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, September 29, 2018

October with Mickey Mouse


It’s October already. Cider and donuts. Cooler nights. Birds in flight, the south calling them to their winter homes. I see their flocks swooping in the sky above the river and it makes me sad. Sad that summer is ending. I hate fall. I know that’s almost sacrilegious to say and I do get the whole attraction to the colorful display of Mother Nature changing her dress from a palette of greens to a palette of rusts, oranges and yellows. But then she makes us work to get ready for winter. Those leaves that were so pretty while still attached to the trees have to be raked up. Those cool nights bringing frost to the pumpkins and killing the last of the perennials means our flower beds need to be worked to prepare them for winter. And while I no longer have to take window screens down and put up storm windows here or at the houses of the elderly people we helped in our journey through life, the idea that fall brings too much work is imprinted deeply within me. 

It occurred to me this week that I’ve got too many irons in the pot, so to speak, but as a bi-product of being too busy I haven’t had time to feel that illusive loneliness and discontent that plagues me from time to time. If you could see my calendar you’d discover every day filled in. The Handyman Connection guy filled up a couple of hours this week, here to put new seals around two exhaust vents on the roof. Now I have two ceilings that need repainting because those vents were leaking although not long enough to do any serious damage. But painting those ceilings will have to wait because: 1) I want to make sure the repairs solved the issue and those ceiling stains don’t grow over the next few months, and 2) I’m thinking of changing the wall color in my master bedroom and bath since I’ll have to hire a painter and I doubt he'll be able to match what's on my bathroom walls. In my rush to purge stuff over the past few months I got rid of the paint I could have used to touch up my bathroom and porch ceilings. Isn’t that always the way. The minute you let go of something, you need it. 

Another afternoon this past week was spent at my car’s service department because of a recall that “has to be done sooner rather than later” but no one could tell me what the recall fixed except for it involved a computer update that took an hour. Great. Computer updates at home mean changes that aren’t always welcome. Now we have to do the same with our vehicles? I like to pretend computers aren’t controlling what goes on underneath the hood of my Chevy Trax. Recalls like this give me visions of the car freezing up and the screen on the dashboard flashing a warning telling me to call a (scam) phone number. “Don’t turn off your car!”---let it sit there in traffic until you can wire us some money. 

My husband collected Mickey Mouse watches. I got them out this week to get them ready to put on e-Bay. Sounds simple but it’s not. We’re talking a dozen watches that have to have the stainless steel break-away bands removed (he worked around too many machines and heavy equipment to safely wear regular watchbands or rings) and the original bands and boxes needed to be matched up plus they’ll have to be tested to make sure the watches still work. His oldest Mickey Mouse watch is from the ‘40s but most are from the ‘70s and ‘80s. They were not the cheap, gift shop variety watches but only three will be well worth the effort to sell. Anyone who says selling on e-Bay is easy has never sold collectibles. The process goes like this: Clean an item, research it, photograph it, pack and weigh it, write up a description, list it and answer emails from people who don’t believe it when you write in the listings, “No Buy-it-Now Option!” When the auction ends you wait for payment then print a label and take the package to the post office.

I took two of the watches to a jewelry store today to get the backs off because I didn’t have the finger dexterity to do it. The closest place is a high-end store that sells Rolex’s and diamonds and they used to get robbed on a regular basis. Now, they trap you in between two doors for a photo opt before they buzz you into the store. So I put on what I call my ‘understated rich girl outfit’ because I was afraid they wouldn’t buzz me in if I was wearing my normal Kmart grade clothing. I’d been to the place a few years ago to sell some gold and before I got out of the place I spent the money they paid me on a pair of diamond studs. Those earrings were part of my rich girl outfit along with a brand-new coat I’ve dubbed my Steve Bannon hunting jacket paired with my only cashmere sweater. (Old but not much of it showed under the coat.) They let me in. They charged three times more than the local box store would have to put in new batteries, but I didn’t have to worry about some snot-nosed clerk messing up the watches by prying when they should have been twisting. While I was there I spotted a pair of white gold and pearl earrings, asked the price---nothing in the place is marked---and I made a mental note to come back and buy them after a couple of watches sell. In the meantime, Mickey Mouse and I will be spending time together this October. ©

22 comments:

  1. I agree with pretty much every line! Busy life = no time to mope; throwaway = need same item in next few days; Kmart clothing usual outfit (I'm worse - I look like a baglady), etc. The only thing I differ is that I have no knack at all for selling stuff. Also, here Downunder, we're heading into spring/summer!!

    The diamond studs sound nice; and ditto the pearl earrings - I'd do the same! ~ carboncopy Libby

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    1. I have my bag lady days, too. Most of my clothes are too old and were cheap to begin with. I go for comfort. If I ever get down to Australia I'll be sure to wear a name tag so no one mistakes me for you. LOL

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    2. I'm not happy about fall also but we can't change it. As far as the leaves, I let fall down and pile up until we get a large wind and we will every year, it blows the leaves down the street and the people down the street have to pick them up. Well we do pick up a little of the leaves. I'm not that lazy. LOL. I'm amazed that you kept all of those Mickey Mouse watches this long. That tells me that you love your husband a great deal. You are a great woman Jean. Are you going to keep one for yourself? You know, I should have kept special things from my past but I didn't. I could kick my butt.Have a wonderful Saturday my friend.

