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, February 20, 2016

The Choice and the Headless Rabbit




 
What would you think if a headless rabbit showed up just a few feet from your front door? That’s what happened to me this week. Was it a message, a warning? I doubt it, but it was creepy and it made me think of the scene in The Godfather where the guy wakes up with a horse’s head in his bed. After seeing the gruesome sight out my front door window I planned to dispose of him after breakfast. An hour late I passed by the door again and the rabbit was gone! At least I thought it was, but his frozen carcass had moved across the sidewalk and onto the lawn. Of course, that creeped me out even more. I threw on some clothes, got a shovel and a plastic bag to get the rabbit. Using my CSI skills acquired from watching TV, I figured out something tried to drag the poor thing off and either got scared off from its mission or it wasn’t strong enough to take it any farther. Damn, it left a blood stain the size of the missing head on my cement. I wonder how long that’s going to take to dissipate.

Aside from the dead rabbit it’s been a good week. I can usually say that when it’s time for my monthly Movie and Lunch Club to meet. This month we saw the The Choice, based on a Nicholas Sparks book by the same name. IDMd’s summary says this about the storyline: “Travis and Gabby first meet as neighbors in a small coastal town and wind up in a relationship that is tested by life's most defining events.” And, indeed, it was tested in the heart-string tugging way so common in Sparks’ stories. The romance was full of predictable sentimentality and I loved the first line spoken: “Now pay attention, because I’m about to tell you the secret of life.” But it wasn’t easy for Travis’ good ol’ boy drawl to win me over. Although given the fact that it didn’t win Gabby over at first, either, I guess the casting choice of Benjamin Walker for that part was right on point. By the time he threw out the line, “Why do you make it so hard to flirt with you?” and Gabby replied, “if I made it easy you won’t flirt anymore” I was starting to like the guy. Gabby did, too, because seconds later they were having sex on the kitchen table. I must be getting old because while their lovemaking was more ‘sweet’ than ‘cave-man’ with enough skin shown to make it interesting without being x-rated all I could think about how cold that antique porcelain topped table must have been. 

I won’t be a spoiler just yet. Instead I’ll share some snide words from the RogerEbert.com review: “Another year, another return to the daffy romantic outpost of Sparks-landia, a place that often claims to be on the North Carolina coast but one where logic does not apply, fate is more fickle than usual and every nature shot feels like a photoshopped postcard.” Okay, I agree the coastal scenes made me want to step into the movie screen for a dip in the ocean or to sit in the Adirondack chairs to watch the sunsets and the movie was a “daffy” romance but sometimes that’s exactly what you’re in the mood to see. Predictable can be good and there is nothing wrong with lasting love portrayed in fiction from time to time. God knows there isn’t enough of that in real life. That said, I’m not a huge Nicholas Sparks fan but the movie didn’t deserve to be kicked around just because it’s not Citizen Kane. I’ve got to quit reading at RogerEbert.com!

Now for the spoiler alert: Nicholas Sparks’ books/movies always have an obstacle---a plot device---that keeps the characters apart. In The Choice that obstacle was a 12 week coma and a decision on when to pull the plug on the ventilator. (How many of us widows can identify with that choice? I can.) Most of the thirteen ladies in our club were crying by the time the movie got to that part and they were passing a pack of Kleenex down the row. I didn’t cry because I knew Sparks usually delivers a happy ending. I did, however, get a lump in my throat wondering if he broke suit in this story. He didn't.

We saw this film at a theater we rarely go, in the small town where Don grew up, for the cut-rate of $5.00. Then we went to a local tavern for baskets of the best fried fish I’ve probably had in my entire life and that was only $5.00! For ten bucks and a tip it was a great bargain day of entertainment. And going to that town spoke to me in a way I can't describe. Maybe it was the romance we'd just seen combined with the memories made in that town but I felt close to Don that day, kind of warm and fussy inside...until I got home and saw the blood stain by my front door again.

