Everson-Nooksack News December 2019

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Everson-Nooksack News

Lynden Tribune  | Ferndale Record |  Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Santa arrives in Everson at 6 p.m. Friday


Shirley Fuller Nielsen recalls life in hard times

City Park is the hub of the activity    EVERSON — Once again Santa Claus and his friend, the Grinch, will arrive on Friday, Dec. 6, to enjoy the lighted tree in the Everson Shopping Mall lot before treating children with goodie bags of little toys in Everson City Park, starting at 6 p.m.    It’s the annual Winter Festival on the first Friday in December.    Liz Sankey, of the EversonNooksack Chamber of Commerce and Peoples Bank branch manager, said about 180 bags have been filled with non-edible items.   Vendors, including Street Dogs, will be set up with affordable treats, cost offset by sponsors. The Smokestack Diner is offering free hot chocolate for all, compliments of the Chamber. Expect to find wreaths and baked goods to buy as well.    Area businesses have been asked to have open houses for the public with cookies, cider, treats or raffles.    All family members will appreciate the free horse-drawn wagon rides given by Cramer Classics, starting at the park.    • The 36th annual Silver Tea, hosted by Friends of the Everson McBeath Community Library, is at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, in the library, 104 Kirsch Drive.   • The live Nativity scene and open house with wagon rides at Elenbaas Country Store, 302 W. Shirley Nielsen stands between her two daughters, retired teacher Barb Myhre and Vicki Main St., is a week later, on SaturJo Lootens, and son Russ Nielsen behind, after speaking at the Nov. 10 NookChat in the day, Dec. 14, from 4 to 7 p.m. Everson Library. (Elisa Claassen/Lynden Tribune)

She spoke in NookChat series about how family, love and faith sustained them ‘We didn’t even know we were poor — I knew I was loved’ By Elisa Claassen for the Lynden Tribune

The Nooksack Valley Heritage Center Committee sponsors NookChat every other month on Sunday afternoons in the McBeath Everson Community Library. These talks are also recorded to be viewable online. George Adams, a descendent of Chief Sumas, shared of Nooksack memories and language preservation in September. Shirley Fuller Nielsen spoke on Sunday, Nov. 10, and she is also working on a memoir. She brought along family photos and special possessions as well. The Jan. 26 program, starting at 2 p.m., will be Ron Bruland talking of his life experiences.    EVERSON — Girlhood life for Shirley Fuller Nielsen was a mixture of the good life of family, faith and patriotism — and also a world at war.    Every day, household chores were done requiring much more effort than is needed today — as signified by a flat iron. There would no dirty jeans: Her dad put on a freshly ironed uniform to work at Hillview See Nielsen on C2


Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, December 4, 2019 | Ferndale Record


Nielsen Continued from A1

Dairy milking cows by hand. In addition to milk, the dairy was known for its ice cream that was sold in Bellingham on Cornwall Avenue near Bellingham High School.    “It was the best,” Shirley will still say. Several family members present with her at her talk nodded in agreement.    Nielsen can remember her family leaving Kansas during the Dust Bowl days, in a 10-day caravan to the Northwest to a log cabin on the North Pass Road east of Nooksack. Her sister often wanted to go back to Kansas, much like Dorothy of “Oz.” It was home to her. But Shirley put down roots in her new setting.    “We didn’t even know we were poor,” she said, and added, “I knew I was loved.”    In the 1930s and ‘40s: A thick crepe paper was used for flower girls’ dresses in weddings. Dirt and gravel roads preceded paved ones; flat tires were expected and faithfully repaired using tire patch kits. Stands of forest was still being cleared with dynamite to create farmland.    She also remembers no tractors in her early years on the family farm, chickens ever present, and canning most food in the pantry including fruit, vegetables and meat. Chickens were good for both their eggs and their meat, while deer and bear could be hunted on the wooded terrain.    “Nothing went to waste,” she said, and that included cow’s tongue, and whatever meat was on pig’s feet. It was “all hands on” to butcher. Hams were hanging to be eaten as needed — and if there was any mold on it (as was actually a part of the preservation), a wash of vinegar would make it right.    “We never got sick,” she asserted. “We never thought of germs.”    There were no credit cards, although stores could keep “credit” on paper on an individual basis. Whatever wasn’t used by a family could be bartered or traded at the local store for other grocery goods needed, such as coal oil, ammo or feed for the animals. Her grandpa would go into town — that being Everson, as trips to Bellingham were few — while grandma continued to focus on home chores. He always delighted in buying her new hair ribbons.    Nielsen conjured up memory after memory. Washing clothes was far from convenient and involved water from the well going to a boiler on the stove. Boiling water was used in the last rinse before being hung outside on the line to dry — “and it smelled good too.”    Another: To learn to ride a bike, her siblings pushed her from the top of a hill — flying down. They later got in trouble for that,

