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

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Tired Feet and Other Crazy Widowhood Distractions

I spent forty years of my life going to auctions, at roughly six per year that’s over 240 auctions where I’ve stood with a paddle in my hand. And I can honestly say the fund-raiser auction I volunteered at on Saturday for the museum was more fun than any I’ve ever attended. The working part was a flurry of activities and I was dog tired after two days on my feet but I’m getting to know people better, seeing a potential for friendship within the group. But it was the auctioneer who put the cherry on the experience. He had the funniest spiel I’ve ever heard at an auction, and because the auction was in a small town where many of the people knew each other, the jokes and good natured bantering back and forth was priceless. My stomach hurt from laughing.

At the silent auction I won $330 worth of gift certificates for $60.00.That included the cooking lessons that I was lusting over all last week. Oh, my god what have I gotten myself into? The website says the chefs (apparently there are more than one) who teach the classes have classes for whatever level you’re at including for people who can barely boil water, so I should be okay. I think. Now I have to decide if I want to bring someone with me and go only once, or go alone and get two classes. The classes include eating what you cook plus you get a fine wine and dessert with your meal. Their classroom-kitchen is sandwiched in between the best restaurant in town and a wine shop that is known for their tasting parties. Quite a neat concept for a little tourist town to have but right now the classes mostly seem to be about canning, so I’ll have to wait until farmers market season is over to see what they have offer for November and December.

When I look back over all the places I’ve been and things I’ve done in September I can hardly believe I’m looking at my own life. I’ve never been this social and it’s so out of character for my last 40 plus years for me push myself out into the big wide world the way I’ve been doing. I didn’t have to; I had my soul mate at my side. You’re probably thinking, “Boohoo, the widow is bidding for sympathy again!” Fair enough. I’ll keep my boohoo thoughts to myself and just say that I’m over scheduled for October, too, but after that I should be able to edit my choices down of activities that best suit my goals and interests---the senior hall, the Red Hat Society and/or volunteering at the museum. I might just decide to become a hermit and start doing Zentangle on the walls. My adoptive hometown where the museum and Red Hatters are at has an art studio opening up soon where you'll be able to rent easel space for $20.00 for two hours without instruction or $30.00 with it. I’m itching to explore that activity as well but with the weather being what it is in Michigan that might have to wait until spring.

Every spare moment I’ve had this past week I’ve been writing, editing and polishing like a madwoman on a mission and I finished my spoof obituary. Its twenty-five pages long and quite funny if I do say so myself. I was able to weave my factitious covert secret agent career into the real facts of my entire life. For example, the floral shop that I started working at when I was in high school became a money laundering place with ties to an international mafia and that’s when the CIA recruited me. The nights when Don and I were plowing snow at the mall became cover stories for our clandestine meetings where we bonded over changing the balance of power in the world. Even my dogs became part of the plot. I’m pretty sure I’m going to have the spoof obituary printed up in a soft cover book format (with photos added) and give copies to my nieces, nephew and brother for gifts. Why not. I’ve practically written my own for-real obituary at the end that suggests anyone attending my memorial service should bring their sense of humor for the reading of excerpts from my unabridged obituary. My nieces and nephew will have plenty of material in my spoof obituary to write my eulogy. I wrote my dad’s and husband’s eulogy. Someone else can write mine…unless I get bored some night in between now and when it’s needed. Lord, I need another writing project to take me in another direction before people start thinking I’m a self-absorbed widow with a dark obsession about my own mortality! Oops, too late. That cat is already out of the bag. ©


  1. “Boohoo, the widow is bidding for sympathy again!” Fair enough. I’ll keep my boohoo thoughts to myself

    DO NOT KEEP YOUR THOUGHTS TO YOURSELF! This blog IS about the misadventures of widowhood! We need to see how you cope and manage through the good, the bad and the ugly.

    I am overwhelmed at all the socializing you lined up for yourself. Once I return from Oregon (and/or my midwest road trips with Sis), I need to begin to find some like minded ladies to hang with.

    Thank you for sharing your quest! Can you post your "obit" for the rest of us????

  2. I say that, but I don't think I could quit blogging my thoughts if I tried.

    My socializing so much wasn't really by choice. I had already signed up for stuff at the senior hall and museum when the Red Hatters ran across my path, so I had to jump on it. Once all my commitments are fulfilled I can be pickier.

    No, I don't think I could share my spoof obituary online. The word count would be too large for a blog and it's filled with insider jokes that only people who know mine and Don's history and life events would get. But I thank you for thinking it would be worth reading.

  3. Too funny! You are making up for lost time--well not LOST time, but you are now out doing all the things that you couldn't do. And, I don't feel sorry for the Boo Hooing Widow--you are handling it all in a marvelous way. So much better then lighting the candle every morning, talking to the picture and polishing the shrine. I admire you so much!!!

  4. I'm in agreement with The Awkward Widow in my awe of your social life and your determination to expand it. I know that my husband and I depend too much on one another for our entertainment. We both agree that we need to branch out. How did our circle of friends shrink so much over the years? You are always giving me food for thought. I'm enjoying reading about your reentry to the social scene. :) Go get 'em.

  5. Thank you Judy! The compliment means a lot coming from you since I'm in awe of you so much of the time when I read your blog. If I could work half as hard as you do, I'd hug and kiss myself for freeing up more time to play.

    Bella, I think all married couples have their circle of friends shrink down. There isn't enough time in the world to do everything, but it does lead to issues when one in the couple dies. You think you're going to keep your couple friends but most of the time they drift away as the dynamics in the group changes. Your life is going to change in the coming year, too. Losing a parent and your caregiver role will take many adjustments....

  6. Maybe you can hand out 'attitude' pills with this site. If you can go so out of character to socialize, and find it's yielding belly laughs, than this particular homebody wants what you're taking. I want belly laughs!!! Well, I can say to myself 'If at first you don't succeed, try, try again'.

  7. GowiththeFlow, I love belly laughs. I've laughed so hard on occasions I actually thought I'd pass out. I do agree that attitude is the key and I do try to keep my in the right lane. I'm no so sure I did that today. (See post above. LOL)

  8. I love that you can hardly believe that you're looking at your own life. I'm sure it will all balance out, but for now, get on out there!

    That cooking class sounds like a sweet deal. It would be fun to do one class with a friend and make a night of it. But I'll bet you'd have fun one-on-one with the teacher. Can't lose.

  9. Thanks!

    I'm stopping by the cooking school place tomorrow in hopes they'll have a class schedule for Nov/Dec that's not posted on line. I know people probably think I'm under estimating my "accomplishments" in the kitchen but I'm not. I really have very little experience cooking stuff that didn't come in as freezer dinner or take out box.