Someone asked me the other day why I like living here so much. I told them it’s just everything… the people, the views, getting snow when Seattle gets rain. I pondered this question as I drove this week.
I drive A LOT without even commuting to a paying office job. My car sometimes feels like a job as I transport 4 children everywhere. I had negative feelings about all the driving as the school year started. Seeing that multiple trips between home and schools 5 – 10 miles away was my new reality, I decided to be more positive about it. Challenged myself to look at it differently to avoid feeling negative.
I decided to look at driving as an opportunity. On weekdays I drive off the Ridge and through downtown Snoqualmie 8 – 10 times each day. I also drive through downtown North Bend 4 times per day. All this to transport my kids to middle school in Snoqualmie and then to elementary school in North Bend. We don’t have bus service – price you pay for intra-district transfers and a child with touch sensitive, severe allergies.
I now notice new things while driving. My favorite is the sunrise over Mt. Si on the morning middle school run. The morning light starts right between the hill peaks, behind Mt. Si. Sometimes the sky is beautifully pink. By the time I do the North Bend Elementary drop off the sun is shining over Mt. Si. Mt. Si is beautiful from Snoqualmie, but once in North Bend I can actually see the trees on its hillside – a new perspective on something I see each day.
For two months I’ve followed construction progress in downtown Snoqualmie and North Bend. Both cities are investing in their downtown cores – sprucing them up. I am a renovation geek and can’t wait until the work is done – and not because I am sick of the traffic delays. I have a front row seat to my own reality renovation show. It could be a new HGTV show – Curb Appeal, The City. I can’t wait to see the end results.
Most importantly my driving allows me more time with my kids – something my husband wishes for while working long hours. My kids have smiles and stories right when the car door opens. Some days there’s more arguing then story telling, but that’s life with 4 kids. Sometimes the 15 yr old takes the bus home. She started to treat me like her hired chauffeur last year so I started the “then take the bus rule.” Now when I do pick her up she’s more appreciative. The 8 yr old started a new school this year and I think waiting outside school for her each day reassures her. Plus she still runs and jumps in my arms which warms my heart each day.
It takes more than one city to create our valley. I have met so many new people this fall who helped me see this. A parent on my soccer team asked me why Chief Kanim MS and Twin Falls MS are considered our home soccer fields. I said because we are a Snoqualmie Valley soccer team. We have players from Fall City, Snoqualmie and North Bend.
Driving… who would’ve known it could make me feel so much wiser? Only when realized my driving A LOT reality wasn’t going to change could I attempt to make something more of it.