I WON'T BACK DOWN

Sunday, September 29, 2019

SUNDAY FUNDAY 3


Woke up this morning feeling like getting out of the house – so that is what I did; I perked a pot of coffee, filled Bob’s thermos … grabbed HIS tall travel coffee cup we bought on our Vegas trip 5 years ago to see our newborn grandson … and beat feet ;-)


The car’s nose – pulling out of Heron Pointe – aimed towards “home” – the region I consider ‘home’, anyways; so that is what I rolled with. I always let the car take me where it will. Driving along Ocean Beach Highway, I saw 1 landslide by County Line that had had trees across the road – looked like someone cut them out of the way with a power saw; so, I proceeded forward cautiously. It’s that time of year.

Cresting the hill that drops into Cathlamet where we spent the first half of our life together as man and wife, I nipped into Gragg’s and grabbed some chicken tenders and a box of peanut butter Ritz crackers – peanut butter because I like peanut butter, and ritz crackers because Bob loved Ritz crackers; to my way of thinking, not only are the crackers tasty, but they kinda – in some weird way – symbolize Bob & me. I know … I am a weirdo. And that is okay. I am embracing my weirdness. Bob loved my weirdness. If I ever embarrassed him, he never (unlike our kids & his entire family) never let on – he just loved on me ;-)

Drinking my coffee in Bob’s travel coffee cup and crossing the 700 ft./elevation KM, I watched falling leaves flutter in their downward spirals and skip across the road – the dancing leaves made me smile; and I saw 2 landslides coming into in Graysriver, and 1 wreck by the old Torpa house. It looked like it had been an eventful week here, in this corner of the Pacific Northwest:

This spot of the road always makes me smile – early on, in our married life, I saw 2 tiny bear cubs here one afternoon we were out-and-about, and asked Bob to pullover so I could get a better look at them. They were really quite small and SO cute, so I jumped out to snap off a picture … AND INSTANTLY FELT BOB’S HAND ON THE BACK OF MY NECK hauling me back into the pickup lickety-split. BOY, WAS I MAD! But, Bob was right – mama bear came barreling out of the trees and stood over her babies. And, I steamed over that missed picture all day long. LMAO
So, you see ... a loooong time ago, before there was Bob in my life, I was a fearless tigress with a gypsy soul. I need to reconnect with that long ago me.

Going through the Covered Bridge, and over the Loop Road that ties into the Altoona/Pillar Rock road, was out of the way; but it was a nice Fall day, even with the rain falling – it wasn’t falling hard, just a lazy rainfall to match the lazy-kinda-day. It just felt good to pass through the Covered Bridge and take the round-about-way to my destination; so, I did it. I always liked being down here in this region – it has always felt {at home} here: as far back as I can recall after moving out West in 1966, the Graysriver/Pillar Rock area (in the general vicinity of Eden Valley) … always ‘called’ to me – even before I knew Bob, I was coming here & walking these roads. I didn’t know until after I married Bob, that this region was his home turf; the area he was born to and grew up in all of his early childhood …

I spotted a Bald Eagle's nest on Loop Road

Turning onto Altoona-Pillar Rock Road, on my way to Eden Valley Road, I burst out laughing at someone’s grim humor:


Driving out Eden Valley Road, I saw some more downed trees that someone had cut out of the way with power saws. So, the weather is already becoming fierce out this way – of course, the Ocean winds do blow down the Columbia River through here like a wind tunnel.

We never came here in the Fall & Winter months; Bob never wanted to come here in those months – IF he came this way at all during this time of year, it would have been during hunting season when he still hunted … and even then, I’m pretty sure he avoided this area and stuck to the hills surrounding the region. He generally avoided flooding areas; no matter where. I know when I was talking about buying a home here, he flat out said, “No; the area floods.” maybe he thought I wouldn't be able to deal with the flooding: I don't know because he never elaborated.

This may be my last trip this way until Spring, when the weather isn’t so treacherous. That hurts my heart, because I want to make sure – every month – that our plot block is tended to and not let to run wild: I KNOW Bob is not really THERE; but, it’s an honoring thing with me …

I was pretty upset to see this remodel happening: this is the old Durrah Homestead, and it was a very nice old house with a pillared front porch. This place is rife with old valley history. Bob's grandmother Myrtle Goodrich was the valley's 1st school teacher - and she was put up by the Durrah Family during her tenure as school teacher. She met Bob's grandfather, Hernty Smalley here. I don't know who bought this house ... but they ruined it with all the modern shit they are doing to it. MPO This house should never have been remodeled; it should have been on the Historical House Registry. NONE of this remodel was here a month ago.

