I WON'T BACK DOWN

Friday, June 28, 2019

MEMORY LANE


The other night I pulled the disc’s Bob’s sister, Bonnie, had asked her then-husband-Andy, to make up for us. This was done years ago; but Bob never lived in the past, so we never looked at them together. He figured he had already lived it and there was no point in reliving it. I respected that.

But the other night I was curious.

So, I took them out of the drawer and slipped them into the laptop disc driver to see what was on them.

There must have been at least 4 hours of viewing; but what eye-opener’s!

I did not know Bob until he was 24 years old, so EVERYTHING I saw on the older black-n-white reels was news to me.

The 2007 in-living-color-reel with his familiar face and voice was so very welcome to my senses, and my heart.

These are some of the things I noted, that made me smile, laugh, and cry while I watched his childhood/teen/early adult life unfold as the old black-n-white silent reels played out for my private viewing:

1) Bob sat a horse real fine! I knew his family had a horse named ‘Joe’ when he was a young kid of about 5 or 6; and seeing him on the horse made me smile. Later, on another reel, seeing him sit a horse as a teen – probably around 17 or 18, made me tear up: he was SO handsome, and there was that face I fell in love with at 10 years of age. I never dared dream I would grow up to marry the love of my life 7 years later. Man; I MISS my man.

2) Seeing him rail-thin was a shock. He was weighing in at healthy mature 195 when we married … and that number increased as the years passed; which was okay with me. But seeing him real skinny, as he was in his teens, was strange.

But he was ALWAYS eye-candy ;-)

3) The house he lived in, in Cathlamet as a teen – and the property before it was divided into lots was interesting.

Bob so handsome in his suit, holding the corsage some lucky girl got from him, made me smile too. This would have been before he had met his 1st wife, Gloria, so I am assuming the lucky girl would have been Marilee Nutter. I know he was sweet on her, because he told me so ;-)

But, I don’t know for sure she got the corsage that night, because I wasn’t there.

4) Watching Bob with his siblings as they grew up together made me understand why he was such a good dad to our kids, and so good with our grandchildren – he was always gentle, tender, loving, and fun to be with. I am thankful he was the man he was … and I credit his father for that. Bob’s Dad was a good man; and he gave his family a good life, even if his other siblings can’t understand that fact. I wish I had had such a father.

5) Bob’s Dad was a FUN man! Watching the reels helped me understand the dynamics that molded the man my Bob became.

6) Watching the reels, I counted at least 6 houses Bob’s parent’s owned/rented/sold (there were more after we married); 1 log truck for the family logging/truck-driving business; 1 charter fishing boat, which appeared to be operating in a family-business sort of way for extra income (with 6 kids, there is always the need); 1 camper & 1 trailer for vacations (and more after we married); horses, cows, chickens; recreation toys for the babies and toddlers & trikes, bikes, and motorcycles for the older kids and adults – I counted SIX fill-sized motorcycles, and 1 child-sized motorcycleSIX! … and the smaller one was not a mini-bike, it was a miniature motorcycle. I grew up around motorcycles, and rode quite a few – drove one myself when I was 13 years old: but my family was never financially stable enough to afford to buy even 1, let alone 6; the ‘56 Ford, which eventually went to Bob, and which he still had when we married in 1974; a station wagon the Hargand family went to Yellowstone National Park in … and this is just SOME of the STUFF that was obvious.

I have never understood Bob’s siblings & his mother’s lamenting how ‘poor’ they were. From what I knew after Bob and I married, and from what I saw in my private viewing the other night, the Hargand family did very well! Bob’s Dad did right by his family, and his mother’s complaining is unwarranted. MPO

I have the right to say so. I am Bob’s wife, and THAT gives me the right. Plus, I loved Bob’s Dad; and would have been a good daughter to him if Bob’s mother had welcomed me as a daughter and included me in the family circle.

7) Have I mentioned how handsome Bob was in those reels? Bob growing up before my eyes from a cute little hefty boy into a strapping, handsome, teen/man. Bob in his football uniform. Bob standing point man on his dad’s charter boat. Bob in a suit going to his first mature shindig. Bob riding a horse at a family camp out. Bob standing by his prized and beloved Camero – the first car he bought with his own hard-earned money.

