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, January 11, 2015

January Dreams and Downsizing on Widowhood Lane


 
Remembering your dreams can drive you nuts trying to figure out where they came from and what they mean. Last night I woke up twice with related but different dreams hanging on. One involved my husband, Don, stealing a wheelchair from McDonald’s and me trying to sneak it back in without anyone noticing. My husband was the most honest person you could meet, so this dream didn’t make any sense. The other dream was longer and more involved but it was basically a common searching-for-something dream with some new twists. Don had insisted on to going into an antique mall and I was struggling to get him and his wheelchair up the front step when a man came along and offered to help. He lifted Don up (without the chair) and deposited him inside the mall and promised he’d deliver the chair around to the back door where, he said, he could get the chair in without any trouble. After throwing the chair in his van, instead of driving around to the back the man disappeared down the street and out of sight. I was panicked, stressed out and I didn’t know what to do. But in the dream, Don took off running down one aisle after another and I spent the rest of the dream trying to find him. I could hear his joy-filled voice, but he was no place in sight.

If you know me at all, you’ll know those dreams sent me to an online dream dictionary where it said: “To dream that you are stealing suggests that you are feeling deprived” and to dream that someone is stealing from you “indicates that you are experiencing an identity crisis or are suffering from some sort of loss in your life.” No shit, Sherlock! I guess a person who was right-side paralyzed and couldn’t talk had a right to feel deprived, even if only by proxy in my dreams. And a widow of a man like that has a right to having an identity crisis and feeling a loss. But who would have guessed your subconscious mind can weave those feelings into such crazy dreams? The second dream with Don running could probably also be interpreted as death freeing him from his disabilities, and me hearing his joyfulness be interpreted as me still feeling connected. Amen to that part of his dying. It’s the silver lining theory at work to those of us who are always looking for them and apparently my subconscious mind likes silver linings as much as my conscious mind does. Who knew!

Changing topics to downsizing the art in my living room. As you can see from the photos below, I’ve got a western theme going---things we bought mostly out west on vacations. When/if I move I want to relocate the western theme to the bedroom to free up the living room to go in a different direction which means I’m hand-wringing over what goes and what I won’t have room to take with me. I know, I know, Glinda the Good Witch from the North would say to start at the being. Or in other words, find a house first and then decide but I’ll bet she’s not a “material girl” like I am so what does she really know about these kinds of first world, widow problems? The pieces all have memories attached and only one print is one I’ve never really liked from day one. The Indian woman smoking was a gift from Don because I like the artist but it depresses me, reminds me of all the health issues smoking causes. The black and white drawing of ‘Holy Eagle’ is my absolute favorite and has been since I first lusted after it. If I ever have to live out of a shopping cart, it will be in there.

Downsizing the others prints will be like kicking out one of your kids. I like them all. Hey, I wonder if I could get them mounded on a ceiling. When I was younger my mom used to say I needed a flip-through setup like they have in art stores to show their prints for sale which would essentially give me surfaces enough to hang 50 things in the space of two foot of wall space. Mom was right. I do love things that require putting nails in the walls. Downsizing on Widowhood Lane is going to be traumatic when the time comes! ©

I'm going to have trouble parting with this roll top desk, too.
 
  


16 comments:

  1. You could always keep all of your prints in the closet and rotate out the few you want to hang on the walls.

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    1. I have many prints in the house that I have always planned on rotating but them never seem to make it up on the walls. I don't think those will be hard to part with but for those left (shown above) it might be different, I might actually rotate them seasonally. Thanks for reminding me of that option.

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  2. It will be traumatic indeed. What to keep, what to hang, what to do. You've some really great prints by the way.

    Have a fabulous Sunday. :)

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    1. Thank you. I really am too attached to material things. One of the condo plans I looked at has a long hallway which I didn't like at first. But three days later it dawned on my that I could make that hallway a mini gallery. Not the greatest for getting a good view of prints but better than parting with them. Moral of that story is to not get stuck in preconceived ideas of likes and dislikes.

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  3. I love those prints ! I can understand wanting to use this wall space In a new way, though. Maybe you could free the living room up now, by storing them and noting how you feel? Your instincts are good. Besides, this is one transition you will have complete control over, unlike the hit or miss reality of making new friends, or Don popping up in dreams willynilly.

