Page 1


life ❉ insight ❉ style ❉ culture ❉ fun ❉ shopping ❉ biz


The essentials of 98277

Cheers! GET in the


gifts you’ll CHERISH

(all local, all around town)

meet Oak Harbor’s

mother ofcharity

November/December 2008


Pg. 4 Ahoy! Welcome Home for the Holidays! Pg. 6 Essentials: Great holiday gift ideas Pg. 12 Q&A: The city’s perennial spirit of giving: Jo Balda Pg. 12 Get in the Spirit: Drinks to keep you warm all season Pg. 14 Deck the Halls: Adventure out to get your greens Pg. 16 Calendar: Plenty to do, even when it’s cold outside Pg. 18 For Give’ness Sake: How to give back this season Pg. 23 Crow’s Nest: Que Shiraz Syrah

23 6 18


hat would Oak Harbor be without the giving spirit of active community volunteers like Jo Balda? Let’s try not to think about it. Lucky for us, Jo isn’t showing any signs of slowing down her enthusiams for volunteerism anytime soon. If you’ve forgotten what the spirit of the holiday season is about or lost track of the textbook definition of model citizen, be sure to turn to page 10 of this edition to read our interview with Balda. She talks candidly about everything from growing up in this ever-changing city to shattering the glass ceiling into a million pieces (long before Hillary). Don’t think that because she’s silver-hairedand sweet we took it easy on her. She’s one tough cookie — read for yourself. 2

November/December 2008

on the cover


November/December 2008



Welcome to the holidays. Is it that time already?

Where in the world has 2008 gone? Time flies when you debut a magazine halfway through the year. But jump-start aside, I’m sure many of you feel the holidays are creeping in closer and that someone, somewhere, is whittling down our 365. This year’s rollercoaster ride of economic ups and downs has no doubt intensified the hurried feeling. Our nation’s financial unsteadiness has forced us all to make hard decisions and return to lessons in frugality, creativity and necessity. We tried to keep this in mind when putting together your holiday edition of OH Magazine. Our “essential” gift suggestions aren’t just to entice you to buy local. Hopefully they’ll get your creative juices flowing to look beyond mainstream gift ideas. Be aware of the resources that exist here versus fueling up to travel elsewhere or ship your dollars to another zip code. When you look local you are more likely to purchase unique, quality items that are memorable and make those dollars spent

worthwhile. In this edition we forgoed our “Drop Anchor” real estate feature and “Catch of the Day” coverage to allow more space to spotlight holiday entertaining, Cynthia Woolbright, OH Magazine Editor decorating for the seaChristmas, circa 1984 son, philanthropic opportunities and reasons to give thanks. We put out the call for readers to submit their holiday traditions and received a tender handful. We are grateful to those who took the time to share their precious memories, and hope their reflections inspire you toward optimism in the new year. Look for those “regulars” to return in 2009, in addition to more insight into the people and things that make this city an essential place to live. Until next edition,

for the

HOME HOLIDAYS Readers share family tales of tradition Submitted by Maribeth Crandell

For generations, my family gathers on Christmas Eve at the old homeplace on a dirt road outside of Zebulon, N.C. The house was built as a two-room log cabin during the Civil War, but each generation helped expand it in all directions since then. A porch became a hallway and bedrooms sprouted off on both sides. The house was a maze of rooms leading to Maribeth Crandell, Enviornmental other rooms. Despite all the new, the Educator for the City of Oak Harbor, original log rooms with the small fire- submitted this picture of her family place and homemade furniture were still homestead in N.C. circa 1920. where everyone preferred to gather. We have a big extended family and it was hard to fit us all in the house for dinner. We lined up and down the hall to get a plate of food and ate at little tables all over the house, each decorated with a sprig of holly and a small candle. For dessert we always had my grandma’s drinking custard and a piece of pound cake. 4

November/December 2008


life ❉ insight ❉ style ❉ culture ❉ fun ❉ shopping ❉ biz

Continue this tradition & more, page 20


Publisher: Marcia Van Dyke Editor: Cynthia Woolbright Production: William Bolles & Connie Ross Art: Teresa Besaw & Susan Hanzelka Contributing writers: Jill Johnson & Bernie Rietz Copy Editing: Jenny Manning Marketing: Robyn Bainbridge & Cindi Peters Special Thanks: City of Oak Harbor, Jo Balda and gracious Oak Harbor merchants.

