music for the eyes

Langley – Music for the Eyes

Fred and Sharon Lundahl, owners of “Music for the Eyes,” have a life-long passion for collecting handicrafts from around the world. They were both US Foreign Service Officers for 30 years and raised their children and collected handicrafts in various foreign assignments at US Embassies in the developing world.

After their children grew up, they found that they could collect even more handicrafts and had people (their kids) to send handicrafts to as gifts. As retirement approached, they realized that Uncle Sam had paid for 30 years of collecting stuff and pondered how they would pay for the travel for the next 30 years.

At this point their kids staged an intervention and explained they had enough gifts and suggested their parents stop sending them so much stuff and instead set up a small retirement business that would enable them to continue to travel, see old friends, make new friends, and collect more stuff to sell in a shop. Fred and Sharon are now fifteen years into this second 30-year collecting spree and are happily traveling the world two or three times a year.

The question of where to locate such a handicraft shop came up early in this process as Fred is a New Englander and Sharon is from Washington State.  During a particularly nasty black fly and mosquito season in Maine following a particularly cold and snowy winter, Sharon finally put her foot down and said she could never live in Maine.

Instead, Sharon promised to show Fred a place where he would never own a snow shovel again, never get poison ivy or be bitten by a poisonous snake, had no ticks or cockroaches, and had so few mosquitoes that you don’t need screens on your windows, and had less traffic and rain than Seattle. One visit to the small village of Langley on Whidbey Island was all it took to convince Fred this was the place to settle.

It also met Fred’s only real requirement for the move. He wanted to be able to go to the ballet or opera in Seattle and make it back home the same night, something you can’t do if you live in on the Olympic Peninsula or in the San Juan Islands. The short 15 minute Mukilteo-Clinton ferry route with its late-night schedule allows them to attend a performance and get back home the same evening. And if a ferry breaks down, you can always drive around to take the Deception Pass Bridge back onto the island.

Fifteen years into this second 30 years of collecting handicrafts and traveling the world, Fred is a happy transplant to the Pacific Northwest.

Music for the Eyes

Fred & Sharon Lundahl

314 First Street, Langley

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