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    1. Oh, my gosh, I couldn't live with bare walls and I really do have a great imagination for visualizing how something will look. Many of those prints are also too heavy for me to safely take down. In a new place, I want to go to an entirely different direction for the living room---beach cottage, soft pastels that won't be completely defined until I do move and am able to buy some feature wall prints. (I've only got two at this point in time.) Someday maybe I'll photograph my guess bath that has the look I want. This is called putting the cart before the cart, isn't it. LOL That darn Glinda is right!

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    2. Silly me. I completely forgot that you're prohibited from lifting your arm above your shoulder for the time being. Sorry! I love the cottage look. My first floor bathroom and my (former) dining room have that look, with beadboard on their walls, actually wallpaper that looks like beadboard. Much easier for this amateur carpenter to install.

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    3. I love, love, LOVE beadboard. Our cottage growing up had beadboard and my porch and kitchen here have it. I didn't know they made a wallpaper that looks like it! Something to file in the back of my head. Thanks!

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  4. I think the most fun about moving is redecorating and daydreaming about redecorating. You have some very interesting art, and I like the way you've displayed it. I can identify with you about wanting to go in a different direction. I have several hunt prints of the horses and dogs readying for a fox hunt and a very old one of two dead ducks after a hunt. Yes, two dead ducks. It belonged to my mother-in-law and my husband likes it. Anyway, I dream of switching to a lighter and more casual theme, and I will do that if we ever move.

    Dreams can be enlightening, can't they. I remember so many of my dreams, but not nearly all. Sometimes they drift away from me as I wake. I like and agree with your interpretation of Don being freed in death.

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    1. I love fox hunting prints, ducks and all. They remind me of English country sides and romance books. I have a large print in a hall of two birds from that same era as your prints. I kind of have a different themes going in different rooms. Early gas station in one bath, sea shore in another and on a porch, the cowboys and Indians in the living room/dinning and in the kitchen I have a couple of turn-of-the century pastures with cows prints that I love. And my laundry room has a great print of a quilt on a clothesline with a bird. My bedroom still looking like I haven't finished moving in yet. I think we have to dream of the fun parts of moving to get us through the awful parts of the ordeal.

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  5. OK. Your western prints surprised me…I thought you'd be surrounded by Michigan landscapes (that lake! those woods!). I'm the same with my wall art -- every piece has a memory attached or a story to tell. I have a couple I'm truly sick of, yet…. I like the rotating art idea, but the size and shape of my art means they aren't that easy to switch out. You'll figure it out. (Great Doolittle, by the way. I really like her work.) Also, is that roll top desk the place you do your writing…it's much too tidy (well, compared to my desk.)

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    1. The desk was my husband's that he used for many years...it's a reproduction made in the 70s so it has easy glide drawers, unlike the 1800s one it copied. The 32 drawers are great storage for office supplies and I love looking at it. The back side is as pretty as the front so it doesn't have to go against a wall.

      I love that Doolittle, too, but I'm not crazy about the direction her work took after that one was done. It was the very first one she matched the print runs to the pre-orders and that doesn't set well with me, not knowing if it will be a 100 or 100,000. Not sure if she still does that, but when we got that print and saw the print run that turned us off from ever buying her again. I never had any luck switching things out either but I did figure out a solution: Look for a place with a garage and have the walls plaster-boarded if they aren't already. Paint them and use them for an art gallery.

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  6. I have a lot of beadboard--cupboard doors in the bathroom, my entertainment center, but mine if more for the beach cottage look. I did not see the photo of the Indian Woman smoking, but I do love the photo of the old Indian paring an apple. I would have to keep ALL my wall pictures because I have down sized a lot and I'm not going to do it again--not with the wall art!!!

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    1. I would love your beadboard! I'll take it anyway I can get it. Wall art really is personal, isn't it. I matted and framed all of the above, but I don't think I have that skill set anymore and a print I bought two years ago and had framed gave me sticker shock. I doubt I'll be buying any more. The Indian woman is in the group above the davenport and is hard to see in the photo.

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  7. oh my gosh! i love your home! i don't remember seeing any of it before! the art is fabulous too. i met charlie in arizona and we lived there for some time. i love the west a lot but don't think i could ever leave florida.
    smiles, bee
    xoxo

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    1. Thank you! I don't usually post pictures of the inside of my house. If I had your life style down in FL, I'd never leave either.

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