I'll Meet You There ...

Wednesday, July 10, 2019


Yesterday was an insanely emotional day.

It started off with a trip to the Kelso Courthouse to legally remove Bob’s name from the House Title since he is no longer walking this Earth. A very nice man in the Auditor’s Office saw my deer-in-the-headlights look and helped me get my number ticket to be seen in orderly fashion: I thanked him. When I was seen, with all the papers I was told in December 2018 to bring with me for today’s meeting, I was grilled by a stupid woman who kept asking me, “Do you have the Title?” like a fricking parrot! I finally cut her off after about the 6th repetition; and said, “I don’t know what you are asking – you have everything in front of you that I was told to bring for this meeting.” So, she – in a smart-assy way – said, “Then I will have to send a form of Title Replacement to the State; you should receive the new Title in about 4 weeks”. I said, “Whatever … as long as the house is legally in my name, so the kids can sell it when I die.” Then, she says, “Actually, you need to go across the hall to the Assessor, then come back here so we can finish this up.”

So, I gathered my papers and went across the hall to the Assessor, telling them I need to legally have Bob’s name removed from the House Title, now that he is no longer here in the flesh … and 2 of the women working there say, “Who sent you here? We don’t handle this; you need to go across the hall to the Treasurer.” I pointed across the hall to the Auditor’s office and said, “I just came from there, where I was told to come here. Now you are telling me to go there” … and I pointed to the Treasurer’s Office across the hall. “Right? I go there (pointing to the Treasurer’s Office) – then I go there again (pointing to the Auditor’s Office) – then I come back here? Do I have this correct?” They shook their heads like puppets.

And I shook my head in frustration.

So, I walk across the hall to the Treasurer’s Office and tell them, “I need to have my husband’s name removed from the House Title” – and I show them the Death Certificate along with all the other papers I was told to bring to get this thing wrapped up. The woman looks at the papers, looks at me, and says, “Who told you your husband needs to be removed from the Title.” I point to the Auditor’s Office, and say, “They did.”

And she says, “Well, they are wrong; he does not need to be removed.”

The whole time, I am thinking, “This is fricking ridiculous! Doesn’t ANYONE in this town KNOW any damned thing? NOBODY IS COMMUNICATING BETWEEN OFFICES.” And, honestly, from what I was witnessing – even if they were communicating, NO ONE KNEW what to do!

And then the tears start rolling down my face.

And I start shaking, while the “unnecessary transfer papers” are being “legally” processed, being told again that I will receive the papers in 4 to 6 weeks’ time.

I left the Treasurer’s Office and walked back across the hall to the Auditor’s Office where things were finally registered, sorted, and filed.

The whole thing was made harder than it needed to be.

And it came on the heels of cutting ties with Bob's son on the 4th - his choice.

Bob kinda knew this would happen with Alex, but still it makes my heart hurt for Bob that his own son is so disrespectful to both of us, and dishonors his father with his petulant behavior. A 50 year old should know better. But, Alex behaves like he is 5 years old - he has never gotten over his parent's divorce; and he has NEVER in 45 years accepted me, or his sister. He never will. He's done. I'm done. It's finished. Maybe now, we will all finally have some peace.

And I left the Courthouse hoping and praying the clueless morons staffed there got things straight and didn’t “legally” screw me over with their cluelessness.

Times like this, I REALLY NEED BOB.

But Bob is not here anymore …

Then, it was on to the Department of Licensing to “legally” get Bob’s name off the Car Title: this actually went quickly and efficiently.

Leaving the DOL, ‘Scappoose’ popped into my head: so I rolled with it.

I drove home first to safeguard the legal papers I had been carrying around with me for an hour & half … then I headed out of Longview – I needed to put as much distance between me and the deadheads as I comfortably could. Scappoose, Oregon, I know – and it is a nice, relaxing, country drive too.

After all the little-town-pretending-to-be-a-city deadhead stupidity, I needed nice, and relaxing, and especially country ;-)

Hitting the road, I crossed over the Rainier Bridge that spans the Columbia River separating Washington from Oregon:

I hate crossing bridges, but have no choice: Scappoose, OR is across the river. My stomach was lurching, and I prayed fervently there would be no accidents that would tie up traffic moving steadily forward. Please God!
Coming off the bridge is Scappoose to the left – and Clatskine to the right; up the hill: I’ll do Clatskine later on sometime - there is a burger bar there, Bob and I have frequented off-and-on, over the past 45 years, and it is worth the drive.

Coming up on the defunct Trojan Nuclear Plant, I see that the Stop-In has been bought, revamped, renamed … and being passed off as a decent place to stop in. For decades it has been a topless strip bar where criminal bikers and other low-lifes would hang out with prostitutes, drug dealers, and prison minded riff-raff: really a nasty place all the way around. The shoddy trailers where the prostitutes plied their business is also gone. Now it is a Burger Bar/Minute Mart.