I decided to google the term, “headless rabbit on the doorstep.” I didn’t expect Google to turn up much of anything with such a long search term but I got 20,000 hits! I kid you not. I only went to three websites when I ran across this---and I quote---“There are plenty of animals that are crazy for bunny brains.” Crazy for bunny brains! Gross! I ruled out coyotes and raccoons because I’ve never seen any running around here. But red-tailed hawks and great horned owls are not uncommon in my yard so I guess I won’t need to call my local CSI to investigate. Did I mention earlier this is the second headless rabbit I’ve found in the yard? I found one last spring as well. Darn hungry birds! I'll never look at my hawks and owls the same way again. ©

Favorite line from the movie: 
"Some choices will effect every moment for the rest of your life."


22 comments:

  1. Grisly discovery. Already washed out of my mind. LOL

    I've washed romantic movies off my to-do list, too, for years. Geesh. Some wet blanket I am. But, I'll sign up for the part with the fried fish basket at the tavern. It sounds phenomenal. Any talk of the primary or candidates while there? We have some nail biters and eye rollers, today.

    Have a super weekend, Jean. May your next message be flowers a few feet from your front door.

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    1. We stayed at the tavern longer than we usually do for lunch. Many were drinking wine. On my end of the table the conversation was mostly about quilting and the fact that four of them just found out they grew up in Detroit, on the other side of the state. I couldn't hear if the primaries were mentioned on the other end of the table but I doubt it. It will be a nail biter day in politics!

      I almost think flowers at my doorstep would freak me out, too....unless they come with a card from someone I know. LOL

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  2. I'm a sucker for happy endings and romantic comedies. It's funny, because I'm not into romance novels at all. Give me mystery, history, murder, end-of-world scenarios, even ghosts stories to read, and I'm happy. I especially like to read psychological thrillers, but I still enjoy a sweet movie where boy meets girl.

    Your rabbit story is gross and a little creepy... especially when you went back an hour later and he had moved. It probably was a hawk or something.

    Your movie and fried fish day sounds delightful. Don't you love it when you find a place where the price is reasonable and the food is delicious? I'm sure that being in Don's hometown brought back a lot of memories. I'm glad it brought warm feelings to you and made you feel closer to Don.

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  3. I just hope I never see a hawk attack a rabbit. I love my yard rabbits! It still creeps me out.

    I've been trying to decide if I'd go to that tavern by myself for fish, it was that good. I can't quit thinking about it.

    I don't read much of anything lately except how-to and news on the internet. I need to change that! I like a good historical romance once in a while when I'm in the mood for a happy ending. I'm not very picky about what genre of movies we see. I like them all.

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  4. When I first started reading about your headless rabbit, I thought,"Do you have any hawks or owls hanging around?" "Nature red in tooth and claw" (beak and talon?) rather than a warning from the local mob. ;-)

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    1. I knew they hunted mice and chipmunks and I have seen them do it. But in a hundred years I never would have guessed they they would go after a full grown rabbit and only eat the head. We have big rabbits around here! One year I thought one of the neighbors was killing rabbits because the population seemed to dip very low. I guess I have to quit blaming them now.

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  5. i love Nicholas Sparks books because they usually take place along the Outer Banks or North Carolina Coast--which is my favorite place on this earth. However, I don't know every single one of his books has to have somebody die!!
    As for the dead bunny, cats will also kill rabbits--maybe you have feral cats in the neighborhood?

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    1. I love books set in the Outer Banks or North Carolina Coast too...one of my favorite settings. I've only read 4 of Sparks' 11 books---Message in a Bottle was the first and then The Notebook, The Longest Ride and A Walk to Remember. And I've seen three of the movie versions of these.

