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 7, 2015

The Guy in My Garage, the Ice in my Heart



I’ve got to share something before I forget. Earlier this week when I got my haircut I inquired about my hairdresser’s mother (my age) who was widowed in 2001. “She just went on her first date!” my hairdresser told me. “A concert downtown.”

“Whoo!” I exclaimed.

“That’s what I said,” my hairdresser replied, “I never thought I’d see my mother do that!” I’ve met her mom and she’s as cute as a button---a compact little bundle of energy with an easy smile and a bouncy persona. I’m surprised it hasn’t happened before this. 

The day after my haircut, the antique dealer/gas station memorabilia collector came over to the see the stuff I had priced to sell at wholesale rates. He didn’t buy it all but he sure made a huge dent in the “smalls” stock laid out on the table. Beautiful, green folding money exchanged hands and after an hour of great conversation, he headed towards his truck to leave. Then he came back inside the garage, handed me another hundred dollar bill and said, “I’m going to take that thermometer after all.” I wasn’t planning to sell it that day---hadn’t researched it recently---and I thought a hundred was too low, but a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, as they say.  “Did I remind you of your husband just then?” he asked, as he it took it off the wall. 

I grinned. “You sure did. We’d even gotten part way home when Don would turn around because he just couldn’t pass something up.” And like this guy, Don always managed to buy something that the owner hadn’t planned on selling. Nice guy. Nice conversation. Nice memories stirred up that left me with a tear or two rolling down my cheek after he left. We knew a few of the same collectors and he invited me out to his house to see his stuff, though I did see his photos. Serious collectors usually carry a “brag book” although now days they keep them on their phones. He made an offer on a couple of other things I’m not quite ready to sell, but if I decide to let them go I’ll do a delivery and take him up on his tour. Those tears, by the way, weren’t the grief kind of tears. More like the kind you get when you go into emotional overload, flooded with memories of places and events you’d been to, where you had a great time with down-to-earth people who all shared a common interest. It was fun meeting this guy…and don’t get any romantic ideas on my behalf. He’s married and much younger than me.

At the Red Hat Tea on Wednesday we worked on planning some summer outings including an overnight trip across the state to shop at a large outlet mall. I’d rather have my fingernails pulled out one by one than do that much outlet shopping, thank you very much. The cost of putting Levi in a kennel for two days added on to the other expenses will be my excuse for not signing up. In a couple of weeks, though, we’re going to a small town near-by for lunch and to shop a mall full of booths with crafts, collectibles and re-purposed stuff. More up my alley. A Celtic festival is also on the agenda and I hear that's going to be great fun. Plus a summer garden party is in the works.

We talked about an annual Red Hat event that I'm not going to...I'll come up with an excuse later. It involves the chapter taking women from a nursing home to a 4th of July parade. They’ve been doing this since the chapter’s birth and thanks to a local funeral home that “loans” us their lavish front porch and serves us all refreshments, the seating for the parade in ultra-prime real estate. Don’s funeral and those of lots of people I’ve known over the years was at this place. One day the nursing home residents will use their services and one-by-one my Red Hat sisters will take their places in the nursing home. Small towns are tight like that, from cradle to the grave. Am I a terrible person with a heart of ice for not embracing this day of community service? Probably so but my selfless service tank is running dry and I don't know where/how to get it filled back up again. Ya, I know. I can almost hear my mother saying what you're probably thinking, "Just do it and quit complaining!"

When the heck is someone going to stock my freezer with some ice cream? It's months since I've had an indiscretion with Ben and Jerry's and I could use a little dalliance right now to feed my guilty conscience and help me mourn (or celebrate, I can't decide which) the newly created empty spaces in my garage. ©

14 comments:

  1. Way to go on selling many things you wanted to sell. Extra green is good too.

    I wouldn't go on that two day shopping thing. I hate to shop. I had a girlfriend that loved to shop and I'd bring a book and sit with the rest of the husbands. Agony.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. I'm just not one of those people who has to update their wardrobe just because it's a new season. Bless those who are, they help keep the economy going. LOL

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  2. I love browsing but not sure I could make a whole day of it! But I don't like to go WITH others ... prefer to go at my own pace. I'm not a designer label kind of person, so I swoop in and out just to gawk at the $500 purse price ... at an OUTLET MALL!

