I WON'T BACK DOWN

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

MIND AT EASE …


After I came home Friday afternoon, following Bob’s Celebration of Life event, I was bugged about there being no actual marker to show specifically where Bob’s cremains urn-box WAS; so, this morning, I set out to rectify that – the headstones are set quite a way back from the actual location of placement; and I don’t want to lose sight of the actual location when the grass growth comes in, blends well, and hides it:

My backpack purse is right above Bob's Urn Box location - quite a ways away from the headstones. I wanted to mark the exact location today.

But first, I had to figure out how to let the back seats down. I went out and studied the seats … and could only set them down half way. I came back in the house and researched the Highlander “quick reference” books – NO GO; not helpful at all. Finally, in desperation, I drove across town and crossed the border into Kelso, driving into the Toyota Dealership service kiosk, and ASKED if someone could please show me how to set the back seats down: someone could :-D I paid attention, and now I know how to do it too. LOL


I also found out that there is a 3rd row of seats behind the back-passenger seats; this Highlander is more like a minivan than a car – that was a surprise! But, that’s good to know, in case I ever need extra seats. I had the tires checked too; I noticed at the cemetery on Friday, that there was broken glass in the gravel – if my tire had been compromised, I wanted to know: they hadn’t. Thank you, Yeshua.

After leaving Toyota, I drove further into Kelso, to Wilco, to find a windchime I thought would please Bob: he always liked windchimes, and I thought that would add a nice touch to the marker I had in mind to set up on our plot block. On my way back to the car, I saw a dime; so, I picked it up and felt very blessed thinking about the 10 pennies that make up that dime: it almost felt like Bob was approving of what I was about to do later on ;-)

When I thought about doing this, I had intended to be on the road by 9 a.m. … instead, with the drive into Kelso and back home; where I then loaded the wrought iron marker I wanted to use; hunted for the tape measure, pliers, needle nose pliers, ball-peen hammer; grabbed a solar light; shovel; and my little ladder … it was 10:19 a.m. Still pretty early, so I took my time: if cars riding my bumper wanted to pass me – I let them …


I settled in for a leisurely drive, and enjoyed the ride :-D

Ocean Beach Highway doesn't scare me, at all ...

There was a little bit of weather disturbance happening at Nasa Point, but it played itself out by the time I got past Cathlamet:


When I got to Eden Valley Cemetery, the ground was still soft enough to be worked, so I didn’t need the shovel at all – I just used the ball-peen hammer to set the wrought iron hanger in place (I used an old citronella lantern cup holder I had on hand): I set it alongside the placement. It went in easily – but the setting was solidly in place because I hammered it in well below the surface; and as the ground settles and wettens with the season, it will be set fairly hard, helping to keep the wrought iron hanger in place. And I noticed, that when I stood up, I could easily reach the cup to set the ivy in (silk foliage, so I won’t have to worry about it drying and dying: I brought this from home): it is over my head, but I can reach it with a stretch that doesn’t make me stand on my toes. I was able too, to hang the windchimes easily – this I did with the aid of the needle-nose pliers to securely fasten the added chimes holder to the cup’s open-work design. I figured the added sturdy chime holder, which I bought with the chimes, would be better than trying to fasten the chimes with baling wire (which I always have trouble tightening significantly – Bob did it perfectly. But, I am not Bob). I also pounded a metal pipe into the ground at the right-side front corner, to highlight the length and width of the placement. Then, I placed the solar light atop the pipe – the pipe does stick up quite a length out of the ground, but that’s okay with me: at least it won’t get sucked under when the ground begins to settle. I am happy with the result …


I used Bob’s tape measure to measure the accurate location from the top of the headstones, so if the groundskeepers move the things I set in place today – I will KNOW where the placement IS to reset everything. Sometimes the groundskeepers lift things to make mowing the grass easier ... and they don't reset them; they just leave them on the headstones. That can be a problem with Bob's placement location if it isn't properly marked, or noted.

I thanked Elohim for blessing my endeavors with decent weather and ease; and I spent a few moments at Bob's urn-box location – just remembering his handsome face and his infectious laughter, then I did a walk through.

Cemeteries don't bother me; and this cemetery is full of Bob's relatives, so I felt right at 'home'; maybe it's the Hungarian blood in my DNA ;-)

Old headstone - gothic in design.

