I don't remember my first meeting with Dottie. I was just three days old.
I have been told of it though my whole life. She gave me a sip of beer.
And I proceeded to puke on her~!
My first memory of Dottie goes like this.
I am about three. It is pretty late at night. At least to my mind. There was crab everywhere.
I could here the crab pots boiling and I couldn't wait to get at them. Dottie and her husband Lief were frequent visitors to our home. I had just began to remember faces and names. Dottie came into the house as I was sitting under a high chair or shelf next to the stove. She said. " Neecer get out from under there, you could get hurt." And she pulled on my hands and brought me up in her arms and took me outside with the rest of the people. I remember my mom asking where she found me, and Dottie saying something about I just wanted some crab. I got my crab and a cuddle from Dottie.
I have many many fond memories of Dottie and Lief and their children Liefie, Walt, and, Missy.
Our family is part of a group called the MTA. We all own a cabin on Whidbey Island.
It looks out onto Camano Island. This cabin is a magical place. There is no fighting allowed. Only friendship. And loads of fun and even more seafood. FRESH seafood. I am spoiled by this! I will not touch it if I didnt' see it come out of the sea , go into a cooking pot, onto a bbq, or in the oven, and from their onto my plate. MMm just thinking about that crab is making my mouth water.
Anyway, jump back onto the rails. Sooo many wonderful summers where spent there. Playing cards with the ladies, fishing and shooting crows with the guys, clam digs and crab boils, lots of sun burns and so so so much laughter. In Quiet moments on the deck if a person allows themselves to hear it. The laughter of those who have crossed over can be heard on the breeze.
There is a deep relaxation that comes over me at the cabin. And I am not the only one.
People come from as far away as Alaska and North Dakota and New York City just to come to our cabin. Folks gather and share everything from food to family stories around the campfire.
Sing alongs and drunken obscenities are frequent occurences. Coming away from the cabin is never an empty handed experience. It just can't be explained. I will try to get some pictures posted. Dotty was a huge part of these experiences. Until Lief passed away in 95. We let his ashes go into the water under the walkway. Just like he wanted. He loved it over there so very much. Dotty rarely came there after that it was just too hard. But we still saw her at Kuhnles Tavern and my parents holdiay get togethers and weddings and funerals and the like.
I am who I am because she is so deeply etched onto my soul. The things she taught me are invaluable and I only hope I can some how manage to pass them along to my daughters.
You know when I was a teen I went through a faze where I hated the cabin. I hated summer. blah blah blah. Dottie was the only person who told me that someday. I would see. The cabin would be precious to me and I would love being there. I didn't believe her.
I should have. I fought for the cabin to not be sold as some folks wanted out. It was finally decided that they would just sell their shares and other people would buy them. My dad read a poem I wrote at one of the meetings. Dotty and a few others had been on the fence about selling.
After he was finshed reading and they were all done wiping the tears from their eyes. No one was on the fence anymore. Four shares were sold. Dotties wasn't one of them. She told me it was because of my poem. I was so touched by that. At her wake I was informed that she had a copy of all of my poems that had been shared at funerals and my sisters wedding and for the cabin.
You didn't see that it just took me a few moments to breathe and compose myself again.
Wiping the tears from my eyes to go on with my life. All I can say is. Thank you Dotty.
Thank you, for everything you taught me, excepting what I taught you, appreciating me for who I am and loving me for it. Thank you for showing me how to cut the apron strings. How to stand up for myself. And how to live my life in integrity. It took me a while to really learn them all.
But along the way you were endlessly patient and tirelessly kind. You were an amazing, funny, loving lady who always made everyone feel welcome like family. I am going to miss you and your smoke and your doilies. Mostly I am going to miss your laughter and your hearing your gravely voice saying, " I love you neecer." Thankyou so much for coming to me and making sure I heard you loud and clear. And thank you for making yourself known at the wake.
I am having a really hard time with this. I don't know why some deaths affect me in this way.
I am happy that Dotty has crossed over and can be with her husband and family and so many other loved ones again. I am so happy for her graduation. And she has made herself very known.
And yet I feel so crushed at moments. Like a huge rock is on my chest. Like a hit knife is being stabbed into heart. There are moments when all I want to do is cry. I know I am talking endlessly about this. Several people have asked to be told about her. This I have done. All though I feel that I haven't really expressed what an amazing person she was. And what an amazing place the cabin is. I can't invite you to meet Dotty, but I can invite you each to visit me sometime and come with me to Whidbey Island. And hey added bonus. Phyllis is there!!!!!