      Cruisin Paul

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    3. I gave his favorite watch to the son-I-wish-I-had back after Don died but I had too many large guy collectibles---gas pumps, globes, signs, etc---to sell in the first few years to worry about selling watches that don't take up much room. I'm not a great woman, I like the watches same as he did. And yes, I will probably keep one of his watches.

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    4. " I'm not a great woman". I disagree. Since I've been reading your blog, I have noticed many things that I have picked up since I've been reading your words. You have no idea that words, your history and your funny things make my life so good for me. I will probably never meet know but I really feel that I know you. You are a great woman and I bet Don would agree with me if he and I every met. Just accept it Jean and smile. Also, your Italian, correct? That makes you great. LOL
      See ya.

      Cruisin Paul

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    5. Oh, yes, I am half Italian and half English/Irish. But I only claim one half or the other when it suits me.

      Compliments accepted...just to stop us from debating my so-called greatness. LOL

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  2. I had a Mickey watch when I was in 4th grade--circa 1948. No batteries, had to wind the stem to keep it going. Wish I had that thing now--might bring in enough to buy groceries for a few months. LOL

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    1. There is a 1948 MM listed on e-Bay right now for $600 but I think they are dreaming. That would buy a lot of Pepsi, wouldn't it.

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  3. Mickey was my first time piece. I wanted a Roy Rogers one but got MM. Mine had to be wound also. E-Bay sounds like more fun to buy from than to sell from.

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    1. I wonder how many kids actually know how to read the kind of watches we grew up with let alone how to wind them. Roy Rogers was all the rage back in our youth. E-Bay is more fun to buy from than to sell, but I've sold a lot more than I have bought.

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  4. You always manage to stay busy ... almost overly so! But so glad you are more social as you do seem happier. And your blogging still makes me anticipate those two days a week!!

    I’d really want to know about that recall! Yikes. Seems like there are 2-3 each year .... for all those tens of thousands invested!!

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    1. It must have been a serious recall because they didn't even send a letter like they usually do. They called! I asked both the lady that called and the service center guy and neither could tell me what it corrected other than some codes needed to be changed. In the letters at least they tell you it's for this or that.

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  5. I'm a diamond stud gal myself, Jean. I wear mine most days. After all, they go with everything. Good call, and great post!

    Deb

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    1. I have cheap $15 fake diamond studs and the real thing and I alternate between them. I don't really know why.

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  6. Are there ever enough hours in the day? I don't think so. You have a load to be sure. Good luck with the watches. I've never done the ebay thing. I think I need a class in how!

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    1. Oh, you are so right! I always have more things I want to do than time to do them.

      Our local library teaches classes from time to time on e-Bay and Esty selling. I've never done Esty but some people like it better. I've been doing e-Bay since the late '90s off and on and I don't think I have the brain power to learn another selling platform's rules. :)

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    2. You seem to have addressed the issues and needs in your life by constantly keeping busy with apprehensions if you don’t have future activities scheduled. What happens if you unwind and just stop to catch your breath sometimes? A rhetorical question. Whatever works for each of us is what matters though I do wonder what drives you. Perhaps you’re just more attuned to realizing how finite is the time we have left in life or that we’ll be able to do what we want. As much as I’ve thot I was in tune with all that, I’ve had my share of surprises with the unexpected and wishing I had done some things more and sooner.

      Seems like there are always people who ignore the informational rules, as though they don’t apply to them — like No Early Birds at garage sales.

      Glad all going well so far with your MM watches and hope continues so.

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    3. What drives me? 1) This blog. If I don't get out and do things then I have nothing to write about and I like to write. Blogging saved my sanity back after my husband's stroke and it's a powerful tool to connect us to a sense of having friends; and 2) The pressure of knowing I'm running out of time on earth is huge and would be almost an obsession at times if I don't work on it.

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  7. I needed our energy and motivation this weekend. I had such good intentions and I didn't get near the things done that were needed. I never used to be like that. I have always been a type A, something is happening to me. old age? I don't like whatever it is. But I shouldn't have listened to that voice in my head saying, just sit for a spell. That did me in.

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    1. Margaret, loss of energy is hard to get used to, isn't it. I used to be able to have 15 stops on an errand list and get them all done in a day. Now,if I have 3 stops I feel over scheduled and tired when I get home.

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  8. I think the last watch I lusted after was when the moon phase watches were in vogue. I'm just not a jewelry/watch sort of person. Let's hope lots of others are, and that you get plenty of interest in your MM watches.

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    1. Watches are quickly going the way of the buggy whips. Everyone is carrying cell phones or wearing fitness trackers with clocks.

      I've never been into watches as fashion jewelry except for I was in love with a Monopoly faced watch for a while and I'll still dig out my sundial faced "watch" on sunny days if I'm in a playful mood. It's a real sundial with no moving parts.

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