OH distribution

OH Magazine: The Essentials of 98277, is a bi-monthly community lifestyle magazine produced at the Whidbey News-Times office and published as a product of Sound Publishing, Inc. It is distributed to all Whidbey News-Times subscribers in the 98277 and 98239 area, and is available at select sites around Oak Harbor. For additional copies, visit the Whidbey News-Times office at 800 SE Barrington Dr., Oak Harbor, WA 98277.

OH is all yours OH Magazine is always on the lookout for content ideas and talented freelance writers. To submit a suggestion for edition theme, Crow’s Nest coverage, Bearings & Beacons business, feature story or to be a freelance writer, contact editor Cynthia Woolbright at 675-6611, via email at cwoolbright@whidbeynews, or write 800 SE Barrington Dr., Oak Harbor, WA 98277.

OH! Wait, there’s more ... OH Magazine content and web exclusives can be found in the lifestyles section of the Whidbey News-Times Web site www.whidbey For information about advertising online, call the marketing department at 675-6611.

To the many businesses whose generosity make Oak Harbor a caring & vibrant community, the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce says.......

WHIDBEY ISLAND, WASHINGTON • 360-675-3755 32630 SR 20, Oak Harbor, Washington

OH! WOW! Don’t just make them happy. Make them Oak Harbor happy. This year, find the best holiday gifts in Oak Harbor.

WHIDBEY ISLAND, WASHINGTON • 360-675-3755 32630 SR 20, Oak Harbor, Washington

November/December 2008


OH!OH!OH! Save the gas, even Santa gets his gift ideas here. When in doubt, a gift certificate is just about perfect. Give your loved ones everything from photography time to recreational opportunities. Best of all it’s a gift now that can be enjoyed throughout the year. Other great gift certificate ideas ... • Golf lessons or tee times • Gyms/recreation • Landscapers & garden shops • Photographers • Auto Detail • Classes (art, sport, dance) • Drive-In & Cinema

Get moving and cruise in style thanks to this super comfy, easy-riding eight-speed Haro Heartland Deluxe bicycle, $375 at Bicycles Northwest. If you’re going to put a car near your tree this Christmas, make it a classic. Above, a rare triple black 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster for $49,999 at Frontier Chevrolet.

essentials The 98277 you can’t live without

Pottery vessels, above, by artist Dan Ishler, $40-50. Find them at the Garry Oak Gallery. 6

The Jewelry Gallery is one of only 600 jewelers to carry Hearts on Fire diamonds. “Succession” right-hand ring, below, 1.81 ct. weight for $9,499.

November/December 2008

At right, “Flamenco” blown glass sculpture by Clark Donnell, $240, found at the Garry Oak Gallery. Editor’s Note: Prices, styles and availability at stores listed are subject to change. Check stores for current prices, availability of products featured here, and new items.


in motion






TOP ROW: Pandora charms $25 to $500 at The Jewelry Gallery; Candy priced per pound at Popsies; 2009 Whidbey Island calendar $11, www.lyter

they’ll love

Gift giving doesn’t have to be a big deal. These great stocking stuffers prove that fabulous things are found in stocking-size packages.

BOTTOM ROW: Island County Trails Pocket Guides, available for free; Adorable miniature flashlight $6.50 at Popsies; Pure vegetable soaps $5.50 at Fox Pointe; Small Gardener’s Hand & Foot Cream $6.10 from Lavender Wind; Plush song birds $7.99 at Whidbey Wild Bird; Closet Monster lavender spritzer $9.10 from Lavender Wind; organic whole-bean coffees‚ $1.50 for single-pot packs to $10 one-pound bags from Honeymoon Bay Coffee Roasters.



fa sh i on - foo tw ea r - gifts %08/508/0",)"3#03t .PO4BUt4VO

Casual House Is Proud To Be Your #1 Clothing Store 8

November/December 2008

Cozy up with this ultra-soft organic bamboo cotton throw, $83.95 from Fox Pointe Home. This ebony wood wine rack, also for $83.95, will bring more than just storage space to the recipient. Its versatile, modern design allows it to lay horizontally or vertically.



Give them comedy, drama and musical entertainment with season tickets to the Whidbey Playhouse, $73 for adults and $68 for seniors (60+) or youth (4-17); 679-2237 or

$(PMEJF3Et0BL)BSCPS Home, renters, and boat coverages are written through non-afďŹ liated insurance companies and are secured through Insurance Counselors Inc, the GEICO Property Agency. Some discounts, coverages, payment plans, and features are not available in all states or in all GEICO companies. Š 2007 GEICO. The GEICO gecko image Š GEICO 1999-2007

Above right, be part of the phenomenon and go “Find It� with addictive hours of play for $22.99 at Whidbey Wild Bird.


e grow holiday memories you’ll cherish forever.

