Skip to main content

Bodega Bay

Wow. It was wonderful. Everything I thought. It was like meeting someone I'd always known. It was peaceful to be with Cheri and Cathy. The weather was cool and foggy most of the time and it was like a little cocoon surrounding us. We relaxed, drank lots of coffee and champagne and talked and talked. We stayed up way too late and ate way too much chocolate. We walked on the beach and watched the surfers on the waves. It was just like it should be.

As I was getting off the plane in Sacramento, I am I going to recognize Cheri? I've seen some pictures of her, but wasn't sure if I'd know her. From the top of the escalator, I saw her in the lobby and just knew. We hugged and hugged, and even though I was tired, I couldn't stop smiling.

Then we embarked on a two-hour drive to the beach house. It was dark and foggy and Cheri hadn't driven there very many times. So we went in quite a few circles. "Right road, wrong way," she'd say. And of course, I had absolutely NO idea where we were. We got to the little vacation community, which goes in circles, even if you're sure where you're going. So Cheri reaches into her purse. For just a minute my niece Amy's warning about meeting people over the internet flashes in my mind...but whew! All she pulls out is the garage door opener and she starts pointing it at the houses, which really DO all look alike, especially in the dark. She says, "You thought I was kidding, didn't you?" So this is how we find our way home. What a crack up! PS. I'm really glad someone invented GPS.

Cheri is everything you would imagine. She's beautiful and incredibly smart and sweet and funny. She's the kind of friend you want in your corner when the chips are down. I thought she'd be a lot taller! She's both fierce and loveable at the same time. She has incredible insight and wisdom and she speaks the truth.

Cathy has a Chicago accent! Cheri and I were both somehow surpised by that! Duh. And she's so pretty, even prettier than her pictures. And tiny. And she talks just like she writes, which is amazing. She's caring and fun-loving, cute as a button and has a great laugh. Her eyes sparkle and when she curls up on the couch she looks as content as her kitties.

It was a relaxing, low-energy weekend. We talked about Fred and Lou and Dave. We talked about Walla Walla. We talked about Olivia and Kate and Drew and Kenny and Damon and Zach. We talked about grief and we talked about rebuilding a life.

I'm behind.

Not that it's a race or anything. It's not. And not that we don't move all at our own pace. I know all that. And I'm content where I am. But in watching those two faces...two faces I love...watching them light up with new possibilities, new plans, new excitement, I realized a few things.

I'm still alive.
Moving forward does not mean forgetting.
Opening myself to new possiblities does not lessen love.
I can't live completely for or through my children.

I'm making a start. I applied for a new job at WWCC and got it! Yay, me! It should be a good thing for me and for our family. And a step toward building a new life.

We'll see where we go from there.

Then we went home. Cathy threw up on her plane. My plane had turbulence like I've NEVER seen. People were bracing themselves on the ceiling of the plane and SCREAMING. The plane was lurching and falling more than any rollercoaster I've ever been on. It was frightening. The man next to me prayed out loud for us.

When I got home, Kate and team had won the tournament championship! WOW! They positively creamed every team in their way. I've never heard Kate so excited. And Zach was very proud of "his" girls.

And the football banquet was last night. What a night that always is. The senior players all had their picture taken sitting on Dave's rock together and pointing to the sky. They gave us a framed copy of the photo, and the caption reads:

Once a Blue Devil,
Always a Blue Devil.
Forever In Our Hearts
Coach Meyer

There really isn't any place like Walla Walla.

Except the next morning we woke up to this:

SNOW!!! I wanna go back to California!

Love you all,
Thanks Mom and Dad for running the kids.
Thanks Tami for helping out.
Thanks Wendye for the dinner out.
Thanks Dee for the chocolate.

"Who Knew"

You took my hand
You showed me how
You promised me you'd be around
Uh huh
That's right
I took your words
And I believed
In everything
You said to me
Yeah huh
That's right

If someone said three years from now
You'd be long gone
I'd stand up and punch them out
Cause they're all wrong
I know better
Cause you said forever
And ever
Who knew

Remember when we were such fools
And so convinced and just too cool
Oh no
No no
I wish I could touch you again
I wish I could still call you friend
I'd give anything

When someone said count your blessings now
'fore they're long gone
I guess I just didn't know how
I was all wrong
They knew better
Still you said forever
And ever
Who knew

Yeah yeah
I'll keep you locked in my head
Until we meet again
Until we
Until we meet again
And I won't forget you my friend
What happened

If someone said three years from now
You'd be long gone
I'd stand up and punch them out
Cause they're all wrong and
That last kiss
I'll cherish
Until we meet again
And time makes
It harder
I wish I could remember
But I keep
Your memory
You visit me in my sleep
My darling
Who knew
My darling
My darling
Who knew
My darling
I miss you
My darling
Who knew
Who knew


  1. Chelle
    Glad you had such a good weekend and met two ladies that you felt so close to but yet so far from. What a dream come true; I am however sorry you have to meet with such common heartache.
    Wow a new job; how ecxiting and a step forward. You are doing it Chelle; you are. Walla Walla loved Dave and they love you and the kids. Walla Walla will always be there for you to feel loved and safe.