Well, I hope it makes it. I really do …

Closer to Trojan, I always smile when I pass this place. We drove this way 98% of the time to collect Alex weekends the first 12 years of our married life until he got his driver's license (then he rarely made the time to see his Dad. and I enjoyed the peace) - then later transported grandchildren to and fro; our entire married life, because Bob knew I preferred a country drive over the frantic freeway madness: we took the freeway when Bob was super tired and wanted to get home fast.

One afternoon the first year of our marriage, it was raining; and I was hugely pregnant, when we made the drive. We were coming into this corner here, when a dog ran across the roadway. I screamed and shouted, “Don’t hit the dog!” Bob locked the wheels up, put his big right hand across my bulging stomach … and skillfully slid the ’56 Ford truck sideways down the road. When we finally came to a rest, he looked in my eyes and asked, “Are you okay?” I nodded & said I was; then added, “For a minute there I though our baby would be born among the cattails.” Bob didn’t see the humor in the moment. His lips got thin and tight and he said, “Next time, I hit the damned dog!” I knew when to shut up – so I did. THEN. But for the next 44 years, I always laughed when we got to this point in the road, and would ask, “Do you remember when …” And Bob always gave me {that look}. And thankfully, no more dogs darted out of the weeds to run across the road. LOL

Past the hulking and abandoned Trojan Nuclear Plant, is Gobel; where Bob & I used to explore side roads off the road to the right – and where Cheryl & Mike took me strawberry picking a few weeks ago 

I saw 2 Lemmon’s Trucking trucks around Deer Island, and checked them out to see if either were the truck Bob drove before he retired from Lemmon’s – neither were. I was disappointed – and glad – at the same time.

Nearing the town of St. Helens, Oregon, I drove the stretch of road, where – a few years ago – we passed a pickup truck driven by a drunk, and I was subsequently flagged over by a cop, who came outta nowhere, like a bat outta hell … I was moving pretty fast myself passing the truck. I saw the red and blues flashing in the rear-view mirror and pulled over as quickly as I could – and schooled the cop: I was nice about it, but I did bend his ear. And he let me go …

I passed a drunken driver here – we had followed the zig-zagging truck all the way from Rainier (a good half hour or more), and as soon as I could, I put my foot down and passed him: his erratic driving scared me and I just wanted to be away from him.
When I finally pulled over (in front of the white building in the picture), and the cop pulled in behind me and started reading me the riot act, I said, “You didn’t see that truck that was all over the road from one white line to the next? You didn’t think it was necessary to pull HIM Over? I wanted to get away from him as soon as I could – so I did. You keep telling me that I didn’t need to speed up … but YOU sped up to flag me over. And while we are standing here debating the need to speed up, he is crazily careening down the road where he will eventually kill himself, or someone else with his crazy driving.” When I finally stopped talking, the cop let me go and called in to his fellow cops to be on the lookout for the drunken driver.

In St. Helen’s I passed Bing’s Restaurant where for 12 years running, we would eat, on the return trip back home after dropping Alex off at his Grandmother’s in Portland; and the Ford Dealership where Bob bought his 2-tone Green & White Diesel truck 24 years ago:

Bob knew I liked Chinese food, so this was his treat to me once a month after our Portland trip. Bob wasn’t a Chinese food devotee when we got together – but after a while, he learned to like it ;-)
Bob bought his diesel truck here. Our granddaughter Alyna, called it “the pickle” – that always cracked us up.

Further down the road, in Warrren, this side of Scappoose, is the Country Inn Restaurant, where we used to stop and eat breakfast after Bob’s granddaughter Krisaleee, was born: and we were driving back and forth to Lincoln City, OR, which was about a 3-1/2 hour trip from Cathlamet, WA – where we lived at the time, to bring her back with us for a few weeks' visit  before taking her back to Lincoln City. We ate here because it was kid-friendly; and from 1990, we always had kids with us, until recently. This was a good place to eat with kids …

Warren Country Inn Restaurant is owned by the Baptist Church next to it.

Just before entering Scappoose, I saw the big shed where a perpetual garage sale is always happening. Most of it is junk, but sometimes – like a few years ago, when we browsed it with friends – there are useful things found. Jim and Karen were talking to us one day about checking it out and asked if we’d like to do it with them, so we said, “okay”: I think I was the only one who walked away with anything that day. Bob said he ‘wasn’t surprised’. LOL

I carried home a LOT of big nursery pots to garden in. Still have them; and are using them now.

When I finally reached Scappoose, I browsed a bit and eventually left with some clothing items I think Bob would like, if he were here to say one way or the other.

And I cried on the way home, because I miss him beside me.

I’d rather not be soloing:

Back in Rainier, about to cross the bridge again, I’m thinking I may be bold enough to climb that hill yonder, and tackle Clatskine too, sometime this year …

And later last night, I slept on Bob’s side of our bed.

I miss him.


Sleeping on his side of the bed soothes me after a particularly stressful day - and yesterday morning was extremely stressful:

After the early afternoon ridiculousness, and the emotional drive back home from Oregon, I needed soothed.

I love you, Babe.