Above, be the envy of your friends when you recognize the call of the Yellow-headed blackbird thanks to this Identi-flyer $34.99 at Whidbey Wild Bird. Below, wear your island pride with this alpaca scarf $50 and cap $30 from Island Bliss Alpacas.



Christmas Tree Farm


Santa here on weekends Open 9-7 daily beginning November 28th Directions and Coupon at


Above, make your own warm knits with instructional books $24.95 and $26, and rosewood knitting needles $13.25 all from Oak Harbor Knits. Alpaca yarn from Island Bliss Alpacas $20 includes alpaca profiles. Handcrafted ball winder $20 also at Island Bliss.

2870 Torpedo Road r Oak Harbor r360-240-9461

November/December 2008


Q & A

Community Angel

Jo Balda She lives to serve others; is looking for volunteer recruits


uring this time of year when our thoughts turn toward giving, it is hard to think of anyone who embodies that spirit more than Jo Balda. Voted “Best Community Volunteer,” six out of the eight times the award has been presented, Balda’s name has long been synonymous with generosity and community leadership. Deeply rooted in her faith, she believes in living an honorable life. But don’t get the wrong idea, she’s no bore. Her quick wit is a delight to all those fortunate enough to call her a friend, and luckily for those who know her, including OH Magazine contributor Jill Johnson, her circle of friends is as widespread and embracing as her spirit. A banker by profession, Jo still keeps an office at Oak Harbor’s Key Bank where she actively serves as treasurer for several nonprofit organizations. She also helps balance checkbooks for those who are struggling with failing eyesight or just, quite frankly, don’t want to balance it themselves. You can find her at almost every fundraising event in town, at which she will likely be manning the registration table —


November/December 2008

and why not? After 86 years in Oak Harbor, she not only knows who’s who, she’s known them since before they aspired to be a “who.” Despite a personality that matches her appearance — warm and gracious — she is no pushover. Jo tells it like it is, on everything from the importance of volunteerism, the value of giving and the true meaning of the holidays — all with a little political insight thrown in. The only aspect of this woman readers will be missing is the teasing twinkle in her eye.

{hot seat}

OH: How long have you lived in Oak Harbor? JB: All my life. OH: Where were you born? JB: I was born in my own home; well, I mean my mother and dad’s home. It was right were those condominiums are as you turn down Scenic Heights. OH: What have been some of the biggest changes that you have seen in Oak Harbor? JB: Well, we’ve grown up. There’s been quite a bit of change. OH: How do you feel about that? JB: Oh, I think it’s great. I love it. OH: Really? How come? JB: Because I like to see things grow. OH: You graduated from Oak Harbor High School, what was your graduating class?

JB: 1940. “Life begins at 40.” That was our motto. OH: You have had a pretty modern career path for someone of your generation. JB. Yes. I think you’re right. OH: Have you always worked? JB: I started working after I got out of school. OH: Where are all the different places that you’ve worked? JB: Well if I count all the banks and every time they changed names, let’s see ... I started at Everett Trust and Savings, then that went to Olympic Bank, but that was just a name change. Then First Interstate

Jill Johnson, interview ❉ Cynthia Woolbright, photos

acquired us and then it became Wells Fargo. From Wells Fargo I went to the Bank at Oak Harbor which was Bellingham National Bank and then Puget Sound National Bank, which finally became Key Bank. That’s not too many, I don’t think. OH: You obviously like working. How many times have your retired? JB: Just once OH: Is that true? I think I have been to at least two of your retirement parties. JB: Oh no, you’re getting confused. That first one was just a birthday party (laughs). OH: You’ve been voted the Best Community Volunteer more than any other person in Oak Harbor. Why do you think volunteerism is important? JB: I don’t really consider myself as volunteering; I just get involved in things because it’s something I like. I mean, I’m selfish really, because I just love what I’m doing. So if I’m volunteering at what I love to do, that’s just that much better. OH: What do you give your time to and which organizations do you support? JB: Republicans! And I give to the Christian Reformed Church, World Relief

