My husband and I relocated to Enumclaw from Maine last November to be near our son and his young family; my wonderful daughter-in-law is from the area. We are of an age where the ‘kids’ think we should be close by, and though the move was a monumental effort for us elders, we are glad to be near family, and delighted with our new town! In Maine ice and snow underfoot made walking out of the question in winter, but here we can walk downtown every day to buy a newspaper! We have been enjoying the Courier-Herald each week when it arrives in our driveway.
“Wally’s World” is always engaging, and this week I want to reinforce the point of his last column by reporting how friendly and welcoming we have found Enumclaw! Every day when we stroll down the well groomed sidewalks to the post office where there is a newspaper coin box, people smile and say good morning. We often chat with folks waiting at the bus stop, and walkers from other parts of town. We had to spend some time at the Guest House motel while our little house was undergoing some repairs before we moved in, and the management there was accommodating and welcoming, even putting the World Series on the lounge TV for my husband (I won’t mention his team, suffice it to say he found himself alone in the lounge). The library personnel gave me a temporary card before I had proper proof of residence and the aquatic center also provided me with a card right away. The folks at the Chamber of Commerce were good resources for us. My husband is an artist, and Arts Alive accepted him into their gallery.
In January I felt settled enough to dig out my flute and try sitting in with the Concert Band in town, and even though there are eleven flutes, conductor Jack Prindle invited me in – what a treat to play with that talented group of musicians! Our neighborhood is comprised of people of all ages and life styles, old and young, of various cultures and persuasions including LGBTQ, people who walk, drive old cars and fancy SUVs, loud trucks and motorcycles, ride bikes, skateboards, scooters and ATVs…a healthy mix of fellow human beings living their lives, respecting each other.
All our immediate neighbors are lovely people who accepted us right away and have made us feel comfortable in our new home. Our new doctor’s (my husband is a vet, the VA clinic in Federal Way was completely accommodating) and DDS offices, store clerks (the folks at the Verizon store have gone above and beyond for this non-techy old lady!) and police (being home most of the day I keep eyes on my neighborhood and called them once – they responded immediately – part of my covenant with my new neighbors), have been kind and helpful. I didn’t know Enumclaw when it was a small town, but I can say with enthusiasm my husband and I are happy to join you and look forward to spending the rest of our lives here.
Amelia Jenkins and Bertil Whyman