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A Simpler Life

June 13, 2014

By Ross Stevenson:

Ross3 300x200Springtime always reminds why I moved to Waitsburg, WA. My, now, husband (thank you Washington State!) and I arrived in this tiny town of 1,200 people in the wintephoto credit: Jaime Chalkr of 2000, having escaped the perpetual concrete gray of Seattle and the plethora of spoiled twenty-something Microsoft millionaires for something simpler. We traded a row home next to Judkins Park for a river in our backyard, a very self-sufficient cat for two lovable dogs, and a pretty good gig as a waiter in a restaurant of my own. None of these things could be attained simply, especially in the Big City, but here in Waitsburg it was possible.

Ross4 300x200Ross2 w text 200x300Right now, I’m preparing a “simple dinner.” It’s 8 o’clock and I’m just lighting the charcoal, but I’m not worried because twilight is still an hour off. The local abundance is evident: Fresh Locati Farm Asparagus; Walla Walla Sweet Salad Onions; Blue Mountain Morels, picked just the other day and bestowed upon us by a good friend; fresh salad greens to go with the chevre from the Monteillet Fromagerie. It’s been a long winter, they always are, but now I’ve forgotten it as I stand in shorts and flip-flops adding the chicken to the grill. I close my eyes and smile, memories of 13 years of Waitsburg spring times flashing randomly on my eyelids. The scent of lilac is strong and the breeze tells me the fields haven’t lost that otherworldly green. People always ask, “Why Waitsburg?” It’s moments like these that I know why.

Whoopemup 200x300In fact, it’s difficult to even imagine going back to Seattle or any other big city now. The joy of open spaces and neighborly, small-town, good morning-nods can’t be diminished by offers of urban anonymity and urbane culture. The people I’ve encountered since arriving here run the gambit from wealthy farmers to those just getting by. Many I consider friends because they’ve shown true interest in me and what I’m doing, not just what I have. The grace of social interaction is not lost on any of them. They all understand our interconnectedness and appreciate that kindness shown will be met with kindness generously given. Sure I’ve learned that no good deed goes unpunished and that tall fences make good neighbors, but I’m happy just where I am. It’s as simple as that.

Ross Stevenson
Whoopemup Hollow Café
120 Main St
Waitsburg, WA
509-337-9000
Wed,Thur,Fri-5ish til Close
Sat & Sun-3ish til close
Lunch-Saturday only-11:30-2
https://www.whoopemuphollowcafe.com/