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, April 18, 2018

Just so you’ll know…


Just so you’ll know I’m writing this on Sunday the 15th and the report on my Wednesday party will be published on Saturday, but I will tell you that the Evil Overlord of Party Planners got me again. It wasn’t enough to give me an easy-fix electrical problem and an impossible-to-fix ice storm that had me rescheduling my party, this morning I hopped in the shower to discover that I didn’t have any hot water. We had some wind but I’ve never lost a pilot light on the hot water heater in the 15 years of living here, like some people do on windy days. I did, however, have the faucet control mixer on the shower break once so that's a possibility it did again.

Calling a plumber on a weekend costs double their rate---even if they’d come out in an ice storm for a non-emergency. I’m hoping if I call early Monday I can get them out the same day. I don’t have a choice but to wait and in the meantime, I’ll try to figure out if it's the pilot or the mixer. The water in the kitchen seemed a little tepid or is it my imagination working overtime? And, drats, I’d have to lie on my stomach on the basement floor to look at the pilot! Scratch that off the list of possibilities. If I did that, I’d have to call 911 to get back up. The last time I lost a hot water heater---the bottom blew out---was the morning of my mom's funeral. It was one of those infamous things that happens when you have to ask myself, "Is this an inconvenience or a disaster" to put it in perspective.

At any other time but during an ice storm, I could ask the son-I-wish-I-had to come over to check the pilot light but he just buried his father a few days ago after spending two weeks doing a day and night vigil at his dad’s Hospice bedside. I just can't do that to him because I know he’d come, if I asked. To answer my blogger friend, Judy, before she asks why I don't call the gas company, I took that option off the table years ago when we had rental property. I don’t like dealing with them when I have other options.

Monday Update: 7:30. I just got off the phone with the plumbing company. Mind you, this company has 160 trucks on the road---a very large and well established business---and they couldn’t get out today. The only choices for scheduling were: 1) smack dab in the middle of my bi-annual doctor’s appointment with my internist on Tuesday which would have been just a quick check of the pilot light with no repairs, if it’s something more serious; 2) smack dab in the middle of my party for a check, repair and/or replacement; or 3) smack dab in the middle of my dentist appointment on Thursday. I picked door number three and I will reschedule the dentist. After talking with the plumping company, I’m probably just going to go ahead and replace the hot water heater, which I planned on doing this summer anyway. A 15 year old unit isn’t worth putting any money into repairing it and he said that if I've never lost the pilot light before, it’s likely not a simple fix like relighting it.

It’s going to be quite a week and if nothing else, it’s proving that I’m still one of the lucky ones. Why? Because as many things as the Evil Overlord of Party Planners threw at me, I’m still standing and I can find the humor in the never ending process of revising my party game plan---did I mention I had to add shoveling snow to my schedule today and salting on Tuesday to help the ice melt as the temperature gets above freezing? More importantly I am lucky because I live in a part of the world that has running water and electricity and I’m not a refugee seeking a new life away from unending wars, bombs and chemical attacks. And if I've learned anything in my twenty years of servicing weddings in the floral business it’s that no one cares about the challenges the vendors go through as long as the end results turns out great on the big day.  ©

Note: While I was searching for a photo for the top of this blog I ran into an article titled, How to Burn Fat with Cold Showers proving that for every negative thing life throws at us there is always an upside. LOL

21 comments:

  1. Oh My God!!!!! Wow, I don't know what to say Jean. Thank goodness that you are still here. I really can't say much so I'll just say I'll pray for me my friend. Let me know how you make out. See ya.

    Cruisin Paul

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  2. Oh, Jean. This is such a Run Of Badness for you! I'm so sorry, and I don't know what else to say.

    Having your hot water heater bottom out the day of your mother's funeral reminded me of my similar situation when my dad died. Not only did our dryer stop working the day before his funeral, but we had to have our waterline snaked all the way from the street, where they found that tree roots had damaged a pipe. Then, the idiots at the car dealership where we had converted our lease vehicle into a purchase never transferred the title, so all four of us had to cram into the cab of a tiny Ford Ranger compact pickup (Rick's work truck) to go to the funeral and everyplace else. I thought I would die myself from the strain of everything. I don't know how I made it through the day.