she said. Other than bikes, they played Old Maid card games, hide-and-seek, jacks and puzzles. She had paper dolls. Gum was expensive, and “slightly” used gum was stuck to the metal bed post to be chewed again the next day.    Growing up was on Sumas Mountain, other than a time in Seattle during World War II when her dad went to work for Boeing (and other family members helped prepare for war working for the Civilian Conservation Corps and later going abroad). They shared a small home during that Seattle era, not unlike today when young families share homes due to the high cost of living. Shirley even did her own war-time duty by taking watch shifts at the South Pass lookout station — and also becoming proficient at seeing any forest fires and identifying planes for a recorded log.    Without indoor plumbing, trips were made to the “jitty boo” (or outhouse) by announcing “I have to go see Mrs. Jones.” The jitty boo had to be moved each year, but it was maintained with lime and ashes. Instead of toilet tissue, the pages of catalogs were put to a secondary use instead.    Light came from lit lanterns, which needed to be filled with fuel, and their wicks trimmed and their chimneys washed. The wood box had to be kept filled as well, for heat.    Clocks could be set accurately by the loud “boom” at noon from the limestone quarry near Sumas.    Shirley Fuller Nielsen could say as much of her grandparents as of her parents, since family life went beyond the nuclear unit to include extended family in or near the home. Grandma put together slices of bread with meat from the previous evening’s meal plus a jug of water for Grandpa to go work in the fields for the day.    Laughter erupted in the Everson library over the “party line” phones that left no such thing as privacy. It wasn’t until the 1960s that electricity came to their particular locale. Grandpa controlled the radio dial, and after the news they all listened as a family to the “Amos n' Andy” show before turning the radio off to maintain the battery.    Girls didn’t wear jeans, but instead dresses and “ugly brown socks” held up by a garter belt and not elastic. Grandma always had an apron atop her dress. She could quickly peel an apple with a paring knife in one long string. She prepared meals of buttermilk, cornbread with fresh churned butter, and fried chicken. This last chore entailed killing the chicken, plucking the feathers, and feeding her family before eating herself — and often she got stuck with the gizzards and

Shirley Fuller and Don Nielsen were married in 1950, before she had even finished high school — which she did later. (Courtesy photo/Shirley Nielsen) chicken feet. War’s effects    Wartime meant rationing and making do, white flags flown in windows, saving tin foil.    It was one thing to look for planes from Sumas Mountain, and quite another for her

uncles to be across the sea. In their writings home, government censors would have cut out any sections with questionable content on the onion-skin paper.    On the home front, local music played at local dances, including at “Dam Town” along Telegraph Road. Shirley knew how to play the Continued on the next page

EVERSON-NOOKSACK NEWS violin and practiced daily. During the Battle of the Bulge, her uncle saw a violin and actually swam across the Rhine River to give it to his supply officer to ship back home to her. It was so special — “my pride and joy,” she said. Over the years, she did duets with her pastor and participated in the church choir. Married life    While in grade four Shirley met a cute boy who would later become her long-time husband in 1950. Donald Nielsen had moved down the street and was wearing a nice outfit (in contrast to the bib overalls of the other boys). “He winked and the rest is history.”    They married after his high school graduation, but before hers. They moved to Glendale, California, for several years where they had their two oldest children. Shirley did make sure to eventually finish her schooling and earn her high school diploma, even though it wasn’t easy. “I would have been the valedictorian, but was not recognized because I was a married woman," she said of her graduation.    Before marrying she was always the first one chosen in things such as spelling bees, but not in sporting events since she preferred to read. Her first “B” grade was in algebra and she still uses her typing and shorthand skills.   Life beyond youth    “Growing old is hard, but growing up is optional,” she said, and smiled. “Be an outrageous old woman!”    Now in her mid-80s, Shirley was the primary caretaker of her late husband, Donald, for seven and a half years until his passing in 2011. Their marriage lasted 61 years and 17 days.    She traveled to Washington, D.C., speaking on behalf of pipeline safety after the large Northwest Pipeline explosion on Sumas Mountain near the Nielsens' home on Siper Road — a couple of years before the betterknown pipeline explosion in Bellingham’s Whatcom Falls Park in 1999.    Hobbies in her 80s are coloring, ceramics, extensive reading and genealogy research. She has charted her family history back to 627 AD and Charlemagne the Great as well as a Scottish family jailed for their Christian faith and facing the threat of having their hands, and heads, chopped off.    A great-uncle, Henry Fuller, rode with Francisco “Pancho” Villa, known for the Mexican Revolution, and was chased out of the U.S. into Mexico where he adopted another name. “You never know what you will find in family trees.”    While joking about finding kings in her lineage, she said, “I’m a child of the King,” referring to her Christian faith. Faith and sensing angels

