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

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Mini Trip


Go to the bank. That was the first errand on my To-Do list to get ready for my mini trip to the shores of Lake Michigan with two bus loads of senior citizens. When I go to the bank, I usually pick a branch that doesn’t have a good escape route for would-be robbers---and with good reason. A few years ago a pair of bank robbers was hitting banks in the area and they were all located next to highway entrance ramps. After seven or eight successful banks jobs and a high speed chase involving state, county and local police, the robbers were both killed in a nasty shoot-out. But I still pick-and-choose my bank branches carefully. God forbid I should be inside one when a robbery is in progress because I’m too old and out of shape to get down on the floor and do a spread eagle in a timely manner. I’d be the first one to get shot for not cooperating. Seriously, do you think the elderly old lady card would work on guys hell-bent on stealing the rings off your fingers and the cash that’s neatly piled up inside a bank’s vault? I vote 'no.'

Second on my list was packing the dog’s stuff up for his adventure at the boarding kennel. I’ll bet the one I use requires more paper work than the average daycare does for kids---five pages worth of temperament and schedule questions along with contact information and copies of Levi’s medical and vaccination records, etc., etc. On the dog’s packing list: Don’t forget to take his security blanket, food, his bed, bedtime treats, the paper work and his favorite toy. Don’t forget to brush him before he goes and walk him before loading him in the car. Am I forgetting anything?

Third on my To-Do list: Decide what to take with me. What’s the weather going to be like? Do I really have to take an umbrella to a fish boil on the beach? Do I really need four layers of clothing for the sand dune ride? What am I, a dang boy scout? I don’t need to be prepared for chilling rain, a blazing hot sun, hurricane force winds, mosquitoes and building a campfire should I get lost along the way. Do I?  The wine tasting part of the trip is easy. Just show up thirsty and bring plenty of Wipes for all those cherry stains we’ll acquire after stopping at the cherry market next door to the winery. It’s all about cherries in that part of Michigan---cherry jam, tarts, wine, salsa, pies, dried, fresh and my personal favorite, chocolate covered cherries.

I liked traveling with my husband much better than with a bunch of women in my peer group but as a widow, I take what comes along. Don and I had a motor home and I could pack for any scenario without worrying about limited space. One thing I never left behind was my copy of Travels with Charley: in Search of America by John Steinbeck. It’s a travelogue of sorts that he wrote in 1960 and Charley was his French poodle. Re-reading the book was always a vacation ritual. For years I wanted to be John Steinbeck but the closest I ever came was John and I both loved to travel the back roads with our poodles along for the ride. On the senior citizen bus trips, now, its rest stop and coffee break at 10:00 and be back to the bus by 10:30 or it leaves without you. No time to find colorful characters and places off the beaten tourist track. Don and I once took six days to travel to the same place as our friends did in 13 hours of straight-through driving. "What the heck took you guys so long?” they wanted to know.

I could have told them that exit and entrance ramps on expressways might be good for bank robbers but if you’re trying to be John Steinbeck, then you have to boycott them in your travels. Instead I smiled and told him about the mama poppa restaurant we found that served cinnamon buns the size of Texas and Don told them about a lady we met who took a shine to us and shared her secret for living on the streets. “Never, buy food,” she told us. “Once you start you can’t stop!” Now you’ve got to admit, you can’t learn things like that walking your dog at an expressway rest stop.  ©

6 comments:

  1. My father-in-law was caught in a robbery at a liquor store years ago. The robbers made everyone lie face down on the floor. He was an old guy at the time. He was also a teetotaler... or so everyone believed. Turns out he took two tablespoons of peach brandy every night at bedtime. "Good for the constitution." Who knew? Now everyone because it was on the "nightly" news.

    Enjoy your trip. I know it won't be the same, but I'm glad you're doing things on your own. Take pix to show us when you return.

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  2. What a funny and sad story, Bella Rum. Thanks for sharing it and welcome to my blog!

    I'm not big on taking photos---that was Don's job---but I've been thinking lately that I should start. No promises but this trip might be a good place to begin.

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  3. Have a wonderful trip! You bringing your Crazy Cathy self with you?

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  4. Maybe. You can never tell when she's pop up. LOL

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  5. Busload of ladies? If that's what it takes to get you to the land of cherries, so be it. Eat up. Sounds like Levi is in very capable hands. Maybe he'll learn a second language at this high-end doggie hotel. Enjoy!

    Your meandering journeys may be in the past (or not!), but what a load of stories you have to share on the bus.

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  6. Actually, the lady who Levi is boarding with is a well respected dog trainer in the area and always works on correcting a problem or teaching something with her boarders. So Levi will learn something new.

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