Shaw Island, Population 235

Shaw Island is pure, Northwestern paradise.
Back when three Franciscan nuns ran the island’s only store and ferry dock, I nearly had an elementary job at the island’s one-room schoolhouse.
I ended up taking a job at a neighboring island. Well, a ‘pretend’ island really. Whidby has a bridge; it’s easy to escape. There, we bought a charming Victorian house, birthed one babe, then another all while wondering what might have been on peacefully-perfect Shaw.
Eight years later, I spy Shaw daily out our kitchen window. And once a summer Indian Cove’s beach feels a shift from our giggles, sandcastles and s’mores. Oh, yes, lots of sandy toes with nineteen adults and twenty-three children in our camping party. Pure joy.
13 Reasons to Love Shaw

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1. Our campsite has the best zip-open expansive view:
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Last summer, steeped in play’s research, I fell in love with June Burn and the many books her name lead me to. Living High became a bible for me and a constant reminder for the sense of adventure I want my children to experience. Maybe our third will write or adventure like her; June is Olive’s middle name. Andrew Henry’s Meadow, by Doris Burn, has my girls dreaming of a secret world where everything is possible each evening it becomes a bedtime story. Maybe that world looks just like Shaw.
2. Truths are spoken when we spend all day by the sea.
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Yes, we can spend all day by the sea to build a raft and ride on it.

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And, yes, we can spend all day by the sea to fly a kite and play games.

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And, yes, we can spend all day by the sea to make a sandcastle with a gigantic, humongous moat.

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And, yes, we can spend all day by the sea to swim like whales.

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3. We will celebrate the distance traveled in tide.
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4. In memory, mornings in the woods always smell like bacon and coffee.
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Our girls start sweet and slow in the tent and pick up right where they left off in last night’s campfire story.
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5. Mothers of girls get to watch gaggles of boys. I loved witnessing their play, listening to what made them laugh out loud.
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6. By the sea, it is always a good, good thing when friends hold onto the babes of friends.
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7. On Shaw, we’ll take our time and our picture.
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8. We learn solar showers and picnic table-top tubs are awesome.
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9. Old friends from a neighboring island keep us laughing.

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10. Sibling playtime reaches a visible best-friend level on days spent by the sea.
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11. On Shaw, Burrito Night is a stuffing success, especially to the tiniest and most gregarious eater of the bunch.
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On Shaw, evenings are full of sticky s’mores and sun-drenched exhaustion.

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12. Be it living room or outdoors, our girls think tent sleeping is just the coolest thing, all flashlights and sleeping bags.

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Shhh: I prefer my bed, all vintage quilt and fluffy down. Don’t tell the baby lovin’ the woods…
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Even though the baby-sleeping bag-snuggle didn’t quite fit a restful quota, it was still pretty darn cute.
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13. And, when on Shaw, we’ll catch Coonstripe Shrimp and a basket of Orange Sea Stars.
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We’ll lounge on the sand and take really good care of our beer (note – shade):
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Looking out, we’ll realize beauty is right in front of us and just a boat ride away always.
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