Long long day… but worth it

Here it is 00:30 and I am awake with anxiety, uncomfortable dreams and still amped from my day. I feel distracted and to be honest emotional (evidently distracted enough that it is now 02:00 because I just sat here zoning out for 90 minutes).

This isn’t uncommon for me when I have to deal with family. Ever since my parents passed I haven’t had many good experiences (barring with my younger niece and nephew). The difference is today it felt like we got past something, maybe things are changing. Even if they aren’t, I think I am gaining the ability to just let things go.

Yesterday started decently, if not a bit early. I was up by 4am (anxiety about going up to visit parents grave). Hung out with husband a bit until I left later then normal (after 8am) to drive up to Bellingham (about a 130 mile drive one way). It is the first time I have been out and about by myself dressed female without my husband (barring work).

It started with going to the gas station at Safeway. Two different guys are filling up cars and they notice me. One guy just smiled, the other guy chuckled to his friend inside their truck. Fuck them I don’t care (actually not too much at least). Went inside the little store area to look for a Coke Zero, none where there. The older guy behind the counter asked me what I am looking for, I told him and he said “Honey, they are outside” and went out and got me the last Coke Zero. It was nice that he didn’t even hesitate, I wasn’t sure with him being older how he would react, then he yelled at one of the guys at the gas pump so I knew he wasn’t super nice all the time.

I then drove up to Bellingham and on my way stopped by a grocery store for flowers for my parents grave and a Starbucks. Everyone was nice and the florist lady called me Honey. Is that normal to have so many people use that term?

For some reason (maybe its hrt, or maybe I am old) I had to stop again to pee. This time at a rest stop. This is where things got twitchy. I am parked and four asian ladies in a Canadian plated van step out and smoke three fee from my window. I then get up to go to the bathroom and I get stared at by a bunch of rednecks when I go into the bathroom, and when I get out of the rest area bathroom there are three different guys from different group standing there watching me.

I think the one advantage is none of them realized I was taller than them, and I have a lot of tattoos. They just stared at me, but didn’t say a word… so neither did I. I got out of the rest area as soon as possible though.

I got to Bellingham and picked up my brother. This was a funny part. I swing into his apartment complex and he almost walks past me. He is staring at me like he is trying to figure out who I am. This is the first time he has seen me dressed in makeup and a skirt.

He got in the car and laughed about it. He said that he saw me from outside his apartment, he thought he recognized the car but when he saw only one person and he thought it was a woman, he didn’t think it was me. I knew he was telling the truth because when he walked past me I saw the moment when he recognized me.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I pass in general, but it was nice to see evidently I can feminize well enough.

We then met with my niece at Bob’s Burgers and had a great lunch. She also had a confused look when she saw me  and she congratulated me on how I looked. We then had lunch and she talked about her life, my brother’s life and mine. I feel like we got past some previous family stuff. Don’t get me wrong there is still stuff that hurts and I will eventually talk about here, but you try and get past it.

Neither my niece or brother wanted to go to the cemetery so I took my brother home. On the way home we stopped by his kid’s house and I got to say hi to my younger set of nephew/niece combination (they also didn’t recognize me at first, not saying I passed as a woman, but that I didn’t look like who I was). Once done there we had to stop at three places to pick him up a bus pass and we said farewell.

Finally I got to go to the cemetery. I was supposed to come up a couple of months ago, but with all the surgeries, medical visits, etc I never made it. I spent a good hour or so there, cleaning up the headstone of my parents, taking pictures and dropping my excess flowers on obviously unvisited graves. I think I want to go up there and do a full photo layout of the cemetery. It is still the single most beautiful graveyard/cemetery (I don’t know the difference) that I have seen in person in my life.

Finally I drove home (took 3 hours to get anywhere) and got to see the husband. It was a 12 hour day that felt like 16, but I felt better. I think I want to go up there a little more regularly.

What I did find was my family I met with seemed ok with me walking around with them with a skirt on. I didn’t realize how anxious I was about how they would react (and I still don’t know why I care). It was a good experience though and I am glad I did it.

Oh, and there will be photos later!

October Bellingham Visit

Personal Post

Yesterday the husband and I went up to Bellingham early. The purpose was to visit my mom’s grave, as it was her birthday a short time ago, we had just gotten the solar Christmas lights they would want, and then to continue my photography project where I photograph all of the old places I lived.

The first place in Bellingham we stopped at was Fred Meyer’s for flowers and a super rich, chocolate frosted, chocolate cupcake with a chocolate straw and sprinkles on it. My mom loved chocolate cake with chocolate icing and would always sneak it in even with her diabetes.

We visited their grave and noted that our solar candle and wind chimes are still there. That was a surprise to both of us as we figured when we put them up in May, we would have to replace them every few months either due to teenagers, or just the weather.

flowers, chocolate cake and an electronic candle for mom, with a few candy corn for dad so he doesn’t get jealous.

We pulled out the solar Christmas lights and realized we didn’t have any ties to run it up the shepherds crook. We will be going up the weekend after Thanksgiving to put a Christmas wreath on it so we will just put the lights up then. We would wait closer to Christmas to spread out the going up now and then, but with the hubby’s surgery the following Tuesday Nov. 28th, we won’t be able to come up until after Christmas.

I felt a bit guilty since I hadn’t been up there in almost five months and due to work/injuries and stress I put off doing it. My goal is to come up four times a year to visit, both of their birthdays, wedding anniversary and Christmas. I realize over time this will probably lessen, but I guess there hasn’t been enough time yet.

While we were up there, we went to visit my brother who had just gotten out of rehab and is temporarily staying at his ex’s place with his kids. We dropped off a HD video camera we bought about five years ago since our phones and my camera match it to them. The kids evidently have youtube channels and wanted a better camera to film. I am glad to see my brother, sister (in-law unofficially) and younger grouping of nephew and niece.

Brother, sister-in-law,nephew and niece.

We then went around to the remaining places I lived in Bellingham and photographed them as they look now. All I have left after this is the Everett, Lake Stevens, and Seattle areas, but the Whatcom County areas for living are done. I was incredibly pleased when they hubby said I could photograph his old places he lived in before being with me. We will do that the weekend we come up to put the wreath and lights up. I also told him I considered doing the same of a project of all the places I worked (dozens and dozens of places, literally), because it is a larger scale then the living, we will see if that goes that way.

We then left town and on our way back stopped by Flyer’s Restaurant and Brewery (their Burlington location). I will probably do a full Yelp review, but suffice to say the burger was really good, the staff was nice, but it was not quite the atmosphere we were looking for.

We were wanting to check it out as a possible entry in our 2019 book we are trying to get started that is a guide to greasy spoons and American diners in Western Washington. Way to upscale a place. Its on the Skagit Regional Airport and people literally can fly their small planes in and park next to the restaurant. Not what we were looking for, but still pretty good meals.

Hubby being himself at Flyer’s.

We then got home and before I could pull of my walking cast and rest, the drain pipe of our garbage disposal cracked and spilled everywhere. Hubby was great, he jumped in, cleaned up the water as I watched helplessly unable to help with my cast. We then called maintenance and they put a plug on the drain and supposedly this week they will repair it (replace is probably more likely).

Well that was my day today, went pretty well overall. All that matters is I got to spend it with my best friend and husband (yes they are the same person).