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

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Widow Woes



"It's strange indeed how memories can lie dormant in a man's mind for so many years. Yet those memories can be awakened and brought forth fresh and new, just by something you've seen, or something you've heard, or the sight of an old familiar face."
Wilson Rawls, Where the Red Fern Grows

I don’t like April anymore. It used to be one of my favorite months. Don and I were both born in April, we were married in April and my parents celebrated their wedding anniversaries in April. But my mom also died on Easter Day in April and most of Don’s ashes were interred in April. April sucks when it comes to memory triggering days that drag me kicking and screaming back to the land of sadness. And with the turn of a calendar page today, I’m back to listening to my inner voice that keeps nagging to adopt another dog. Ya, like that would give me the companionship missing in my life and be a smart thing to do at my age. My life already seems to be more complicated than I can take right now without adding another living thing into the mix. Heck, Sunday I was even thinking my house plants need to run away from home before I kill them. I don’t want to be held responsible should they feel neglected. I wish I could find good homes for four of the ten plants because lately I’ve been planning their demise---maybe put them outside for the summer and “forget” to bring them in before the first frost. But without their photosynthesis cycle to turn the carbon dioxide in the house into oxygen my house would probably become my own death trap. And one of those plants is 55 years old! How much longer can it live if it runs its natural course? See what I mean, my life is too complicated.

You should see my dining room table. It’s covered with priority mail boxes filled with stuff I have listed on e-Bay. For several years April 1st has been kick off day to start e-Bay back up again---I don’t like doing it in the winter. But this year the weather isn’t cooperating and the garage is too cold to work out there where I usually do my e-Bay sales. It drives me crazy to have the clutter in the house but it also drives me crazy to lose a month of selling time, should I wait for spring to come to Michigan. I have a three stall garage that is also longer than most---a wheelchair van accessible design---so I have plenty of room out there to work.

While in the process of trashing my dining room table I got a call from the real estate agent who got my phone number from an acquaintance from the senior hall. He had called before and I told I wasn’t ready to move. This time he wanted to know if I’d gotten the material he sent me on how to have a garage sale and he said he would “help me with one if I needed it.” What a laugh. If I wanted garage sale prices for specialized stuff I don’t need a stranger to help me. I told the guy the person who gave him my phone number jumped the gun, I’m not ready to move and I won’t be until they build a senior condo community on the other end of town. “Is the community aspect that important to you?” he asked. “Yes,” I told him. What’s the point of moving if I don’t get what is missing in my life in exchange for all the trouble? I thought. “You friend wanted to get rid of the responsibility of keeping up a yard. I know that’s important as you get older and I can find you a nice condo near-by,” he replied. What responsibility? I make one phone call and write one check in the spring. But I didn’t say that. I hate pushy people who tempt you into being rude. I may be old but I haven’t crossed the Rude Bridge yet…at least not on a regular bases where I’d have to own the character trait.

I’m in a bad mood today, can you tell? Stay tuned I have some fun things to do the rest of the week so I should be back to my bouncy, optimistic self the next time I write. ©

10 comments:

  1. It's good to be cantankerous once in a while! Or grumpy. After the winter you have had, you have earned it! Brrr. You'd love to be here ... I'm using the crockpot. Monday I made chicken broth from the Costco chicken carcass. Yesterday I made chicken noodle soup. Mmmm. Today it's Thai Chicken in coconut milk. Another yum! The house smells good all day. Of course, my WW portion is minuscule but I add a big salad get get full that way. Who knows ... I might even bake cookies today (although that is my only sweet weak spot!)

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    1. I used my crock pot a lot over the winter. I have never thought of making soup from a chicken carcass in it. Once in a while I love to pick up one of those whole, cooked chickens. Thanks for the idea. Thai anything is good!

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  2. We're dealing with a Realtor now, and I'm ready to forget about moving. There's nothing about the process that I like. It's fraught with irritation, but it would be nice to have a place that meets our needs better.

    You sell on e-Bay? I've thought of doing that but never have. I do have a friend that does it from time to time.

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    1. I hate realtors, they can be so pushy and not entirely honest. At least that's been my experience.

      I've been selling collectibles on e-Bay off and on for over 15 years. The summer after my husband died I sold enough of his stuff to pay off the mortgage on our 12 year old house. Over the years we've had booth in four antique malls and just today I rented another booth for the next six months. e-Bay is time consuming and full of pitfalls. I'm not sure I'd do it if I had to learn all the ropes from scratch but with some stuff it's the only way to sell something specialized.

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  3. The month of May is one of my favorite months--nobody I know died in May. Take your time--it's not like you are disabled and HAVE to move to get help. Dang it!! Everyone thinks it would be so nice to live in Senior Housing or Assisted Living. Not me!! I can still get out and putter and my lawn mowing guy comes once a week, so---I don't need no realtor trying to steal my house out from under me just for his commission!!! DANGGIT!! Now, I'm mad!

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    1. Oh, I get bullheaded when I sense someone is trying to 'play' me like this realtor is doing all sweet and 'helpful to seniors.' Screw him. If and when I sell he won't get a call from me. He's one of these types who offers to help you get new carpeting, paint and updates "to help your house sell." He just wants to worm his way in. I hate that those tactics probably work on some seniors and before they know it, they are owning his people for overpriced work that comes out of your bottom line at the closing.

      I can keep up with taking care of my house...for now. It's the community that goes along with senior housing that I want to gain if I move. You have a community where you live with your neighbors looking out for each other, I don't have that here.

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  4. April is a bummer month for me too. I was married in April and divorced 8 years later, in April. Let's start a petition to get rid of it.

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  5. Finally back near a PC. That Real estate Agent is a piece of work. The nerve! Tempting to dryly say "You'll have to carry me out feet first. That ought to be in about forty years."

    I'm sorry you're feeling so yucky. You've got a lot on your plate. Do I ever understand the 'adopt a pet' urge at anniversaries! Be strong!!

    April is full of anniversaries for me, too. My Birthday, his death 8 days later, my Mom's death 21 days after that. Happily, I actually had to pull out my 2005 calendar to be specific about his DOD for you. See what you have to look forward to? Failing memory.

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    1. I suppose we should be happy all the anniversaries are grouped together so we can get all the yucky feelings over with in one, condensed period of time. One good days, I think like that way....

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