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, April 26, 2017

The Movie Club, Birthday Party and Brand New Baby

There was a time when I could have written, “The mantel clock struck twelve...” which is arguably a more dramatic word picture than saying my atomic clock’s digital numbers just let me know I’ve wasted the entire morning sitting in front of the computer in my bathrobe. Ohmygod I can be lazy when given the opportunity. One side of my brain tells me I deserve it for surviving the past four weeks of over scheduling myself because I feel like I’m returning home after a long, hard trip down a rabbit hole. At least when Alice came back from her trip down the White Rabbit’s hole she had some interesting tales to tell thanks to her creator, Lewis Carroll, who had an extraordinary imagination---or a good supply of psychedelic drugs. Me, I have neither one at my disposal. And what’s the other side of my brain telling me? It’s doing a constant drum beat: Life is too short, use it or lose it! Nothing new to see here, move along little doggies, move along.

Since I last sat down to write a blog post, I’ve been out with my Movie and Lunch club, to a family birthday party and to the gym a few times. The movie we saw was Going in Style, a remake of a 1979 film by the same name starring George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg. You know you’re getting old when you can remember the original movie almost as well as the one you just saw a few days ago. The new version stars Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Joey King and they threw Ann-Margret into the mix so they could add a senior sex scene. (At least they didn't make us look at them nearly naked.) If you’ve seen the trailer for the movie you’ll know it's about three old guys who plot and carry out a bank robbery. In the original version they did it to add excitement to their lives; in the remake they did it because the bank dissolved their company’s pension funds to pay off the company’s debts which put a darker twist to this “comedy” that was a little too real for me, having survived almost losing our pension during the banking meltdown a few years back. I wouldn’t recommend the movie if you pay night rates but we only paid $5.00 for a matinee and it was worth that much. Although I must disclose that others in our group of twelve gave the film a higher rating than I did. What I liked, though, was the opportunity to go to an oriental restaurant afterward and get almond boneless chicken. I miss oriental food since my husband is no long in the picture. We’d pick it up at least once a week. Now, even that close-by take-out restaurant is gone.

Guess what I tried to do at the birthday party for one of the newly minted two year olds in the family? I tried to jump a hop-scotch pattern drawn with pink chalk on the driveway. I did okay until I got to the part where I would have had to hop on one foot three times, then bend down to pick up the stone marker. No way could I do that even though my balance is improving since I bought a balance board. I tried to talk my older brother into trying the hop-scotch grid but he accused of wanting to get him into trouble like he claims I did when we were kids. (It was the other way around.) He recently got a new bathtub and he brought the empty box over to the party with “doors” and “windows” cut into it. The kids loved it for a while then the little balls of energy were riding tricycles and pulling wagons and marking up the cement with colored chalk. Some things never change. I’m impressed by the millennium parents I’m seeing lately. They are in patient teacher mode all the time or maybe it’s just the age of the children I’m around who are all at an age where the entire world is just one big learning tool. The oldest, a three year old is learning how to shake hands when he meets people and he does it like a pro. 

I just got a call from my brother letting me know that we have a brand new baby in the family---the boy I’ve been wanting to carry on the family name. They named him Levi…yes, the same as my dog. My brother named his first born after our family dog-at-the-time. Does that mean another family tradition was born along with this baby? The parents and grandparents, I’m told, all thought I’d get a kick out that. Little do they know but Levi my Might Schnauzer is not the only Levi in the family. Shake our family tree and both the first and middle names of our newest baby will fall out. How cool is that! ©

21 comments:

  1. I laughed about Lewis Carroll taking psychedelic drugs when he wrote Alice. That or perhaps really off his nut. My personal rabbit hole was time spent doing research and not much else.
    I don't believe I saw the first version of that movie.
    How cool is that, Levi has a namesake. I do love the name, it's a good strong name. Congratulations, Auntie!

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    1. Ya, I'm pretty happy about the namesake. When we named our four legged Levi, we picked the name because it was one of a handful of words my husband could say after his stroke. But it has grown on me more with each year because he's such a sweet dog. Afterward, we realized Don's and my mom's grandfathers both were named Levi.

      Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) was a fascinating guy.

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  2. Congratulations on the new male addition to the Clan!

    I'm impressed by your brother's thoughtfulness in making that impromptu cubbyhouse. My kids enjoyed those kinds of 'toys' better than ready made ones.

    Is it ONLY four weeks at the gym that brought about the transformation? seems longer.

    Your schedule is busier than mine. ~ Libby

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    1. You are right about me going to the gym longer than four weeks. I started the end of February. But I've only been terribly overbooked for four weeks. April is when I do all my health care bi-annuals and when all the house's service stuff starts so throwing the gym in the mix did stress out my schedule.

      The box at the party reminded me of a 'kitchen set' my dad made for me when I was a kid only he used old orange crates. It made me smile.

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  3. I I believe it was opium that drove Lewis Carroll's imagination.
    I apologize that I wanted to comment on your last post but didn't, however, your paragraph in this post on your little relatives ties in so I hope it is okay to use ideas from both!
    It's this memory thing that I find so interesting. I, too, have a very poor memory for certain things but when I really consider it, that was part of my problem when young with learning dates and languages and unconnected facts. I really need the connections to remember something. It takes a while, but when I finally do remember something, it is because I have understood it in its context. When you lose the context (we went to that restaurant?) the memory is gone. Here's my connection to this post...asking questions like what have you been doing lately or how's school are out of context questions. Most kids do not start rambling off details when asked those general questions, in fact most kids find that kind of question stifling. As older adults, we find those general questions equally stifling. It is much easier to have a natural conversation and the details will emerge.
    I'm intentionally using the word stifling because it does inhibit the natural flow of thought or imagination. You reminded me of that by talking of the large box that became a house. Somehow getting into a child's imagination by entering his world, going down his rabbit hole, is the way to engage, and those general questions make that world difficult to enter.
    Does that make sense?
    Regards,
    Leze

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    1. Opium! Yes, it was quite commonly used during Victorian times when Carroll was alive but I don't think it's ever been proven for sure he was using anything, but certainly there's been lots of speculation.

      You bring up a fascinating thought train---The way a question is asked can be stifling. Those kinds of questions do have us mentally going through our file of memories to pick something to talk about. If we've been busy that can be overwhelming. I should be used to that, though. When I was growing up my mom almost every day would ask, "What did you learn today?" Never what did you do. It's the default thing I ask myself each night.

      What you're saying about "stifling" questions does make a lot of sense and I'm sorry I'm cutting this reply short. I have to get in the shower to go to the eye doctor.

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  4. Congratulations on the new baby. I like the name whether a dog or a human boy. :-) I also felt that movie may not be all that great. Why do they tend to use seniors in such horrible films? They can still act and not be in drivel.

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    1. Thanks! Changing the reason for the bank robbery took too much away from the comedy of it, for me. but the acting was good.

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  5. Congrats on the new baby and official carrier of the family name. I love the name Levi and just think, when they visit and you call out, one or both of them will come running. Be interesting to see what happens when you command your Levi to "sit."

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    1. Levi my dog thinks his name is 'treat' most of the time. LOL When my niece was young my mom would always call, "Cindy the girl" and "Cindy the dog" when they were both around. Not sure if she remembered that as she got older or just remembers hearing the stories about it. Either way, she turned out with no emotional scars. LOL

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  6. Hooray for a male to carry on the name!! It IS a good strong name.

    Congrats for continuing to build your body stronger! I'm not good at continuing my bright ideas on my own. Need a buddy to make me commit ...

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    1. It is a good, strong name. I really love it.

      I'm not good at continuing my bright ideas, either especially when they involve exercise. Time will tell as summer goes on if I start slacking.

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  7. You just have to love the new babies, I am impressed when they carry on a family name whether intentional or not it still makes you feel good.

    I agree it is somewhat strange to sit back and watch the kids you trained now in training mode themselves, the torch has passed and I just sit back and smile at them "paying for their raising" so to say.

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    1. We have seven little ones all under three with two more on the way but only the newest one to carry on the surname. I wasn't sure it would happen. I'm elated since I'm kind of the family historian. It's going to be fun to watch them all grow and interact.

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  8. Our family name died out with my Dad. Kind of sad, but he had no siblings and no sons! I often find myself sitting here, still in my nightie when my cuckoo clocks chirps out 12 chirps. I always feel a bit guilty--for awhile. Like 4-5 minutes. HAH!

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    1. Next time I'm in my nightgown at 12:00 I'm going to visualize you doing the same thing and then I won't feeling so guilty.

      It's a genealogy, thing isn't it...to be concerned with a surname dying off.

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  9. Very neat that the new baby will be called Levi. It's really a cool name, isn't it?
    Good to hear that you credit the balance board with improving your balance. I could use some improvement in that area. I'm very careful on stairs, I tell you! I've gone back to working on our genealogy. I get absorbed in it. The world can just go by while I'm involved in it.

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    1. It's so easy to get involved in genealogy and so much easier now than ever.

      Levi is still in the children's hospital. His little lungs have a problem but they say he'll be okay, making progress. Can't imagine how stressful that is for his young parents.

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  10. I know this is nosy but what made you guys wait so long to get married & what made you decide not to have kids

    Asha

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    1. We didn't make a decision not to have children. I had fertility issues from a medical emergence I had as a teenager. That entered into not feeling the pressure to get married. Plus when we met we were both coming out of relationships that really hurt us and in the first five years neither one of us were in a hurry to get hurt again. Time got away from us and in the meantime, I was running a business out of my house and so was he. We spent a long time looking for a house that would work for both our businesses but we couldn't find one. But no joke, we spent more time together than most married couples we knew and we had a better, closer relationship than most others we knew, too.

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    2. P.S. Since you've been following my blogs in their various forms since 2002, how could I NOT answer your question? I would be curious, too, if the tables were turned.

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