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

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Fall Movies and Job Lists



Friday I finally got out of the house to join my Movie and Lunch Club. Can I hear three cheers for human contact and stimulating conversation? There were fifteen of us and the only downer part of the whole afternoon was at lunch when I sat next to two sisters who both sent their food back for Mickey Mouse reasons and bugged the waitress about a million things I would have overlooked in a group that size. When will I ever learn? They’ve done that same routine in others restaurants and their antics always results in me feeling honor bound to tip higher to make up for their treat-me-special demands.

We saw Bridge of Spies and I usually marvel over how a movie’s plot summary can sum up a film in one or two sentences but I finally found a couple that missed the mark. IMDb wrote: “An American lawyer is recruited by the CIA during the Cold War to help rescue a pilot detained in the Soviet Union” and Rotten Tomatoes said: “Tom Hanks stars as the American attorney tasked with negotiating the release of a U-2 spy plane pilot who was shot down over Russia at the height of the Cold War in this historical drama.” Both of these quotes are true but they leave off half of the story! Before the secret negotiations even took place Tom’s character, a real-life lawyer named Jim Donovan, put his family’s safety at risk to defend an accused Soviet spy, saving him from the death sentence, taking the case all the way up to the Supreme Court. It was this spy that he ends up working out a deal to trade for our spy plane pilot plus an American student who was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time while the Berlin Wall was being built. 

The Concourse, in their somewhat negative review of the movie, said: “The second half of the movie is a tense standoff of Donovan, and the U.S. government, and the East Germans, and the Soviets.” Their negativity seemed to be based entirely on the fact that they think director Steven Spielberg (68) has lost the creativity he had in his “younger days”---think E.T---calling the movie a “drama your granddad will love.” Jeez, how old do you think that reviewer is who wrote that? It’s a story based on actual historical facts which doesn’t leave a lot of room for creativity if you’re going to tell the story faithfully. Yup, there were no car chases, no Rambo character was running around with guns blazing to save the day, no aliens, but if you remember anything about that era in our history you’ll find Bridge of Spies fascinating. Everyone in my Movie and Lunch Club has a lot to talk about after seeing the movie. Many had personal stories to tell that related to Berlin Wall, U-2 pilot Gary Powers and even the trial of Rudolf Abel. In other word, this bunch of grandmothers all liked the film.

New Topic: We had our first hard freeze last night. Fall is here and the landscape palette will be changing enough to finally catch my attention. I don’t know if it’s just me but so far this year the landscape colors seem bland. It’s no secret that fall is my least favorite season, in part because it represents a lot of work. When I was young that meant raking leaves, taking down the screens, window washing and putting up storm windows. Then after meeting Don fall meant helping him write up snowplow bids, getting his equipment out of storage and located on parking lots where he had contracts plus we had the whole “leaves and windows” chores to do at not just one house, but five. Now, my fall chores list just includes wrapping up the trips to the auction house, cleaning the garage and putting the deck furniture under cover. Oh, and making a list for my landscape service. This year that list is long because I want my yard looking really good in early spring in case I list it for sale then.

I love that I’m downsizing and could be physically ready to move in the spring, but I’m still waffling about leaving my social hub (the senior hall) behind to move closer to my family. So many women my age seem not to see their families as often as the like and they don’t have the excuse of distance that I can use to explain not being included in family events. I tell myself I found my way into a social life after Don died and one side of my head says I can do it again. The other side of my head tells me that the opportunities on the other end of town are just not there like they are just five minutes from where I live now. Oh, well, as my friend Scarlett O’Hara would say, “I'll think about that tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day.” ©

20 comments:

  1. I've known several that have moved away from their friends to be near their family and then family is so caught up into making a living and raising a family that they rarely see their families. Tough call. You'll all winter to make up your mind.

    The movie sounded good, the lunch a nightmare. Some folks have to send their food back several times. I know someone like this and it's embarrassing.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. Lunch wasn't a nightmare because there was a lot of great conversation going on and the demands were running in the background, so to speak. It was embarrassing because I always feel sorry for the servers. I just have to remember to pick my seat more carefully in the future. I have a good friend who is like that in restaurants and I rarely go out to eat with her. She'll even complain to the waitress about MY food! LOL

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  2. Your posts brighten my mornings, and its wonderful that you post every few days!

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    1. Thank you! I do try hard to post twice a week, whether I feel like it or not. For me, it's exercise for my brain.

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    2. Also, many thanks for the easy-on-the-eye layout of your site, and the fact that I can quickly key in my comment (I think its good to express appreciation, but some sites security check tests are impossible for me to overcome). Its just a nice site to visit, cheerful, practical and real. Also like the interchange of views thro' comments.

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    3. Thank you. Every once in awhile the artist in me wants to change up the looks of this blog. I go to my dashboard and try different layouts, colors and fonts, etc. but end up back where I started.

      Short of begging for comments---which I'm not above doing :)----I do wish more people would jump in and exchange views through the comments. Some blogs get so many comments and I wish I knew their secret.

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  3. It has been such a long time since I've been out to see a movie. I think I'll take my wife out for dinner and a movie soon. It sounds like fun. I'm glad that you enjoyed it so much but the lunch, I not sure if the other person should have complained about YOUR food. That's weak.
    Have a great Sunday Jean. See ya.

    Cruisin Paul

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    1. I learned early on that when I eat out with a certain person that I never say in passing anything about my food because SHE will call a waitress over to repeat what I say if it's negative in anyway.

      Can't wait until you get on the cruise so I can go along vicariously through your blog.

