I Miss LaConner
By Fred Owens
I left LaConner nine years ago, at the end of October in 2010. I took my last day working at Hedlin's Farm Stand and packed up my red Toyota for the journey south to California where I have resided ever since. But it just occurred to me that I've been gone for nine years now and I'm never coming back. Back to visit, for sure, to see old friends and walk old paths, but not moving back to the town where I lived for so many years.
I ran for the LaConner Town Council twice and for LaConner Mayor once and did very poorly in the vote, coming in a very distant second all three times. And I lived, I should say we lived, including my two kids, Eugene and Eva, and wife, Susan, in a double-wide mobile home on Maple St. I never liked it -- the mobile home. It was like living in a tin can. But it was affordable and it looked nice -- the yard did, the birch tree, the split cedar railing fence, and the clematis on the front porch. We had pet ducks once, until this very nasty raccoon came one night and killed them both. We had Mike Heaton as a non-paying tenant in the back shop until he used up all the fire wood we had stored back there. I don't know where Mike is these days.
The thing is there comes a heart-break in leaving such a loving little town. I need to let go of a lot of memories, good and bad. I have a pretty good life here in Santa Barbara with Laurie. And the weather is sunny and warm and that improves my attitude. Not like LaConner -- 25 years of rain and clouds and all that time pretending I liked it. I didn't like it, I never got used to it. The problem for me is that I never could love LaConner for the way it is. I loved it for what it used to be, I loved it for what I wanted it to become, but the reality of how it is I never could love -- so I was always trying to fix it. I couldn't fix it. I left nine years ago, and I am letting the memories go. And I just realized that's a good thing to do, because you don't need to clutch your memories or lock them up in a box for safekeeping. You just let them go, and they don't actually go away, they just hover around you like a gentle cloud.