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, March 16, 2016

Widow Marching Through March



My mind is a blank and it’s hard to know where to start writing a blog entry when that happens. It’s not that I haven’t been busy going here and there. I’ve had something going on every day for the past five days and that trend won’t end until Sunday.  It’s always that way the third week in the month but my “busy week” doesn’t necessarily translate into interesting. Take Friday, for example. I went to the annual Lent related fish fry. Big deal. I ate too much fish and brought home a piece of chocolate cake as a reward for being a big-girl widow who went all by myself.

Saturday my monthly house cleaner showed up, a nice college kid who is going to school to become an occupational therapist. I love it when I get the students. They know how to carry on a decent conversation. After she left I did my grocery shopping which is always a highlight in my boring widow’s life. If they had a camping department with tents on display---they have everything else---I’d probably stay overnight sometime. It would be easy to do, too, since they’re open 24/7 and if you got caught you could claim all sorts of things that would sound plausible.

The next day I got a surprise. (I was going to write, “…an unexpected surprise” but aren’t all surprises unexpected? That’s the minutia of my writing process; last week when I wanted to use that word---minutia---it took me a half hour for my dyslexic brain to figure out how to spell it so now I’ll probably use it in a dozen times before I wear it out.) Anyway, Sunday my older and only brother called to say he and his lady friend wanted to take me out to lunch. We hadn’t seen each other since Christmas---we don’t live close---and he hadn’t been to my house since last summer. We had a great visit as only people who’ve known each other since birth can do and teasing has something to do with that statement. He’s redecorating his living room and I gave him an oil painting that our mother painted which pleased us both. The redecorating project is kind of funny because all the women in his life---me included---want to influence his decisions and he’s not buying any of it. His lady friend wants him to remove some shelves he built with my dad and I’m suggesting anything but the chalk white walls he's leaning towards. One of his daughter’s tells him if he wants to paint the walls purple, do it. “It’s your house!” Of course she’s right but women love to build nests so we talk color and décor even if no one’s listening.

The guy in green in the photo at the top of this blog entry is someone who makes a lot of appearances around my part of the state because of his involvement in all things Irish. He came to our senior hall luncheon yesterday along with a bagpiper and the four Irish dancers in the photo. The two oldest, a boy and a girl, competed in the World Championships in Scotland last year and will go again this year. Needless to say, they were good! It was like having a mini River Dance troupe dance less than twenty feet away from where I was sitting. I had to take my hearing aids out, though. They apparently don’t like bagpipes and screeched with certain notes. As the monthly luncheons go, this one was great except the corn beef was on the tough side and I don't like cabbage. What made it good, besides the entertainment, was the conversation. I was invited to sit with a woman who I met briefly when I was a teenager but didn’t see again for forty years. Last year I walked past her and she said, “Aren’t you Jean blah, blah blah?” Can you believe that? How she was able to see the teenager she met so long ago in the old woman I’ve become is beyond me. I look in the mirror every day and I can’t find that girl in my reflection. And trust me, I’ve searched for her in earnest. 

Tomorrow is Red Hat Society tea day again and that means I get to help pack Easter candy in bags while the others talk about a bus trip planned to Wine Country this summer. The trip is taking place the same day as a senior hall quilt tour down in Amish counties in Indiana. What a tough choice that was. I have closer acquaintances in the Red Hats and I’d have a better time with them. But trips to Amish country don’t grow on trees so I signed up for that. I’ve always loved the mystique of poking around Amish towns and country sides with my husband every summer before his stroke. If I ever witness a mob crime and have to go into the Federal Witness Protection Program an Amish farm is one of the two places I want to be relocated. The Outer Banks of North Carolina being the other place. Yes, I’ve read one too many romance novels where the FWPP was a common theme. When I was a worn-out caregiver it was my fantasy get-away to be in the FWPP. 

I started this blog entry with no clear theme and I end it without having found one. But I already know what I'll probably write about next time. To finish out the week Thursday I have an appointment to get my taxes done, Friday my Movie and Lunch Club meets and Saturday I’m going to a baby shower where all the ladies and all five babies in my family will all be in one place. ©

12 comments:

  1. If you think your life is boring, consider mine: painting trim and watching it dry! But your Senior Club activities spurred me to undertake self-organised culture tours, to the art galleries and the museum. It was good to get out of the house with a purpose. Plus the paint (and related smell of oil enamel) was done by my return in the evening. I find I am more productive if I have plenty going on - otherwise its "mañana" ie never happens. Have planned other trips for this week, and then a visit to the local library to browse books/magazines. Re cost, a simple lunch for one is around AUD20. I eat if it looks appetising and fresh, otherwise stick to coffee,.

