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

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Beatles, MeetUps and Chocolate Cake



The co-chairmen of the luncheon that I worked on Monday and Tuesday sure knew how to organize and treat their volunteers. After we finished up the first day they treated us to a “Thanks, Volunteers” cake with ice cream and a goody bag to take home. That’s never happened the other times I’ve volunteered at the senior hall. Someone made the comment that they were setting the bar high and “I like it!” she added. It was a pleasure working for people who were so well organized. I could have done without the sinfully delicious chocolate cake and salty caramel ice cream but it’s not their fault that I can’t resist getting a sugar high whenever the opportunity presents itself. I don’t gamble, drink or spend money I don’t have on things I don’t need but I lack self-control when it comes to desserts that got withheld when I was a kid if I didn’t eat my vegetables. Yup, I’m blaming my mother. Isn’t that what we all do when we don’t want to take responsibility for our own actions? 

The "Write and Share” group that I got invited to took place at the library this week and it turned out to have been organized through the MeetUp website. MeetUps in general look interesting. You can organize one (or find one already organized) for just about anything you want to get involved in. Just go to the MeetUp website by typing your city and state into your browser plus ‘+MeetUp’ and a whole new world will open up. Within twenty-five miles from me, for example, are 266 MeetUp groups for things like: mushroom hunters (38 members), Bible study, dancing (269 members), sport fans of every kind, singing, book clubs in various genres, restaurant hoppers, walkers, quilters, women 60+, geeks (188 members), and 63 people are in a MeetUp titled “forage for food”---whatever that is. Since most of these groups meet in public places and you communicate through the MeetUp website, it looks like a safe way to meet like-minded people. 

There were just five people at the Read, Write and Share MeetUp I attended but two more are planning to join us next time. It was fun and a little scary reading an essay I wrote out loud. But it was well received as were the other pieces people wrote and read. One guy, 50 years old and back in college to study photo journalism, said he hasn’t written anything in many years. Two women (40 and 70 I’m guessing) have been writing and submitting things for decades and another woman in her sixties writes memoir stuff similar to what I write and I felt the two of us were well matched. The woman who organized the meet is very knowledgeable, is a skilled facilitator and set a nice tone for critiques. I came home from the session completely happy that I joined. Afterward, several of us got back on the RWS MeetUp web page and made comments. It’s like a mini message board for just our MeetUp group and I can see where that will enrich the group experience. I have the feeling we’re all going to get to know each other well.

Wednesday night I went to see the off-off Broadway production of Rain, a Tribute to the Beatles. It was billed as: “a live multi-media spectacular that takes you on a musical journey through the life and times of the world’s most celebrated band. Going further than before, this new RAIN adds even more hits that you know and love from the vast anthology of Beatles classics such as I Want To Hold Your Hand, Hard Day’s Night, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Let It Be, Come Together and Hey Jude.” I hate going downtown and I just won’t do it on my own, but going on the senior center’s bus sure made attending this event easy. They dropped us off and picked us back up within ten feet of the Performance Arts Center's main door and we had great seats, at a discount rate. And for the first time in my life I was glad I was wearing hearing aids because I was able to take them out. Was that show ever loud! And colorful---like living inside a kaleidoscope. It was surround music and color. 

I haven’t been to a live production of anything in this century and I loved the experience. The jumbotrons sent me into sensory overload. Their content was so artsy-fartsy beautiful, constantly moving and triggering many memories of times gone by---news clips, art, iconic Beatles stuff, audience shots from past Beatles concerts plus our own. The music was like listening to the sound track of my life. The center holds 2,400 people and we were all on our feet several times, singing and swinging the two-fingered peace sign. At one point during the evening I was sitting there completely happy, the whole place washed in bright lights and patterns that floated all over the place, including the audience, and thought to myself, If I knew I was going blind I’d want this to be one of the very last things I see. Needless to say my first experience at the performance center, seeing the Beatles tribute, was one of the coolest things I’ve done in recent memory. ©

14 comments:

  1. Sounds like your concert was the hit of the weeks activities. Way cool and I loved the Beatles. They were very popular when I was in high school.

    You're not going batty either. The joke at my place was stolen from Paul of Mr. Cruiser's Notes and that's why you've read it before.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. I'm so glad you explained that about the joke! I really did wonder if my mind was playing tricks on me. LOL (If you're wondering what we're talking about, Sandee does a comedy blog that I check out all the time and I also go to Paul's blog occasionally.)

      I guess this RAIN concert travels all across the country. If you get a chance to see it, you won't be disappointed. It's kind of broken up into four decades of changing music and costume styles. I had to keep reminding myself that these were not the real Beatles.They were really talented guys in their own rights.

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  2. I loved reading this post! Sounds like a great week of risking and finding success! Yay, you! Inspiring. I think RAIN has been to Seattle and I didn't see it. Your recommendation makes me hope it comes back. I love live concerts and all the "bells and whistles" that go along with them. A treat for the senses.

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    1. I just checked the RAIN schedule and they are not returning to area, at least not in 2015. After seeing that show, I can better understand why people will pay the kind of money they do for live concerts with all the "bells and whistles." You can see it on TV---the jumbotrons, spotlights and smoky fog, etc.---BUT that doesn't give you a monkey's clue of what it's like to sit there getting your senses overloaded. Our sculpture garden has 12-15 live shows a year with BIG name people like Willie Nelson and I've never thought they would be worth the price but next year I'm going to seriously going to one of them.This year is all sold out, can you believe it!

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  3. I gotta check out this Meet Up thingy. As for the concert, are you sure you didn't get a contact high? Keep on rollin' Sista--you are gonna have a great summer!

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    1. There was so much fog from the fog machine no one would have noticed a little smoke. LOL Gosh, those spotlights and search lights were pretty through the fog!

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  4. I hadn't heard of Meet-Up and am glad to know about it. I've already looked up my local area and don't see anything of interest to me, but this would be a good platform for organizing a book group when I get myself organized for that.

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    1. I was excited to find out about MeetUps too. I looked up the area south of here where I'd like to eventually move and I found a book club, a group for women over 60 and a couple of other things I might like. Takes the fear out of leaving the senior hall behind that has become my social life hub. I guess they charge the organizer a small fee to use the MeetUp site. We each had to kick two bucks into the pot at our Write, Read and Share gathering.

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  5. I found most if not all of my new friends either directly or indirectly thru www.meetup.com
    That led to trips to Italy and the Mediterranean, Next year will be Paris.

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    1. That's both encouraging and exciting, Dean, to know MeetUps actually work as a way to find new friends. I noticed travel clubs at the local G.R. MeetUp site. You picked some great places to go. Great part of the world.

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  6. How great that you enjoyed the production so much. I immediately checked the MeetUp site in my area and found a cinema/theater group. You're so brave to join the 'Read,Write and Share' group. It sounds like a good fit for you.

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    1. I guess it was brave considering the facilitator who invited me (and who I know slightly) intimidates me because she's so scary smart.LOL

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  7. Good Morning! We have Meet Up here as well and I have looked many times but never joined any group. Yet.

    Re: Beatles: In the piano bars on Carnival when I walk in they play "Let it BEE" for me. My theme song given to me by one of them years ago. Fun.

    Have a great day my friend.

    Smiles, Bee
    xoxo

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    1. What fun to have your own theme song. Those cruise ship sure know how to treat you well. No wonder you go on so many.

      What I like about the MeetUps is the fact that I could start one if I wanted which I might do if I move to another township where they don't have an active senior hall. It takes the fear out of moving for me.

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