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Photo by Peggy Sturdivant
Fish fry at the Portuguese-American Club.

At Large in Ballard: Alone Time

By Peggy Sturdivant

“Shouldn’t you have a safety net?” a voice asked from below while I was priming the rickety second floor windows of the family’s 1870 cottage on the east coast.

“Probably,” I said. I felt so overwhelmed by a losing battle against rotten wood that my own safety seemed unimportant. A stable ladder would have been more helpful, as well as a paintbrush that wasn’t losing bristles with every stroke.

A neighbor passed by. From Memorial Day through the end of June there’s an annual scramble to complete exterior work. “Where’s your life line?” he asked. “Is that how you do things in Seattle?”

No. How I do things on Martha’s Vineyard is rarely the same way that I do things in Seattle. On Sunset Hill Martin would have me strapped into a safety harness and on a lead line if I so much as tried to crawl out on the roof to wash our windows.

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