    Bonus: at the gallery they had free tours, and I happened to be the only one, so had a great tour around the place, one on one, with an experienced guide. ~ Libby

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    1. Going to art galleries is one thing our senior hall has never done and I would love that. Good for you for organization yourself to get out and about. And a one-on-one tour would not only be educational but gives you great conversation.

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  2. Saturday sounds like a lot of fun. Five babies and you don't have to change the diapers, just love 'em.

    Your FWPP fantasy appeals to me. I totally get it. It reminds me of my "second-story man" fantasy. It's not so much about stealing the art and jewels, but there's something fascinating about the idea of sneaking into a very wealthy person's house when they aren't there, and rummaging around. Ha! Like you, I've read too many novels. I'd be more interested in finding secrets in the safe than cash.

    Trump's winery is in Charlottesville, VA. Now I want to visit it. I'd love to get a bottle of his wine for my son who, of course, is a faithful Dem. It has a black label with gold lettering. Guess what the gold lettering says. You guessed it. TRUMP What else?

    No clear theme? Maybe, but I enjoyed this post.

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    1. I would buy the Trump wine as a joke too. I know several Democrats who would get a lot of millage out of that. But I'll bet it's over-priced.

      Your fantasy is more adventurous than mine. I bet you'd like the Christmas tour that have around here of homes of wealthy people. They do it to raise money for charity. When I was in the floral industry I used to decorate homes for rich people's parties. You would have loved that.

      Ya, I can't wait until Saturday!

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  3. I love hearing about the minutia of your life. Through your quirky filter LOL. But I relate to feeling: How can a post without a theme be interesting?

    Yikes. Being surrounded by five babies and the women in my family would make me run toward the closest FWPP. >>shudder<< Viva la difference!

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    1. Your second paragraph would be funny except that I know you mean it. LOL I'm not one of those people who has to hold and cuddle every baby I see but I love seeing babies interact with their mothers and grandmothers. (My two nieces and niece-in-law.)

      I want a refrigerator magnet saying something about the minutia of my life!

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  4. I want to date your brother! I would help him paint the walls chalk white because I love that color for a backdrop. I would never suggest or let him take down the shelves he made with his Dad! Those need to stay up because of the memories they evoke when he looks at them. If I was his girlfriend I would have gone nutzy-cuckoo and probably shed a few tears when you gave him the picture your Mother painted. What a wonderful thing to have. So, if he ever tires of Ms. Perfect, let me know. :-)

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    1. My brother and you would probably get along very well. He also golfs so he'd get you back out on the course. His lady friend is very nice, though, so as long as one or both of them can still drive back and forth between their houses I don't see them breaking up. LOL

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  5. We have a large population of Amish people living among us in the North Country of NY. A couple of Amish guys commute past my house so 8 am every morning I hear the horses and buggy trotting past my window and every evening they return. I marvel that they ride in open buggies even when it is 10 and 20 degrees below zero. They usually have a blanket and if it is really windy, they keep an open umbrella to shield their faces. They also hang their laundry outside in similar temperatures. I'm sure it does dry it but I couldn't get the motivation to do the hanging on such cold days!

    Regards,
    Leze

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    1. When I was a kid we didn't have a dryer and would have to hang clothes out in the winter. It really is amazing that it dried at all but I think women picked windy or sunny days for laundry. Would not like to go back to that.

      I would love hearing horses trot by twice a day. It's fascinating that they can hold on to their culture in this century. They lose some to "The English" but their numbers are actually growing in the U.S.A.

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  6. I know what you mean about "marching through March;" even though I have a March birthday, by this point I just want to get through the month and get to spring! I laughed at your description of grocery shopping as the highlight of your life, because my approach to the supermarket is the opposite -- my goal is to get in and out of there with my weekly shopping done in no more than 15 minutes! (The farmers' market is a different story :-) ) -Jean

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    1. Fifteen minutes! It takes me five just to walk across the parking lot. LOL No kidding, it's a huge store and I'm a label reader, like to see what's new on the market. I love the international aisle where try to buy something something new from time to time. Last time I was there a local assisted living place had brought over a dozen people in wheelchairs. That happens often. And frequently a dog training group comes in with dogs being trained to assist various handicapped people. There is always something interesting going on there. They've even had high school bands and dancers in there.

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