    I am so hoping you have a lovely, wonderful, fun, laughter-filled party. If anyone deserves it, you certainly do.

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  3. What I have learned here today. Take more cold showers. Move south where you don't have ice storms in late April. Always choose the dentist appointment over the doctor and party time. :-) Thank you Jean.

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  4. Good luck and we all await your updates!
    Leze

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  5. OMGosh, can I relate to this? Yes, just buy a new water heater--15 years is a good long time for one to last.
    No--I don't deal with the gas company. I have an appliance service plan through my gas company. When I have a problem, they send out a repairman from a service repair company in the area, who does contract work for them. So I only have to deal with the repairmen from the service company, who, of course, works on these kinds of things everyday. If you have Consumers Energy, they have a good service plan--furnace, A/C, all kitchen appliances. You pay about $30.00 a month, tacked onto your bill, so when you need service, you pay nothing for the repair. Check with your electric or gas company to see if they have such a plan.

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  6. BTW--you did hear about the winter snow storm we are getting tonight and tomorrow--right?

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  7. Just a quick note to say the party lasted about four hours and everyone had a good time and nothing else went wrong. Going to take a nap now!!!!!!

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  8. I cannot BELIEVE all the trouble you've had! And still have a sense of humor. I might be getting a bit paranoid.

    Thanks for letting us know the party was a SUCCESS! Nap and recap and we'll read about it soon.

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  9. I'm glad you have electric == at least you can boil water, cool it down to bearable and wash from Philadelphia to Des Moines (no one will see your ankles anyway, right?). But it sure is annoying -- especially when getting ready for a party. Smart move rescheduling the dentist. I am going today with dread. He will say I need a root canal, which he said in October. I will say, do I have to? It's probably time...

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    1. I got a dentist appointment for next week and will need a cap, I think. I broke off the side of an old tooth.

      Sorry to the others above for not replying individually. I was totally exhausted after the party. But good exhausted. My house is still not back together. I just got hot water back today after having the guys from plumbing company in the basement all morning replacing the old hot water heater. I had to run the dishwasher twice since they left.

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  10. Kudos to you, Jean - for seeing the humour in an aggravating situation!

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    1. If you don't laugh, you'd cry and that's not a good alternative.

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    2. I have the same philosophy as you!

      Deb

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  11. Dear Jean, my mom--dead now 50 years--used to say to me, "Dolores, you find what you look for. If you look for good, you will find it. And if you look for bad, you will surely find that also." By the end of this posting you were sharing with us the good. I'm so happy you got there! Peace.

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    1. What a wise human being your mother was. That phrase should be written on coffee cups and pillows all over the world. Thank you for sharing that!

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  12. You are so funny! Burning fat with cold showers. Pollyanna lives! :)

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    1. LOL That's my dad's influence. He could always find a nugget of goodness in any and all given situation.

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  13. Thanks Jean R.! For always getting through, and telling life as it is, warts and all! I replaced my 20yr old ducted gas heater a few years ago with some misgiving, knowing those no-fancy machines were meant to last for ever - even sourced a reputable repairman! - but, in the end, figured it was better to invest in a more efficient new model. It's certainly quieter, tho' bills remain unchanged so sceptical about the efficiency!! Point is, from reading your post, I think I made the right decision.
    Happy it was a great party! Sleep well. ~ Libby

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    1. After mine new one was installed I called my brother to ask if he thought I did the right thing, buying a new one instead of repairing the old...he used to be an electrician at a factory that built hot water heaters. And he said, in my situation he thought I did do the right thing. I did't ask beforehand because I didn't want to put him in a spot where he'd probably offer to come fix mine, knowing he's done that for others in the family. The guy who put mine in told me it wouldn't be much more efficient. That part was a bummer. Thanks for stopping by Libby.

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  14. Hi. I tried to leave a comment on this post last week, but I was on my phone and don't know what I did wrong, :/

    I can't remember exactly what I wrote, but I think I mentioned that my appliances tend to break when Mars is in retrograde, but that doesn't apply ice and snow storms. Hopefully your streak of bad luck has ended. Can't wait to read about how your party went.

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    1. You are the second person who tried to post a comment with their phone and had trouble. The party itself when well and it's posted already. Those subscriptions that notice people lack a day or two behind the posts going live.

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