    You are so right to pick and chooses!!

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    1. I would be so worried about someone robbing me if I carried a $500 purse. I know someone who has a pricy, designer label like that and she carries it EVERYWHERE, ugly as sin in my opinion. I'm notoriously unhappy with the way most purses function after I've carried them awhile, so I'm happy when I'm not married to them forever. The one I've liked the best so far is the AmeriBag Healthy back purse, but even with that one I wish I'd gotten a bigger size.

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  3. I've been eating healthy for some time, but today it all caught up with me, and I did some emotional eating. What can I say? It happens.

    It sounds like a nice encounter that you had with the buyer. I'm glad he took some of the stuff off your hands. You probably feel a little lighter.

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    1. I go through the garage to let the dog out and do a double take. I'm just glad the guy saved me a the trouble of a lot of eBay sales for lower ticket items.

      Emotional eating is my downfall! I try to only have the bad things when I go out and keep the house "clean".

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  4. Ah ice cream! I don't eat it in the winter...it's too cold! So I wait until the glorious warm sunny days to buy it. I used to like Ben and Jerry's but I'm not a chocolate person and I don't like chunks in my ice cream so I am Hagan Das (how ever you spell it!) mostly now because their flavors are pure and creamy. And our weather has been so pleasant that ice cream has been accompanying more than one meal! It is my indulgence...I am not a sweet eater so I don't eat cake and cookies or chocolate but I do like ice cream!
    Regards
    Leze

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    1. I have never met an ice cream that I didn't like---cheap or gourmet.I wish I could say that I'm not a sweet eater but I can get really hooked. I went for months this past winter without any sugar or carbs in my diet but they've gotten a hold of ma again lately and I'm having trouble getting them back out of my life right now.l

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  5. If I had to go shop at an outlet mall, I would feel like I was being tortured. Now, a small mall with crafts and re-purposed thingies, sounds like fun. I really am selfish--I just get the hee bee jee bee's in nursing homes. I can feel the walls reaching out trying to grab hold of me and keep me!

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    1. We are as one on these topics, then. LOL Glad to know I'm not alone.

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  6. I can totally relate to the sadness of letting go of things that are meaningful, even if you want to. Everything we "own" has some memory attached and your collections, and the collecting, are so much a part of your life with Don. No wonder there were tears.

    I detest shopping for more than about 30 minutes. Malls are depressing to me.

    I think your town sounds so idyllic! But I've decided that for whatever reason I don't want to do something, I just don't. Sure, nice gesture to take the elders to the parade, but not at your own expense. You are NOT a terrible person. You are a person who has healthy boundaries around her time, interests, and energy. Every instance of decision is unique. Maybe you'll do it next year. Maybe not. You get to decide about your life and how you spend it; no excuses. So there!

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    1. That little town was the one where Don grew up. It's only five miles from where I live and it's where my Red Hat Chapter is centered. Don knew the women in it from childhood! It is idyllic in many ways but things like volunteering at the nursing home doesn't mean the same to me as it does to them. I didn't grow up there, they knew many of the people in the home...friends of their parents, neighbors, etc. Around the 4th when I start feeling guilty about not helping, I will remember what you said about me getting to choose with no excuses. They do 4 volunteer days at the N.H. a year and my personal commitment is to do one year.

      You understand a collector's heart. It's not just about the object, it's about the memory of the hunt which were usually on vacations and holidays.

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  7. I was talking to the WCK this morning, he's in Naples FL working for a few days, and he was telling me about this woman in her 70's that was giving him the eye in a pizza shop last night. Would I ever have the nerve to do something like that? I doubt it but it's fun to think about!

    Hugs, Bee
    xoxo

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    1. I day-dream a lot about satisfying interactions with others BUT I'm always young in my day-dreams. LOL

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