Bob’s mother’s grandfather, Frank Smalley married Mary Matilda Olmstead – whose father was Allen Olmstead. Frank Smalley was Bob’s grandfather, Henry Smalley’s father …

Bob's relative, and a Civil War Vet. Family records have it that Allen’s real name was Oris Olmstead. He had enlisted in the confederate army – but got disillusioned, deserted & enlisted in the Union Army: he changed his name so that the confederate army could not trace him; his new name, Allen Olmstead is listed on the Civil War Union Army records; Company “A”, Seventeenth Infantry. The Olmsteads were Seventh Day Adventists. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kentucky_in_the_American_Civil_War)

I am GLAD to KNOW I did not marry into a confederate family! It did worry me when I found out his family came from Kentucky – I am dead-set against ANYTHING that smacks of confederate leanings or connections: I am Yankee, born and bred … and so was Bob’s grandmother, Myrtle Smalley.

JAMES SMALLEY. Frank Smalley’s father – Bob’s mother’s great-grandfather. Born in Mason County, Kentucky; married Martha A. McCann in Feather River, California; settled in Crooked Creek (Eden Valley), Washington
Henry Smalley’s father – Bob’s mother’s grandfather. Born in Tigard, Oregon; married Mary Matilda Olmstead – daughter of Oris Olmstead (Allen Olmstead) – in Crooked Creek (Eden Valley), Washington. Frank Smalley’s homestead on Crooked Creek, Eden Valley is recorded in Wahkiakum County book A099, Cert# 3364, Appl# 7331, July 1896. Bob’s Grandfather, Henry Smalley was born in the house on that homestead, October 13th, 1900. Henry married Bob’s grandmother, Myrtle Goodrich, September 1st, 1925. Henry was 81 years old when he died; I loved Bob’s grandparents: they welcomed me into the family with open arms when Bob & I were dating.
Frank’s Smalley’s mother – Bob’s mother’s great-grandmother.
Bob's great-uncle, and great-aunt; his grandfather Henry's brother, and his wife. I knew of Vivian before I knew Bob's name ... Vivian baked cakes for everyone in Wahkiakum County - and those cakes were artistic creations. My mother bought birthday cakes and graduation cakes from Vivian. They also raised exotic meats, such as ostrich's - and we would drive out with our children to look at them.

I don’t believe there are any Bell’s in the Smalley or Olmstead lineage, so I am not sure where these folks figure in the cemetery; possibly community folk who lived in the Valley:

I wonder if I am related to these people. There are Bells in my mother's family lineage.

Coming off the KM, headed towards home coming into Skamokawa, I decided to take a turn out West Valley Road, just to stroll down another memory lane – I walked all over the Skamokawa valleys as a teen: the valleys hold a lot of memories for me. First off, I saw the Quigley House and memories of Mike Quigley made me smile and laugh – Mike had been sparking me before my family moved to Cathlamet (I liked Mike, but he wasn’t “the face”), and I laughed out loud when I thought of the time he came calling and I made him donuts that were hard as rocks … he teased me by bouncing them off the blacktop – we laughed about that for years; until he died much too young in a horrific work related accident.

One evening, after I married Bob, Mike came with David Almer to visit one evening after work; and was asked to stay for Supper (Bob was never jealous of my guy pals – he knew I wouldn’t jump the fence): I made Spaghetti Dinner. It was a DISASTER … but my fellas ate it without complaint: their eyes laughed though as they ate the ice-cold noodles smothered in hot sauce (I followed the recipe exactly; but didn’t know to rinse the noodles again with warm water). My mother never taught me to cook – she thought I was too homely to ever catch a man’s attention, so she focused all her attention on teaching the show-pony daughter, Ramona, how to cook: I was taught to clean house and care for everyone – my mother figured I’d be the family spinster. She didn't know that Ramona was a party girl - guys would date her, but no one wanted to marry her. When she did get narried ... it was a shot-gun affair, And still miserable.

My mother never saw Bob coming ;-) Bob loved me for who I was – not for what my mother saw. Bob told me I was beautiful: imperfections included. And because HE BELIEVED IT, I believe it. We had 45 happy years together.

Bea NEVER imagined I would ever be loved, let alone happily and passionately loved by a man who treated me like a queen.