      We don't have feral cats in my neighborhood. One of the neighbor's cats is large enough to bring down a rabbit but it only goes out in the summertime. Doesn't like the snow. LOL

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  6. Agreed...Gross! But life...and death in all its forms!
    Regards,
    Leze

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    1. I keep thinking about the dog I had before Levi. He was the size of that rabbit. I guess I'm so lucky I never found him headless in the yard. I would have called the police if I had, thinking there was a mad dog hater in the neighborhood. I'm sure they would have set me straight. LOL I hate the various ways things and people have to die. Why can't it all be because of natural causes?

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  7. This looks like a lovely movie and that girl is sexy. I'm old and everything looks sexy. Ha,ha,ha.
    Have a sweet Sunday Jean. See ya.

    Cruisin Paul

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  8. A guy I was talking with at work a couple of weeks ago had a neighbor who lost one of those itty-bitty yappy dogs to a great horned owl. He said it was the most awful thing they'd ever seen, but what can you do? Nobody in the group watching could fly, and by the time they got the shotgun, the owl would have been gone, and they would have killed the dog anyhow.

    So, yes. The mallards are mating now, which means we'll soon move into that season when seagulls and gar fish spend their days plucking baby ducks off the water as appetizers. I suppose in a way it's good. If they didn't, we'd be up to our hips in ducks.

    But now I am laughing. The two boys who did the "Jingle Bells" song that I wrote about at Christmas? Their dad refers to them as "the heir and the spare." I laugh every time I hear it -- and so do the boys, for all that.

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    1. An heir and a spare is so "English." LOL

      I didn't know seagulls would eat baby ducks. I love them boty. I must live a sheltered life...at least one not close to nature.

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  9. Yikes on the headless rabbit. What a horrible way to die was what I was thinking.

    I don't think I've seen any of his movies. We watch Netflix and Amazon Prime. Little else. I don't think hubby could sit through a romantic (girly) movie. I wouldn't ask him either although I'd probably like it.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. I know, I can't stop thinking about how that rabbit must have suffered.

      I don't know how you lived this long without seeing a Sparks movie. They pop up everywhere. LOL You may have seen one and not known it.

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  10. Not a Sparks fan. I've never seen a Sparks movie either cuz I hate the books so much. Too trite and sentimental and obvious. But I do like a happy ending these days with all the sadness that life can bring, I just don't want it to are part of my entertainment package. I went to a film festival over the weekend -- blog post on the way!

    As for the headless rabbit...OMG! I would have freaked! But isn't it weird that you can google almost anything and find out about it?

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    1. I would not pick a Sparks movie if I was doing the choosing. In a club, you can't please everyone and I'm just happy for the monthly outing.

      I don't know how we ever grew up without Google. I do know we would spend hours in the library or just let something unanswered. I love googling stuff and am glad the poor rabbi went to the landfill.

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  11. Maybe Google "what animal would eat the head off a rabbit" ... be prepared for the most common culprit!

    I think I am too selfish to go see a movie that I really didn't want to see. I saw the term for people like me ... selectively social!

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    1. The whole idea of movie and book clubs is to stretch you out of your comfort zones and to be able to talk about why you each liked or didn't like certain films or movies. I suppose if I lived on a very tight budget I'd be more selective but I can usually find things to like in most movies.

      I can tell you didn't read my whole blog because in the last paragraph I talked about googling the headless rabbit. LOL

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  12. I'd go back for another fish meal.While a rwturn visit does sometimes leave me disappointed, at least I've got it out of my system. NOT a Sparks fan, much as I like happy endings (don't like paying to be miserable). The headlesd rabbit would have rattled me badly, especially after it 'moved'.

    Libby

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    1. The rabbit moving did freak me out. It was right by my front door and a bush I have to pass when I get the mail. Knowing it was probably a bird instead of something that could hide under my bush makes me feel a little better.

      I don't think I've ever been miserable during a Sparks movie. It's the difference between steak and chicken. I like them both but one I like better.

      Memorial day when I go up to the cemetery, I think I will give the fish place a try again but I know what you mean. Sometimes a second time is disappointing and you wish you could have kept your good memory instead.

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