Friday, June 28, 2019

Update to the Journey Continues

I just wanted to give an update to those who aren't on Facebook but followed me on here.  I am doing well. This Grief Journey is a difficult one. But I'm slowly moving forward.  My Kids family, church family and friends constantly surround me with their love .My kids each live about half hour away in three different directions.
 I hop the train and visit my sister in  Bonney Lake, Washington a couple times a year  the latest being at Easter this year. Its truly a family affair. She furnishes the Ham and the family brings everything else. This year there was 48 at a sit down dinner.

This is where I knew I was slowly moving along in the healing process. Being with so many people in such a small area has been overwhelming. All those people and rain was forcasted.... But I was bound and determined that with the Lord's help I could do this.  He did and I did.  The sun came out and people spread the gazebo and the deck. It was a wonderful Easter.
When I go to visit Jan I like to be there over a Tuesday because she hosts a ladies Bible Study at her home with an average of 15 ladies in attendance. They all bring a dish and its a potluck afterwards. No one wants to leave. The are a wonderful group of ladies... Lots of food and laughter.

and I also take the train to Seattle a couple times a year where my daughter Kelly picks me up at the King Street Station  so I can visit with her, her husband Hoi and the two grand kids who are no longer kids, but wonderful young adults. I spent a week plus a few days there in April dog sitting my grand dog Gage. I get to do it again in October. I see Joe's son Rob and his wife Gloria while I'm at Kelly and Hoi's. They drive up from Tacoma. Last time they took me out to a wonderful breakfast .
He's smiling because I had just told him "Dad would soon be home" and what a reunion that was when he heard Hoi's voice.

I'm on a waiting list to move to an apartment in Estacada, Oregon where I lived when I met Joe. It usually takes two years , and this month was one year. I still have many friends there. Everything I would need is with in walking distance or bus. Grocery store, church, library, Farmers Market (just across the street) and about the same distance in a different directions from my sons, but much closer to my daughter.

 Spring and Summer here where I live in Damascus is beautiful as always. I always enjoy my walks. Beautiful trees and flower, Bunnies everywhere, birds singing, Ravens Soaring and the ever "eagle eyed" hawk on the lookout for their dinner...
Today my granddaughter Arizona turned five! She's the one in the middle. It seems like just yesterday I was holding her in my arms as a new born. This year instead of a party she wanted to go for a pedi/manicure, dress up and go to lunch with her little friends.  Her daddy was able stop her long enough to hear her GG sing Happy Birthday to her on the phone. When I finished Dad said "and she's off and running"

It will probably be another 6-8 months before I'm back over here again.
Take care and may the Lord bless you more than abundantly

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Stopping by to say Hello

Two Years... seems like yesterday.
Yes, I miss him. A lot still. But I have wonderful memories of the 12 years we had together. 

I bought a dozen yellow roses, his favorite and put six in a vase on my table for me,

and took six up to the cemetery

Fall is definitely here and Mt. Hood peeking through the trees makes the picture even more beautiful.

I took a couple of train trips this summer.One to Seattle to visit Joe's daughter and family and celebrate my and Joe's birthday. The above picture was taken to show the waiting room when you you go business class or on long, overnight trips leaving from Portland.
Business Class is quieter and more comfortable. You also receive a $3.00 voucher to apply to what ever you purchase in the Bistro car. This time I used it to purchase a ginger cookie and a Ginger Ale soda to go with the sack lunch I made. My balance being what it is, it's difficult to carry my food back to my seat when the train is moving. The conductors are very helpful taking my box for me, making sure I get safely back to my seat safely.

On the next trip I visited my sister, taking the train from Portland to Tacoma. It was a week of fun and reminiscing.We went to the The Old Cannery
Then we took back roads to Eatonville, Washington, the town we grew up in.

I'm sitting in front of Eatonville High School where I graduated from in 1959. At that time, there was an elementary school, a gym and the high school. One of the faculty members gave us a tour of the campus which includes all three buildings and is now a state of the arts high school.

