Thursday, July 20, 2017

111 Years

One of the most admirable qualities about Americans is the way they treat the history of their young country. I'm not talking now of the famous historical figures and events about which we all can read in school textbooks, and it isn't only the pride they take in the Declaration of Independence and feeling of good fortune to belong to a powerful nation. I'm talking of the sincere interest in researching and preserving their "small homeland", starting with a family history and continuing with the history of small towns and neighborhoods where they live. They treat their small communities with care and respect, and the people who have built or are building these small communities remain true local heroes. I'm a bit of an outsider here as you know, and I have both the privilege to be a part of it and the privilege to see things a little bit from a distance, being able to compare with what I know about different cultures and countries, mostly of course with my own. Today, I invite you to take another walk in my 'hood, enjoy the laidback atmosphere and learn a bit about 111 years of its life. 

You can often catch me saying that I am from Tacoma. I mostly do it for simplicity. I also sometimes say that I am from Seattle, it depends what "scale" I'm using, local or international; or that I am from Russia when I see that it's not where I live now is a curiosity, but rather my accent. Formally though we live a few miles away from Tacoma in an unincorporated community. We are pretty closely tied to Tacoma - our kids go to the Tacoma Public School District, things like water/electricity come from Tacoma, and if you're going to write me a letter, you can put "Tacoma" on the envelope (though Dash Point works as well). 

Here is a brief summary of the community early history: "The Dash Point Dock on the point was first built in 1907 marking the beginning of residential community life here. The dock provided access to this former Salish Indian gathering spot for commercial steamers and small passenger boats. Soon lost to the elements, a second dock was built farther down the beach, and in 1917, a determined community built a sturdy concrete dock to last! A clubhouse overlooking the beach provided a center for community activities for four generations of Dash Point residents. The Marine View Highway was linked to Tacoma by 1921 and bridged to King County in 1933." More history on this website.

This charming old school building (1924), as well as the historic fishing dock, is another landmark. In recent years, as the population of ours and the two closest neighboring communities grew, there was a middle school and a few elementary schools built (for high school, children are brought to Tacoma). But this little gem, fortunately, was well preserved and protected! It is a home for a co-op preschool now.

We live here for 6 years now, and before that, right after leaving the Midwest, we spent a few years living on the beach, in a tiny old house just east of Dash Point, still very close to this community. We considered relocating, and on a regular basis my family hears from me, "I want to live in ... !" about one or another charming place which are plentiful around Puget Sound ... and yet still, this little place is my American home. I love so many things about it, and I love this feeling of genuine joy and inner peace every time we come back home from our daily activities or trips. That feeling, you absolutely can't fake. It's like love, either you have it or you don't. 

I enjoy taking walks here. It's hilly and quite challenging for us, but we do our best. I love meeting neighborhood cats who always seem to be quite engaged in their own cat's life (and don't we know it from our two sister cats, Persik and Bagirka!). I love checking out what neighbors offer to read - our Little Free Library is always well stocked, and I donated my book ANYA AND HER WINGS for local families to enjoy. I find the eclectic mix of houses most delightful: since the neighborhood was built gradually, over a hundred years, you will not find any uniformity here. Anything from small unassuming homes, suggesting that there were decades apart between new additions to the buildings whenever the owners were able to get finances for it; to big impressive traditional or contemporary homes, and anything in between, but each home is unique.

It might sound strange to you, but this beautiful area with its evergreen forests, hills, mountains and abundance of water reminds me of my original homeland - Siberia. Plus enormous northwestern tress like the one you can see on the photo above, and the beautiful Puget Sound that stole my heart forever. Minus long harsh Siberian winters and short, but surprisingly hot, humid summers. It's always calm and mild here, peaceful and inviting. I don't know what the future brings, but for now, this is my home. 

Photos by me (except the two pictures Justin took of me).

Other posts about my neighborhood:
 my recent Independence Day walk HERE,
Brown's Point Lighthouse Park HERE and HERE

My outfit:
Skirt (previously shown HERE), blouse (recently shown HERE), hat, glasses - 
Lane Bryant, different years
Sandals - Clarks (old) via Nordstrom Rack

Linking with Tina's Pink Friday

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  1. beautiful!
    you really live in a paradise spot on earth! gorgeous landscape, an ocean at the front- and mountains at the backdoor. mild climate, friendly neighborhood and vital cultural life! and super sweet cats :-)
    no reasons to move in my opinion!!
    even the steep hills are good for you - a flat landscape would do not much for the fitness ;-)))
    gorgeous photos - dear justin!!

    1. Thank you, Beate! I thought you'd appreciate. <3

  2. What a wonderful place you live in, Natalia. As pointed out by Beate, it really looks like paradise! How lucky you are. Lovely photographs, and your cats look like sweeties (but are they?). I love their names too! xxx

    1. Thanks, Ann! These aren't our cats - they are from our 'hood. :)

  3. It looks like a terrific place to call home.

  4. This is a beautiful piece of the world, Natalia and you do a lovely job describing it in photos and words. I saw that same moon the other night here in Vancouver! Ah.... summer nights!

    1. Thank you, Karen! I feel so fortunate to live here! Best summers ever - and best winters really, if you know other climates intimately. :) <3

  5. Natalia thank you for this stunning walk to your hometown. You live at a wonderful place with ocean and mountains. ♥️
    You look great in the evening sun, I love this picture.
    Big hug and many kisses, Tina

    1. Thank you, my dearest! This outfit felt rather sweet for my lovely "hometown walk". :) <3

  6. You do live in a wonderful place, the eclectic mix of architecture, the nature and all those pretty felines! No wonder you love it. xxx

  7. such a wonderful place to live, the quiet atmosphere, the landscapes, the nature and the people!. I'm glad that americans really take care of their own heritage, sometimes it saddens me how many 20's buildings or even older are being destroyed in my neck of the woods.

    1. It happens here too, even with earlier buildings, unfortunately! But there are those who care and preserve, and I have a great respect for them! <3