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, June 28, 2015

Birthday Parties and Online Auctions


The woman in the photo above was married to my cousin. What does that make her, an in-law cousin? The twins were her babies and that’s me holding one of them. My parents were surrogate grandparents to this set of twins and another set that came into their family a few years later. Growing up, the two sets of twins spent a lot of time at our house and I did a lot of babysitting at their house. I should probably blame them and a family of nine kids I also babysat during my high school years for a phrase I’ve used tongue-in-cheek through-out my entire adult life: “I don’t babysit anyone who can’t say, ‘My stomach hurts. I need to go to the hospital.’” Not that anything bad ever happened while baby-sitting but babies are such a scary responsibility and by the time I was thirty the gods of infertility whispered in my ear, “Go forth and raise poodles, they’re easier” and I obeyed. I must have been a good baby-sitter, though, because the twins in this photo claim I was their role model and was responsible for them setting their sights on going to college. If that’s true, I’m flattered because they grew up to be wonderful women.

On Saturday the two sets of twins threw a party for their mom's 85th birthday and I was excited to see this branch of the family again. Life and distance got in the way of staying close in recent decades except for weddings and funerals. But family is still family and when you have so many shared memories it’s easy to fill an afternoon with laughter. We were all asked to bring a photo and the one above it the only one I had. Next winter I really need to do something about transferring all my slides to a computer file. I have a huge box of slides in the basement, twenty-twenty years of my life documented in a format I can’t access. The librarian who taught a genealogy class I took last fall said there is a raging debate in library circles involving transferring microfiche files to computers. One side says in a 100 years people may not be able to access computer files in the formats we use now and they shouldn’t destroy the microfiche as their documents are put online. Apparently, the microfiche reader machines are simple to maintain and repair. Others say it’s nonsense to let them continue to take up space. I get that debate, says the women with a box of floppy disks I don’t know what to do with. They’re sitting next to my slides.

Friday I met the son-I-with-I-had at a humongous auction house in a small town near-by. All their auctions are online and my friend swears by this method of getting rid of stuff so I thought I’d give it a try. When I pulled up to the loading dock there were 10-15 others doing the same thing and after getting a tour inside I told my friend, “I think I’ve just found my new best friend.” He laughed and replied, “I said exactly the same thing the first time I came here.” While I was waiting to sign in I talked to several others doing the same. They told me they are very happy with the ease and results of selling there compared to listing on e-Bay. This place take the photos, creates the listings and does the shipping all for a lower percentage than e-Bay takes and e-Bay doesn’t do anything but host your listings and process your money for an added fee. I took nine antiques Friday including three that would difficult to pack. Only one thing had a good memory attached, 42” oak and iron wagon neck yoke in case you have few a horses to hook up. 

What was the memory attached to the antique neck yoke? One time the neighborhood was having its annual garage sale weekend and my wheelchair bound husband came home---down the middle of the street---with a car following him at two miles an hour. It seems he tried to straddle the wagon yoke across his electric wheelchair but didn’t get very far before it fell off, so someone took pity on him and carted it home for him. I hated that yoke on sight, but he was being his pre-stroke self so it made me happy to see him happy with his “prize.”

I’ve sold most of Don’s big “prizes” and “guy stuff” off since he passed but I still have more purging to go. If I can get into a rhythm of taking a load out to the auction house every week until the snow flies again I’d be in great shape to move next spring. That IF is a big word, though, because in my world I’m easily distracted by a widow’s bittersweet memories. I do have a Plan B; don't I always? If I lose my common-sense and buy a condo on impulse---like I did my car---before I’ve finished purging my new "best friend" has my back. They'll come to the house and buy whatever I don't move out when I left. How easy is that?  ©

21 comments:

  1. Good Sunday morning Jean. It's nice having families. I'm happy that the twins threw a party for their mother. My mother's birthday was yesterday. She would have been 88 years of age. She past away November 7th, 2013. My granddaughter sets a plate on their table for grandma Susie on her birthday. How wonderful.
    Have a great Sunday Jean. See ya.

    Cruisin Paul

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    1. What a great tradition to set a plate for someone who has passed away on their birthday. I'm going to steal that one, Paul! Thanks for the comment!

