"This is perfection in the Pacific Northwest," I thought. The ocean breeze blew through my hair, and the sunshine hung as the perfect backdrop for a high school graduation celebration. About forty of us sat around picnic tables on the deck of our friends' waterfront home at Sandy Point where we soaked up the warm spring air. Teenagers hung-out at the end of the boat launch. The graduate's dad flipped burgers, and the food table overflowed with salads and fresh fruit.
From behind her sunglasses, one guest and former client announced that she could "live like this", and I went for the close. "Well, on the drive in, did you notice all the homes for sale?" I pointed to a neighbor¹s property, "What do you say we write up an offer on that one?"
At my table, we shared how each of us had ended up in this town of 10,000 just north of Bellingham and how moving to Ferndale, Washington had turned out to be a good thing for our families. A quick poll revealed that most of us have lived here less than 10 years.
The conversation turned to our kids heading to college and the life-changing transitions about to take place for all of us. One mom turned to look in the direction of a young man who just received a full scholarship to the Air Force Academy. She reminisced over her own son bringing friends over to the house. "They were good boys," she said, "and so much fun to be with!" She quickly added, "Of course, they weren't perfect, but they were good boys."
It just so happened that the young man we were celebrating earned Eagle Scout status in his senior year at Ferndale High School. I was there at the presentation ceremony where words from an oath were recited: do my best . . . do my duty to God and my country . . . help other people at all times. . ." This small town seems to produce some fine young men.
I am thinking of a highly profiled football player from our little town who is now the quarterback for the University of Washington. In high school, Jake Locker led Ferndale to its first state championship. Interestingly, journalists interviewing Locker seem to continually be struck by his character. They see a young man with a lifestyle of leadership, strong family values, and a positive winning attitude.
I am grateful for this glorious spring day and for the fine company with whom I share it. And I'm grateful for my own fifteen-year-old who gives me shoulder rubs, hugs me good-night and who is growing up to be another of the fine young men from Ferndale.