Anyway, back to the cold-noodle Supper …

When Supper was finished and I was embarrassed – Mike lightened the mood by telling Bob about the rock-hard donuts; and Mike and I started laughing so hard at that memory that we had tears rolling down our faces: my mind was off the disastrous Supper and set at ease. The cold Spaghetti paled in comparison to the rock-hard donuts, and Bob joined in the laughter. I eventually learned to cook real good – no more donut rocks, and no more cold noodles :-D

IT FELT GOOD TO LAUGH AGAIN.

A bit further up the road, I saw the field - to the left of the road - where Bob and I were driving one summer afternoon; and at that time, the field was FULL of daffodils as far as our eyes could see. There had, at one time been a homestead there and field mice had, over time, carried the bulbs all over the field where they naturally naturalized. Bob knew I like daffodils, and wait every Spring for them to appear; so, on this day we were out for a drive, he stopped the truck and walked into the field to gather an ARMFUL of the daffodils for me: that is the kind of man my husband was. He loved me.

I wanted to push on towards Brookfield … but a truck is really needed for that; no telling what the road looked like past the “primitive road” warning: it’s been a while since we’ve been out that way. So, I turned around at the end of the blacktop, and headed back to the main highway. Towards home.

My mind was at ease when I pulled into the carport.

And then, I noticed that the clapper on the windchimes Bob & I had bought 2 decades ago had broken off. I figured I could fix it, so I did:

I am not going to throw these chimes away! They are really starting to show their age after decades of windy abuse, but I am tired of losing and/or replacing things Bob & I enjoyed together - I will keep this thing together!
I’m pretty confident the ‘fisherman’s tie’ Bob showed me how to do, will hold.

My mind was at ease ;-)

And I decided to pull the Summer porch décor too, and set the stage for Fall’s arrival …

Raven Wreath hung on the front door. Bob & I were at a Bazaar in Gobel, OR, one year where I was selling my handcrafts; and I saw this wreath ... and just had to have it ;-)
Scarecrow Rug laid at the front door entrance.
The Fall ‘Welcome’ Wall Plaque was hung by the front door entrance.
 I hung a decorative Scarecrow Broom on the windowed carport door.
And laid the Owl Rug at the carport entrance - this will have to be replaced, since there is only me here now: and I am no longer a 'night-owl'; I seem to have taken on Bob's slepping pattern ... early to bed/early to rise. It's weird for me!

It feels good to get back into the swing of things. Doing these simple things, mundane as they are, set my mind at ease.

It was a good day today.

I felt Bob's spirit all around me - all day long.

I love you, Babe.

Always.

OX

ACTION-PACKED DAY


My garden was lousy this year – the sun was hidden most of the growing season by heavy gray clouds (kinda like hovering sea fog), I am assuming were the result of the river so close. Added to those clouds was a thick humidity, and brutalizing strong river gusts that dried the garden growth as well as beat the garden with punishing blows: gardening just plain sucked this year:


While I was watering the tomatoes & peppers, Pam called and asked if I’d like to go walking with her & Frank around the Lake – I said I would. I like walking and walking partners, now that Bob is no longer here, are hard to hook up with; so, I was thankful they called. We had a nice walk, and good convo.

Frank's family lived next door to Bob's family in Cathlamet; Frank kinda idolized Bob - Bob was a good man to want to imitate ;-)


When I got home, I called Indy Way Diner to see if they had liver on the menu today; they did. So, I ordered a take-out meal of Liver w-onions, baked Potato, and Corn on the cob: I love liver with onions; and I need the iron liver provides.


I arrived at the diner early, so I sat out in my car and did a Word Search puzzle until 4 o'clock … and received the news that my sister, Iris, had died. I had been expecting it for weeks, but, when I got the call – it was hard news to hear. My heart, though I do not really know Rick (Iris's husband) other than talking on the phone, goes out to him: he is facing the hardest thing he will ever face in his life. His life has changed in ways he won't be able to grasp for months yet.

Iris and I weren't real close because we had only found each other about 7 months ago; but we became fast friends. And we loved each other. I will miss her sorely ...

My sister, Iris & her husband, Rick. They are Lutherans, and Iris confessed to me that she was "not a good catholic": I do not think she was saved - that was the impression she gave me when she talked about God and religion That means that we will never talk to each other again. That is hard to bear.

I really hope this is the last death I will have to hear about, and face for a long time …