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, August 29, 2018

An Afternoon with my Two Favorite People


Friday night I packed the back of my Chevy Trax up with an oddball collection of stuff, all with one thing connecting them to another---my parents.  There was a coat and hat rack from the turn-of-century, a small side table/book case my dad made, a box of silverware, a box of containing embroidery pieces my mom did, a few of her hand crocheted dollies, a baby quilt she made for either my brother or me, a quilt she made for my dolls, a set of embroidery quilt blocks that never got put together and my brother’s and my baby blankets. I was actually worried I’d get into a rear in collision on the way to the lake and these things I’ve been holding onto would get destroyed before I had a chance to put them up for grabs.

The next day I almost fulfilled that car accident vision in my head and it would have been a doozy. I was in the right hand lane of the expressway going through the busy city and after passing a large convoy of slow moving military equipment in the center lane, I put my turn signal on to pull in front of the head truck in the convoy and at the exact, same time a car in the far left lane was doing same. We came towards each other like two fat and happy sports fans coming together for a belly bump. And like a synchronized ballet we both saw each other at the same time and jerked ourselves back to where we came from, the belly bump not completed. Thank goodness! I would bet money that the young guy driving that head military truck was peeing his pants. I know I would have been if I hadn’t just emptied my bladder at home five minutes before the almost pileup of heavy equipment that surely would have closed the highway down for hours. At least my obituary would have noted the fact that I always follow the rules of life. “She died in a fiery crash, her turn signal still flashing when the fire department arrived.” 

I met my two nieces at a popular bakery/restaurant for lunch before going over to the family cottage to have what one of my nieces dubbed an episode of the Antiques Road Show. After the waitress took our orders my oldest niece told the waitress to bring her the check and I protested telling her to give it to me. The waitress said, “The first one to speak up wins.” My younger niece laughed and said, she told her husband that’s exactly what would happen. Niece #1 always has an excuse for taking the check, this time it was because niece #2 had a birthday in August and I was bringing family treasures out for them to pick through. One time niece #1's excuse for taking the check was, “I just got a new credit card and I want to see if it works.” When hearing that, her nephew naively asking, “Why wouldn’t it? You have to apply to get them” which had everyone howling with laughter. 

Niece #1 is enamored with all things mid-century and she was thrilled to get my mom’s silverware. Before I gave the set to her I researched to find the pattern name on Replacements Ltd. and I had to go through 28 pages of flatware before it popped up. When I saw that ‘1950’ release date, I was so excited that she’s lucky I didn’t call her because it was after midnight. Replacements Ltd. is a great resource for finding missing pieces of vintage and antique crystal, china and flatware sets. I love Google. I was also able to find the building plans for the revolving book case/end table that my dad built for my mom’s 1958 Christmas present. I have my ways of paying my niece back for lunches. I snapped those plans up on e-Bay. She was a teacher and will enjoy that show-and-tell prop.

But the most fun part of the day was when niece #2 told a long-drawn out story about a trip she made to Pet Smart to buy a goldfish and they wouldn’t sell it to her after asking what size tank she had (15 gallons) and how many fish she already had (three). She was told her a fish would die with four in a tank that size and then she’d come back wanting a replacement. “What if I sign a pledge not to bring back a dead fish for replacement, would you sell it to me then?” “Nope.” “You’re serious!” “Very.” “Can I see your manager?” After telling the manager she’s got four grandchildren and she wanted a forth fish so they’d each have one to name the manager told her if she didn’t quit trying to buy a fish they’d have to ask her to leave the store. She ended the story by saying she went to another store that confirmed the fact that four fish in a fifteen gallon tank is too many. PETA guidelines. “So you won’t sell me one either?” “I’ll sell you anything you want,” the clerk said. Niece #1 and I had tears running down our cheeks we were laughing so hard. Niece #2 has always had a great sense of humor and a personality that makes her fun to be around but until that afternoon I didn’t realize that she could easily do standup comedy. ©

26 comments:

  1. What a great day!! i have also used Replacement LTD. Can you imagine logging all those items?
    I'd have bought another fish bowl. Save a lot of time and grief.

