Bellingham Journey 11-25-17

Well today we went up to Bellingham to do a few things.

  1. Drop off some tupperware with my brother’s family.
  2. We went up to get pictures of all of Wolsey’s old places he lived at.
  3. Went up to place a wreath on my parents grave for the holidays, along with stringing some lights.

I do have to say though, the travel up to Bellingham and back was unprecedentedly smooth. It is a 112+ mile trip each way and we were up within 2.5 hours after stopping three times for bathroom attempts… Hubby couldn’t find a stall to use… and only 2 hours coming home with us doing shopping at  Target for the cat. There are a lot of pictures of places the hubby has lived, and like the photos I took of where I lived I will have in depth postings about those places and why they are important.

First we stopped by my brother’s place, we saw his kids and their mother and hung out for a little while. Wolsey dropped off some of his jewelry from pre-transition to Kristen our niece while I gave Tupperware to Monica. Hopefully they will find uses for all of those. Fortunately the family seems to be doing pretty well. We got some ideas for the kids for Christmas and it was nice to just see my brother sober.

Then we were off to see Wolsey’s childhood places he had lived at. We went over through the Alderwood/Birchwood area and hit up a few places. Things went well on this leg of the journey except for an old man coming out of one of the houses we went by and we had to take stealth pictures of it, so as not to alarm him.

 

 

We then went up to Toad Lake area and saw the first home his parents built. It is also near where his grandparents lived, so we swung by there. The house is obviously still owned by his sister, and we saw a white SUV in the driveway which means his mother was probably there as well, so we were in ultra-stealth mode to avoid contact.

 

 

Although I really wanted to take him up to the door, and when Debbie and Toni answered (Debbie is mom, Toni sister) I would be excited, give Debbie a hug saying I found Clark’s long lost son (Clark is Wolsey’s dad) and pull Wolsey in front of me. I can only imagine the reaction, and yes it isn’t a fully positive thing that I would love to see the confusion and then the apoplectic shock.

Surprise, you have a son! I have no idea where your daughter went, or if you even had a daughter.

After we snuck away, we then went down to the Gladstone/James street homes. These are some of the places where he lived as a gutter punk and where I watched him do a photo shoot with a flower and nothing else. I thought he was so beautiful (and he was still my best friend then, although this was pre-transition for him). I do find it a bit humorous though, the whole time I had a crush on him, he wanted to be with me and would have dropped anyone he was with to see if it would work between us.

This is the only SFW pic I can show of that shoot, I can tell you that I loved him dearly back then as well as now 27 years later.
P1030074
The house where that photo shoot happened 1990

Then we went to the Blue Dolphin and had a very nice lunch, however we forgot to hit his parents home (last place in Bellingham he lived at that I didn’t) because of the food induced dementia. It is ok though, it was already stressful enough at his sister’s/grandparent’s house so it was a good idea for a break.

We also had swung by my parents’ grave. We noted that the wind chimes were gone. It has been super stormy lately so it could very well have been blown off. Also, the cemetery often has teenagers that prowl it, they might have grabbed it. Either way it doesn’t bother me at all. If it was the wind, it was totally expected and it probably made some cool sounds as it blew away, and if it was teenagers/college kids I hope they are enjoying the tinkling sound it makes.

Either way we will replace it next time we go up. We knew the stuff we place on the grave isn’t permanent.We also noticed no one had been to their grave since we went last time. The remains of decayed flowers we had planted were still there. We cleaned it up, and the ever inventive Wolsey found some stuff to wipe it down with. I figure next time I will bring a small cleaning kit just in case.

Even with all this, Wolsey was kind enough to set up the new solar powered christmas lights along the shepherds crook and we set up a wreath. My parents always loved Xmas (well at least my mom, and my dad did anything my mom asked of him).

 

 

I noticed “Angel Eyes” a statue of an angel as part of a family grave about 50 feet down from where they are was there and a bit worn looking. Angel Eyes is sort of a cemetery icon, and as teenagers we would run up to her at night and dear each other to sleep on the “death bed” beside her. I had remembered earlier this week I had scanned a photo of Angel Eyes from 1994 so I present to you the passing of 23 years (1994 to 2017). It is amazing how time slips by. I think I might have to do a photo session with the graveyard itself, it is still the most beautiful one I have seen ever.

 

 

The only thing that really bothered me and still bothers me is that it was obvious no one had visited their grave. I suspect I am the only one that visits, which is ok in the end. Wolsey pointed out we were the only ones that tried to take care of them when they were alive, somehow it seems fitting it is only us now. Even though I understand that, it still makes me angry, especially with my sister who has done nothing, not offered to help with anything and was the source of a lot of real grief when both parents passed (that is part of the upcoming continuing posts of my parents passing, still so angry I can’t write it).

So there it was, a fairly easy going trip up to Bellingham and then back home.

Memory: High Street (Bellingham)

The place I lived longest in Bellingham was on High Street. We moved here I believe winter of 88 and I moved out from my parents in 1990. We were a few blocks down from Western Washington University, about a mile up from Bellingham High School and next door to my two best friends, Doug and Wolsey.It was here that I spent two summers gaming down at Eagle’s Games, when I became close friends to Wolsey (I was best friends with Doug and he was dating Wolsey).

During this time Wolsey and I became best friends and Doug went his own way. This is also when I met Disa, Bryon and a ton of other friends like Weylin.

It was also where I lived when I was working full time as a teenager and supporting my family, my parents were totally out of action due to alcoholism, and it was also where I lived when I almost joined a motorcycle club (they were family friends).

