Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

In January of 2012 my soul mate of 42 years passed away after nearly 12 years 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 ugly. Comments welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Fricking Forth of July


The Forth of July used to be my all-time favorite holiday. The family parties featuring star-spangled table clothes topped with food of all description, the parades where half the town’s children marched down Main Street while the other half sprawled along the tree lined way are all just pleasant memories now of my younger days. Days when Don and I always had some place special to go. Even before I met Don the forth was party time at my folk’s summer cottage. My good memories of the forth are endless including it marks the day I got my very first kiss from a boy…and at a fireworks display no less. Sweet!

Time marches on and the only thing certain in life is that nothing stays the same. People move, people died, people get divorced, people marry and join different family units to spend their holidays with. The family parties I loved for so many years petered out in recent years as the ones who always organized them left this earth and no one took their places. Such is the natural order of things. So here I sit with my package of kosher beef hotdogs and that’s my big Forth of July party-for-one plans. That and I plan to make croutons today with cranberry walnut bread with mango infused olive oil and all-spice. Whoop-de-do, happy fricking Forth of July! 

If it sounds like I’m feeling sorry for myself, I’m not. I’m gearing up to take a walk down Memory Lane to the happiest, best and biggest Forth of July in my life---1976, the Bicentennial. Don and I were only six years into our relationship at that time and still very much acting like kids even though we were in our 30s. I remember1976 as a summer filled of bluegrass festivals for us and the Ford administration for the nation. It was the year the movie, Rocky, first came out along with One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, the latter movie being one of our all-time favorites. Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody was top on the singles chart and Barbara Walters became the first woman to co-anchor the network news. And it was the year when over 50 vessels from 20 nations filled the Hudson River to help our nation celebrate its birthday. Do you remember the laser beam via satellite that cut a star spangled ribbon to start our nation’s two-day party? That was a HUGE technological thing back in the day. Then there were the landing pads built for UFOs that never showed up for the party. For every dignified and classy event going on that forth of July, there was an equal number of quirky stuff like guys sporting red, white and blue dyed beards.

Don and I got 150% into the bicentennial spirit and we went crazy that summer buying ’76 souvenirs. We were convinced someday we’d get rich with our collection of everything from commemorative coins and jewelry to MacDonald’s containers and dry cleaner bags that contained birthday wishes to our nation. I even had a long, flowing hippy style dress made out of material that commemorated the year. I loved wearing that dress! I still have it and a wooden box put out by a beer company in 1976 that is filled with all our bicentennial stuff. If I live another 13 years, to when it all turns 50 years old, it might have some valve. But I doubt it. We weren’t the only ones making the souvenir manufactures rich that year. But it was fun and crazy and it makes me smile when I remember all the stuff we did that July…like traveling many miles just so we could sign a copy of the Declaration of Independence that now resides in a time capsule. It was also the summer when several 100 year time capsules were opened in near-by small towns and we attended those as well. I loved 1976! Some day I should finish that Bicentennial quilt I have third quarters done.

I wish we could stay young and care-free forever. I wish people didn’t have to die or move away. But since those wishes can never come true I’m glad I have great memories to keep me company when everyone but my dog is out of town.  ©

4 comments:

  1. Amazingly, I found someone else who is all alone today--on this fricking holiday!! I am in a really rotten mood today. I remember the Bicentennial--it was wonderful--the fireworks over the Statue of Liberty made me cry. I loved our country then--I thought our government was the best. Oh well--we keep going forward. Tomorrow will be better!!! Another alone holiday will be over!!!

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  2. With the forth on Thursday, it's going to be a LONG holiday weekend! So many people here left town yesterday and won't be back until Monday. I'm so bored!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  3. I meant to hang the flag outside, and even bought the holder for it to attach to my house. Oh, well, next year.

    I was living in Greenwich Village during the Bicentennial and got so swept up in it. What a hoot!

    Happy fourth of July, my friend.

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  4. Living in Greenwich Village during the Bicentennial would have been a dream back then! At least you thought about hanging a flag this year. I didn't get that far.

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