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

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Widow on Icy Lane



West Michigan is encapsulated in a blanket of ice with another ice storm headed our way tomorrow. The tree branches and evergreens are beautiful covered with sparkling icicles but every flat surface is an accident waiting to happen both on foot and in a vehicle. Can you believe it, another social event in my life got canceled because of the weather! That makes three in a row. From the looks of the weather forecast I won’t be going anywhere for at least four days which means I’ll be missing my family’s out-of-town Christmas Eve party as well. Worse than missing the tree display at the sculpture park tomorrow and the party is the fact that I don’t have enough sidewalk salt on hand to melt the ice skating rink that used to be my driveway. On the good side, I have heat, electricity and enough food in the house to last a month. And I’m not sitting in an airport waiting for maintenance to de-ice an airplane.

With too much time on my hands this morning I got myself in trouble at Face Book over the Duck Dynasty controversy. There’s a lesson here for me---stick to my long-ago decision not to get drawn into talking politics, money or religion at the site! But it’s so hard, sometimes, for me to sit on my hands when people agree with things like Phil Robertson’s red neck logic. “Blacks were happier before the Civil Rights Movement,” he said in the same article where he condemned gays. Ya, sure. Living in fear of being lynched for looking at a white woman or being beaten for wanting to vote must have been a lovely way to live back in Jim Crow days. How can so many people actually know so little about American history? The popularity of TV reality shows like Honey Boo Boo, Dance Moms, Duck Dynasty, Jersey Shore and the Kardashians makes me fear for America. Or maybe I really am just “an elitist snob who had been brainwashed by the liberal media.” "Okay. Merry Christmas to you, Face Book friend of a friend," and with that said I went back to my favorite political site where anonymous posting makes it so much easier.

Have you ever clicked on the website called ‘Advanced Style’ in my list of Blogs I Follow (right hand column)? The guy who created the site is from New York City and he goes around photographing women in my peer age group who, in his eyes, are “stylish and creative older folks.” I enjoy looking at the often outlandish and always arty farty outfits some of these women put together. A few outfits I wish I had enough guts to wear while one or two I think border on clownish, especially if you tried to wear them around here in conservative West Michigan. But mainly I’m inspired by the fact that these ladies project confidence and aren’t afraid to show their own personal style. I also like the guy's mission statement of showcasing older women. My style, if you want to call it 'style', is solid colors---mostly black with purple, red, rose or teal blue and a minimum of accessories, if any. I couldn’t afford to dress in their manner with clothing that is so memorable, but since I discovered the site I find myself being inspired to accessorize more often and paying attention to details in a way I haven't down for decades. Tomorrow I’m going to overdose on the site in the morning, then pull everything out of my walk-in closet and rethink what I have, what to purge and what to keep. If I’m going to be iced in for a few days I might as well put the time to good use mining a closet that badly needs to be de-cluttered. I have things in there from 1960, for crying out loud, and more sweatpants and sweatshirts than a professional athlete.  ©

10 comments:

  1. Better check those 1960 duds--they may be back in style, LOL.
    I am going out early tomorrow morning as ice storm isn't suppose to be here until after noon--or, if it come early, I don't really have to go out.

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  2. The ice is suppose to start around 2:00 tomorrow afternoon here and move your way. But it's still too icy from last night's ice for anyone to move around safety. Just about everything in town that could be canceled got canceled.

    My 1960s stuff will probably stay with me until I die. I just wish I could still wear it. LOL

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  3. Good for you! I'm going to look at that blog. I need to find a newer style ... I've been dressing the same for 15 years ....

    I am putting on some lip gloss most days ....

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  4. Lip gloss? Why you wild and crazy widow. What will you do next...

    Let me know what you think of Advanced Style. Could you wear that stuff in Maui?

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  5. I am in love with 'Advanced Style' !! In most cases, the woman is wearing the clothes rather than the clothes wearing the woman.... What the Heck - it's their confidence and joy and individuality on show.

    I remember last summer (?) you went to an outdoor market you and Don used to frequent. You met a well dressed woman sitting alone at a restaurant counter and your respective styles sparked a conversation. As I recall, she did not dress to blend in! Good luck with your closet excavation today. I'm interested in knowing how far you get.

    My own style improved radically after I took up cycling, running and swimming. I had a bit better architecture to hang my clothes on, and a single flirty friend said "Girl, let it show!" Amazingly enough I now can fit into my clothes from the sixties - when I went on Match I posted a few pictures of me in Dad's attic trying them on. All but one, though, went off to a consignment shop.

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    1. That's a great way to put it..."it's their confidence and joy and individuality on show."

      I had forgotten about the woman I met at the restaurant counter. She sure did have a style all her own and I was intrigued by her confidence to wear it. There is a woman in my Red Hat group who can also put together some 'Advanced Style' worthy looks.

      Good for you on "improving your architecture." That will probably go on my New Year's resolutions list. It must have been fun trying on your period clothes. I don't think I will ever part with my 'hippie clothes'...just 2 or 3 outfits but they bring back just great memories.

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  6. You win the prize for finding the brighter side. I have to admit that people "sitting in an airport waiting for maintenance to de-ice an airplane" are probably at the bottom of the happy chain, but I'm sorry you missed your event and that your Christmas Eve with family is looking iffy.

    Thanks for the tip on 'Advanced Style'. I skipped over there to check it out. What a fun site. My husband has a cousin who would fit in perfectly with the 'Advanced Style' philosophy. She follows her own path and somehow pulls it off. Shouldn't we all.

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  7. I'm glad some of my blogger friends are enjoying 'Advanced Style' as much as I do. In the spring I'm going to hit a few consignment shops and see what kind of 'style' can be gleaned within. I'm biggest fashion hold back is shoes. I can't wear dress shoes if I want to walk, and tennis shoes and Crocs don't blend well with some of the arty farty clothing I might like to try wearing.

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  8. Comfy walking shoes do NOT have to be blah! Do you have "The Walking Store" in a mall near you? I like the Merrell brand. And Orthaheel. Since black is also MY basic color, most of mine are in black ... yet some have black and a POP of color. Yes, they are spendy but I've had some for 10 years and they look brand new.

    In Maui I wear Orthaheel flip flops because of the arch support. Soon I'll be back in shoes ... and sox!

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  9. I just did a Google search and found our town has a Walking Store, so I will check them out. Shoes really do hold me back from wearing/buying clothing that I'd like to wear. Orthaheel, much to my surprise, can be ordered from my foot doctor. I love Google! Thanks for the tips.

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