All the graduating classes from the beginning of the high school have their picture hanging in the halls. My picture is on the bottom right, right by my head.

Normally I take Amtrak's Cascade train. It's convenient for those taking me to the train and picking me up but this time I just "happened" to take the Coast Starlight home. Wow what a difference. Business class on this train is like first class on an airlines. Seats are larger, more comfortable and even have leg and foot rests. Plus your voucher is $6. AND the waiter came to my seat and asked if I wanted reservations in the diner (upstairs on a moving train) or would I like a box lunch brought to my seat. I opted for that. A wonderful chicken sandwich, Chips, large cookie  and a soda. I paid Only $4. Oh and as soon as you are in your seat, the conductor hands you a bottle of water, and asks if you are comfortable. There were three ladies in our car. One went upstairs, one got off in Olympia and I had the whole car to myself the rest of the trip to Portland.

One of my favorite views, Passing by the Narrows Bridge going South from Tacoma.

Back home enjoying fall colors on my walk on the property.

My son David has had a bucket list of things he and his wife have wanted to take me to see. This was one. Walking the Tilikum Crossing Bridge over the Willamette River. He drove to where we get on the Max light rail.

 Of course it helps that both David and his wife are employed by TriMet. David is an operator and his wife a supervisor. From the train ride we walked across the bridge and then rode the train back.
After the nice walk and train ride, they took me and the two grandsons to supper at Red Robin.

The next thing on their bucket list was to take me to North Eastern Washington to visit a friend I hadn't seen since the late 80's. I lived in Electric City and Grand Coulee, Washington then. Our friends live on a large ranch in Elmer City, Washington. He's a "cowboy" and she is a "shepherdess" and even though that's not "suppose to work" there is hundreds and hundreds of acres and and plenty of room for the cows and sheep to live in peace.

This is my sweet Leah and I hadn't seen her since she was in High School. I wanted to see her shepherd's crook...thus the picture of hug and crook.

Leah does it all. She raises and cares for the sheep, She shears the sheep, cleans the wool, cards it, dyes it, spins it and knits and crochet's articles of clothing including slippers for her husband. (I apologize Leah if I didn't get all you do with the wool.

I loved watching the llama watching over the sheep. 

This reminded me of the song "I was looking back to see if you were looking back at me....."

Leah also helps her husband Kerry move cattle from one pasture to another. As I looked out their window at the view of the mountains and valley's another song came  to my mind. "He owns the cattle on a thousand Hills"

The time came for us to head back home. Eight and a half hours one way is a long time for a weekend trip but I loved every minute of it. This is Grand Coulee Dam When I lived in Grand Coulee, I walked across the dam and back to get my two mile walks in. I loved it. But since 911, security prevents anyone but authorized workers walking or driving on it. We did notice a tour van taking people on a tour while we were there.

This is Sun Lakes Dry Falls State Park

My grand dog Harry kept me company on this trip.... but he wasn't much company. He is such a good, well behaved dog too.

Back home I'm enjoying the fall colors, 

Walking the boardwalk at Happy Valley Park,

and feeding the ducks,

and catching lunch now and then with friends.
(Jennifer was one of Joe's many nurses)
It's been fun playing catch up.


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Well That's a "Fine Kettle Of Fish"

 On my way to  church Sunday morning I started to not feel well. I didn't stay for church but came back home and slept off and on until late this afternoon. 
As I was sitting in my chair I remembered seeing some wild flowers along the road from where I live. I need to start getting my strength back so I walked down the driveway and across the road and picked these wild daisies.
I love where I live. A 17 acre nursery  where Japanese Lace Leaf Maples and Dogwoods are the specialty. And this time of year everything is in bloom.
And every where are Rhododendrons of every color.
So I want to finish what I started at the beginning of the Memorial Day Weekend. I had said the weekend could potential be a hard one for me. But it wasn't. I went up to Willamette National Cemetery. Sad and somber but also It was beautiful. Saturday Joe's Horseshoe Club was having a tournament in Oregon City. It was so nice to see friends I haven't seen in a long time. That's two "Joy's"..... Sunday, I was looking forward to Sunday School and Church. I was disappointed that I had to come home, but it didn't take my joy away...because my Joy doesn't depend on what kind of day I'm  having or how I may feel. My Joy comes from with in. You may think "well where was her Joy when Joe died, when every time you saw her she was in tears?" The same answer. Jesus was right there beside me, he was my comforter, my strength my peace and my Joy.   

