our second journey photos, part six…ritzville, wa to couer d’alene, id to saltese, mt to alberton, mt…

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our second journey, part twelve…bremerton, wa to ellensburg, wa to couer d’alene, id to alberton, mt to laurel, mt…

when the reality hit me that i was sleep starved, sick, and could barely even stand upright…i made the decision based on time sitting in the car driving and cash on hand to go to my nephew’s house in laurel, mt to recuperate. (it was 18 hours to henderson, nv and only 13 hours to laurel, mt…fewer miles behind the wheel and fewer dollars at the pump.)

the good thing was that we arrived in laurel in two pieces…the bad news was that i only remember bits and pieces. i remember at some point we drove across the tacoma narrows bridge and i took photos. i remember stopping at a rest stop. then, i remember thinking to myself that ellensburg had sure changed from a dinky little town to a much bigger one. we were hungry and tired. the moon was huge and full. i took a photo of it for j**s. we drove to the pilot travel plaza, truck stop…parked and slept in the car.

we woke up before dawn shivering. i was cramped up and had a hard time walking buggs. we got some breakfast at mcdonald’s and parked. we watched as two crows (bob and bud) squabbled over a half-full bag of dorritos. they ate from the bag until the sprinklers went on and soaked them. one perched on the drive-thru sign eyeing his soggy treasures.

we drove on…stopping in couer d’alene for fuel and i found a few interesting things to take photos of. i love idaho…it’s so beautiful!! it was a very quick stop. we got back on the road and i could feel myself fading. we stopped at the first rest stop in montana after crossing the idaho border. we catnapped for about thirty minutes and then got back on the road. we didn’t get too far before my back hurt so bad that i was driving and crying. we just happened to pull over in alberton, mt. i forced myself out of the car and willed myself to walk. i am so glad because i was able to capture some incredible views and landscape.

we got back in the car and drove as fast as i safely could through livingston and missoula and bozeman to some very familiar surroundings; reed point (home of the sheep run), columbus, park city, and then…finally laurel. we were both exhausted when we pulled up to p**l’s place. i was happy to see a familiar, happy face and gave him the best hug that i could muster.

more tomorrow…

happy birthday my friend…

…happy birthday w***y…

…happy birthday to you…

…hope you had the day off…

…and something fun to do…

…maybe you’ll go exploring…

…maybe you’ll laze about…

…maybe you’ll see a movie…

…maybe you’ll just eat out…

…perhaps you’ll just go gambling…

…it’s what you like to do…

…perhaps you’ll even win big…

…with the luck your mom left you…

…well, whatever you do…

…and wherever you go…

…know that we love you…

…and we’re sad you know…

…because we’re not with you…

…because we’re not there…

…to sing happy birthday…

…and show you we care…

our second journey photos: part five…bremerton, wa to ellensburg, wa…

 

our second journey, part eleven…gig harbor, wa to bremerton, wa…

so, there buggs and i were…surrounded by the beauty of the harbor and the forests. i walked around and took photos.

i felt weird physically. i was having a shooting pain going down my lower spine and it hurt to walk.

i also felt weird psychically…like something was lost or gone and like things were beginning to shift.

i got into the car with buggs, sat down, and smelled the sea air…i was home and it was beautiful. i missed it so.

then, i just felt overwhelming sadness and a sense of loss. the tears came down my cheeks and i sat there sobbing.

when i was finally able to pull it halfway together…which was hard because i was sleep starved.

i made an online reservation at a hotel in bremerton and pointed the car in that general direction.

we drove by the naval yards and saw the big ships and aircraft carriers. we were listening to j**s’s playlist.

by the time we got to the hotel, i could barely walk and i was beginning to slur my words and not make any sense.

i stumbled into the lobby to get the key and nearly dropped to the floor from the excruciating pain that i felt.

i got buggs and i situated and i began writing about everything that i was feeling and thinking.

even though my body had no sleep, my mind was awake and writing and creating. i was wired and focused.

i put my hand in my pocket and pulled out the carefully folded hearts. i took photos and wrote about them.

i stayed up all night and went to asleep finally at about 0300. 0900 came around and i had to crawl to the bathroom.

i couldn’t walk and standing wasn’t much better, i took a hot bath in hopes that it would make things better. it did.

we decided that we weren’t ready to leave home yet and ended up recuperating there for a few days.

more tomorrow…

our second journey, part ten…gig harbor, wa…

brunch was over and my friend was gone and that was that. i reached into my pocket and felt something familiar. it was the art project that i so happily created for her the valentine’s day before last…so 2016.

the paper was very soft and delicate. the project was tie dyed hearts of different sizes and colors made from coffee filters. it was a throw back or homage to our texting valentine’s day “date.” we imagined the date and “talked” about it.

it all started because she was talking about how times used to be. she waxed nostalgic about handmade paper valentines and kids having boxes to receive them in. she had me imagine finding a very particular valentine.

it was a handmade paper heart…decorated with yarn and ribbon and sparkly glitter. i “opened” it and it said, “will you be my valentine?” it had three words with three boxes inside. the words were yes, no, or maybe so.

i imagined the card and how special and honored i would feel to have received it. i was instructed to check the appropriate box and give it back to her. i thought about it for a moment and then wholeheartedly checked “yes.”

so anyway, three of the nine hearts that i made had words on them “yes,” “no,” and “maybe so.” all of them traveled with me from montana to nevada to gig harbor…across the country to niagara falls (the site of jim and pam’s wedding).

i felt those hearts that were carefully folded up in my pocket. i brought them with me to give to her. i made them for her and thought that she should have them. not as anything other than a purely platonic gift.

however, i held back…something stopped me. i didn’t know what it was at the time or even for months later. a few days ago it occurred to me that those hearts are now a part of me. i didn’t give them away because they’re mine.

they are mine. i have carried them with me. they are a part of me. this journey has changed me profoundly. they belong to me and i will choose “yes” everytime now. i choose myself…my own lovely, kind, remarkable heart.

more tomorrow…