Yes, I cried when watching the reels.

But I cried because I am so blessed to have been chosen by him to walk alongside for 44 years. That a man so abundantly blessed with physical attributes I never got tired of gawking at like a love-struck girl, good manners, good morals; a good solid family man, who honored and kept commitments/obligations to wife and children … and a man, who when dying was STILL selfless, and thought only of me until his last breath.

Bob was a man to ride the river with; and to cry heartfelt tears for when gone.

Man; I MISS looking across the room and seeing him in the flesh …

8) Bob playing with his younger siblings, Kerry & Bonnie: he was gentle, and such a cut-up! A lot of those viewings made me laugh out loud.

Again, watching the reels, I saw that same characteristic and behavior exampled by Bob’s Dad – and Bob just naturally exhibited and did the same thing.

I cried watching Bob and his Dad together in those old reels. I hurt for Bob’s unfair loss of those moments later on, after we married.

I always thought it was a shame the way Bob’s brother Ralph’s bitter jealousy – and his mother’s favoritism towards Ralph: always shoving him ahead of the pack – drove a wedge between Bob and his Dad in the later 1970’s. Bob missed golfing and fishing with his Dad. It was time lost that was never recouped.

And Bob, on his own deathbed, was the ONLY one in his family to speak in defense of his Dad. My Bob wanted it made public, for his sister Merry to hear, that he was tired of his mother’s favoritism and bullying tactics.

Bob’s words went right over their heads.

9) Bob, about 10 or 11 years old, feeding the bears bread pieces at Yellowstone National Park. That made me chuckle – Bob was always fearless.

10) Bob was always smiling or laughing – that never changed as he aged: Bob was always a happy-go lucky-type of person: he got that attitude from his Dad. Oh, sure, they both had their moments – like we all do; but as a whole, they both were easy going, happy people who CHOSE to see the best in everyone, no matter the situation or circumstance.

I am thankful Bob learned that from his Dad.

11) Watching the reels, I saw that Ralph was always a pouter, and always undermining Bob at every turn (that STILL continues; even with Bob no longer present). Merry was always a little mother to her younger siblings (still is). Kerry was always a lovable imp in a tiger shirt or costume (Bob told me he used to growl like a tiger when he was a toddler: LOL).

12) In the last reel, which was more modern in 2007, the family had gathered at Merry’s house here in town. Bob’s Dad was there too, healthy and aware. It was fun to watch Bob Sr., my Bob, Merry, and Kerry with their grandchildren. And enjoying each other’s company.

Now Bob and his Dad are together in Heaven.

And they are finally back to having the time of their lives together again :-D

THAT makes me smile ;-)

The trip down Memory Lane was worth opening the drawer and viewing the discs; I am glad I did it. I saw a part of Bob’s life I did not know about before.

It deepened my love for him, and I am not even sure how that is possible because he already has ALL of my love – past, present, and future. But, the viewings did somehow deepen and sharpen emotions.

And I am so thankful Elohim put us together in this lifetime.

I am blessed.

I love you, Babe.

Always.

OX

WALKIN’ THE LOOP

David couldn’t make it today, but I walked the upper end loop of Lake Sacajawea anyway:

Sacajawea statue; Lake’s namesake. I started my walk at this statue.

I am determined to stay active, shed pounds, and live independently in our home as long as I can.

As soon as I exited my car, I saw the beginning of the ‘Go 4th’ weekend setup:

Entertainment tents.

Then I walked across the metal bridge, crossing the Lake. As I crossed this bridge, my thoughts went back in time. Bob always liked coming here to the Lake, but our Pomeranian Tyson, and our wolf Precious, hated crossing this metal bridge. Their toe nails made noisy click-click-click sounds and they acted like it hurt their ears: we avoided this bridge when we walked them here at the Lake. But they are walking the streets of Heaven now with Bob, so I didn’t mind starting my walk here this morning …


The gray clouds parted enough to allow a little bit of blue sky to peek through:


The squirrels were little furry beggars and I felt guilty that I had forgotten to load my pockets with peanuts before I locked the car. I must remember to do that next week …


Saw lots of geese squatting, waddling, and flexing their wings/necks while they hunkered around the Lake’s edge:

They look peaceful, but they can become honking, hissing, missiles of terror when the mood strikes them.