Committee, United Way, American Cancer Society and I give to just about every organization I belong to. OH: What organizations are those? JB: I’m in Navy League and Republican Women. I’m on the board for New Leaf, Island Thrift, Help House, IDIPIC, and oh, I don’t want to forget anybody. Oh, who else? Do you know any others I am with? OH: Do you volunteer for the Chamber? JB: Yes, I do. OH: You said you volunteered for Republicans before you mentioned anything else. Do you think it’s common to find that combination of Republicanism and the giving nature of volunteerism? JB: No, there are a lot of Republicans out there volunteering. It’s important to give to all the causes you care about, and there are a lot of people out there doing that. Being a Republican doesn’t mean you don’t care. OH: Given your love of politics and community service, why have you not run for public office? JB: Because I can’t stand rejection (laughs). If I lose, it breaks my heart. OH: You wouldn’t lose.

JB: Oh yes I have lost. Several times. OH: I don’t believe you. What have you lost? JB: Chamber of Commerce Board. Nora O’Connell-Balda beat me out. But it was all in the family so I guess I shouldn’t complain (laughing). OH: Let’s talk about some of the past elected officials and business leaders that you have known over the years. Would you like to think back and tell me, “Who’s hot and who’s not?” JB: (laughs) No, not really. OH: I mean let’s go with former Mayor Al Koetje — was he hot or not? JB: Well what is “hot?” OH: I feel like you’re dodging my question. JB: That may very well be. OH: You’re a lifetime Oak Harborite; do you believe there was ever a Dutch Mafia? JB: Oh, they say there has been one. I think it’s not a mafia exactly. It’s just a nice group of people having coffee. OH: Really? Are you a member? JB: I don’t think so. At least they’ve never invited me to any of their meetings. OH: What’s the biggest misconception that people have about you? JB: That I’m prim and stodgy. OH: Really? That surprises me. JB: Well don’t misunderstand, I’m not wild either. OH: Is there anything you would like to say to other generations about the importance of giving and community involvement? JB: I would say my only regret is that I started so late. Start early in your giving. And you know, the kids today are doing that, they are all involved in community service. [When you volunteer] you actually receive more than you give.

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November/December 2008


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Custom Cards & ready Invitations holidays are on their way. Are you for Jingle bells, jingle bells, the

the inevitable list of seasonal parties to host and attend? You don’t have to possess superpowers to withstand the energy draining kryptonite the holiday rigmarole holds. Just keep a few supplies stocked to be ready for whenever guests stop by, or you’re invite to contribute to a gathering. After all, even Wonder Woman has a few good recipes up her sleeve.

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November/December 2008

Bring warm nights to your holidays with this pomegrante margarita from the folks at El Cazador.

Establishment: El Cazador Gifts

Coconut Ginger Flirt

Bartender/Creator: Paco Rodriguez and Jose Rodriguez In a shaker combine: • 1 1/2 oz. of Patron Silver • 1/2 oz. Patron Citronge Liqueur • 3 oz. sour mix • Pomegranate syrup to taste (about 1/2 oz.) Add ice and shake well until combined. Pour into salt-rimmed glass. Insider tip: Just because it’s a mixed drink doesn’t mean you should scrimp on quality, Jose Rodriguez said. Keep your liquors top shelf if you want your holiday cocktails to taste rich and smooth versus tolerable. Taster Comments: “This would really warm you up on a cold night.” “Light and punchy. Great flavor combo with the pomegranate and Patron.” Pairs well with: Spicy, hearty dishes like El Cazador’s Carne Asada. Other Signatures: Margaritas, of course, and an extensive martini menu.


Establishment: Imperial at Kasteel Bartender/Creator: Jamie Robinson In a shaker combine: • 1 shot white rum • Pinch of minced ginger • 2 oz. of coconut milk Shake until blended & frothy. Pour into a glass rimmed with a mix of ginger, cinnamon and sugar. Top with whipped cream, candied ginger pieces and a sprig of mint. Insider Tip: Make your Flirt a little more shy by mixing it without the rum. Makes a nice non-alcoholic option. Buena’s Taster Comments: “It’s refreshing and looks 749 SE Noche Pioneer Way salt rim gives it good too.” “Reminds me of sugar cookies a snow-capped, with a hint of citrus.” layered look until Pairs well with: Light, spicy dishes. it is stirred to a Other Signatures: Imperial’s sparkling festive red hue. pomegranate martini.


