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As with this series, the diary accounts of each day come from my photo roll, the photos that I took on that day…
August 28, 2016
We lived on the Lost Coast of California.
The Lost Coast is a stretch above Fort Bragg and below Eureka, in which Highway 1 was circumnavigated around the coast as the coast was too rough to continue the construction of the highway on.
It became a haven for back-to-the-land’ers in the 70’s, a place to throw down seeds and roots and cultivate new lives, far from corporate and government entities.
Over time, due to the extreme inaccessibility and seclusion, it also became a home to marijuana growing. That’s why we were there.
Dana loved the financial opportunities present in the green leaf. He bought the farm on the Lost Coast while we were in Mexico, and when everything else bust for us (- meaning, it was clear my husband could not watch the kids while I worked and I could not work AND watch the kids), it seemed like the absolute best thing to do: live on Dana’s farm and farm it with him.
We moved into an unfinished yurt with an outhouse that was 2 hours from any major store. There were some 84 mountainous acres of terrible, hard, clay-like soil in the few flat areas, and forests through the mountains. Dana did not live with us; he lived in Blue Lake, some 2 hours away, but he came to farm every week (and often, daily).
We had been there for nearly 3 years by the time Dana was shot. Dana had gotten a gorgeous deck put in for us, a new wing was being built for my husband and I. We were selecting furniture and fashionings for the yurt, and Dana gave me a beautiful propane fridge and stove. My little space was tough to live in, very isolated, but I did love it, and had no intention of leaving it. Ever.
There is a statue of a Buddha below.
Behind the Buddha, you can see the playground in the far right corner. I bought that playground with money from life insurance that my grandpa left me. Dana and his son Jrin Long put it together for my kids because my husband wouldn’t.
The fence, right behind the playground, was put in by Dana and his beloved crew. He really loved those guys.
The flat, brown ground that you can see is the ground that I broke a shovel, trying to build a garden. I couldn’t get over how hard and devoid of life that ground was! No worms or earth creatures at all. Just rock solid clay.
Rock hard ground or not, after so much time in the hotel, I was glad to be home.
I lit my candles and employed my essential oils, trying to get out of the head fog I still remained in, the sense of living underwater, nothing was real, and the disconnect from Dana that I still felt.
There was a restless component to it, too, I remember.
My husband made food for us. That was nice, I remember, after all the hotel food and takeout. It was nice too, to just be able to eat and not have to take the kids to the bathroom 50 million times.
He picked us nashi, Japanese pear-apple that were growing and full of fruit.
I spent time with my friend Nieves on August 28th, at her house. Brianna stopped by as well, and I was deeply grateful for their company and the care they showered upon me. There are some people that I feel connected to past this life; Nieves is one of them, and her energy in that moment was a balm for my spirit.
Meriah Nichols is a counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one on the spectrum). Deaf, and neurodiverse herself, she’s a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.