  2. I absolutely love the tone of this post ... and if I had anything to do with, even just supply a lot of laughter, I am ever so thankful. You and Cathy have always been a part of my "thankful" prayers ... but these days it takes on a whole new meaning.

    I hope you popped the little bottle of champagne to celebrate your new job! I would be surprised if you didn't hear me yell out with pride "YIPEE" when I read that it all worked out.

    Thank you for coming all this way to get lost in the dark with me ... and thank you for loving me, supporting me and holding me up when no one else could do the job. I think you and Cathy are proof that miracles really do exist.

    P.S. Dee ... the chocolates ... OMG ... amazing stuff. Thank you so much. We LOVED them!!!

  3. Thanks for letting us "teensit" and for such a fun/exhausting weekend! Kate was awsome! Zack was awsome! Kenny was Awsome! We had fun. You didn't need to thank us for that, just for taking care of the dogs! I'm still a Cat lover! I'm so glad you had a good time. Walla Walla is awsome, no wonder Dave was so great. Love - Mom & Dad

  4. CHELLE BELLE, HOORAY HOORAY!! YOU GOT THE JOB, YIPPEE!!! I am just sooo thrilled to read this!!! What a great start to the holiday season.

    Love the post tho I don't think I'd call myself TINY for gosh sakes but I'll take it. I love the pic. It looks like a book cover doesn't it. Hmmmm....

    Wishing you all a very happy Thanksgiving. I know I'm grateful for your friendship.
    love u all.

  5. Happy Thanksgiving. I am glad you had such a peaceful soulful time with your heart friends.
    That picture should be a book cover with the three of you writing your memories for the world to share, not just us.
    Even though it must feel like a knife to the gut at times- just remember that moving on does not mean forgetting. You are so right- at your pace.
    May God bless you and your family and your special heart felt friends on this Thanks giving day.
    And CONGRADULATIONS on the job!!!! Is it still in the same dept. or something new? Love Sherri

  6. Good for you.
    Move on.
    a friend

  7. what a wonderful time for you to share with your friends. i to beleive in "girls' week ends. time for laughs, tears, & memeories of what has brought us all together. as always, thanks for sharing. what a beautiful gift of the boys with Dave's rock. It still brings tears to my eyes, but I'm so glad it is there. When i started that endeavor, my hopes were to always have that memory of what Dave was to so many. As that picture and so many others picrues I've seen around that rock, it has served its purpose. he will always be here with us in our heart, minds, and souls.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog


I got a tattoo.  Christine actually wrote on my facebook post, "You??"
Yeah.  Me.

I've been thinking about it for six years.
I finally decided that if after six years, I still wanted it, maybe it was time.

The writing is Dave and Doug's.
Taken from notes they wrote me.
They always signed their notes the same way.

I thought I was doing it in memory of them.
To mark the way they are always on my heart.
To have a visible reminder.
A permanent keepsake,
always with me.

And while it is that.
It is also more.

I didn't realize it,
until afterwards.

It's a marker.
A closing of a chapter.
Closure, if you will.

I don't know how to explain it.
The minute it was finished,
I knew.
I knew something inside me was different.

and to a lesser extent,
have been part of my every thought
every day
for over 10 years.

Daryl saw the Dali Lama this summer.
One thing he learned:
Interrogate your truth.

I've been thinking about that a lot.

Interrogate implies a…


So I had my first Walla Walla goodbyes.
The first was my eye doctor, Dr. Poffenroth.
He's taken care of my eyes for 25 years.
He's more than just an eye doctor.  He's a caring person and a friend.
As I left my last appointment, he handed me a card with a referral to a friend of his who practices in Port Angeles.
I looked at the card.
And realized...I won't see him again.

I've been living in a bit of denial.
I know.  Big surprise.

With all the excitement and chaos of moving,
And all the stress of living in limbo,
I somehow missed that I'd be leaving some things
some people

I know I'll be back often.
To see my kids and the new grandbaby,
friends and family.
This fact allowed me to forget...
there are some I won't see.

Even though we promise to keep in touch,
Life has a way of getting busy.
Good intentions and all that.

I  have written many times about Walla Walla.
It's a magical place.
Safe, nurturing.
I never thought I'd leave.

People ask…

August Blog Challenge - Day 7

What is your dream job and why?

I have my dream job.  I really do.

I work at Walla Walla Community College.  It's the best community college in the nation according to the Aspen Institute.

And it is. It really is.

I went to a private university.  A pretty snobby, pretentious one. I thought the community college would somehow be "less" than a university.

I was so wrong.

This place is filled with dynamic, passionate, intelligent people.  And these people care so much about the students they serve. I am continually awed by the caliber of learning and the depth of compassion I see every day.

And I get to be a part of it.

The work I do is hard. But I have a partner.  Daryl.  He's my sanity.  He keeps me grounded.  He's brilliant and insightful and he fills my work days with unconditional love.  We support each other. We talk and connect every day, sustaining each other in ways that go far beyond the surface.  We grow together as people and as therapists.  We fight b…