Annette Aley of Friday Harbor, Washington

“Annette Aley of Friday Harbor, Washington,” Friend, Dec. 1987, 38

Making Friends:

Annette Aley of Friday Harbor, Washington

“I like cold weather, watching rainstorms from the porch, and thunder when we get it,” said Annette Aley (10) of Friday Harbor, Washington. But beautiful San Juan Island, where Annette lives, also offers many other attractions to keep Annette, her sister Amanda (8), and her brothers Miles (12) and Alex (3) busy. Annette particularly likes swimming in Lakedale and Sportsman lakes, and when she’s feeling adventuresome during family outings, she has been known to find a log and paddle it out into the ocean.

The Aleys decided to not have a television, so Annette fills her time with other activities. Down the path through the forest behind her home is the home of the Highleys. In his workshop Mr. Highley carefully teaches Annette and her cousin Lincoln Banry glassblowing.

Annette says, “Our family does lots of fun things together, like going to the beach for a picnic with our friends the Yorks.” Sometimes they picnic at San Juan County Park, where Annette watches for the killer whales that swim in the channel between the islands. The Aleys also enjoy clamming, although sometimes it’s hard to wait for the clams to soak overnight in fresh seawater before having steamed clams with garlic butter.

When their parents, Michael and Sarah Aley, built their home, Annette, Amanda, and Miles helped raise the walls, and Miles shingled the roof. All the children helped remove the trees that were cut down to clear a place for the house. Annette enjoys working hard, whether it’s doing her homework, shoveling snow, or hauling and stacking logs in cold and wet weather. But there’s one thing that she’d really rather not do—the dishes.

Annette says that Miles is thoughtful and giving. “He works all year for money and then spends it on the family at Christmastime.”

Amanda is great fun to build forts with, and Annette likes looking out for her sister.

And Alex? “He’s great at giving hugs and finding bugs!”

Living on an island is different. The members of the Friday Harbor Branch who live on nearby islands come to church and branch activities by private boat or on the ferry. At Christmastime Annette, along with everyone else on the island, goes to the dock to await the Santa Ship. That’s one of the nice things about living on an island—everybody comes to all the community activities. The Santa Ship is sponsored by a civic organization, the JCs (Junior Chamber of Commerce) of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. As it docks, the ship blows its horn, everyone greets Santa Claus, and he gives them candy canes. Then the fire engine takes Santa to the high school, where the children sit on his lap, tell him what they want for Christmas, and receive presents.

One of Annette’s favorite things to do is to have a “special day” with her mom or dad. Each of the children has a jar, and when one of them is extra helpful around the house, thoughtful, or especially nice, he earns a dime to put into his jar. However, if he doesn’t do his chores or is rude or unkind, a nickel or a dime is removed from his jar. When one of the children has earned a dollar, he gets to have a “special day” by going to lunch and spending time with his mom or dad.

Annette loves her family and says that they have many humorous moments together. She likes to travel and visit other families with them. Besides acting and playing the piano and organ, Annette likes to draw and write books. What would she write at the end of this article? Probably the last line from one of her books: “The end, and I love you.”

Photos by Shauna Mooney and Corliss Clayton

1 Annette visits University of Washington Marine Labs.

2 Annette and Amanda explore Friday Harbor.

3 Annette, Amanda, and Alex wait for picnic to begin.

4 Keith Highley helps Annette prepare glass to blow.

5 Miles, Annette, and their mother clamming.

6 Amanda and Lincoln Banry examine treasures found in old dump.

7 Miles

8 Amanda

9 Amanda and Annette admire flowers at Roche Harbor.

10 Alex

11 San Juan Branch Primary

12 Alex likes flowers and bugs.

13 Annette and Lincoln

14 Dad teaches Annette about starfish.

15 Amanda at Roche Harbor

16 Keith Highley helps Annette prepare glass to blow.

17 Annette and her mother play duet.