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, December 4, 2019 | Ferndale Record    Shirley was baptized on April 10, 1949. While church is important to her, she has had several experiences in which she sensed God nearby. In February 1944, at age 7, she was hospitalized and had complications. She remembers seeing the room from the ceiling and watching the doctors and Catholic nuns at her bed. “The sisters were praying and God saved me.” Decades later, on Nov. 22, 1997, as she was driving she heard a male voice from the back seat tell her to take a particular route. She heard it again when she didn’t go that route, and then changed direction. She found out the reason for the voice: “My sonin-law was in an accident and God sent me there.”    In October 1983, Shirley had a heart attack and spent a week in the hospital. When she awoke at night she saw a tall man by her bed, but wasn’t scared. When he was gone she went back to sleep, and she hasn’t had any problems with her heart since.    “Yes, I believe in angels.”    She is writing her autobiography, of which, she quips, “I’ll never get it finished.”

December Everson Library programs    These are other December 2019 Everson Library programs:    • The Holiday Used Book Sale, hosted by Friends of the Everson Library behind Peoples Bank, is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, through Saturday, Dec. 7.    • “Let’s Make Presents” is for kids in kindergarten through grade 5 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7. Supplies are provided.    • Friends of the Everson Library invite everyone to the traditional Silver Tea from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, bringing refreshments and musical entertainment. Specialty teas will be served by Laurie and Charles Dawson, founders of Whatcom Tea Enthusiasts Association.    • Hear stories, sing songs and decorate gingerbread cookies at Gingerbread Story Time from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Monday, Dec. 16.    • The current display of the Nookack Valley Heritage Center in the library is through May 31, 2020. In 1890s Everson, fraternal organizations were all the rage. The Everson chapter of the International Order of the Good Templars (1892-1920) is depicted through turn-of-the-century documents and a framed 1910 charter carrying the signatures of many prominent Eversonians of the time.    The library is at 104 Kirsch Drive.   Whatcom County Library System branches are closed Tuesday, Dec. 24, and Wednesday, Dec. 25. Similarly, branches close at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 31, and remain closed on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020.

Friday, December 6 2019

Santa and his Elves will arrive in the park at 6:00 p.m. *Special appearance by The Grinch*

Goodie Bags for first 180 kids Free Hot Chocolate Free Wagon Rides $1 Hot Dogs The Winter Festival will also include these Everson Library events: • Holiday Used Book Sale on Saturday & Sunday, Dec. 6&7, from 10 am to 5 pm. • The 36th Annual Silver Tea on Sunday, Dec. 8 from 2 to 5 pm.




Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, December 4, 2019 | Ferndale Record

A different kind of garden Woodland trail is special place of respite for Everson librarian Eileen Shaw By Elisa Claassen for the Lynden Tribune

“Our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road.” — Voltaire, Philosophical Dictionary    EVERSON — Who says gardens are only in the summer? While many gardens sprout glorious and colorful blossoms and blooms, Eileen Shaw’s garden is a magical woodland trail through five-plus acres of trees — cedar, Douglas Valued words given a creative touch line the way of the Shaws' trail through natural growth. (Elisa Claassen/Lynden Tribune) Continued on the next page



October swipes earned members $14,325.94!

Santa Claus is WECU matched these pennies and donated them to four great local organizations.

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EVERSON-NOOKSACK NEWS fir and hemlock — outside of town and closer to the foothills setting.    Yes, she has a flower and vegetable garden with plenty of strawberries, chard, kale and kolrabbi still showing into late fall, but it is the trail that catches the eye of visiting grandchildren and family dogs.    “It is a special place,” Eileen said. (But she didn’t want to divulge the exact location.)    This looks like someone recreated the ambience of C.S. Lewis’ Narnia from the pages of his fantasy books into real physical space.    The “garden” is two-fold or even three-fold in purpose, depending on how you look at it. Downed trees from storms can be retrieved here and cut up for winter firewood, as evidenced by a series of neatly stacked and maintained wood piles adjacent to the Shaw garage. It also serves great for getting exercise, or for finding solace after helping dozens of library patrons in the week.    Starting behind the house with a welcoming sign to visitors and turning and twisting up and down a hill, the trail goes through a series of “tunnels” of wooden structures supporting blackberry vines, all created by husband DenSee Shaw on C6

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, December 4, 2019 | Ferndale Record


A tunnel framework keeps out the brambles to create a pathway through for any human or animal who may want to enter. The Shaws see untamed wildlife out here too in the vicinity of the trail. (Elisa Claassen/Lynden Tribune)

Thanks for


Happy Holidays from...

great years!

