Sadly, my husband Greg’s dad Martin passed in his sleep last Saturday night after battling cancer for the last ten months. We are all relieved that it was a peaceful wrap on a fully lived life. On Friday, when Greg and I heard that it was getting close, we secured our fishing boat Duna in a slip and flew out of Sitka to Seattle. Greg then headed to South Africa to be with his mom and sisters. My role was to return to Port Townsend for a few weeks on standby for whatever needed doing. I am so glad Greg flew to South Africa as with his family is where he should be right now, him supporting them and them supporting him. All will be fine with time and the Friedrichs clan knows the value and healing power of laughter through tears.
We are playing it by ear on our return to Alaska and fishing. In theory, we hope to be on the water again by July 15th but will see how it all goes in South Africa. If need be Greg will stay on longer to help his family. That is the good thing about running your own business, the flexibility when you need it.
My goofy old hound dog is beside himself with joy that he has me back to cater to his need for scratches and walks in the woods and field. The gardens are also breathing a sigh of relief for my return, as it has been hot and dry here in the Pacific Northwest. The grass is good and brown and that is how it will stay. No water for the lawn as I hate mowing that damn grass!
It is full blown summer in Port Townsend. In spite of and maybe because of the heat, the raspberries in my backyard and wild blackberries in the fields are ripe and adding up in our freezer. The berries joined 20 pounds of sweet, red cherries – pitted, frozen on sheet pans and transferred to containers – stacked in the deep freeze earlier in June. Blueberries are sure to be early due to the summery blast so soon it will be a trip to Finnriver Farm and Cidery in Chimacum for U-pick. Unlike the wild blackberries that are found low in the grass on thorny canes that stitch exposed limbs with a mesh of red welts, the task of picking high bush blueberries is painless work. For now, off the boat and out of Alaska, my focus has shifted from producing seafood to putting up landfood.
Part of me feels badly to be in the middle of all this summer with bounty and bloom, the smell of fresh hay everywhere and doors of the house propped wide open for breezes while Greg is taking his last journey with his father. My friend and dog sitter Josh wisely said, “You can feel bad about enjoying your sudden summertime at home but it won’t do him or you any good.” He is right. So I am collecting summer to share with Greg when he gets back – berries in the freezer, pictures from the woodsy walks and writing him quick messages that hopefully steal him away from the sadness for a few seconds when he reads them.
We have a good life and it was a good life that Martin Friedrichs shared with his family and friends. And it’s a good life I get to share with all of you. Thank you for being there as my family and friends.