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    1. I'g guessing Replacement LTD gets old catalogs from the companies, so they don't have to photograph all those pieces.

      Her tank is built in, but apparently no one suggested getting a bigger one or a better pump to add more oxygen to the water. I've seen her tank---imagine fifteen gallons of water in bottles from grocery store.

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  2. Wow. No idea that PetSmart was so strict, but I do know about Fish Load. In my case it's from having a small, decorative outdoor pond. Way bigger than fifteen gallons, we still never had more than four large fish in it.

    (Finally had to give up on fish altogether; too many raccoon, heron, hawk, and stray cat attacks. And we do NOT live "in the country!")

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    1. I have a in-law with an outdoor pond in the city and they have the same issues with wildlife 'fishing' in their pond. They have fish in there that are big enough for humans to eat!

      I never knew there was a ratio of goldfish to water in a tank, but it makes sense. I just assumed the pumps that add more oxygen took care of things like that. They should have tried to sell her a second pump with the fish. I've seen tanks with two pumps and now I know why.

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  3. Enjoy your visit Jean. Just to let you know, I may not be able blog anymore. These things called widgets took over my blog and I've had many people try to do something about it but were unable to change anything. But I'll still be able to check on you every Wednesday & Saturday. You can't get rid of me like that. LOL
    See ya Jean

    Cruisin Paul

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    1. I just left you a message on your google page. That widget is probably hidden in one of the meme jokes you post and it redirects clicks on your blog to them. I take it you've tried Bloggers help? https://support.google.com/blogger/?hl=en#topic=3339243

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    2. how do I get to my google page? I told you that I'm weak when it comes to computer knowledge. Sorry Jean.

      Paul

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    3. Google: "How do I find my google profile" and you'll find directions on how to find your page. Also poke around on the link I posted above for topics that might help.

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  4. I hope you made it home with an emptied car. I have memorabilia from my parents and grand parents, but none of the kids want that clutter. I imagine they would calculate how much they could get for the stuff at a yard sale. I mean, what would they want with a christening gown and slip? (sewn by my grandmother, the seamstress, in 1911) Or sterling with my family's monogram? Or a woolen afghan made for my brother as a baby? The list goes on ... They don't want to be bothered by things they consider clutter. Sigh ...

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    1. The only thing I came home with is my doll's quilt and my baby's blanket and I only brought those to show them.

      That is so sad you kids don't want any of those family pieces! (It's not like a handmade christening gown takes up much room, for crying out loud!) I hope you asked your grandkids because they don't always agree with their parents on things like that.

      My niece sent me a photo of the hat and coat rack already hung on her wall. It's on my phone and I can't figure out how to get pictures from a text to my computer to post it here, or I would. It's looks SO cute, I wish I'd given it to her years ago.

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  5. Sure glad your near miss was just that. Phew.
    Interesting.I did not know Pet Smart actually cared how many fish were in a tank. I thought they were more like the second store.
    Cool that your nieces appreciated your family treasures.

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    1. Ya, me too. I was pretty shook up.

      I don't know if all Pet Smarts care or only that particular store. I've been trying to remember if the second store she went to was another Pet Smart, or not. We have them all over town.

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  6. Those close calls are scary! I had the exact scenario happen to me once. I drove i the slow lane the rest of the way to my destination, not daring to try to change lanes again. LOL

    Glad your family is happy to get some of the family items. I think mine will end up in a thrift store.

    And the fish! I never knew that, but likely explains the short lives of all the goldfish I've had. Oops.

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    1. Me too on goldfish dying "mysterious." I don't think they knew that back when I was younger. At least that's what I'm telling myself.

      Label family items and you might be surprised what they might keep. I know I was when went through mom's things.

      I have actually bought labeled things from estate sales. I have a very small pair of wool nickers that says, "My first pair of pants, 1905." I added a label with the name of the guy who died and that I bought the pants in 1972. When I sell them on eBay I'll leave the tags in the pocket. Anyone who buys them will care about their history and be delighted. Collectors are like that.