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  2. I have heard of that tradition--a plate at their place at the table and their sweater over the back of their chair. I don't know--I think that would creep me out. ANYWAY--so glad you've found a place that is easily accessible to get rid of the big stuff. E-Bay is okay, but how do you box up an 1857 wood stove? I sent all my mother's slides in to a company and they not only transferred them onto DVD's, but also into picture files that I could put on my computer. Didn't cost an arm and a leg either. Sweet. They do 35mm AND 127 slides.

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    1. Thanks for the link! That sounds like a good option to explore rather then me taking up so much of my time to transfer the slides and negatives myself. Cool!

      Now that I think about my on of my relatives YEARS ago used to put a the extra plate at the table every single night. Now that IS creepy. LOL

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  3. http://www.fotobridge.com/?gclid=CJLG1pzessYCFQ2OaQodBSoKDA

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  4. I'm glad you enjoyed the twins. It's always nice to see family.

    I love the plate on the table for someone special that has passed. A very good idea.

    I love how you're cleaning out the antiques. You'll be ready to move next year. You'll see. And a condo will be so much easier for you.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. I hope I'll be ready. I'd hate the idea of pushing the job of downsizing on to family should I not do it myself and get sick and can't do it down the road. Though it would be easier for those with no emotional attachment to things. They can just call someone and be done with it.

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    2. Greetings from Northern New York. I have returned from England but am still having trouble posting comments to you. I will continue to try to understand why I can no longer do what I had been able to do! I thought it must have been a problem because I was abroad but it continues.
      Regards,
      Leze

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    3. Leze, I hope you figure it out! I think Bloggers added a 'prove your human' place to check recently in addition to the place where you have to type numbers and letters. I know because I've missed checking it a few times on other people's blogs.

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  5. Actually that isn't the problem on your blog. For me it is a case of trying to publish and the comments disappear. I suspect it is a problem because I am using an iPad. I will try it from my desktop and see if it makes a difference.
    Regards,
    Leze

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    1. I don't have an iPad so I don't know if this is common. If anyone else uses an iPad and would like to help Leze out by trying a test comment, it would be appreciated by her and me.

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  6. The gods of infertility whispered to me, but as is so often the case with any authority figure, I ignored them. We adopted two boys, infants, two years apart. So now I'm a grandma and take care of my baby granddaughter 3 days/week. The first week I was absolutely terrified I'd do something wrong and stupid. It has been nearly 30 years since I cared for an infant. But now, after 2 months of providing care, I feel like it has all come back to me. I can do almost anything with a baby in one arm and a free arm for whatever else needs doing. But my stamina is lacking. When she goes home after our 10 hour days, all I can manage is sitting and watching TV or reading! Before I had kids I was the auntie to my brothers children and adored that role. Then along came great-neices and I love that too. However we fit, for however often we see our extended family, it always feels a bit like coming home.

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    1. Your sons are so lucky they had you and your husband to give them love and guidance. Your granddaughter is a major pay-off for all the hard work. Glad it's all coming back. had 'coming home' feeling when we're around extended family is SO great.

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  7. That sounds great!! I wonder if we have something like that around here. Who knows. You would be very wise to purge as much as you can before you move. I'm so glad we did. I'm down to a butler's tray table and some crystal. I need to go ahead and take care of that.

    Poodles are most definitely easier than kids, and cheaper, too.

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    1. It's a shame but young people don't like crystal unless they are into make garden art totems out of it which are beautiful, even I have to admit. I may even try it myself.

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    2. I just found glass garden art on Pinterest. Wow! It's beautiful.

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    3. I know a couple of people who make garden totems and they comb the Salvation Army and Goodwill for vases, plates and goblets to use. They use outdoor plumbing cement/glue to put it together and then they sell it at crafts shows. Before I'd give any crystal or pressed glass away I'm probably going to make a few for myself.

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  8. I finally turned on my desktop computer so I thought I would see if I could post to you without problems.
    Regards,
    Leze

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  9. Yes...that worked!
    Thanks. Now I know I will have to get out of the comfortable chair that I am usually in with my ipad on my lap and use the desktop to post to you. That is not a problem.
    Regards again
    Leze

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    1. Mission accomplished! It feels SO good to solve a commuter issue that's been driving you nuts, doesn't it..

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