How odd it is to be a stranger in a place i once called home.
Lynden is a quaint town of 10,000 situated nicely on the Canadian border. Full of Dutch heritage and shops, there is no doubt that this town is full of culture. Supported mostly by the Agriculture of Dairy farms and Berry fields; there is a certain smell to the air. Boasting 2 records in the Guinness Book of World Records (most churches per capita and also Most people attending church in Lynden without living in the town) Lynden is a unique town to be sure.
I am closing in on a year of not living in this nicely situated, Agriculture rich, record holding town. This is the first time being back to visit that i feel like a stranger here... and i like it!!! I like not knowing every 3rd person at Woods Coffee (the baristas having NO IDEA THAT i used to work there!). I like going to church at NCCTK and being "just another person". I like having to process how to get somewhere and what the quickest way is. It's fun one someones says, "oh you're a Diacogiannis?"
However somethings never change; The Dutch are still out-numbering everyone else 100/1. They are all still Blond, Blue-eyed and TALL! If you are "unfortunate" enough to not be Dutch in Lynden, people still try as hard as they can to be Dutch, they dye their hair, play basketball and wear blue contacts in the vain hope that they will be accepted. I will never understand High Schoolers in Lynden. They LOVE high school so much that after they graduate they hang out "pretending" it hasn't ended. They still go to every game. They still go to Dairy Queen after "the game". They wear the "LHS" or "LCHS" sweatshirts and colors. They like high school so much that people volunteer at plays and games;FOUR YEARS LATER! If you are fortunate enough to "get out" of Lynden your choices of acceptable things to do are as follows:
Go to one of the following colleges; Dordt College; Northwestern in Iowa; SPU; Trinity Western University in B.C.
If you don't got to College you might;
- Get Married a month after you graduate and have a kid 1 year later
- Go to Bellingham Beauty School and work at one of the 50 Salons in Lynden's City Limits
- Work Construction
- Go to YWAM IN HAWAII... cause it's Hawaii and YWAM "sounds cool"
Oh Lynden. Oh the silly things that define who you are. I will admit that when i am in Bend Oregon I miss the AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL scenery here. The endless amount of Red Barns and Silos in every green field, Mt. Baker and The Twin Sisters creating the most amazing Backdrop... and the Bald Eagles that flock to Whatcom county every year for about 2 months. I miss walking anywhere i want without fear of being mugged. I miss smell of the cows... as weird as that sounds. I miss the "lame" and silly festivals that grace Lynden every few months. I miss the buzz around High School sports. I miss Woods Coffee. I miss the Trackers. And yet now, i am a stranger. A tourist; silently observing life in Lynden. I love this silly town. I love who it shaped me to be. I always stand out with my dark hair and GREEK last name. I love that although it made me who i am it doesn't define where i will go, who i can be.