Have You Found Bill?


Larrabee State Park,Bellingham, Washington

Larrabee State Park
Is silent and peaceful
Deep in the forest
Near Bellingham town
The forest is green,
With ferns and trees,
Brush and briars
Grasses and reeds.
Fir trees and cedars,
Maples and oak
Twisted trunks,
And beautiful roots.
Lots of critters,
Hopping bunnies,
Curious and timid,
Nibbling green grass.
Squirrels skitter
Across the campsite,
And stop to watch
Before taking flight.
Robin Redbreasts
Hopping about
Looking for worms
To make a good dinner.
Many birds twittering
Up in the trees,
Make beautiful sounds
That float on the breeze.
A carpet of dainty daisies,
Are white in the grass
With golden buttercups
Flowing en masse.
Larrabee Park
Sits near the shore
Of the great Puget Sound
Near Bellingham town.

We stayed in Larrabee State Park two nights. It was absolutely beautiful. We talked with the rangers and the park hosts. We walked on the roads. Bill only takes short walks. There are many hiking trails in the area. There was a time we would have hiked some of them.

Bellingham is a beautiful city with many old restored buildings. We ate at a quaint little spot. It was a trolley car converted to an open air café, decorated with many pots and window boxes filled with pansies. A plaque at the entrance was engraved: “SITE OF THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE 1860.”

We visited the library to use a computer because we had no wireless connection at Larrabee State Park. Using the library’s computer certainly limits what you can get done. I did have one hour each time, but Bill didn’t have much to do. He read a book.


Just before we got married in 1963, Bill bought a hay swather. It was a machine that cut hay — instead of using a sickle — which went alongside the tractor. The swather took a wide sweep of alfalfa, cut it and crushed it so it would dry, and laid it in beautiful windrows. It saved a step because the hay did not need to be raked and turned into windrows. The hay was ready for the baler once it dried. His was the second swather in Payette County, Idaho.

Bill spent hours working the swather through the hayfields on his dad’s farm. They farmed together for over thirty years. He also cut hay for the neighbors with the swather. It was great to watch. It went up and down the fields and dropped the hay so neatly.

After the hay was dried and baled, they hired a crew of high school kids to help with loading the hay into a trailer and stacking it in the hay yard. It was an all-day, sweaty, hard-work job for two or three days. Bill was in there working as hard as any of the boys.

In Idaho there were usually three cuttings of hay per year. Hay was cut in May, July, and late August or September.

In 1972, Bill progressed to a hay stacker that would pick the bales up from the field and stack them. When the bales were loaded, he drove them to the hay yard, backed up and laid them in a ready-made stack. It could tip if it wasn’t placed just right.