Link back to a listing of all homes I have lived in.

Memory: Iron Street (Bellingham)

Iron Street was a place we stayed at for about 6-7 months. Sometime late Summer/early Fall of 1987 through early Spring of 1988.

It was a three bedroom one bath house. It is where I first started reading Piers Anthony’s  the White Gold Wielder series, the Xanth  series I had read back in Lake Stevens. The house had a kennel area that Mucho and Thirty Eight, our two dogs, used during the day.

There were definitely more memories from this place. My parents alcoholism was fairly rampant with some dry spells, my dad’s PTSD from Vietnam was hitting a crescendo and we had periods of no power and not much food. The most important part is this is where I lived here when I first met my husband. Also when our family started to befriend the local motorcycle club that was around me in my late teen years.

There was a grocery store nearby (which is now a Trader Joes, and a strip mall), an local shop that sold trees during Christmas and the high school was still only a few blocks away. It is also where I first watched Star Trek: The Next Generation on network TV. Overall not the worst place we had lived, but definitely was in the process of the downward slide my family had started back in Everett. Also definitely a place that I have stuff I will post about later.

Link back to a listing of all homes I have lived in.

 

Memory: Virginia Street (Bellingham)

Current Day (2017) front view

Our first actual place we lived in Bellingham was a small 2 bedroom, 1000 square foot house. They currently say its 1.75 bathrooms but I believe there was only a single bathroom when we lived there.

All I remember about this place is feeling safe for the first time in a long time. Not completely safe, my parents alcoholism started on a downslide here (and didn’t let up until long after I moved away as an adult). However, we didn’t have to worry about people kicking in the door and shooting everyone.

Current day (2017) side view.

The place itself is one of those shotgun houses. Meaning it was long and thin. It had an enclosed porch (which I am sure they count as part of that 1,000 square foot) that my sister slept in. While my brother and I shared the bedroom all the way in the back (I believe it was parallel to the kitchen which also went to the back of the building. There was a living and a second bedroom my parents used that was between the porch and my room/kitchen.

I don’t have a lot of memories I will talk about in this post from here. Except this is when I was listening to Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love” song a lot and first learned about Elfquest comics. I also lived here when I helped with Camp Horizon, and also the first time I had a girl come over to talk with me, which my dad saw and he later asked why I wasn’t going out with her. I can’t remember her name now, but she was cute, I was shy and my dad was questioned why I wasn’t riding that train.

The place was only a couple of blocks from Bellingham High School so it was easy to get to school. It was also where I lived when I met Doug and Jay for the first time, started running them Dungeons and Dragons and where I started moving away from the future trajectory of being a biker and being involved in things that weren’t good for me (also all future posts).

We eventually moved to Iron Street, next door basically late summer. It was a bigger house, same landlord and a place for both of our dogs to go. There will be at least a few more posts about specific things here I think, but that is it for the place itself.

Link back to a listing of all homes I have lived in.

Memory: Forest Street (Bellingham) – First place in town

What now exists on 1020 N. Forest in 2017

It is funny, I can’t remember the exact date we arrived in Bellingham. I believe it was sometime in late winter/early spring of 1987, all I can be sure of is that it was cold outside. We had just moved away from our Lora Lane trailer and a series of motels right after that, and then finally into our place here.

My dad believed we were safe to try and find a place to live. The contract that was out on us had been rescinded from what we could tell. He had spent a few weeks contacting his old friends and for the first time in almost two years he seemed to breath. I suspect that everyone else involved knew the guy who put it out was full of shit and refused to do anything about it and Mike was heading back to California.

We were put up in temporary housing, at 1020 N. Forest. It was a three story house, divided up into different apartments and we lived in the top for couple of months.

Sadly I don’t have many memories from there. I do remember an incident where my dad was cutting his own hair, but the razor tool used to blend hair was sharper then he expected and had cut too closely, and he was so pissed about it. That was a sore subject for a couple of weeks.

Another memory was taking my sister who was 12ish at the time and my brother who was 6ish and walking down Forest and then State streets. At the time it seemed like a huge distance we were covering, but it was probably only 8-10 blocks out and then back. We were exploring the area, and we had never been in Bellingham before. I think we got as far down as Ellis St as a cross street. It was a grayish day, overcast and it was a weird relief to not be in a car again. It was also the first time in years my parents didn’t get anxious when we went off to be kids without their supervision.

The other biggest memory I have from living there, other than watching Trapper John M.D., was the food co-0p. The Bellingham Food Co-Op was a tiny hole in the wall store at this time. It was the one place within walking distance that would take food stamps, and it wasn’t very expensive (unlike what its like now).

It was probably the only time as a kid we could afford to eat at a co-op. For some reason I really remember the Pina Colada juice they sold. I tried drinking it a few years ago and it seems so much more watery now. I can’t be sure if that is just my memory fooling me, or if it really is a lot more watery.

I also remember that we had a view from the living room windows of Bellingham Bay. The house is set on a hill, and while there was lots of buildings down hill, it wasn’t until long after we lived here that tall enough buildings were built that may block the view. It was a nice view though.

Within two-three months of living there, we ended up moving over to the house on Virginia street and this place became a memory.

I went back in July 2017 to get pictures of the old house. It has long been torn down and the apartments replacing it (I am assuming college housing). I hadn’t looked for the house in about 20 years, so I suspect it could have been done even before we moved away from Bellingham. I figured I still wanted a picture of the spot now, just to go along with all the other places.

Link back to a listing of all homes I have lived in.