Glancing across the Lake and watching walkers/joggers make their final laps around the loop – where I will be in about 45 minutes time – I couldn’t help remembering that it was there; across the way, 45 years ago, that Bob and I stopped with our 1 month old daughter to enjoy a summer afternoon … and the stroller brakes did not hold! We had just set the back wheel brakes, and sat down on the grass when the stroller started rolling; picking up speed on the down slope. Stacey would have rolled right into the lake but for Bob’s speed, long legs, and long arms.

Every time I pass that spot, either on this side of the Lake, or on the opposite side, that memory pops into my thoughts. It was a brand-new stroller; we should not have been given the fright of our lives …

I will make my final lap today, on that path on the opposite side of the Lake, heading back towards my car.

The walking path I am on comes to a junction just a few feet ahead; I can either continue forward and cross the street, or I can take the underpass spur and walk along the lake.

I chose the lakeside path that goes under the overpass.

And watch a city worker clip the grass for the holiday festivities, which will begin this weekend (http://gofourthfestival.org/event/). Not sure if I will be attending any of the events or not this year.

It still seems very strange to me to be doing anything social without Bob beside me:

Lakeside path meanders underneath the overhead roadway.
The lakeside path may not be so pretty, but it is peaceful – even with the non-stop traffic overhead.

I also decided to take another spur off the main trail, and visit the Weyerhaeuser Japanese Garden area. It’s been a while since I have been there. Pets are not allowed in the garden, so it has been a very long time since I have visited the Japanese Garden. Precious, our last furry companion, went to the Happy Hunting Grounds 5 years ago, but Bob and I were so busy living the retired life – and then buying/setting up our home at Heron Pointe, that a visit to the Lake was sporadic and quick. But this morning I made time for this garden reconnect.

I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around Bob’s graduation just 6 short years after his retirement. It is hard not to give into the bitterness when my mind starts thinking that we moved to Heron Pointe to get away from stressors – and unknowingly found ourselves embroiled in highly stressful situations with 2 egomaniac morons that do not understand boundaries or have moral consciousness’. Bob SHOULD BE HERE WITH ME TODAY. Yep; very hard not to give into bitterness.

So, I am going to walk through those Garden doors and let the tranquility of the moment envelop me …

Heading towards the Weyerhaeuser Japanese Garden.
Interesting artistic appeal.
I always feel like I am entering a secret garden when I cross this bridge.
I like the low-laying rock walls along the pathway.
Rules posted again – just in case they were missed at the entrance doors.
I spotted a broken twig with moss attached to it, so I picked it up and carried it home with me to put in my garden birdbath, for butterflies to rest on.
Kessler Blvd. seen from the Japanese Gardens. Kessler leads to Ocean Beach Hwy: the end of the upper end loop path; there I will make a turn onto Nichols Blvd., back towards my car.
Ocean Beach Hwy. in the distance.
A Pouring 3-tier Bamboo Fountain made a quiet tinkling sound.
I like the sound of this bubbling stream that flows from the Pouring 3-tier Bamboo Fountain to drain into the Lake; on a continuous water flow.
I like stands of bamboo. But it is very invasive, and there are shoots of it creeping into the pathways.
Asian Pergola.

That little jaunt was refreshing :-D

Leaving the Japanese Garden and resuming my upper end walk, I noticed someone fishing the Lake:


And making the corner off Kessler to stroll alongside Ocean Beach Highway before cutting onto Nichols, I saw a lazily swimming duck and some pretty little purple flowers (probably just weed; LOL) perking up the scorched-earth-browned-grass; as well as the backside of the Japanese Garden …

The Evergreen State is not so green this year; it has been a very dry year.
The backside of the Japanese Garden, seen from Nichols Blvd. loop.

Right about here, on Nichols Blvd., across from the Japanese Garden on the opposite side of the Lake, I felt a few light drops of rainfall; but it was brief, which was a good thing because my car is parked quite a way yet down the street.

