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, October 28, 2015

Run, Widow, Run!



Life is moving along and I’m having a hard time keeping up at the moment. Monday I made my last trip to the auction house…except maybe to pick up an item that isn’t getting any bids. It’s a tall, glass oil bottle from the turn of the century that on e-Bay would easily sell for $75 to $100. I didn’t want to put it in the local auction---it’s the last of Don’s glass bottles---but at the time I packed it I was being militant about curbing my sentimentality. I’ll bid it back to me if it doesn’t get a bid over $45 by the closing on Wednesday. Everyone is probably sick of reading about my adventures at the auction house but stick it out for a few more sentences and I’ll tell you that over the summer I’ve made sixteen trips there, sold 672 lots with many of those lots containing between 2 to 20 items per lot. Granted, half of these things were smaller than a dollar bill but I actually accomplished my goal of selling off all the stock we had accumulated to sell in our antique booths and at gas and oil collectors’ swap meets. I look around at the mountain of empty plastic totes and boxes and it hasn’t sunk in yet what life will be like without that monkey on my back. That’s not to say I’m finished downsizing. I still have a showcase or two of stuff inside the house to sell on eBay---the personal keepers---but nowhere near the volume I sold over the summer.

I ruined my printer attempting to print my last inventory sheet for the auction house and I had to write it all out by hand. I had sent a paper through the machine with white-out on it that apparently wasn’t dry enough. The paper jammed, I got it out but I couldn’t make the error message to disappear so I could print again. I went online and tried every suggestion offered and all I managed to do was make the error message go way but then I couldn’t wake up the printer. I uninstalled the thing, reinstalled it and still I couldn’t make it work. Then I called the computer repair place to see if they fix printers. “No.” “Do you know anyone who does?” “No, they cost more to repair than to replace.” Great! So after the lecture at the senior hall off I went to buy a new printer. And tomorrow I’ll have to pay the recycling place $10 to take in the stupid, old printer. I don’t feel good about filling up our landfills with machines that can’t be fixed. It’s only two years old! 

The lecture I went to was given by the head historian of our local museum and it was about our city charter set up in 1916. Sounds boring, doesn’t it, but it was far from that. He had us spellbound talking about our city founding fathers, scandals over the decades and how the city is governed in accordance to that charter. During the depression we had a program to put people to work and feed them that became the model for President Roosevelt’s WPA program. 

Sunday a nephew of Don’s is coming to take the bed and mattress set in my spare bedroom. At the same time, I’m having him move my heavy, oak painting easel upstairs to fill the space. I doubt I’ll do any painting this winter but it will be inspiring to know it’s going to be a major part of my life again, once I'm through downsizing. I’ve given away two other large pieces of furniture, too. After Christmas Don’s niece is taking a Hoosier Cabinet and next spring my great-niece is taking a buffet. In the meantime, I’m arranging to have someone refinish a small, old oak ice box that I’ll use in place of the Hoosier. The Hoosier was the very first piece of furniture Don’s parents bought when they got married in the ‘20s and it should stay in the family so I’m not sorry I gave it away. Ditto on the buffet. Downsizing is hard! The current trend for young people is to paint all antique furniture shabby chic white and I’m going to cry if either of these pieces end up that way. We spent over $700 to have the Hoosier restored to its original state and the buffet took me weeks to do seven pumice rubbed, tong oil coats on its golden oak. I keep telling myself I just have to keep moving forward and close my eyes and ears to the what-ifs. Gifts can’t go with strings attached. And I shouldn’t be so emotionally involved with furniture, for crying out loud. But I am and all the cookies in the world isn’t going to cure that.

Thursday I’m going on a half day trip on the senior hall bus that I’ll write about this weekend. It should be interesting if not a little strange. Like I said, life is moving fast and I’m having a hard time keeping up. And, I haven't even started doing my outside work to get ready for winter. That will come next week. ©

13 comments:

  1. You've had a busy year downsizing and you're still at it. Looks like you are getting closer to be done though. Hard stuff I'm sure.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. Sometimes it feels good to have downsized so much and other times it feels like I'm stripping away my past. Most widows will tell you that the past can hold you back from having a future but it's not an easy shift to make.

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  2. I sure understand how you feel about the family furniture. I feel the same way about my family's farms. It just makes my heart ache to drive by and see how my kids have let the outbuildings fall apart, or wild vines growing up and over the fences and silos and buildings. I know my ancestor's would shudder to see the farms the way they are now. I just clamp my teeth down on my tongue and keep my thoughts to myself.My son Mark has been too lazy to keep his farm up and my daughter Pam can't afford the repairs and paint needed. Thank goodness, my sister Susan and her hubby have been able to keep the Centennial Farm up and looks better than it did a few years ago. All I can do is keep my own little place presentable to the world.

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    1. I know you can't avoid going past your family's farms but sometimes it is better to remember the way they were instead of the way they are. I quit going past the house I grew up in for that reason. I'm so lucky that my niece, when she took over the family cottage, the only changes she made just made the place even more charming. No matter what happens to the material things in our lives they can't take our memories away.

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  3. I just got back from a run to Goodwill and while I was there I asked if they take printers that don't work. For future reference, they do. At least here they do. They have a recycling/repair program to employ people and that saved me paying $10 to take it to the recycling center. I would have stopped for lunch on that $10 but it was too close in time to breakfast. (:

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  4. I'm glad to know that about Goodwill. I have a monitor to donate, but it works just fine and is going to a different, local charity. If I ever have something that seems fixable, though, I'll check with Goodwill.

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    1. It makes me feel better that someone will at least try to save it before trashing the printer.

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  5. Oh man! That sucks about the printer! Our burbs have geek places that take electronics, fix them and give to less fortunate. Geez I don't know how you can be so busy! I try to only have ONE commitment each day.

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    1. Try as I might I can't get my life to have one commitment a day. My third week in the month is ALWAYS too busy with things I can't change to other days. Then I go several weeks a month with nothing on my schedule.

      The second half of the printer story is I looked at the instructions to set up the new one and it's not just a plug and play. I'm not going to even try to do it myself. I'm calling the geek on wheels to do it.

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  6. People our age still think of fixing something before just tossing it. Nowadays, I think most people view electronics and other things as disposable when they break. We like to keep things going as long as possible around here, especially our cars.

    I, for one, am not sick of reading about your adventures at the auction house or your downsizing in general. Who knows why we find the ins-and-outs of the lives of others so interesting, but some of us do.

    I don't know how you are doing all that you're doing. You're an inspiration.

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    1. It is an an age thing, isn't it, that we want to fix rather than throw out. It's a shame in my opinion that they don't make electronics more fixable.

      Oh, gosh, my life feels so boring I don't know how it could inspire anyone. There are times when I'll sit and play games on the computer until the back of my mind figures out what to do next and in what order. I get overwhelmed like everyone else.

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  7. Congratulations on all your purging success! I'm very impressed, and I bet it feels good to see that space opening up where all that stuff once was. Maybe you'll inspire me to get moving on my junk-filled, would-be guest room/sewing room. -Jean

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    1. Thank you! It does feel good to accomplish a goal and set my sights on another.

      Don't we all have a junk-filled-would-be-something else room? I have no doubt when winter comes you'll get yours organized.

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