good tastes s’oh


Bayside Holly Jolly Establishment: Bayside Lounge and Casino Bartender/Creator: Lance Koehler & Amy Hoopingarner In a shaker combine: • 1 oz. Goldschlager Liqueur • 1/2 oz. Godiva original Liqueur • 1/2 oz. Butter Shots • 1/2 oz. cream Pour into sugar-rimmed glass. Top with whipped cream and cinnamon. Insider Tip: Skip the fire! While the Bayside staff showed flair firing up their glass to toast the sugar rim, they don’t recommend doing so at home. Taster Comments: “Wow. Reminds me of crème brûlée with a cinnamon kick.” “There’s an egg nog look to it. Really festive and frosty.” Pairs well with: Dessert. This drink could be a dessert in and of itself. Other Signatures: Watermelon Lemon Drop Martini Bayside Lounge and Casino regularly features creative sips like their OH featured Holly Jolly below.

Mistletoe Magic Establishment: Honeymoon Bay Coffee Roasters (1100 SW Bowmer) Barista/Creator: Owners Mike and Katie Donohoe & Katie LiCastro • Double shot of Holiday Blend espresso • white chocolate sauce • frothed milk • topped with whipped cream, a unique cranberry-raspberry sauce and local honey.

Cinnabean Dream • Double shot of Holiday Blend espresso • steamed eggnog • whipped cream topped with a freshly ground cinnamon sauce. Insider Tip: Whether you head over to Honeymoon Bay Coffee Roasters and have them whip you up one of the tasty holiday drinks above, or you grab the Holiday Blend and create one at home, Donohoe said to keep a few things in mind: Keep it quality. High quality beans make high quality coffee. Keep it Fresh. Buy the freshest roasted coffee and wait 24 hours to brew. During this period the coffee is releasing large quantities of gas, which makes weak coffee. Keep it Safe. Store fresh roasted coffee in an airtight container located in a cool, dry place. Keep it Cool. Brewed coffee can sit on heat for no longer than 20 minutes before losing flavor. Keep it Clean. A quality cup of coffee relies on how it’s treated seed to cup. Don’t waste the coffee growers’ and roasters’ efforts by brewing in dirty equipment.

in oak harbor Imperial at Kasteel

33505 SR 20 279-8899 Asian Limited Delivery • Banquet • VIP Program

Imperial at Kasteel serves guests with a spectacular dining experience. Imperial was voted Best Asian Restaurant and nominated for Best Customer Service from the community of Oak Harbor. Guests can be lavished with delicious Chinese food in comfort, and quality service of the beautiful restaurant, take-out, or delivery.

Imperial’s Famous Walnut Prawns • 1 doz. fresh prawns (peeled & deveined) • 1/4 tsp baking soda • 1 tsp salt • 1 tsp cornstarch • Vegetable oil • 1 egg white • 1 oz. sweetened condensed milk • 3 oz. mayonnaise

• 1 squeeze fresh lemon juice • Thinly sliced orange halves • Honey-sweetened sesame walnuts

• Place prawns in a bowl. Add enough water to cover. Add baking soda, salt and cornstarch, then toss. Marinate for 1.5 hours in refrigerator. • Remove bowl, place under fresh water faucet. Let water run and circulate for up to an hour. Remove prawns and pat dry. • Coat each prawn with egg whites. Then dust with cornstarch. • For the sauce, mix together in a bowl the sweetened condensed milk, mayonnaise and one squeeze of lemon juice. Set aside. • Heat pan with vegetable oil to 350 degrees. Use enough oil to fully cover the prawns. Fry for 2.5 minutes. Be sure they are fully cooked through but not overdone. You want them to be light, fluffy and crispy in texture. • Toss cooked prawns in sauce until covered. You don’t have to use all the sauce. Serve surrounded by thinly sliced orange halves. Sprinkle walnuts on top. Enjoy! November/December 2008


deck your


Bernie Rietz & Cynthia Woolbright, story


he scent can be intoxicating. The sight can brighten a room. And if you go and hunt down those holiday greens yourself — the memories can last a lifetime. Lucky for anyone wanting to search for the grand icon of the holidays or bring the glow of holly indoors, the Oak Harbor area boasts a number of family-run tree and holly farms. At many, a visit means much more than just a family trek to search out and cut down the perfect tree. “We have great live trees but it’s really

more about the experience,” Dave Grace said. Visit a local farm this holiday season and enjoy a cup of hot cider, browse homemade wares and take in the sound of holiday music as you walk around. “People are happy when they come here,” said Teddie Grace of her Woodbee Tree Farm off Torpedo Road. “They just know that they can sit around a fire and sip on hot cider, and even bring their own marshmallows to roast.” At Woodbee, tykes can pet the Grace’s

own “reindeer,” Randolf, or listen to what Douglas the talking fir has to say. For these tree and holly farm owners, Christmas doesn’t just come once a year, it’s part of daily life. “You have to really love holly to live here,” Wendy Rawls jokes of her “A Knot in Thyme” farm off DeGreaff Road. Rob Henderson’s family has been harvesting holly at its Troxell Road farm since 1952. Using premium holly from their orchard, they create hand-made wreaths, holly spray swag and more. The Grace’s took over

