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, March 12, 2014

Poems and St. Patrick's Day Parties

This morning while writing [bad] poetry just for the challenge of doing it, I almost made myself late for the St. Patrick’s Day luncheon at the senior hall. You can’t be late for those events if you want to sit at a table facing the entertainment. The luck of the Irish was with me and I scored a chair up front at a table that turned out to be The Catholic table. Of the eight people sitting there I was the only one who didn’t have a Catholic school girl tale to tell. Nationality, of course, came up as we enjoyed our corn beef and cabbage and when the others heard I’m half Italian one of them questioned how I escaped being Catholic.

I told them the story of a time when my dad was eight years old and a Catholic priest, while teaching Sunday school, thought my dad had thrown a spitball. So the priest opened the doors on a potbelly stove, picked my dad up by the seat of his pants and the collar of his shirt and pretended he was going to throw Dad in to teach him about the fires of hell where bad boys go. After that my dad refused to go back there and while his siblings continued growing up Catholic my dad was sent off to the only other church in town, a Methodist. One of the ladies at the table, in a deadly serious tone said, “Why, that wasn’t very Christian of the priest!” About the third time she said it and someone else agreed that "it wasn’t, indeed, very Christian of him" I was laughing so hard I could have peed my pants, but it's difficult to explain why it struck me funny. I guess you had to be there to hear the Captain Obvious quality of her shocked sensibilities. "What was the priest's name?" "Where was the church?" You would have thought the incident happened last Sunday.  Note to self: Don't tell stories about child abusing priests while sitting at a table full of Catholics.

The entertainment portion of the luncheon was surprisingly good and feathered a one-man band/Irish singer who played a guitar, harmonic and Celtic Bodhran (Irish drum). If Bono had walked in to join him, I wouldn’t have been surprised; he was that good. After an hour’s worth of drinking songs, protest songs, Irish ballets and a few rounds of “Oh, Danny Boy” I was in a great mood and wishing I didn’t have to go home to an empty house with only a dog of German decent to greet me. For a brief moment it crossed my mind to swing by the humane society to see if they had any Irish setters or wolfhounds to bring home to Levi, the schnauzer. He's been asking for a sibling.

My husband was proud of his Irish heritage and St. Patrick’s Day was always a special holiday for him. He’d put on his green tee-shirt, dig out the green, plastic beads and tell a few jokes using an Irish brogue. We’d find parties to go to when we could and he brought green flowers to his mother when she was alive. Every year we'd watch for shamrock plants to appear in the store so we could bring one home and in the spring we'd "turn it loose" outside. Monday at the grocery store I saw a display of shamrocks in the plant & garden center and for the first time in decades, I didn’t buy one. And I’m at peace with that. ©

My Dog Poem  (Inspired by a comment on my last blog entry)

Outside a rabbit sits still in the early light of day
The dog peeks through the mini blinds and bays.
It’s their way every day of waking up the widow
Before the sun smacks trees out of the shadows.

In the bathroom the widow answers nature’s call
As the dog curls himself back up into a sleepy ball
And the rabbit runs off across the lawns to trigger
The next four-legged alarm looking for adventure.

She makes her way across the dim, silent house
Past the empty chair that once held her spouse.
And in the murky kitchen light she stands wating
As hot, steaming liquid spits out a single serving.

Cup in hand the widow sits down at her keyboard
Hoping to wake up her thoughts that are moored
Just off shore in that dim, murky place in between
Awake and night dreams of being again eighteen.

One day the gray rabbit will sit, the dog will bay
And the worn-out widow will not wake up to play
Today, though, she will slid on down her driveway
And go bond with the others running out of days. ©


  1. Ha! You have a great following. I love your topics and your sense of humor about life. We are old and widows! Of course we need to talk about it! And you need to keep writing. I even enjoy the poetry!!!

    1. Ah, you are so sweet, AW! Thank you for saying such nice things. Your check is in the mail. LOL

  2. I read your comment on As Time Goes By and I loved your use of the phrase, "Thank you, Captain Obvious." I shall use that myself ! And watch your pretty blog.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Riverwatch, and welcome! The Captain Obvious became a favorite saying of mine since I discovered it last year and wrote about it here: http://misadventuresofwidowhood.blogspot.com/2012/09/captain-obvious-on-widowhood.html

    2. Riverwatch, I just checked out your book. If I can figure out how to download Nook books on my Kindle I want to order it. It looks like a page turner, to quote of of the reviews.

    3. Thank yo so much, Jean. My book on the NOOK is not encrypted so once bought can be downloaded even to the computer, I think, and then passed around for free. The publisher who helped me told me not to encrypt it because that is a hinderance to getting it read. And she reminded me my number one goal is to have people read it. If you ever have trouble getting it I would be glad to send you a soft back copy. I give those out free because I am under contract with Barnes and Noble and not allowed to charge more for them than my Ebook....so I just figure it is easier to give them away to certain people. My goal is to have the book made into a movie.

    4. Wow, good luck with achieving your goal! And thanks for the information on downloading it to my computer. Her book is "A Flower in the Wild" if anyone is wondering what we're talking about and you can check it out at: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-flower-in-the-wild-pebble-mowery/1030152779?ean=2940012200532

  3. Oh, it would be tempting to keep pulling that dear woman's leg.

    I liked your poem, all but the last stanza. Why does the world have to end? Do you know when it will end? Does Levi know?

    1. Thing is I wasn't pulling her leg. The story about my dad and the priest was 100% true. It wasn't MY defining moment but the incident did effect who I became regarding religious upbringing. It was her deadpan reaction to it that struck me so funny.

      If I knew when the world would end, I don't think I'd be spending so much time playing on the internet. LOL Now, Levi, he's Buddha smart. He could know.

  4. A dog poem! It's beautiful, and poignant.

    This weekend I took the dogs for a walk on the bike path. One dog pooped 200 yards in. I scooped and walked back 200 yards to the garbage again. We set out again and 200 yards in, the other dog pooped. I scooped and walked back to the can. Then we turned and set out again. It occurred to me that dogs are teaching us all the time. It's not about the destination, it's just about getting out there and walking today.

    I love the shock at your priest story. Glad you held it in and shared it with us.

    Is there a way I can privately contact you? Maybe on Widowed Village?

    1. I'm glad you saw the poem because it was you who sent me off looking for Mary Oliver's dog poems and they inspired me to try one of my own.

      When my niece-in-law and I walk our dogs on the nature trail they usually poop within a 100 yards of the first trash can. It's like they save if up all day because they hear our phone call to make arrangements to meet.

      You can contact me through Widowed Village's message center, my user name there is Blue Snow in case you've forgotten. Or you can leave your email address in a comment box here. My comments are moderated and don't appear unless I manually put them through and I promise I never do that with other people's contact information. Either way, is fine.

  5. Ah--the Catholic schools of yore. Not that I personally know (thankfully) growing up a Methodist, but I have friends who attended St. Mary;s or St. Catherine's. Strangely, they are all Lutherans now. Hm-mm. The dog walking makes me sooooo glad I have cats. HAH!

    1. The cat/dog debate is a draw in my opinion. I don't have to clean a cat box and you don't have to walk a dog. Dogs give you an excuse to exercise without advertising that's what you're doing and cats make you vacuum more often. I grew up with cats and dogs both, but I'm allergic to cats so I don't really have a choice.