Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

In January of 2012 my soul mate of 42 years passed away after nearly 12 of living with severe disabilities due to a stroke. I survived the first year after Don’s death doing what most widows do---trying to make sense of my world turned upside down. The pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties are well documented in this blog.

Now that I’m a "seasoned widow" the focus of my writing has changed. I’m still a widow looking through that lens but I’m also a woman searching for contentment, friends and a voice in my restless world. Some people say I have a quirky sense of humor that shows up from time to time in this blog. Others say I make some keen observations about life and growing older. I say I just write about whatever passes through my days---the good, bad and the double-ass ugly. Comments welcome! Jean

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Widow is Proud of Herself!


I woke up to find the dog’s nose a half inch from my mouth. I don’t know if he was enamored with my morning breath, if he was checking to see if I was still alive or if he was looking for a new place to park one of his treasures. He hides bits of bark from the landscaping in the strangest places but that’s a story for another day. I had taken a sleeping pill last night and overslept this morning so maybe the dog’s other tricks for waking me didn’t work. Whatever the case, I bounced out of bed knowing I had places to go and things to do that included a trip to the farmer’s market in a near-by tourist town where Don grew up.

This farmer’s market is one I hadn’t shopped since Don died and we used to go there every Saturday morning. Last summer I couldn’t bear the thought of all the vendors asking about Don’s absence so I switched to a different, less interesting market. My favorite market hadn’t changed since my last visit. Dogs, kids in strollers and people of all description milling over produce, flowers, baked goods and plants were every where. The dog bakery vendor was especially busy when I stopped by to buy Levi a treat. I’ve never taken him to the market and I never will because he’s been trail trained to sit whenever a walker, jogger or bike goes by which he now does automatically even when I don’t want him to. At the farmer’s market he’d probably park is little butt down at the entry way and never get an opportunity to advance forward. He’s a polite little bugger if nothing else. I can see me pleating with him, “Levi, the dog treat booth is down this row if you’d just move!”

While shopping the market I ran across a booth trying to drum up interest in a new museum that is opening soon in town. I have a bunch of Don’s old high school year books and I wanted to know if they’d be interested in having them, so I stopped. “Yes!” they told me and we made arrangements for me to drop them off. Then the man said, “Would you be interested in volunteering at the museum?” If you’ve been following this blog you know I’ve been feeling like the whole universe is nagging me to find a volunteer job. But for the first time, a volunteer situation actually peaks my interest. Since the museum is just now building shelving I can picture myself filling those shelves and setting up exhibits. With my background in art, my experience creating displays in the various antique booths Don and I rented over the years, and my interest in history I’d be a natural at that job. I took their application for volunteering and I just may drop it off with the year books. Ya, I know, if I do that I’m going to have to listen to a lot of people say, “I told you so! Volunteering will help you make friends.”

After the farmer’s market I decided to climb another widowhood mountain---going to a restaurant all by myself. In the past when Don and I would go to the farmer’s market we’d also go to a breakfast only cafĂ© that seats 100 people and they are always so busy you usually have to wait at least a half hour to get seated. It’s a fun place to people watch so we looked forward to the wait as much as the food, and the people who worked there treated Don like gold even though his wheelchair made their jobs more difficult---they pack customers in like sardines. This time I took a stool at the counter with twelve other loners and I got a wonderful view of the four line cooks and ten waitresses as they raced around and shouted out orders. It’s a noisy place and as I sat there I decided I could and would do this again. What’s not to love? The food is delicious and entertainment value is right up there with watching Diners, Drive-in and Dives with Guy Fieri on the Food Network. And sitting at the counter instead of a table...well, it made me feel part of a group instead of someone whose other half was missing.

After my morning of proud widow-on-the-move accomplishments I went home to Levi who smelled every square inch of my pants before I gave him his farmer’s market treat. I could almost hear him say, “It’s about time you went back to the place with all the smelly dogs again!” ©

10 comments:

  1. What a great day! And what a great opportunity to grab a stool and take in all the action. How nice to return to a familiar place with a new seat.

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  2. I know! It felt good after the funk I've been in to have a can-do day like I did today!

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  3. Jean :

    I am great believer in God opening windows for us from time to time & when we are filled despair we missed looking at that window of opportunity. I hope you grab this opportunity & find your mojo back.

    Asha

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  4. Thanks, Asha. I agree with you on so many levels.

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  5. I love the sense of accomplishment that radiates from this post. :-) -Jean

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  6. Thank you! Sometimes the only way out of a funk is to challenge yourself with something new and/or scary---at least that works for me.

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  7. You go, girl! That (volunteering) job as you envision it sounds like it would liberate your talents AND benefit others AND provide opportunities for gratifying camaraderie.

    I'm happy you returned to this market and restaurant. It breaks the concept that there's only one way to enjoy a situation and, boo hoo, that way is gone. I'm not sure how other people, or me myself, view us single women occupying a table for two. Loser? Selfish? Mystery woman with a story? I'm better at striking up conversations with strangers when I see myself as the latter.

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  8. I really liked sitting at the counter. For one it reminded me of my youth and having lunch at Woolworth's dime store's counter every Saturday with my mom. And two, the people at the counter all instantly had something in common and conversation came easier than across tables out in the restaurant.

    I did turn in my application for a volunteer job at the museum. I could have started this week if not for the sling. But I will get in on all the fun of the grand opening and setting up before hand if all goes well with the doctor on the 26th. I guess they haven't had any new volunteers in a long time so I would imagine they will welcome an extra pair of hands. The couple manning the booth at the farmer's market seemed really nice. I'm pumped.

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  9. Well done Jean, it is hard to go back to a place where you were once known as a couple only going there now alone. It is hard the first time but will become easier as time passes.

    It sounds as if the volunteering job was made for you. I am sure there will be many benefits coming out of it and new friendships may be one of them.

    Sue.

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  10. Everything widow related does get easier with time doesn't it, Sue. I know you know this firsthand. Thanks for the comments! Can't wait to read how your trip to England turns out.

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