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November/December 2008

Tiny visitors to the Woodbee Tree Farm gather around Randolf, the farm’s fun-loving “reindeer.�

Woodbee Tree Farm in 2005 but continue to work closely with the previous owners, the Jagers. Jack and Wendy Rawls and their family of eight kids tend to the holly and lavender at A Knot in Thyme, a sevenacre property that previously belonged to the Henderson

family. “Our wreaths are gorgeous and we let the customers choose which bow they want to adorn it,� Wendy Rawls said of the wreaths she and her children make. Visitors to A Knot in Thyme can take a tour of the property as black Percheron mares pull them on a guided wagon tour. Although they’ll make it seem effortless, all of this Christmas tree and holly growing is not an easy task. When it comes to preparing for the Christmas season at Woodbee Tree Farm, it starts around January when the first of the seedlings are planted. Around October is when shearing begins on the trees and they are transformed from their wild state to perfectly shaped Christmas trees. Many of the local farms open right after Thanksgiving and stay open all the way up to Christmas Eve.

Keep it fresh • Put freshly cut trees in water within 2-3 hours. • Place tree in a stand that can hold at least 1 gallon of water. Check your tree daily to make sure the base of the tree is under water. • Keep trees away from heat sources such as vents

A Knot in Thyme owners Wendy, center right, and Jack Rawls and their eight children, including Linnea and Isaiah, pictured, welcome visitors to their holly farm this season.

to prevent them from drying out. • Refresh a tree by making a straight cut, taking one inch off the base. Cutting a refresh cookie off the tree base is important only when trees have been cut for more than 4 hours.


Fox Pointe Home Home Accessories, Furniture, & Gifts 4&1JPOFFS8BZt%PXOUPXO0BL)BSCPS tXXXGPYQPJOUFIPNFDPN Monday-Saturday 10-5 & Sunday 12-4 November/December 2008








saturday Bazaars at First Reformed, St. Augustines & Regency on Whidbey


Turn on the lights earlier, Daylight Savings Time ends today.


9 Leave the car at home & bike to your errands today.


Monday Teen Mixer 3 p.m. at the Oak Harbor Library



Monday Mixer Teen Program 3 p.m. at library



Veterans Day

23 30


OHPD Community Advisory Board, 4:15 to 5:15 p.m.

Ask the kids how school is going & offer to help with homework.


19 35 days until the end of 2009!


Oak Harbor Chamber Members’ Expo 4:30 to 8 at Elks.

Star Party, begins at dark at Fort Nugent Park

OH Library Book Group, 5:30 p.m.

“Peter Pan� Nov. 7- Dec. 6 at Whidbey playhouse




Sustainable Living seminar at 6 p.m. Nov. 25 at OH Library

Make time to read a book.

Toys for Tots “WWII U.S.O. Canteen� benefit Nov. 6 at Hallmark.



13 Chamber Luncheon 11:30 a.m. at Whidbey Golf & Country Club


Community Harvest Thanksgiving Dinner 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Elks Lodge



8 Healthy Youth Fair 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Oak Harbor library


14 21 28

Due Vetro Studio 2nd’s Sale 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Squirt Gun Adventure! 5:30 at John Venderzicht Pool


November 2008 events â?‰ happenings â?‰ life â?‰ festivals â?‰ much-a-do

Come in out of the cold ...

Cozy up to Cottage Living Experience retirement dreams come true. You’re always welcome to stop in. 48,JNCBMM%St


VFW Auxiliary auction at 6 p.m.

November/December 2008








December 2008 Have you finished all your holiday shopping?


1 Remember Pearl Harbor Today


14 First Day of Winter


Whidbey Dragon Boat Club Salmon Derby 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Oak Harbor Marina



Hanukkah begins




First day of winter break for OHSD

Oak Harbor Yacht Club Lighted Boat Parade



OH Library Book Group, 5:30 p.m. at Library

Whidbey Camera Club, 6:30 p.m. SVC Oak Hall.