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  7. My friend who is dying has just two kids, neither of whom want any of her cherished items. So she began to ask friends and neighbors so she would know her memories were in good hands. And everyone felt honored.

    Whoa that almost collision is too scary! Kate got REAR ENDED in line at McDonald's! Thankfully, Jesse had to take the boys in to use the facilities so they weren't in the car. The other driver really smacked into her (gas instead of brake?) and pushed in the hatch door ... and bumper ... I bet it will be $2,000 to get it fixed! It's an old car (2007, her Dad's) and has at least another 100,000 miles on it. She called in tears!

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    1. That's what counts, that something you care about ends up with someone who also enjoy it. That's the way I feel about selling to other collectors, too.

      Wow, that's a good luck/bad luck situation! Lucky the boys weren't in the car and bad luck it even happened. Glad they are all okay. What a bummer!

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  8. I hope you can have more lunches with your nieces. Isn’t it fun to laugh? We don’t do nearly enough of that.

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    1. It takes a lot of planning to find a time when the three us are free at the same time. But I'd love to do that more than once or twice a year like we average.

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  9. Some places do take those animal recommendations seriously. My son and Diaughter-in-law went to adopt a cat and were willing to pay various charges for the adoption. However, the application had a question asking how often the cat would be able to go out. My dil answered “whenever it wants to.” Lol WRONG.! Cat was never to go out. They were denied adoption.

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    1. They take adopting a cat or dog really seriously around here, too. Because of my age, I would not be allowed to adopt a dog under a certain age. Seniors get senior dogs. I can see why that answer would get them in trouble. Cats end up in humane societies in large numbers. But why not do an education session with a willing couple so they understand why cats can't be allowed to roam and make them sign a pledge?

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  10. Well, I'm most relieved that you weren't part of a convoy crash. You would have made big news, that's for sure. I can imagine your heart was in your throat!

    I hope where your family was didn't get the thunderstorms, wind and tornado warnings we saw sweeping the state. Gaylord got slammed, but all was well here. I'd say our family is lucky that you saved these things for them and you are lucky they wanted them. I wonder what would happen if I tried to pull that! Probably not nearly the great reception! It sounds like a wonderful thing to do and a win-win for everyone.

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    1. My nieces were close to their grandmother and everyone loved my dad. I just wish I had more nieces and nephews to give things to. LOL

      We had lots of rain, wind and flooding but thankfully missed the damaging winds.

      I was a ball of nerves after that near accident!

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  11. How lovely for you to share with your nieces.
    My sister did that on things she found when she moved into the ancestor's house. Attic treasurers, that she passed on to my girls.

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    1. That's as it should be in all families but sadly isn't.

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  12. Another problem with driving these days is that so many people aren't paying attention -- or worse. I was happily driving along a divided road in my neighborhood when a car going the other way suddenly made a swerve, came across the median in front of me, and smashed nose-first into a retaining wall in front of Chili's. I decided to make a u-turn and come back to tell the nice officer what I'd seen, and when I did, a guy who'd been behind me said, "Do you realize how close you came to getting t-boned?" Uh, no. No, I didn't. It happened so fast all I thought was, "I think that guy missed the driveway into Target."

    I've got a pile of "stuff" with no home awaiting, too, but of course that's because there's no family. So, one bit at a time, it's either getting sold, or donated, or whatever. Things like my mother's christening dress really bother me. It seems like they shouldn't just disappear. But, some of that may end up in a museum in her home town, which isn't the worst thing.

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    1. I had all my prom and bridesmaid dresses from the '50s that got donated to a company that rents clothing out for theater plays. It's a good feeling to know they are being preserved after keeping them for so many years. A christening dress doesn't take up much room so you can take your time in finding a home for it. A museum is ideal! There are companies that turn them into burial gowns for babies of poor families but I'm not sure I could do that. My theory is if you can give an heirloom away to someone who will value it for its sentiment then selling it to a collector who appreciates it for other reasons is a good alternative.

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