Why I love it here

Text & Photos by: Rickey Koehler | Published: September 20, 2019

Digging razor clams at sunset can be a special treat.

I was a research engineer for 23 years, doing work on liquid crystal displays. I did love the work, but when my company took another turn, I retired and returned to school to get my master’s degree. Now I have completed the retirement process.

I moved to Ocean Shores to be close to the water. I just had a yearning to retire near the ocean. I found much more!

I found bald eagles soaring. I found fawns leaping. I found clams to be dug and the laughs that go with it.

I found the challenge of catching salmon (and the reality of how they are really not going to help me with being caught!). I found snowy owls who fly with stealth and grace.

Snowy owls sometimes visit Damon Point in Ocean Shores.

I found artists and athletes and avid volunteers.

I watched neighbors walking in the Flag Day parade through the center of town, some pirates throwing candy to those lining the route while I stood with my mother just up from Los Angeles, waving flags.

I have opened my home to friends and family who have delighted in the bounty of the ocean and the beaches. We feast on clams and salmon and crabs. There is amazement about how wonderful fresh fish is, and how the Midwest has not a clue about the fresh scent and taste of salmon. These friends don’t know how crabs can really pinch and clams can really squirt.

I feel so blessed when I hear the ocean and smell the breeze. I also collect sand dollars and shells as I walk the beach.

I have found my peace and my community.

Rickey Koehler is an artist living in Ocean Shores.