On Palm Sunday Jerry and I went to eastern Washington. We both had colds, and in addition Jerry was having problems with his back. I did some of the driving over and all of it coming back. It snowed on the pass on the way over, but on the way back on Monday the mountains glistened gloriously in the spring sunshine. The trip exhausted both of us, but was still worth while. One thing we accomplished was a decision about Bert’s ashes and the related question of our own burial and the ashes of Susy, Jerry’s late wife of 30 years. (Those are still in a box in Jerry’s work-shop.)
We spent some time with Paul and Sharon, friends of Bert’s. They are fine people who want a place set aside to remember Bert. We hadn’t seen them since Bert’s death and the subject was approached slowly and cautiously. Paul said he felt it important to have a marker. We settled on the Lummi church yard to bury the ashes. Then we decided that Jerry and I will have our remains in the same place and Susy as well. “Just don’t put me next to Bert” Jerry said, laughing. He cared about his brother, but Bert wasn’t easy to get along with. I said he could rest peacefully between Susy and me.
We spent the next three days trying to recover from the whirlwind trip east and got some antibiotics for Jerry’s a secondary infection from his cold. That’s better, but his back is still a trouble.
Yesterday, on Good Friday, we set out for San Juan Island where Jerry used to live and where we were to have a meeting with our lawyer and a phone conference with our Arizona lawyer. There is an opposing will produced by the man whose gun killed Bert, supposedly leaving most of the estate to himself and his girlfriend. Naturally we are disputing the legitimacy of this document.
So this was a big meeting and I was nervously anticipating what might be said. We just made the ferry in Anacortes. The trip takes a little over an hour and I had forgotten to bring my knitting, so all I could do was worry about legal things — things I know little about and thus make me anxious. Just as we were rounding the corner to the Friday Harbor dock there was an announcement from the bridge that the ferry might not be able to unload cars because the ramp was not functioning. They were trying to fix it, but they might have to take cars with drivers back to Anacortes. The foot passengers could go ashore. Jerry and I agreed that he should go on to the meeting and I would stay with the car.
The bridge announced that we were going back to Anacortes and the ferry started off. Then, without explanation, it came back to the car loading dock and a couple of workmen climbed around on the dock, pulling levers and working switches. A number of other workmen watched with interest. They spoke to the crew on the boat through intercoms and could be overheard by the unhappy drivers hopefully hanging around. The gist of what was said on the intercom was that this wasn’t going to work. It didn’t. They got the apron within a couple of feet of the car deck and gave up.
We took off for Anacortes.
After 3 hours of riding on a ferry I was back where I started. Since we were the last car on the ferry I was close to the end of the line for refunds. It took about 45 minutes in a line of traffic to be told that they couldn’t give a refund there if more than 2 hours had elapsed since we bought the ticket. We would have to mail in a form with the receipt.
The law office had called to say that Jerry would fly back to Anacortes on San Juan Airlines, and it was almost time for his plane to land. I persuaded my GPS thing to show me the way to the airport even though I didn’t know its street address. I cleverly guessed it was on Airport Road. and the GPS device was satisfied.
When I got to the airport I took the poodles for a walk. Poor doggies had been a long time in the car. An orange San Juan Airlines plane landed. I thought at last I would get Jerry and we could go home, but I watched the plane unload its 3 passengers and Jerry wasn’t one of them. I went in the office to see what I could find out. It seemed that the whole schedule of the planes was disrupted because of the ferry problem. The plane from Friday Harbor had gone to Bellingham. It would be in Anacortes in another few minutes.
I finally collected my frazzled husband with his bad cold and bad back (he had been to Orcas as well as Bellingham) and we drove home, stopping only for dog food. He was encouraged by his conference with the lawyers but not able to tell me much about what was said. He said it was mostly legal talk which he didn’t fully understand. We were home in time to cook a late dinner, and I finished cleaning up the dishes and feeding the dogs.
I sat quietly in the kitchen letting the trivia of the day subside. The radio was playing Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, haunting music that echos the deep, universal sadness of loss and suffering; tears dripped down my face. Jerry came and laid his hands on my shoulders.