Navy Band free concert 7 p.m. at OHHS


Disabled Veterans meet 7 p.m. SVC Oak Hall

17 Christmas Eve



11 December Chamber Luncheon 11:30 a.m. at Elk’s


Merry Christmas!


12 Be nice to someone. ‘Tis the season.



“Dear Santa� Dec. 11-21 at Whidbey Playhouse


Santa’s Swim Spectacular 5:30 p.m. at John Vanderzicht Pool


Kwanzaa Begins



New Year’s Eve





events â?‰ happenings â?‰ life â?‰ festivals â?‰ gatherings â?‰ much-a-do â?‰ fun LOOKING FOR DIRECTION IN THIS VOLATILE MARKET?


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Financial Advisor 795 NE Midway Blvd., Suite 101, Oak Harbor, WA 98277



Why are you giving thanks this season? “Thank heavens that heroes throughout the ages have guaranteed America’s freedoms with their blood so that we can have a spirited national political debate about the future of our nation that doesn’t involve violence, but, instead, will involve a peaceful turn over to the next President afCapt. Gerral David Commanding Officer, ter the nation speaks NAS Whidbey through their votes.” (wife Anne also pictured) “I am thankful to our community for the way it supports our kids, our sailors, and its permanent residents. It is a beautiful island with good people that understand how to reach out to others in good times and hard. It is a wonderful place to Dwight Lundstrom Principal, raise a family.” Oak Harbor High School “Because the family is ever-growing, we use the entire season to get together with each other. We include our friends because they are so much a part of the fabric of our family. We give thanks for our successes, celebrate our differences and join in fellowship with our friends in praise to Jim Slowik Mayor, our Holy Father.” City of Oak Harbor

Helen Chatfield Weeks Oak Harbor resident/ city booster since 1969


“I’m thankful that the city is open to new plans and is working to preserve the history of Oak Harbor.”

November/December 2008




Add these organizations to your giving list this holiday season Help House With a lean stockroom less than a month before Thanksgiving, the holidays are looking bleak for families depending on Help House, the food bank that serves Whidbey Island from Deception Pass to Bakken Road in Greenbank. “This is really scary,” said Jean Wieman, executive director. To make a donation of time or money, contact Help House at: 1091 SE Hathaway St., Oak Harbor, WA 98277. Call 675-0681, or email

Red Cross

American Red Cross Island County Chapter, now housed on Dock Street, touches the lives of thousands of county residents each year through its programs and services. Red Cross volunteers are on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to respond to emergencies throughout Island County. Donate time as a volunteer, used or unwanted cell phones or funding to support its many programs. Call 360-675-2912, or 1-888216-5727, or email arc@islandred


Big Brothers Big Sisters of Island County matches children with caring volunteers. Children gain new experiences while having fun. The agency is always seeking more help. Contact them at 913 E. Whidbey Ave., Oak Harbor, WA, 98277. Call 279-0644, or visit


Citizens Against Domestic and Sexual Abuse is Island County’s domestic violence and sexual assault agency. It provides free, confidential assistance for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, rape, child sexual abuse and sexual harassment. Contact CADA at P.O Box 190, Oak Harbor, WA 98277. Call 675-7057, or visit

Boys & Girls Club

Boys and Girls Club of Oak Harbor works to inspire and enable all young people, espeically those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. They do so through after-school activities and programs such as tutoring and mentorships. Contact them at PO BOX 2577, Oak Harbor, WA, 98277. Call 240-9273, or visit www.

United Way

United Way of Island County is an organization that brings volunteers, individuals and companies together throughout Island County to mobilize community resources to measurably improve people’s lives. Contact them at P.O. Box 798, Oak Harbor, WA 98277. Call 675-1778, or visit www.

s’oh many more Many local support agencies in addition to those above will be in need this holiday season. Donations in someone’s name make a great guilt-free gift idea for everyone.






