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

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Break From Winter

 


This has been a good week here in the land of too much snow. Saturday the gods of goodness shined down on Michigan and made the 82 miles of roads I had to travel to my great, great niece’s baby shower easy to drive. My niece was putting a lot of pressure on me to come out to the boondocks and even offered to send her husband to pick me up and deliver me back home if the roads were bad. And if the roads were really, really bad, she wanted me to stay at her house for a few days, “We’ll have a slumber party of shower guests,” she said. But Levi, my schnauzer, nixed that idea since his kennel is out in the County of Unplowed Roads and who would feed his rabbits if I wasn’t home to do it? He torments my niece’s cat so he couldn't have gone with me. What can I say, it’s in his genes to chase small ‘varmint’ and that instinct is making me nervous these days because the snow is so deep---and the rabbits so plentiful in my yard---it wouldn’t take much effort for him to crawl right out of his dog pen. Only 14 inches of his 3 foot tall fence is showing above the snow pack. My only saving grace is that he’s an agility course drop-out. When the jump bar gets set over five inches high, he chickens out.

It was bright and sunny when I arrived at the golf course where the shower was being held and the minute I pulled into the overcrowded parking lot I got excited. There were easily 100 snowmobiles in various states---some parked, some coming and going from the state trail, some circling the parking lot and others taking part in a vintage snowmobile show. The annual winter-fest was on and its sounds and sunshine was like taking a tonic! I was quite early for the shower and even though I felt half-dressed walking about in the sea of helmeted people wearing one-piece, playtime snowsuits I looked over the vintage machines, enjoying all the great memories they conjured up. I’d been on that trail, to that course golf, on machines like those in the vintage parking area many times. I was almost sad when I got inside and realized the shower was booked in a private room, and we wouldn’t be mixing it up with all the exhilarated snowmobilers in the main dining room.

The shower was a big one—55 of us---and my great-great niece got a mountain of gifts but mine was the only one that included handmade items. I guess knitting has gone out of style. This winter I’ve knitted up a pile of stuff---mostly hats, scarfs, cowls and baby car seat blankets. Most winters I usually knit just one or two things. I blame that darn cable upgrade I got 5-6 weeks ago and the unending snow because I’m spending more time in front of the TV set than usual. Is this how it starts? Pretty soon will the table next to my chair in the living room have that “old person” look? You know, an unruly pile containing things like a magnifier glass, a box of tissues, toenail clippers, paper and pen, maybe a crossword puzzle book, a bottle of liniment, and a few back issues of the TV guide---all overflowing and tempting the dog to steal stray candy wrappers and used Kleen-x. Will my next addition to the room be a TV tray where I can eat or do small jigsaw puzzles?

Thursday I went to a lecture at the senior hall titled, Warm Winter Reads. The librarian who puts on the program is so energetic and enthusiastic about the books she recommends that it’s hard not to get intrigued by some of those she features. I used to belong to the book club at the hall before my husband died and I never really got back into reading with the same pleasure and intensity. But when I got home from the lecture I downloaded one of her recommendations to my Kindle and so far I’m enjoying The Humans by Matt Haig. It’s probably the lightest read on her handout but I couldn’t resist the premise of an extraterrestrial who comes to earth to assume a man’s identity in order to carry out an important mission but he ends up falling in love with the man’s family and their dog. The book has some intriguing passages like the one below where the extraterrestrial is describing love to those on his home planet: "Two mirrors, opposite and facing each other at perfectly parallel angles, viewing themselves through the other, the view as deep as infinity. Yes, that is what love was for. Love was a way to live forever in a single moment, and it was also a way to see yourself as you had never actually seen yourself, and made you realize---having done so---that this view was a more meaningful one than any of your previous self-perceptions and self-deceptions.”

After Monday's storm, we are supposed to have a week of thawing here and with it will come fog and flooding but it’s a necessary evil in order for us to get rid of some of our massive snow piles. I can’t wait! I just hope my sump pump can keep up!  Our hundred year flood, last year, found my basement and I don’t need another disaster like that again.  ©

12 comments:

  1. Was Levi O.K. while you frolicked far and away? I'm amazed any rabbits show up in winter. It's so nice to hear about the snowmobilers - did vintage owners go with those vintage machines?

    What a meaningful quote about love, especially the part about seeing yourself as you never imagined until you see yourself in love's eyes. This was one of the hardest consequences of losing my husband. The other mirrors in my life were not nearly as kind or flattering ...so we know they COULDN'T have been as true. It's taken me a long time to assemble new 'happy' mirrors. It's great to see you doing that. And I hope I add a nice mirror for you. But I'm sorry, what I can't mirror for you is the old lady you mention who might take over your living room. No, I see you as a self respecting woman with a quirky sense of humor, colorful imagination and tender gaze. Well, toward most people.

    We're supposed to get temperatures above freezing this week, too. I'm worried about an ice dam on my roof, so I'm having my handyman come over tomorrow to push a foot and a half of snow off. I got a lecture when I called him today..."Why'd you wait so long?"

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    1. Levi is good staying alone. If you train them right as puppies you can avoid separation anxiety and all that goes with it. I've had as many as six rabbits at my feeder at one time. They really love corn on the cob.

      I like to collect a quote from each book I read and that one really spoke to me as well. I am laughing at you're not accepting the picture of me-in-the-future with the old person side table. If you saw my computer area right now you'd think it was entirely possible.

      Good luck with your ice dam. I have the same worry although I did get quite a lot of snow off the roof myself with a rook rake.

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  2. I admire you going so far for a social event! Somehow I talk myself out of anything more than 20-30 minutes. Gotta work on that! Portland is 90 minutes to the ocean or the mountains. I need to remember to spread my wings!

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    1. Find something half way along your 90 minute drive to break it up. The ocean and mountains are too important to one's spirit to not go!

      Hope you got through V.D. without too many tears.

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  3. I'm glad the weather didn't stop you from going to the party. I've been wondering about what will happen when all that snow melts. I guess it's something you face every spring, but you've had so much this yeat. Reading about Levi's fence offered quite a visual.

    It's wonderful that your niece wanted so much for you to attend. I bet your handmade gifts were a big hit.

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    1. I have not had to worry much about spring melting in the past but this year we've reach 100 inches of snow which is way more than we usually get. They are already saying that on Thursday we're getting a lot of rain which will melt some of our snow and storm drains that are covered by snow will get overwhelmed.

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  4. There are still young mothers-to-be that love the hand knitted or crocheted baby afghans--a few anyway. My chair-side table does have Kleenex--no liniment, but floss strands for cross stitch, small scissors--yes, I like everything handy. I do have a TV tray that I use to line up and fill up my pill boxes. I think I am becoming an old lady--I hope I don't smell like one, although the other day I did rub some Vicks on my feet!!!

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    1. Funny you should mention not smelling like an old lady. Someone made that comment on TV and I spent the next hour trying to figure out how old ladies smell different. Well, in nursing homes they often do but that's not what they meant. Somewhere in the house actually have a TV table, I'll have to find it before I hit 80. LOL

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  5. It's supposed to be in the 50s in south-central PA for the next couple of days. Woo!! -Jean

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    1. The mild days felt so good but we're going back to winter tomorrow. That's actually a good thing for those of us worried about spring flooding. Cycling back and forth gives the ground time to absorb the thawing snow better.

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