Last weekend I spent the day with my oldest friend, Tiffany.
Tiffany and I met when I was 7 years old and she was 5; her mom taught me how to ride horses. I saw her one or two weeks a year for the first couple of years, and then once a week for lessons, and then as we got older we saw each other regularly for 4-H meetings and horse shows, county and state fairs, horse camping and various other horse activities. It was a good way to grow up.
It has been almost 40 years since we met and we are still friends. We don’t see each other all the time, but we make it a point to get together for dinner or a girls day every few months. And every time, we pick up where we left off without skipping a beat.
We went south to have a late lunch at one of my favorite restaurants, the Train Wreck Bar & Grill. The food is so good! And the cocktails are excellent! We sat for a couple hours, catching up and chatting.
Afterwards, we went for a walk around Northern State Hospital. Northern State was at one time one of Washington State’s largest asylums. It opened in 1912 and was in operation until 1973. 1,487 patients are buried on the grounds… The Spanish style architecture is beautiful, and we wandered around the buildings and peeked into the broken windows. At it’s height in the 1950s, over 2700 patients were there, committed for various reasons.
According to histories, many severely mentally ill people were confined, but others were given quite a bit of freedom to roam the grounds, work in the various industries and sneak off into town. Commitments were different back then, as husbands could have their wives committed for hysteria, and teenagers were sent there because they were troubled or difficult to deal with. Sadly, lobotomies and electroshock therapies were performed there, and many patients were worse off after these treatments than before.
There are many rumors of Northern State being haunted, and I can understand why, with almost 1,500 people buried there. When the facility closed, 204 containers of unmarked cremains were found as well, and buried in a nearby city cemetery. There are probably more who died there, and their families had them buried somewhere else. There was a palpable energy that makes your hair stand on end. I know we weren’t alone…
We explored only a tiny portion of the hospital grounds, and I would like to go back and see more.
Yesterday was a pretty nice day. It would have been a good day for relaxing. But no… Yesterday I spent the day cleaning the deck. It’s a tough job, but fortunately it is a once a year chore. Thankfully my friend Shelley helped!
And it looks so good when it is done!
I hope you are all well and enjoying the last of the weekend!