Point (of) Defiance


While being married to someone for nearly 25 years, there wasn’t much I did that was truly just for myself. Everything I did, everything I bought, even for myself, demanded I consider everyone else in the house. As a result, I often sublimated my own needs for the family.

Now that I am separated from the family, the only person I have to consider is myself. Yes, I still am paying for the family and will for the foreseeable future, but in terms of my daily activities, the only family consideration is the financial constraints imposed by the courts, which are… substantial, to say the least.

I was able to obtain a few personal items from the marital home, as well as my coffee grinder I bought when I graduated college and my Aeropress, but that’s basically it. Pretty much everything I need for basic living activities has to be acquired.

Buying the electric tea kettle in this picture, which cost me all of $20, was a purchased I agonized over a few months ago. So was the coffee grinder next to it, which ultimately broke not too long after taking this photo:

Prior to the separation, the purchase of the electric tea kettle would have required a discussion about where it will sit on the kitchen counter. Or, instead, she’ll buy something like a Keurig because she wants to make coffee for other people. And yes, she did. They make terrible coffee and are a terrible hot water heater.

Meanwhile, as I am starting a new chapter in my life, I was drawn to a particular place I hadn’t visited in several months: Point Defiance:

This place was, as the crow flies, not all that far from Gig Harbor. In fact, it’s just across the water:

From the mouth of Gig Harbor on a sunny day in 2021. Point Defiance is there on the right.

In terms of driving distance, it was maybe 20-25 minutes to get out there from where I lived. However, each trip cost money (beyond gas) as there is a bridge toll involved. Needless to say, I didn’t go out there all that often.

When the kids were much younger, I would take them to the Point Defiance Zoo. When my daughter was volunteering at the Zoo as a teenager a couple years back, I took her out there. That gave me a few opportunities to explore Point Defiance on my own.

As I’m starting a new chapter in my life, I was drawn back to Point Defiance to take a walk on the trails and look at things from a different perspective:

It was on these trails and in this scenery I realized just how significant this place was in my journey. Because while I’ve been many places over the years, it’s usually because someone else wanted to go there, or I had to for work or whatever.

Point Defiance might be one of the only places I went around these parts precisely because I wanted to go there. Granted, I did not go there as much as I easily could have, given the proximity. I certainly leveraged the opportunities I did have to go there.

As I start a new chapter in my life, I realized just how important this place was to visit one last time. I’m glad I did.


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