Join us for an Open House Friday, December 6th, 3 pm to 6 pm in our Everson office.


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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, December 4, 2019 | Ferndale Record


Shaw Continued from A1

Family dog Buster admires the array of neatly stacked firewood that has been harvested from the Shaw property and is ready to warm a winter's evening. (Elisa Claassen/Lynden Tribune)

nis Shaw in 2013. Little elves and other creatures peek out and poke through the vines and wild flowers. Eileen has found or made these, or been given them by library staff and other friends. Radio station KGMI used to host a community call-in show with free items, and Eileen acquired a lot of baby Douglas fir trees that way. Some of the decor weathers the seasons better than other parts including calligraphic scriptures and sayings she put on wooden stumps.    Walking along, Eileen points to places where nature has shown its own creativity, including a hemlock branch wrapped around another tree — you could say giving it a hug. Some native holly is growing in the midst, adding authentic Christmas spirit out here in the wild. Another flowering tree, now dormant, will have massive white flowers come spring.    Visitors are not limited to family members, or even to human beings. Eileen has spotted cougars in the area and even a bobcat sitting in a tree eyeing her.    As she has time, she replaces or repairs as she works on the trail. Dennis, retired from the City of Everson, had an accident a few years ago and is now in a wheelchair. He uses a specially-rigged hand-controlled mower to maintain the grass for her while Eileen’s work still takes her to the Whatcom County Library System branches in Sumas and Everson.    Her new rescue dog, Buster, lopes along too. We stop where her former dogs Buddy and Chumley “Chum” are now buried, and always remembered. When Buddy was aging, a small six-week-old brown puppy wandered into their yard Continued on the next page

To all of our customers, friends, and neighbors

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! • Dr. Greg Iversen • Dr. Kim Feringer • Dr. Karen Kelley • Dr. Joy Featherstone • Dr. Anne Marie Fjeld Downtown Everson • 360-966-4440

P.O. Box 4240 | 302 W. Columbia St. • Nooksack, WA 98276

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, December 4, 2019 | Ferndale Record

EVERSON-NOOKSACK NEWS from a neighbor’s home through the woods. Finding the original owner, the Shaws were told they could keep him, and named him Chumley.    Chum passed away in June of this year. In addition to being a special pet, he also accompanied Eileen to work following a knee surgery and was well loved by the library staff and patrons from the community.   Eileen and Dennis were introduced to present dog Buster in the months after Chum’s passing from a local rescue, and he is fitting well into their natural hideway spot.   Trail blazing is an artform. It is how we find paths through what before was wilderness. We push aside branches, or cut them back, we tramp down nettles and long grasses, ford rivers and streams, through the inner and outer landscapes.” — Lucy H. Pearce, “Burning Woman” Writer’s footnote: The Lynden Tribune featured Katy Shaw, daughter of Eileen and Dennis, in a former Everson section story about her hiking adventures along the Pacific Coast Trail. Katy married several months ago at Artist’s Point near Mount Baker. The family trailblazing continues inside and outside the woods of Everson.

Eileen Shaw may be known best as the helpful person at the Everson and Sumas branch libraries of the Whatcom County Library System. Her home "garden" can serve as her restful retreat. (Elisa Claassen/Lynden Tribune)

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, December 4, 2019 | Ferndale Record


Everson Elementary Holiday Market this weekend EVERSON — The annual Holiday Market at Everson Elementary School is coming up on Saturday, Dec. 7, bringing together a variety of vendors. Now in its third year, the holiday market features vendors selling clothing, accessories, bath products, makeup, handmade Christmas decor, blankets, books, jewelry, Nooksack Valley gear, sweet treats and more. Donuts, coffee and lunch will be available for purchase. Admission to the market is free, and all funds raised from the event go toward the new Common Threads garden project at Everson Elementary.

Santa will sit and attend to the wishes of children in his yearly awaited visit to Everson City Park this Friday evening. There will be other activities to see and do too; 180 kids' treat bags will be handed out. (Tribune file photo)

Don’t forget to purchase Gift Certificates for the Holidays!


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