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, October 17, 2020
Wednesday, October 14, 2020
So do you think the doctor will believe me when I tell him my parents were still carrying a coffee can aka emergency toilet in the car when I was ten because I couldn’t even make a 50 minute trip to our cottage without having to go? Do you think he’ll believe me when I tell him a doctor had the eight year old little girl inside of me doing “exercises” to expand my bladder? If my current doctor suggests those same kind of hold-your-urine-until-you-cry-from-the-pain “exercises” I’ll call it elder abuse and dial my local 211 system to report him. All I want to know from him is this: Is there a downside/danger in using the patches that keeps the bladder muscles from contracting as the bladder is filling? And if you're wearing a patch do you have to looking in the mirror to see if the whites in your eyes turn yellow to know when you actually do need to pee again? Those are the kinds of questions the buy-my-product websites don’t answer. If the doctor will answer those questions to my satisfaction, I’ll be out the door and down to the pharmacy in a flash. (I really need a good night's sleep!) And doctor, don’t give me the speech about leakage is common with 'women your age' (which I decidedly don't have). That’s just going to make me feel as old as Moses. Don’t pat my head and say I’m exaggerating or ask if I have a daughter who can come with me the next time. Not that he’s ever treated me that way but I’m ever so diligent in looking for that first time when he'll patronize me with his humor-the-old-woman "charm."
Note to anyone who might be visiting my house in the next few weeks: Don’t use the toothpicks in the bathroom. They are yucky, full of germs! They are my keeping-track tools and are moved from one pile to another after I pee. It’s a cheaters’ counting trick I learned by watching programs on the Food Network like Mystery Diners, Restaurant Impossible and Restaurant Stakeout. We all probably do quirky things like that that others coming into our homes wouldn’t figure out in a hundred years but as I age I’m finding myself wanting to leave notes explaining myself to that anonymous social worker I fear so much. You know who she is, she’s the newly minted professional who might one day be coming to visit us all at a certain age to take our mental competency temperatures and could find us “off” enough to be incarcerated in a place where we'd have no access to toothpicks and other quirky things that she doesn’t understand. Young people, what are we going to do with them except wait until they get old and have one giant 'Aha! Moment' of understanding of what it’s like to be old and know stuff young people don’t.
Oh, in case you don’t watch the Food Network and have never heard about the counting toothpicks trick, this is how it works: Dishonest bartenders use this trick to count how many times they overcharge customers so they’ll know how many dollars they can sneak out of the till at the end of their shift and still balance. So the moral of this blog post is this: Never-ever use tooth picks in my bathroom or grab one from behind a bar while sitting there watching a stud muffin pulling draft beers from the tap. And let's all hope the bars and restaurants are able to fully open back up again by mid-2021. While I haven't sat at a bar in over a half a century, stud muffin surveillance time sounds pretty darn nostalgic and I might take it up again when we all get out from under house arrest. ©
Saturday, October 10, 2020
A man I didn’t know well but who was a good friend and business associate of the son-I-wish-I-had died in his sleep at 51 of still unknown causes. He owned the auction house where we’ve been sending stuff from my house as I’ve been downsizing and where I had planned to send at least two more loads---one before the end of the month with some furniture and miscellaneous antiques and another before listing/selling the house. Tim is still in shock. He’s says the auctioneer had no known health issues, worked hard every day and was very fit. Better than half of Tim’s livelihood depends on having access to an auction house since he deals in closing out estates. Banks call him, real estate agendas call him. People like me downsizing call him. At this point in time, it doesn’t look like anyone in the family can take over the business---even temporarily to deal with the advertised auctions in the queue. He had four brothers, two teen daughters, a contentious x-wife who cheated on him and no will or other paper work to give anyone a legal standing to take charge. What a mess!
It affects me, yes. But at least I have plenty of time and I have confidence that Tim will find another auction house to work with before the spring when I have to switch gears and start getting the house and yard ready to list it. I had decided before hearing this news to quit all my e-Baying except for a few first edition books and send whatever collectibles I still have worth selling to the auction house. I quickly reversed that idea so now it looks like I’ll still be e-Baying until the end of the year even though I'm thoroughly burned out on doing it. Ya, I can hear the voice out there in cyberspace saying, “Why don’t you just donate what’s left?” and to that I’d point out that I just sold a beaded Victorian purse for $49 on e-Bay and I have a few things left like a German built pencil sharper from the 1800s that will sell for over $300 and I’m not willing to let a picker shopping at Goodwill to buy stuff like that for a song then resell it when I still have time left to sell it myself. Down the road closer to the move I will donate, sure, but not now.
This week I met four of my Gathering Girls pals at the
Guy Land Cafeteria for a two and a half hour lunch. We decided that we’ll meet
two more times this fall, then suspend our bimonthly tradition until the end of
January. With flu season coming and holiday and family parties that could turn out to be super
spreaders for Covid-19 it seems safer to avoid public places. We always have such a great
time and I wish Zoom meetings were an option for us but half the ladies aren’t
computer literate enough to even do a Facebook Group chat---we tried that
already---so Zoom would never work. Life goes on, and my social life sucks.
I was disappointed to see the manager/chief cook at the Guy Land Cafeteria wearing one of those little 2-3 inch wide plastic shields that rides on your chin that don’t look like they’d contain germs, and germaphobic that I am I asked him if he thinks that style mask does as good of a job as those all the other employees were all wearing. He said the health department approves them and I have no reason to think he’s fibbing about that. I've been going in that place for nearly two decades and I know the guy well enough to have that conversation but at the Breakfast Only Café across the street, where I also stopped this week, I wasn’t as civil. Three of their five employees were wearing their masks with their noses hanging out and when I paid my bill, I said to the cashier, “When you have three people walking about with their noses hanging out of their masks it doesn’t inspire people to come back until after the pandemic has past. You might want to pass that on to our boss.” (Usually I just think these thoughts and never speak up.) She glared at one of the waitress’s near-by who had her nose hanging out, and replied, “I will.” I could tell it bugged her as much as it made me mad. I was mad because I’ve missed going to this place and I wanted to feel safe there.
However, I'm not sure for how long any of us in my state are going to feel safe going forward. When I got home I heard on the news that the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that our governor "lacks the authority to extend or declare states of emergency in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic." Every thing Governor Whitmer put into place to prevent the spread of the virus---mask requirements in public places, social distancing, limiting capacity in certain businesses, etc., etc. Out the window. Now Democrats are scrambling to stop the reversals of her mandates by rewriting them as health department mandates and you know those will get challenged with new cases working their way up to the state Supreme Court. Some people are determined to live in a super spreader environment. Time to donate to her legal defense fund. They are burying the governor in lawsuits. What a mess!
And in late breaking news: the FBI just arrested thirteen militia members for plotting to kidnap Governor Whitmer then put her on 'trial' for treason followed by executing her. They pooled their money, bought explosives, a high powered laser and even did a couple of practice runs while other militia members planned a takeover of our state capital in an armed insurrection. She's a gutsy woman, though. After the plot was publicly announced she called Trump out for encouraging the militia groups involved when he tweeted "LIBERATE MICHIGAN!" He gets daily briefings on all threats foreign and domestic. He had to have known about the plot when he sent that tweet out a couple of times, which makes me wonder how anyone can doubt he dog whistles to the darker side of humanity. Why he does it is the only question in my mind. What a hot mess America is in right now! ©