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  4. You aren't alone in thinking fall colors were bland. Our local radio gardener confirmed it the other day. Apparently it was because August was very dry and a lot of the trees didn't have enough water for the trees to convert the sugars that normally go into the leaves and change the colors. However, here in Northern NY we had a lot of rain in late September and the trees that survived the dryness have turned brilliant reds and we are now having a splendid fall. We have, over the past few days, started to have frosts and the woods are a carpet of red and yellow leaves. Summer was pleasant!!
    Regards,
    Leze

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    1. I miss summer already and it's only been cold here a week. We had a dry August, too, so that explains the lack of color. Thanks for the explanation. I knew weather effected the colors but I couldn't remember under what circumstances.

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  5. I moved here because the two daughter's told me how wonderful it would be. "We can do things together." ":You can come to all the school things the kids are in." Well, you know how that has turned out. If I'd stayed near my home town, I would be able to see my sister every day, if I wanted, and be involved in my home church and with the friends I grew up with. But--I'm sure you can make a social life for yourself no matter where you move. Do you ever go to the area you want to move to and just hang out for the day? Sit near where you want to live and listen to the noises you will be living with, the stores that you would like to shop in, how many kids in the neighborhood--that sort of thing. Make sure it feels right before you move.

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    1. Judy, your experiences with living close to family but feeling shut out weighs heavy on my mind making we doubt the wisdom of my plan. Though more contact isn't my only reason for wanting to move.

      I do visit the area were I want to live, in fact next Friday I'm going again. The stores are all 1 to 2 miles farther away than they are now, not much different. I haven't found the walking trail, but there is suppose to be one and that's important for the dog. I don't like that the animal emergency hospital is going to be much farther away, but the my human hospital is closer. All the pros and cons keep me from falling asleep because the minute the lights go out I think about all the details it will take to move and sell my house. But I'm not getting any younger so it's soon or never, the way I see it.

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  6. I think I'll start a movie and lunch club in Maui. Otherwise, it's just too easy to stay in and stream it. Pause for a bathroom break or to get a snack.

    My Maui friends who are renting my house also moved back to Alabama to be near family. And for the first month, it was all she thought it would be. Then life gets busy and they were totally on the back burner. They hate it. I wish they would move back to Maui! But she has late stage Parkinson's and wasn't impressed with the medical care there.

    I, too, LOVE reading your blogs ... and wish you would write every day.

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    1. I will try to organize a lunch and movie club after I move if it's too hard to stay in the one I'm in. There is a social group in my target area for over 55 too, so that's a starting point. What I like about going in a group is we always try a different place to eat and the movie gives us topics for conversation. That's so far for your friend to move from Maui to Alabama. And here I am driving myself crazy over a twenty-five mile move.

      I used to write almost every day but it's a hard pace to keep up.


      One condo community has a club house and actives the condo community that I like the best for me and the dog doesn't have that. It's going to drive me crazy!

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  7. Interesting that saying a film would appeal to the older generation is a critique -- another example of ageism. Your dilemma about being closer to family but further away from senior activities is a difficult one. Thinking about it tomorrow may involve realistically assessing how much more time your family will have for you. When I moved back to Maine, I had assumptions that I now realize were unrealistic about how much time I would spend with old friends there. Of course, there lives were already quite full; they weren't just sitting around waiting for me to move close by. -Jean

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    1. I agree about the ageism in that review. The whole thing reeked of it and it made me mad that they treated Spielberg like he's not only over the hill but washed up. True his movies haven't gotten more depth over the years but he's a master story teller and I love what he does to make history come alive.

      On a week to week or month to month basis I don't think I'd see my family more down on the other end of town, but when emergencies might pop up I know I can count on them. Being closer just makes it easier for them and maybe mean I could stay independent longer with a tiny bit of oversight. I worry too much about the future but it's in my DNA to long range plan so I can't stop now.

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  8. Making a move is such a big decision. I hate indecision, small or big. Once I make up my mind I'm fine, but until... But I think you'll find a social life wherever you go. When you need help from family, it will make it easier for them if you're closer. Well, I wrote that last sentence before reading your reply above. I see we have the same idea. I think about the future, too. Our kids are a couple of hours away. I don't know how that will ever work.

    I saw Alan Alda interviewed about the movie. It sounded good to me.

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    1. Alan Alda was in the movie, not a large part but as always, he was good in it. I like history based movies and books so, of course, I liked it.

      Yesterday I realized that I'll be closer to the union hall if I move which means I could get more involved with their out-reach programs, bus trips and stuff. I really like the people there, too.

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  9. Hi Jean! I'm back from a trip and had NO wifi so no posting on my own blog or commenting on yours. Ugh! I missed you! :)

    That movie is on my "to see" list...did you realize at first you named it "Bridge of Spices"? I thought you were referring to a cooking movie. LOL

    Your thoughts on moving are such a dilemma. My parents sold their home and built a new one 1/2 mile from my brother's house, spent some years doing after school care for the grands, and had family close by for an emergency, but my mom told me they "rarely" saw them just to visit (unless she cooked a meal). They both worked, the kids grew into teens and not so available.... My mom said it was lonelier than being "at home" where they lived in the city with friends and familiar places. It's a tough call. I think I'm still facing the whole downsizing thing and wondering what choices I will make.

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    1. You were the 144th person to read this blog entry and the only one who was kind of enough to tell my about the 'spices'. LOL I'm happy you give me the gift of getting to correct it.

      I do think I need to open up my condo search to a compromise, closer to family but still close to things I enjoy doing. I'm driving myself crazy going back and forth.

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