Letters to the Editor

Leaving Bainbridge after 31 years | Letters | May 15

The cherry trees at the head of our former driveway on Old Mill Road are in their first full bloom and the apple trees are in full glory. The wisteria over the deck has just a hint of her beauty and the vegetables are poking green inquiries up to search for the occasional sun while the slugs line up for a snack.

We lived here for almost 31 years and we leave with regret for not only the natural beauties but also for our friends and neighbors and the love we have found here – all that makes Bainbridge Island wonderful.

Our backyard is silent, holding only the memories of the fragile Island Wildlife Shelter we operated before it became the efficient West Sound Wildlife Shelter.

We made it across the Hood Canal Bridge with minutes to spare before the closure. We are in a new county and country close to a Hood Canal beach, the bridge and Port Ludlow – with our belongings packed high and our hopes even higher.

Bainbridge, of course, is much more than the natural beauties. We would like to thank, among others, the folks at the Bainbridge Island Post Office who gave us magnificent service; the clerks who became friends at Vern’s and Town & Country; the delightful people at Eagle Harbor Book Co.; and more than anyone else, the hundreds of generous volunteers who have made and make the wildlife shelter work.

Among the medical people (human and animal) we have known, there are many we will miss. But will there be an ambulance driver (west of the bridge) who will stop on his way to take Jan to the ferry, cross to the corner where her friends are standing a regular vigil and leave a message with them for Gil to go home and lock up the chickens before coming to get her at Virginia Mason Emergency? Or is that too perfectly a Bainbridge story?

We did vote before we left – for the school bond and the council-manager form of government – because we are still paying taxes.

We will be back to visit, particularly if the bridge is ever reopened or if we become strong swimmers.

We cannot leave behind all our friends and all who have been so helpful, some in a literal sense as lifesavers both for the Baileys and for the wild creatures of the island and western Puget Sound.

As Sancho Panza put it, “On to more misadventures!”

Gil and Jan Bailey

Port Ludlow

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