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, February 8, 2014

The Winter of Disappointment

This week I got my first professional pedicure since last fall. You’d think that would have been a relaxing outing, given the fact they I was sitting in a massage chair while a nice lady played which-little-piggy-went-to-market with my toes, but there were groaning sounds coming from up above and that made me nervous. We’re at a point in our record setting winter where roofs are caving in from the weight of all that snow---nearly 90 inches of snow so far this season. That’s three feet more snow than our yearly average. Nine or ten cave-ins have made the news and any flat roofed building is in danger. Long story short my pink little piggies look perfect and the roof overhead stayed in place long enough for me to escape the impending danger. This senior citizen knows how to live on the edge.

Aside from it being a perfect winter for downhill skiers---if they want to brave the bitter cold---another good thing about having a hard winter is the fact that the ice sculpture contest contestants, this weekend, don’t have to worry about their huge blocks of ice disappearing any time soon. In past years I’ve seen their slightly melted creations as I pushed my husband’s wheelchair around a small tourist town near-by but this year I planned to bundle up in my warmest clothes and I go watch the carvers as they worked---twenty three sculptures created over two days. If you’ve ever seen the Food Network’s Ice Brigade with Randy Finch and his crew you’ll know exactly who is in town working their magic. These guys and gals are awesome!

On paper, the opening day looked perfect for me to get out of the house---no new snow predicted. I had my wool socks, long gaiters, heaviest sweats, snowmobile gloves and a hat laid out. I was looking forward to sipping free cocoa while watching people play miniature golf on a course made entirely out of ice. I planned on sampling the quirky mash potato bar at the olive oil store before wandering over to the chili cook off and the snowman building contest in the park. Then I saw the morning news. Cars crashes and spin offs all over the place. Icy roads between me and the contest. So I’ll be seeing the sculptures and snowmen next week, after the ice festival is over. I’m calling this the Winter of Disappointment. Not to worry. I’m getting used to it. I’m in no danger of hanging myself from the rafters in the attic.

Saturday I had tickets to a country western show put on by the fire department. I haven’t been to one of these twice-a-year firefighters fundraisers since Don passed away even though I continued buying tickets. In the back of my mind I kept thinking I’d connect with someone to invite to go with me, but that hasn’t happened. This year, I decided to go alone, to made it a widow’s work goal. But the temperatures never got high enough for the road salt to work and there is a huge hill in between me and the auditorium that is well known for its bumper car intersection at the bottom, so I opted not to chance it. Color me disappointed. Our fire department guys are the ones who come to the house when you call 911 and say, “X, Y or Z has fallen and can’t get back up.” They’d been here many times when Don was still alive and they never charge, so I will keep buying their tickets whether I go or not. However, if we still have icy roads in July when their next show is scheduled I’m moving to Fiji where I can tie myself to a tree during hurricane season. I’ve had enough of the devil’s dandruff and his polar breath for one season, thank you very much. 

Switching gears, at one of my favorite blogs, As Time Goes By, there is a recent post titled Coming Out as Old. Reading it I learned that to be politically correct I have to quit calling myself a senior citizen or elderly. Instead, I have to use the words ‘elder’ or ‘old’ person. The idea is that ‘elderly’ and ‘senior’ implies a fragile body and declining cognitive abilities. Since I’ve been admonished in my off-line life not to call myself ‘elderly’ I found this discussion of labels very interesting. For some reason that defies explanation I’d rather be elderly than old but I also like the title, ‘elder.’ I guess it's all in the perceptions the labels conjure up in our heads. Many if not most people my age are not frail or have declining abilities---I get that point, I really do---but what about those who are? Do we have to find a new label that covers them? Or do we just get out our bag of adjectives and say, “She’s a fragile old person" or "she's flaky old person”? Given a choice between ‘elderly’ and ‘a fragile' or 'flaky' old person I’d rather be elderly. Ohmygod, I need a pie chart to sort this all out! In the meantime, I am officially now the elder in my tribe of one here on Widowhood Lane. ©


  1. It has been a tough winter for sure!!! and snowing again tonight. Personally, I don't like any of those "old" labels. My doctor calls "us"- "seasoned citizens"--I think I would rather be called "wise" instead of elderly. "here comes that wish woman,", rather than, "here comes that elderly woman." and do not ever call me a crone!!!

    1. 'Crone' isn't even in my vocabulary, so you won't hear that from me. LOL We'd all love to be called 'wise' but that isn't age specific and just because we get older we don't all get wiser. 'Seasoned citizen' is great! I'd vote for that.

  2. Awkward Widow: I am so, so sorry but I accidentally deleted your comment and I can't get it back! I'm dyslexia and I blame it on that. I do remember that you mentioned 'honored citizen' as an alternative to senior citizen and that was actually mentioned in the blog I wrote about. I guess there is a movement trying to get more businesses to use it.