By Sarah Schrock
Rain, rain, go away, come again another day. I don’t own rain boots but this year I have been thinking about investing in some kind of duck shoes for walking through town in the slush and puddles. The upshot of all this rainy mix — commuting has been a breeze.
That’s right, my big reveal (I mentioned changes in my “year in review” column): I am now commuting a couple of days a week to Chelan for work. Work, outside the valley — I have avoided it for a long time but the opportunity to get back to a professional wage, use my education and experience, and use my adult-centered brainwaves was needed.
Using brainwaves beyond those involved in juggling routines of child lunches, practice schedules and dinner prep is upon me. Add work on top of that and it just gets more complicated, as other working moms and dads rightfully know. As the saying goes, it takes a village. Thankfully, since we sort of live in one, many friends and neighbors have stepped in to help carry the extra load. I won’t bore with you details of my new job, you can ask me if you see me.
I have joined the ranks of many fine fellow valley friends who wake in the wee hours and hit the road to gainful employment. As I anguished over and contemplated the prospect of a commute, it created a commute dispute in my family. I started doing a mental tally of all the people I knew who were doing a similar commute to work. Even within the valley, long distances are traveled — Carlton to Mazama, for instance. Despite the live/work concept that the digital age professed, there’s quite a few people who physically need to be at their place of work.
Chelan alone hosts about a dozen people who hail from the valley in areas of service, small business and medical fields. Then, at the hospitals and clinics in Omak, Brewster, and Pateros there’s another dozen of us. There are also a few doctors and medical professionals who commute to Wenatchee weekly.
Employers in the Okanogan Valley such as the community college in Omak, the courthouse, county offices, PUD and schools in Okanogan employ many valley residents. Small business owners and employees who provide services or sales through the region are on the roads constantly. And even many digital-age workers regularly travel for meetings in Seattle and beyond.
So, the go-local concept just got a little bigger in my dashboard view, as regional towns host settings for work and play.
The Conconully Outhouse races two weeks ago hosted a venue for a good showing of valley folks. As I scrolled through photos online, I kept seeing masks and items from our basement costume bin — what a surprise, since we weren’t even there. But like I said, it takes a village. I am happy our costume bin got raided by the Chocolate Cheetah team prior to the event.
What about the Twisp column, you ask? For now, I will continue to write this column each week, as I am fervently committed to Twisp. But I will need to up my intel gathering with more spying ears and eyes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, when I am over the ridge in the bustling little hamlet on the lake. When something interesting, quirky or out-of-the-ordinary that’s non-newsworthy happens — tell me! If it’s newsworthy — tell the reporters, that’s their job.