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, November 3, 2012

The Christmas Craft Show Tour in Widowhoodville

I must be a glutton for punishment with no more sense than an amoeba living in a back yard pond. Today I decided to do the annual craft show tour, hop scotching around town to see what the various fairs had to offer to the early Christmas shoppers. It was a tradition Don and I acquitted to support the union retirees at one place and the senior citizens hall at another and it grew from there, adding three more stops on our tour. Don loved the crowds and the homemade baked goods for sale and we’d always ran into people we knew.

As I backed out of the driveway the radio was set on the Prime Country [cry-your-eyes-out] station and as the Chief Glutton for Punishment in the car I didn't switch the channel. When will I ever learn? It wasn't long after that Dolly Parton was singing:

“Why'd you come in here lookin' like that
In your cowboy boots and your painted-on jeans
All decked out like a cowgirl's dream
Why'd you come in here looking like that?”

Damn it! Those words reminded me of Don all dressed up in his favorite attire and that was enough to put his ghost riding shotgun in my passenger seat. By the time I got to my first stop, the senior hall, I wasn’t even sure I could go in. But I did because I’m a super-duper trooper, don’t you know, and who cares if you're misty-eyed at a craft show? Inside, I collected a hug from the center’s director---she cared---and I bought an item from their garage sale room for fifteen cents. It was a wire wreath to hold Christmas cards. I came close to buying one just like it, only new, a few weeks ago but I didn’t like the $25.00 price tag. Okay, that didn’t turn out so bad, I thought. Things were looking up.

The next stop was to the retiree’s hall where I knew quite a few people and several mentioned missing Don. One vendor who had sold Don a handmade item last year that I hated on sight couldn’t say enough nice things about him and that made me feel guilty about giving the piece to Salvation Army a few months ago. Another vendor who is old enough to be my mother talked to me about finding someone else, “It doesn’t have to be the same kind of romance or love,” she said. “It’s just nice to have someone to be with.” “I know,” I replied, “but I’m not ready for that.” Darn those damn tears! They started in again and I had to leave her booth. Whose stupid idea was it for me to go there today? Oh, ya, that would be my own stupid idea.

Back in the car the cry-your-eyes out radio station was blasting out Mickey Gilley singing Stand by Me. I sighed deeply. Instead of bringing tears, though, that song brought a wave of peace over me as I listened. It's always had that effect on my emotions.

“When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we'll see
No I won't be afraid, no I won't be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me”

For months on end I played that song every night at bedtime and Levi knew that was his clue to do our version of dog-dancing. It served several purposes one being human-to-canine bonding, another being human and canine exercise, but the most important reason---at least now in hindsight---was that our antics never failed to make Don laugh. Gilley’s version isn’t my favorite cut of Stand by Me, but I can honestly say I’ve never heard a version I didn’t like. When the piece ended this afternoon in the car, I looked over at the ghost riding shotgun in my passenger seat and I said, “Let’s go home. The Christmas craft shows suck this year.” ©

Below is a link to my favorite version of Stand by Me. I love how it keeps building as they add street performers from around the world. If you're not award of the 'Playing for Change' project here is what they say on their website: "Playing for Change is a multimedia movement created to inspire, connect, and bring peace to the world through music. The idea for this project arose from a common belief that music has the power to break down boundaries and overcome distances between people. No matter whether people come from different geographic, political, economic, spiritual or ideological backgrounds, music has the universal power to transcend and unite us as one human race. And with this truth firmly fixed in our minds, we set out to share it with the world."   Playing for Change

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