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for the

HOME HOLIDAYS Submitted by Tina Eastman

I have two daughters and a son — all now grown. Like me, they have variously been married, had children, been divorced, and seen much of the stresses and joys of modern life. Our family now is a diverse bunch, as different in our beliefs as we are in our ethnicities. There are a lot of us, and in our noisy melee, particularly at the holidays, our traditions have become as diverse as our faces. I like to think our family is a beautiful reflection of what America is today. Lately, though, I find myself tilting back to the past, examining traditions and searching for those I want to hold on to, and pass on. For example, at Christmas I usually bake cookies. Each morning of Christmas week, I bake one type of cookie: Monday is for my aunt’s sugar cookies with red and green sprinkles in the shapes of angels, Santas, bells and stars; on Tuesday it’s my mother’s butter balls rolled in confectioner’s sugar; seven-layer bars on Wednesday; buttery sandies in chocolate and vanilla or maybe plain ol’ Toll House on Thursday; and finally, on the last day, my

grandmother’s recipe for biscotti. I have done this every year since I was 20. I measure, sift, blend, stir, separate eggs, and add vanilla; press into shapes on a floured board, roll into doughy balls between my palms. Bake at 350 degrees and let cool. I observe these rites not so much for love of cookie, but for love of the women in my family — my mother and grandmothers, aunts and great-aunts. As I render their traditional recipes in my kitchen, my emotions begin to take shape like the cookies. I feel my roots grounded in these diverse women, the keepers of traditions, as I imagine them in their own kitchens, and the true spirit of Christmas quickens in my heart. I wish my daughters baked. But mostly I wish I didn’t have to hold up my end any more. Forty years of making the family cookies is enough, don’t you think? My daughters and their friends don’t bake cookies. They buy them in large tins from the grocery store. I hope that the spirit of Christmas isn’t lost when no one bakes cookies anymore and everyone buys them ready-made.

• continued from page 4 •

With this many people crammed into these small spaces, the presents were also kept to a minimum. My great-grandfather’s roll top desk was used to display small unwrapped gifts that we could chose from. There were jars of homemade jam, shiney beaded necklaces, patchwork potholders and used books. A bare branch was set at the top of the desk where more gifts were hung. We called it the giving tree. For me, the best part of the holiday was spending this evening in the homeplace filled with cousins, aunts and uncles, the smell of turkey and taste of custard, with our faces glowing by firelight.


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November/December 2008



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PHIL Protecting Resources BAKKE and Property Rights Holding Down Taxes


Safer Neighborhoods Experience & Knowledge Working for You Island County Commissioner Masters of Public Administration, UW BA Economics and Planning, WWU 12 years Planning/Community Development Director Local resident — So. Whidbey High grad

n i a t e R




November/December 2008

Que Shiraz, Syrah Night of Wine, Art & Ale Oct. 16 at the Oak Harbor Yacht Club


Crow’s Nest AT LEFT: Ta-Da! The smiling foursome, from left, Barb Jacobs, Geri Morgan, Maria Litrenta and Marta Page show it’s always fun when Oak Harbor’s Soroptimist members get together.

oroptimist International of Oak Harbor members and guests enjoyed a well-deserved night of mingling, art and wine appreciation Oct. 16. At the Oak Harbor Chamber luncheon earlier that day, a sizable entourage of Soroptimists attended to update the community on the success of the Digital Mammography Campaign that launched last fall and reached its $200,000 goal in recent weeks. “We are close enough that we have ordered the machine and it’s on its way,” Tamara Sipes, president of Soroptimist International of Oak Harbor said. “Appointments to use the new machine are already being scheduled for November.” The evening’s fifth annual “Que Shiraz, Syrah” featured a live auction of donated pieces by seven island artists. Guests enjoyed Washington wines from Saars Marketplace and autumnal ales from Whidbey Beer Works. Michelle Beck and Jennifer Schroeder, pictured at right, were among the crowd attending. Last year’s “Syrah” brought $3000 to the chapter’s general fund for community betterment projects.



AT RIGHT: Soroptimists Arliene Kennedy and Betsy Eidsmoe admire a watercolor of a fall scene by artist Mary Gaines.

Moms Daughters Aunts Grandmas Happy Holidays!

715 SE Fidalgo Ave t Suite 202 Oak Harbor õ 360-679-9227

ABOVE: Fiber artist Carys Hamer and her husband, Eric, were all smiles. AT RIGHT: This sea-inspired pottery piece by Lyla Lillis was among the art on display by Whidbey artists.

AT LEFT: Earlier in the day, Chris Grovdahl was announced as the winner of a .48 carat diamond from the Jewelry Gallery. The raffle benefitted the Soroptimists’ Digital Mammography campaign.

November/December 2008


OH Magazine | November/December 2008  
OH Magazine | November/December 2008  

Community Lifestyles Magazine for Oak Harbor, WA, that features the essentials of fashion, life, insight, culture, style, fun, shopping and...