Walking to the little store with coins tightly clutched in his hand, he smiled with anticipation. Just past the mercantile, he could see the beach and the water below his favorite dock glistened in the sunshine. But his mind wasn’t on the beauty around him, he was already tasting the licorice sticks, waxed lips and maybe animal crackers melting in his mouth. Those were the days of penny candy and the choices were endless.
Visiting his grandparents in that little town of Indianola, WA is a favorite memory of my husband. It’s rare in life to find places that stay the same, but this little town has come close. The general store still holds the magic with its uneven wood plank floors, although the penny candy section has long since been replaced with a deli counter. That rocky beach where he and his sisters spent endless hours playing is still a favorite with local families.
Yesterday, a friend and I caught the Edmonds/Kingston ferry driving from Bellingham to Indianola. We parked across the road from where grandma’s house used to be, and I paused to take in the beauty of that long dock with the beach below… so many memories in this little historic seaside town.
But we didn’t have time to beach walk, we were on a mission to find the “luminary lady.” Fourteen years ago, at Christmas, my sister-in-law gave me the most beautiful present. It was a handcrafted luminary that has graced my fall table every year since. Using bright orange maple leaves, homemade paper and wax, it stood tall on branches gathered from the local woods.
When you light the candle inside, it spreads a warm glow illuminating the leaves and colored paper. It is simply one of my favorite gifts that I’ve ever received.
So, when, two years later, we opened Northwest Sleep Solutions, carrying a line of luminaries seemed the perfect choice. Candles, relaxation, and nature just go together, and I’d never seen anything like this sold locally. The rest is history, Corena Chamberlain’s talent carries on, lighting so many Bellingham homes with these beautifully handcrafted designs.
Yesterday, I was anxious to see what she had waiting for us and we were not disappointed. Clutching the creations, we brought home a lovely assortment of designs crafted with leaves, hydrangea blossoms and ferns. I love that she still makes each luminary herself and that she has been able to support herself doing what she loves.
Inspired by a dream, she’d always loved creating art and she began making luminary paper craft years ago. I remember when we first met, how she’d shared that people had told her that she couldn’t possibly support herself making art, but how determined she’d been not to give up. We are so grateful that she didn’t and love supporting her small local business.
Today, as I display these lovely handcrafts in our store, I smile, thinking back on years of friendship with this artist. The fact that the twigs supporting these popular luminaries were gathered in the same woods and beach, that Scott played in as a child, and came from the same lovely little beach town that his grandparents lived the last years of their lives makes them even more special to me.
Yesterday was a trip down memory lane, about the things in life that are important. Nature, family, memories, hardworking families, perseverance and creating art.It was a good-day, I thought, as my friend and I drove onto the Washington State ferry named the Walla Walla.
The sun had set, the car was crowded with luminaries and our tummies were full from the lovely dinner we’d had in Port Gamble (another of my favorite places).
how grateful I was,
for the day,
and how, when I got home, I needed to find my Thanksgiving decorations box, to get out my fourteen-year-old maple leaf luminary. It was time.
Sleep well friends,
“A well spent day brings happy sleep.”
— Leonardo da Vinci