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

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Movies, Entertainment and Condos



Recently my Movie and Lunch Club saw Ricki and the Flash. If you saw the trailer you may have gotten the impression that it’s a comedy. I did and that accounts, in part, for why I was disappointed in this movie starring Meryl Streep who played an aging hard-rocker singer/guitarist. She’s a fabulous actor, no doubt about it, and her singing wasn’t bad at all. But any humor in the film was all in the trailer and I had a hard time liking her character, Ricki. In her younger years Ricki had left her husband (played by Kevin Kline) with three little kids to try to make it big in the music industry. Instead of achieving that dream she ended up broke and in a 2nd rate bar band. In the meantime her three kids grew up resenting her and by the time she came back into their adult lives they each held varying degrees of ambivalence towards her. Meryl’s real-life daughter plays her on-screen daughter who, in my opinion, doesn’t hold a candle to her mother’s natural talent. Rick Springfield who plays Meryl’s younger love interest, Flash, was believable and his music was just as great as it was in the ‘80s when he was a heartthrob. I’m glad to see more and more older women---Meryl is 66 now---getting leading roles these days but that wasn’t enough to make me like this film. It was worth the price of admission but not one I’m willing to brag up. 

The local sculpture park with its new Japanese garden announced a book club discussion that I signed up for within minutes after reading about it. It involves the book, The Samurai’s Garden by Gail Tsukiyama. The lead horticulturist in the park is going to read portions of the book, show us the plants mentioned and share insights on their importance to the story. It’s a monthly book club but they are going to start doing four books a year that relate to the art or landscape of the 158 acre park. That twist was enough to make me decide this club might be worth checking out. I’d been in a book club before but too few of the twelve people in the group actually read the books so the discussions were often lacking. The club at the park has twenty-five people and seems more structured. I’ll have to waiting until the end of September to find out if that's true. Gosh, can you believe how fast time is flying by?

The senior hall had their end-of-summer picnic today. One hundred and ten people each bringing a dish to pass so imagine the hard, cuisine choices we had to make. It was nice, though, as it always is at the hall. That fact is one of the reasons the decision to move to the other end of the county has been so hard. Since Don died, I’ve been dependent on the place for my entertainment and human contact---however shallow that contact has been. This summer I’ve been experimenting. I cut my involvement at the hall in half, to see how I’d fair. Would I feel more isolated? The answer: yes. Would I find other things to do if I move away from my social hub? Researching what’s available down in the small town where I’d like to move, I found a monthly MeetUp for people over 60, a quilter’s club, two book clubs and the sculpture park is no farther away than it is right now. Neither is the theater where my Movie and Lunch club usually meets. Plus my family would all be within a short country drive away. I want to believe the latter would get me more impromptu invitations and visits.

Coming home from my niece’s house after our vacation, I serendipitously found a condo community exactly where I want to be. I detoured through it and called a realtor about a house up for sale. (The one pictured at the top.) It’s almost creepy how many features that house has that I want and it’s in my price range, the first big hurtle. It’s a zero concept, stand alone condo/house with two bedrooms and a small den off the front door and across the street is the entrance to the condo’s dog walking trail. Along the back of the condo is protected wetlands, so the immigrating bird life would be fantastic to watch and would give more privacy than most condo communities have. I asked the realtor if they had an open house coming up, explaining that I wouldn’t want to waste his time on a private showing since I won’t be ready to buy a condo until early next spring. But he seemed like he’d be glad to show it to me anyway and I’m waiting for a call-back after he arranges something with the owner. The web listing is so spot-on perfect, I’m almost afraid to tour the house for fear I’ll do something crazy like I did when I took the car in for an oil change and came out with a brand new car. I want that house so bad but the timing is wrong. I can’t downsize that fast and I need the money downsizing is bringing if I want to stick to my plan of not having a mortgage. I keep telling myself if I found one perfect place without even looking, I can find another when I’m dead seriously looking. Day dreams are dangerous things! ©

16 comments:

  1. Hubby and I haven't been to a movie in years. We used to enjoy them so much too. Now we boat all the time. Oh well, I'll pass on this movie.

    Love the condo. That's the way to do a condo. I'm sure when you're ready to buy one there will be the right one available. There usually is.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. I hope so, Sandee. I've never felt more motivated that I am right now to carry through with my plan.

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  2. Oh--I like it!!! It looks country-fied enough that even I'd like to live there :-)

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    1. Looks kind of like an old Michigan farm house doesn't it.

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  3. The movie didn't look interesting enough for me ... although I love Meryl Streep. Thanks for your review.

    I like the stand alone condo too! I'm not sure we have such a creature here ... but I don't have any noise or other issue with upstairs neighbors (and they are two large women!) And you already know the ups/downs of HOA politics. All outdoor care is covered in your fees?

    I agree! WHEN you are ready, you will find one!

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    1. We have a lot of stand-alone condos here, all of the ones I've looked at are stand-alones or maybe just one common wall. That particular condo charges a monthly fee of $320.00 fee for lawn care, snow plowing and sewer. Kind of high compared to what a friend of mine pays on this end of town but cheaper than I'm paying at my house.

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  4. A garden-related book club sounds like something I would love -- but I think Michigan is a bit too far for me to go to discuss books :-). The condo does sound like a wonderful find, but I think you're right to be cautious about making a too-precipitous decision. -Jean

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    1. It will be fun to see what books they come up with. They have an herb garden and I've seen that as sub-plot device in novels. Making medicines in period books, that sort of thing would work too. I've already read a lot of books with art or artists in them, so I know those would be fun.

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  5. There are some cliches that come to mind
    "If it feels right, do it"
    A bird in the hand is worth....
    Oh, decisions!
    Good luck
    Leze

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    1. I'm generally not an impulsive person, but I do know when something feels right.

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  6. I listen to Jenny Hutt on SirusXM, and her review of "Ricki and the Flash" was similar to yours. She's a big fan of Meryl's, too... as are we all, but she didn't like her character. Thanks for the review. I'll wait until it hits Netflix or Amazon Prime.

    If you decide to move, you will find things to do that interest you. It's part of your DNA. You seek, and you find. I was sold on that house at the dog walking trail, and then you threw in the wetlands. A stand alone condo offers the best of both worlds: privacy and no outdoor maintenance. Sounds perfect, but you're right, it's very stressful to move when you're not ready.

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    1. Glad I wasn't alone on my luke-warm review. We didn't talk about it at all at lunch which is a good indication in itself.

      Our move after Don's stroke was so stressful, not knowing if he's ever be able to walk and get back into our other houses. I don't want another one that isn't well prepared. As much as I love that condo house, I can't pull it together that fast to make an offer now. But I will watch that condo community like a hawk!

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  7. Happening by that condo is like somebody unseen giving your shoulders a . Things will really work out when you're ready. Have you been back to it for a walk through yet?

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    1. No, after the realtor said he'd set up an appointment, the next day he asked if he could do a market appraisal of my house. I said I wasn't ready for that yet and that was the last I heard from him. I figure he only told me he'd make the appointment so he could start me on the process to listing my house.That condo community has other zero steps houses and I bookmarked it at Zillow. When I'm ready something will be there and THAT salesman won't be the guy I'll call. Jerk face. LOL Play me once, he'd do it again.

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  8. Hi Jean! I was disappointed in Ricki too. I love Meryl though. She could act anything and be believable.

    That bookclub sounds perfect and so does the condo. Things are happenin'!!!

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