living so close to it all.

Still, the next time I'm out of town and somebody asks me where I'm from, I'm ready with a new answer.

"I'm from Edmonds," I'll say. "That's about 20 minutes south of Everett."

Jennifer Bardsley is an Edmonds mom of two and blogs at teachingmybabytoread.blog.com.

Story tags » Parenting

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