What I did in Holy Week

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.

seagull watches us taking pictures of him

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.

The apron worked, the ramp was stuck

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.

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14 Responses to What I did in Holy Week

  1. Oh dear. What a difficult trip on so many levels. Sending good wishes through the blogosphere and hopes that both Jerry’s back and Bert’s will are settled quickly.

  2. Hattie says:

    This too shall pass. Happy Easter, Anne.

  3. Lucy says:

    How horribly trying, but over for now. Rest well.

  4. Pauline says:

    I like the way you ended this piece – with Jerry’s hands on your shoulders. Sometimes even the smallest warmth can dispel some of the weariness we acquire when things don’t go smoothly. Hope all works out well in the end.

  5. Tabor says:

    Such a sad and difficult time for both of you. So sorry.

  6. Hoping some of today’s sunshine in Portland is with you today, Sunday. Admiring your excellent seagull photo. The other day one eyed me, for my food, of course, on Ferry wharf in San Francisco but my photo turned out to be just feet in flight.

  7. wisewebwoman says:

    Oh dear Anne, such trials and tribulations. All is well that ends well. You cope so beautifully with stuff that frazzles me.
    I hope your colds lift and that the Easter sunshine renews your spirits!

  8. Jean says:

    Oh dear, this all sounds very trying, upsetting and exhausting. I’m sorry. Both the tears and the hands are crucial, aren’t they? Take care.

  9. Friko says:

    Well, I really never !

    Are you the Anne who leaves very sweet comments on my blog from time to time, but never either a forwarding blog or a forwarding email address? I have been wanting to comment on your comments for ever, yet clicking on your name in the comments brings up nothing but a dead letter-box kind of address in a blogspot blog from 2011 and nothing else. If you hadn’t mentioned one of your other favourite blogs today, so I could go and see if you were accessible from there, I’d still be cursing you for not telling me who you are. I thought the 20th Century woman had long given up on me.

    There is something so infinitely sad about this post, all this dwelling on final resting places in holy week; I am so glad you ended the tale with the comforting touch of a loving hand.

  10. Mage Bailey says:

    Goodness….what a mess. Too many trips and not enough understood information. So glad you both were able to make it home ok with doggies in tow. Hugs.

  11. Freda says:

    |A wonderful picture at the end of companionship, love and letting go.

  12. Friko says:

    Anne, please confirm that you are the Anne who comments as well as the ancient lady of the 20th century.
    Re broom: are you sure you mean broom and are not talking about gorse? Gorse is the spreader, prickly and colonising whole tracts. Broom is without any prickles and remains politely in its place, without ever spreading.

    • Anne says:

      Indeed, I am one and the same Anne. As to the broom, you are more of an expert than I, so it may be that what we have plaguing us here is just gorse. It is called scotch broom here. In New Zealand I have heard it called both, or perhaps they have both. It’s a funny thing about things staying politely in place. My daughter in England had linaria in her garden and it was quite well behaved. Here in my garden, though it is pretty and long lasting, and humming birds love it, it is trying to take over the whole place and I am having to root it out.

  13. Friko says:

    Dear Anne
    Gorse is the plant you’re talking about; gorse by it’s bot. name is Ulex. It’s spiky and evergreen and grows in exposed, wild areas.
    Broom’s bot. name is Genista; it has no spikes, but long thin stems which are covered in tiny flowers and is not in the least invasive,
    but very pretty in early spring. It’s fully hardy and even comes in reddish purple flowers.

    There is gorse around on the castle ground, when there were sheep in the grounds, they’d nibble it down; it’s not a garden plant.

    Hope I’ve cleared that up.

    Love Friko

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