Pill Hill

I’m grateful to have grown up in and around Seattle.

Ironically(?) after yesterday’s post about my propensity to roam all over Seattle on my own as a child, I find myself back today for a completely different reason. Because I’ve lived so much of my life here I have a level of comfort and familiarity with the area that I value.

So being asked to give someone a ride to a confusing part of town? No problem.

A friend needed a ride to Swedish Hospital for new-employee orientation. Swedish is on what the locals often refer to as “pill hill” because, well, it’s on a hill, and — until corporate mergers transformed them all into a single entity — the area was home to three or four, if not more, different hospitals, with two more just a few blocks away.

It can be pretty intimidating, but I’ve been here before — many times, in fact.

As a teenager I rode my bike up here, and Capitol Hill, to the north, as I explored the area. I went to high school at Seattle Prep, again on Capitol Hill, and traveled this direction to hit the local burger joint periodically as soon as we were given “off campus” privileges. I returned here regularly in the 1980’s when my wife worked as a nurse here at Swedish.

And here I am, once again, in Swedish itself, with a conveniently located Starbucks, while I wait for my friend to finish.

There’s actually a lot to be grateful for besides just my familiarity and comfort with the area — the “day job” that lets me do things like this, the technology that lets me take that work with me, and of course, I’m grateful for Starbucks — a home-away-from-home.

More on those in the coming days.