Joanna and I love the state of Washington, and not just because — after living most of our lives together in Idaho, Arizona and North Carolina — it’s nice to be in a politically “blue” state that supports a livable wage, affordable healthcare and gay marriage. It is the only state that has ever had two female senators and a female governor at the same time. And outside of Alaska or Hawaii, you can’t find a state farther from the craziness of the “other Washington.”

Here you can find varied geography: ocean coastline, big rivers, a multitude of lakes, mountains, desert, rain forest, cities and farms. Temperatures tend to be moderate, giving us four seasons, with relatively low humidity. In terms of natural disasters — despite the occasional volcanic eruption — we are safer than folks almost anywhere else. And of course it’s where we lived when in graduate school and where I got my Ph.D., leading to the life we enjoy now.

Though the state still falls short in education funding, it is a relatively healthy state. Maybe there’s something to that whole “apple a day” thing, considering Washington’s most famous crop. Originally an Artie Shaw song (video), “I’ll Be with You in Apple Blossom Time” (sometimes abbreviated, or with part of the title in parentheses) has been done by a range of performers that includes the Platters (video), Barry Manilo (video), Jo Stafford (video), the White Stripes (video), the Four Aces (video) and Harry James & his Orchestra with Helen Forrest (video). The Andrews Sisters sang it (video), along with another beloved old song related to apples (and to World War II), “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree.”

Though our wedding wasn’t in Washington, and though it came well before apple blossom time, it did prove to be a wonderful day — as have many of our days in the Evergreen State. For this post I’ve chosen a video by a more recent performer, singer/actor Emmy Rossum, who brings a fresh young voice to old standards.

Lyrics here, with video below.