Arrived at the cemetery and walked out to our plot block – and noticed immediately that the solar lamp was missing. WTH? I looked around for it, and found it several feet away from where it was supposed to be; so, I retrieved it, noticing that it had been run over by whatever vehicle is used to mow the grass. Now, I am going to give the groundskeeper a pass this time because it could have been snapped off by a passing deer leg – or an elk leg: this is a country cemetery and I did see evidence earlier this month of deer passing through. But if it happens again, I am going to be pretty upset:

I had some atificial Fall flowers in the car ... so I put them where the solar light used to be: NO ONE CAN NOT SEE THOSE!
I will bring my needle-nose pliers with me next trip and see if I can yank the broken piece out of the piping.
Hopefully the flowers will stay put ...

The smell of fir in the rain soaked air of the cemetery was so strong, that I was instantly assaulted by a longing so strong it almost took me to my knees – Bob when he was a logger, and later a truck driver, always come home with the scent of fir on his skin and clothing, and in his hair; I loved that odor blended with his manly scent. And, of course, we burned fir wood in our wood stoves in the several homes we owned. My entire life with Bob has been surrounded with the scent of fir trees. That is just an odor that I will always associate with my memories of Bob. Always.

I don’t know if any one particular memory of our life together is more painful than another when they come upon me; because every day, since I am left bereft of his physical presence … is filled with immeasurable pain that I, with the help of Yeshua … manage to keep manageable so it does not smite me and send me into an unending depression – I REFUSE THAT: Bob would not want that for me, and I refuse to allow it.

But, as I slide into the driver’s seat of our car, which is now solely mine, I smell that pungent fir odor scenting the air all around me; and I miss Bob. Acutely. I miss him coming through the door with fine fir residue all over his shoulders and gilding his tousled, wind-blown hair. I miss him putting his thermos on the counter and reaching out his long arm to pull me towards him for a long, lingering kiss – dusting me, too, with that fir residue. I miss his laughing eyes watching me shake the residue off me while I swipe it off his broad shoulders before he comes another step further into the kitchen.

While I sat in the car before leaving the cemetery, watching those memories replaying in my thoughts, I missed Bob with every painful breath of a constricted chest that houses a severed heart – a bleeding heart that beats only for him; an struggling heart that is trying valiantly to keep me living without him beside me.

Later on, much further down the main highway heading home, I turned off Ocean Beach Highway and onto the Elochoman Valley Road; and up over Beaver Creek Road (where a little coyote was about to cross the road, but got scared, turned and ran back onto the brush: at first I thought it was a dog, but it’s tail gave it away); and dropping down onto Mill Creek Road, which adjoins ocean Beach Highway again. Again, the meandering drive was ‘out of the way’; but I like it …

The Columbia River seen from atop Beaver Creek Road.

And traveling along Ocean Beach Highway, I almost got my back bumper clipped at Oak Point when a speed demon was running too close to me – I pulled off as soon as I found a turn out, and the car behind me was SO CLOSE, I really expected to hear my back bumper get crushed! But, Elohim was faithful, and I barely got off the road safely when the speed demon raced past me in a blur – don’t know where that car was going in an all-fire-rush, but I was hoping it got pulled over before it wrecked – or caused a wreck.

Thinking to escape any more close calls with speed demons, I decided to turn off at Germany Creek and continue home via Eufaula Heights, which melds with Coal Creek, which drops practically right into my back yard ;-)

While driving along Eufaula Heights Road, I decided spur-of-the-moment to turn up Ferncrest Road and see if Denise still lives in the same house she and Bruce lived in before she became a widow: Bob & Bruce ran around together all through High School and during his 1st marriage – I wanted to let her know that Bob had graduated. She did; so, we visited for about 2 hours. She’s having a hard time of widowhood: Bruce passed 5 years ago, but she is still seriously struggling; we didn’t make the funeral because Bob’s Dad also passed the same month … then our friend David, a few weeks later. After those happenings, life just took on a life of its own and got away from us, like a wildfire – during which time we sold our previous home and moved here … and yu’all KNOW what happened with THAT. I always liked Denise. We made tentative plans to get together for ‘a restaurant meal’ now and then – I left her my phone number. Now, it is a waiting game.

And, driving back down Eufaula Heights Road, a tree limb falls out of the tree directly across the lane from my car: good thing there was no on-coming traffic … what a day for mishaps on the roadways!

Glancing at the dashboard, I saw I needed to refuel. I am having oral surgery tomorrow to yank the hallow root shaft where a crown broke off a few years ago – the dentist refused to yank it because of my asthma and angina issues (https://jeastofeden.blogspot.com/2019/01/have-you-learned-anything.html)but I am forcing the issue now: it needs to come out asap. So, tomorrow morning, it will. But I needed to fill the gas tank because I know I won’t feel like it after the dentist ordeal. While I was in town, I picked up a few things … and grabbed 3 Mums pots – they are spendy, but they will last indefinitely if taken care of every year. I like Mums in the Fall: