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, July 5, 2017

Flea Markets and Cardio Drumming



Since the first Monday in July was smack dab in the middle of a four day holiday, I was surprised that all six of us Gathering Girls showed up for our monthly brunch. But it no longer surprises me that we never seem to run out of things to gab about. Our modus operandi is fully developed now which means we’ve mastered the art of laughing at ourselves in that way only a bunch of gal pals can do. 

That was the 3rd of July, on the 4th two of us Gathering Girls went to a huge flea market thirty minutes north of town. It’s a mecca for antique collectors who are willing to pay $20.00 to get admitted before the general public comes through the gate for $3.00. We got there closer to noon, avoiding the long lines that are reported close to opening time but my husband was a fan of paying the Early Buyer fees at places like that. Back in those days I usually had to work on market days but we’d meet for lunch and his show-and-tell. After I gave up the wedding floral business we even rented vendor space a few times at that same market where B.L. and I went yesterday. Don and I was selling to downsize my husband’s growing collections but I’m guessing half those vendors pack up at the end of each market and do it all over again in another town the following weekend. That would be a hard life and some of the full timers have hard luck stories to tell. 

At this market, vendor tents and tables are set up under giant white pine trees and seeing them yesterday reminded me of camping overnight with the other vendors. A lot of 'horse trading' goes on that night before the markets open and I still have an Indian blanket acquired in a swap. It’s hard to explain how excited I was about having the opportunity to go back to that market after so many years. I don’t collect anything anymore thus I wasn’t anticipating the thrill of the hunt. The heat, the sun, the dirt, the Porta-Potties---none of which are particularly endearing at my age (or any other) but still it felt like a part of my past was inviting me back for a sentimental visit. I’ve been on both sides of the vendor tables: at low quality markets and at high quality markets where buyers peeled off a stack of hundred dollar bills to pay for what they were buying. Our biggest outdoor market sale was $7,000 and the guy who bought the glass gas globe swore us to secrecy because he didn’t want other globe collectors to know how much he was willing to spend on pieces he wanted. I broke one of those pricey globes once, dropped it on the cement and can you believe it, all my husband said was, “Oops.” 

On the 4th this year, all I bought was a down-under style hat to keep the sun off my head, a loaf of bread from an Amish vendor---they are growing in numbers in that part of Michigan---a slice of spinach pie and a small wedge of polished, purple and gray stone. B.L. is the only other person I’ve ever known who loves stones and she bought three or four. 

Change of topic: Last week I stopped by the nutrition store where they have the cardio drumming classes, fully intent on signing up. But their instructor is in the hospital with a serious medical issue so they’ve suspended the classes until they can find another certified teacher. Cardio drumming, in case you’ve never heard of it involves using weighed drum sticks on large exercise balls. It combines dance moves, rhythm and it’s a fairly high-energy work out. I was disappointment! What am I going to do without a new class to challenge me this summer? Classes are not that easy to find when you don’t drive downtown (art classes), or you’re bored with hand projects (quilting or knitting classes), or you don’t want to gain weight (cooking classes) or you don’t want your brain “coached” at the Thought Studio although their Mindfulness class would probably do me a lot of good. The Sculpture Park has some great classes but they’re mostly for kids this time of the year and all the Olli classes require a morning rush hour trip through a congested part of town. I don’t do rush hour.

Henry Ford was quoted as saying, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young,” but good old Henry didn’t mention how much harder that is when you don’t have a chauffeur to cart you around in your old age like he had back in his day. Ya, I know, there are books, documentaries on TV and the internet but, for me, nothing holds a candle to learning in groups. ©



21 comments:

  1. Well you had fun on the "weekend that never ended". I keep thinking today is Sunday--or maybe Monday? I did love walking the flea markets--until the back pain took over. There are a lot of neat things for you to do, over there on the west coast, and the weather lately has been perfect for all outside activities.

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    1. Me, too! I can't imagine having had to go to work today. I'm all mixed up on my days! I know what you mean about neat stuff to do over here, if I have the energy this Saturday I could pick from three great events. I'm going to a garden party on Friday so I'll probably just stay home the next day.

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  2. Cardio drumming! Who knew??? I'm looking forward to Tai Chi which is right at my clubhouse and Tues and Thurs mornings at 9:30. Such a reasonable hour ... and no driving! I did a 30 minute class on a big ball once ... and oh my gosh did my core get a work out!!!! GOOD FOR YOU!

    This Gathering Girls seems to be going well also! How fun. I'm going to bump up my physical/social life soon!

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    1. Make sure you ask your surgeon the do's and don'ts of exercise afterward. A swimming pool is off limits until your stitches are completely healed. Replacement parts might have changed since I got mine but just last week I confirmed with my surgeon that activities that require kneeling is NOT recommended and it's very uncomfortable to do---and that restriction is for life.

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    2. I have staples but he says six weeks AFTER they are removed (in two weeks). Oh my gosh! No kneeling? I can't go back to the Catholic church!!!!

      With my artificial left knee, I can only kneel on my bed! The boys just asked me (as I am walking in the door from the hospital) if I can run now!!

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    3. Just ask. Replacement parts could have advanced since mind were put in.

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  3. Fair to assume those drummers have been at it a while? I'm too much of a klutz for that, but it DO look fun!!

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    1. The video at the bottom for sure have been doing it a while. But I've seen people do cardio drumming in person and and all I saw was a bunch of people of all sizes having fun.

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  4. You broke a $7000 globe and he just said "Oops." What a guy. That cardio drumming looks fun

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    1. Amazing isn't it. I think I was chewing myself out so much he couldn't get a word in edge-wise. LOL

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  5. I want to take that class in cardio drumming---looks like so much fun! I hope it didn't make you too sad to be there at the flea market---I know how places can really bring those memories back and can make you feel good and bad at the same time sometimes. Glad you were able to go with me though!
    BL

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    1. I'll let you know when/if the class starts in again. It's a pay-as-you-go, I think $8 a session and it's at a place a little north of the closed-up K-mart.

      No, not at all on the memories making me sad. I'm past that point and I really enjoy my memories, it makes me feel good to remember.

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  6. I agree with you that there's something extra-invigorating about learning in groups. I had never heard of cardio-drumming; it sounds like a blast, so I hope they are able to offer the class again soon.
    I love your tales of outings with your "Gathering Girls"! -Jean

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  7. Cardio Drumming! That looks like so much fun! Now I'm on a hunt for a class near me!

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    1. Makes you wonder who dreams up these fad classes, doesn't it.

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  8. Oh....and here is a project I am working on that might inspire your knitting: https://www.welcomeblanket.org

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    1. That's a great project! It's too hot here to knit in the summer but I bookmarked it to revisit it in the fall.

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  9. I'd never heard/seen cardio drumming - thanks for the information! Not my cup of tea.

    I understand the thrill of anticipation going into an antiques fair - I get the same walking into a good haberdashery or quality fabric shop, or a white elephant stall. You never know what you might find rummaging around.

    An expensive globe dropped and all your husband said is "Oops!" (while you berated yourself) - what a wonderful man. ~ Libby

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    1. Oh, yes, the thrill of hunting a quality fabric shop or a white elephant sale. I know it well.

      I think the "oops" on dropping the globe balances out the time he bawling me out for another car backing into me while my car was legally parked and I was no where near it. I blogged about it once. LOL

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  10. Like some of the others, I've never heard of cardio drumming. It looks like it would be a good bit of fun, as well as being good exercise without the boredom associated with machines, etc. I had a cousin who took up clogging for just that reason. Eventually, her husband joined her, and they clogged their way from one end of Florida to the other -- and both of them dropped about twenty pounds!

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    1. Anything that's fun and gets you moving is a good exercise for those of us who hate exercise. I've never seen a clogging class but I can see them being popular.

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