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Second Day of a Joyful Weekend

I borrowed this from the Internet. The only thing missing  is the action taking place here this weekend a Tournament Saturday and Sunday. Lots of people.

Two of many of my friends here, Rhonda and Barbara are the statisticians. As the score sheets start coming in, they record all the pitchers scores and update their percentages. The girls husbands, Dave and Barry are pitchers too. But when the tournaments are here in Oregon City, they are busy hosting and keeping the things going as smoothly as possible and they do a great job!

Russ and his wife Kay and Larry and his wife Diane are just two of the many friendships we have made at these tournaments.It was nice to hear from them how they miss Joe. And Joe is usually in the middle of this threesome....I'm usually the photographer but this time I handed my camera to someone else and stepped in for my Joe.
Taking those first few steps across the grass to the table where the girls were was hard, and yes the tears were there as I got the hugs, but not for long. Reminiscing was fun, and the hugs and hello's from some I hadn't seen since last September was fun. I only go to the tournaments that are held in Oregon City and Gresham. The club travels all over Oregon.
Tomorrow is  Sunday School and church. I look forward to that. I'll be back here tomorrow for an update on my "Joyful weekend"

Friday, May 25, 2018

In Honor of Joe and All Members of our Armed Forces

Thank you to all the members of our Armed Forces who are currently serving, to those who gave their lives for us and to those who have served our country in the past.

Joe served in the The 101st Airborne Division ("Screaming Eagles") He also played the trombone in the 

101st Airborne Division Band 

I'm sorry the picture is so blurry, This picture hung in his mom's room until she died then I passed it on to his son Rob.

This picture was taken at a Veterans Park in Buckley, Washington. He also loved visiting air bases and air shows. The weren't many military planes he couldn't tell you about. 
But the F-15 "Screaming Eagle" was his favorite. He called them "The Boyz." It didn't matter if he was cleaning the car, pitching horseshoes, or working in the yard. Everything came to a stop, as he watched them pass over until he could no longer see them.

I went to Willamette National Cemetery this morning. The gates opened at 8:00AM and I thought if I was there at that time then traffic wouldn't be an issue.....WRONG!! But it wasn't as bad as it would be a couple hours later. 
It was a somber but beautiful scene. Every grave had a flag beside it.All placed by boy scouts.

This could be a tough week for me. The key word is "could be" Not only is it Memorial Day weekend, but It is a big horseshoe tournament weekend.And those who knew Joe knew he loved horseshoes and Pickleball. Then a week later...June 4th, would have been our 14th wedding anniversary.
I have said a  a couple of times but mostly on my Facebook page. JOY is my word for the year. That doesn't mean there aren't tears over special memories past. But I don't stay stuck there. I think of things that make me smile now. Like there is a very tall, dying fir tree at the cemetery that's not going to be standing much longer....That's been my marker to find the section of the cemetery where Joe's buried. I now laugh to myself every time I see it. But I've just about got a new landmark memorized so when the tree is gone I can still find my Joe.
Instead of avoiding the horseshoe tournament.... I'm going to go watch. I have a lot a friends that will be there. They miss Joe too. So what better way for me to be there and cheer them on and visit with the wives.

And on June 4th, I will spend the day with a very special couple that we met on our travels about ten years ago. We did so many things together including playing games, eating together, sightseeing. We've supported each other when spouses were sick, prayed together.  It will be a Joyful day.....because I choose Joy. "Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Nehemiah 8:10b