Reflections on a Decade

I moved here on a snowy day in March 2006 so I’ve been part of the Key Peninsula community for a decade now.
I’ve been thinking a lot about all that I have learned over 10 years. It has been an eventful decade, with joy and excitement, hurt and pain. Somewhere along the way, this place became home.

It was the people who first drew me here, and it is the people who make it a great place to live. The KP is full of delightfully interesting, caring, oddball people. I’ve built friendships with artists, fishermen, felons, writers, musicians, pagans, entrepreneurs and homemakers. I know people who made millions in high finance, and people content with their mobile home and chickens in the back yard.

Peninsula residents can be blunt and honest, a trait I find refreshing. Recently a man showed up in my church asking for a prayer. I was in a meeting so I directed him to somebody else. “No!” he said. “You’re supposed to be the holy man. You pray for me.” We stopped our meeting and prayed for him. There was something almost biblical in his determination.

We’re all aware that life out here isn’t perfect. People keep chopping those trees down. Litterbugs dump trash on back roads. Drivers pass dangerously, tailgate or dawdle along the highway. Thieves break into homes and cars. People get angry at one another. We struggle with poverty and alcohol and drug abuse, just like everywhere else in our country.

What gives me hope is the effort of so many good people to overcome these issues. The Red Barn, alcohol and narcotics recovery groups, the food banks, The Mustard Seed Project, all the churches out here. These groups and more are working hard to create and sustain a beautiful, healthy community. Beyond the groups, many individuals volunteer their time in tutoring, picking up trash, planting gardens and watching out for their neighbors. It inspires me to see the volunteer spirit alive and well.

Thanks to you all for making my girls and me welcome here and for letting us share our lives with you for the past 10 years. I’m looking forward to at least another 10.

Dan Whitmarsh is pastor at Lakebay Community Church. You can contact him at
Writing by Faith
Writing by Faith