Continuing on, my peripheral vision caught sight of a hefty conk on a tree trunk. And my forward vision caught sight of the gray clouds scuttling across the overhead sky to shut the blue sky out. While I was watching that unfold, a little old lady stopped to chat with me, asking me if I had seen last night’s rainbow. I said I had; she told me that she saw a double rainbow, and I said that that was a lucky thing – double rainbows are pretty rare. Although Bob and I saw a triple rainbow one time (that was pretty cool!). Then, she tagged the lamp post and we shared a chuckle at that action (Bob & I used to do that too), before she started back the way she came; at a pretty good clip for someone her age:

My ‘friendly little old lady’ who stopped to chat with me, in the white hat.

I resumed my walk at a more leisurely pace (have to consider the angina and environmental asthma aspects of my health). I have always struggled with angina – ever since I can remember – so clogged arteries, is not my issue; with me, it is a variant birth defect. The environmental asthma I picked up after moving to Longview in 1995: darned near killed me until my lungs kinda acclimated to the poor air quality here in Longview. I occasionally utilize inhalers, but I try to steer clear of using them unless absolutely necessary. Steroid anger issues I do NOT NEED on top of everything else I have to deal with. Basically, I tend to pace myself and pay attention to my body when it sends signals to me.

Coming out from under the overpass, I saw waterlilies blooming. But they are only opened half way because of the cloudy sky overhead, which is blocking the sunlight they need to fully open up …


I like this upper end loop walk because it is a full body workout. Walking the middle and lower end loop around the Lake is flatter terrain, and less challenging. And for the time being, I need the challenge:

Uphill climb leaving the underpass.
I freely admit I was struggling with shortness of breath at the top of the trail, but I refused to sit on that bench. It is much easier for me to relax standing up, and easier to get moving again after a short rest.

After about a 5-minute rest, I started walking again, and noticed the grass had been spray painted with plot numbers marking off sections to be used by various vendors during the ‘Go 4th’ festivities. ALL of the grass from this point on, to my parked car a bit further down the boulevard. From here, off to my left, I could see the entertainment tents I saw at the beginning of my walk, so the end is very near. And off to my right, I can see RAL High School, where our granddaughter went 3 years of her High School years. And just before I reached my car, I picked up another mossy twig to pack home …

From here to my car, I counted 100 marked placements just this side of the Lake – there will be more on the opposite side.
Tail end of my morning walk. From here, I can see the tents and bridge where I started from.
RAL High School; our grand-daughter, Alyna went 3 of her 4 HS years here; and was on the Dean's List with a steady 4.0 running every year. I credit Home Education for that: Bob & I home educated her from Pre-school until Junior High. We are very strong advocates for Home Education. It breaks my heart that our 5 year old  grandson, Alyna's little brother, will be a public schooled child.

Back home, driving the back-street loop behind our home, I saw a new ‘For Sale’ sign had been put up while I was gone this morning; and a moving van was parked in front of the following house. That makes a count of 10 houses posted since Spring this year, ON TOP OF HALF the tenants that picked up and moved after Candy became manager 2 years ago:


After I parked the car in our carport, I thought I would check the rain barrels to see if they filled after last night’s rainstorm.

((((YES!))))

Praise Elohim!

Barrel #1: Not a lot of runoff water in this particular barrel ... but at least it IS filling. And that is encouraging!
YES! Now I know what to do next year ;-) This year has been all about the learning curve ...
Barrel #2: HALLELUJAH! A ‘full-to-the-brim’ barrel! Thank YOU, Yeshua; thank you, Mike :-D
Barrel #3: Not all the way full, but it is fuller than it was before Mike switched the downspout thingee. I’m happy.
Barrel #4: REALLY PLEASED - now I can stop using the crappy city water on my garden veggies.

Feeling like I have finally caught a break, I thanked Mike for fixing the downspout issue for me last time he and Cheryl were here; laid the broken twigs in my birdbath, and I did a quick garden walkabout; noticing I have pretty purple blossoms on my Purple Romano Bean plants :-)

I had to break the twigs down a bit to fit them into the birdbath; the butterflies will appreciate them.
Pretty, purple blossoms on my Romano bean plants.

It really has been a very GOOD day here today ;-)