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, May 6, 2020

Are Happy Days Coming Again?


Maybe not right away but I’m hopeful that happy days are on the horizon. Heavy construction starts back up in my state tomorrow which means the continuum care campus where I have a hefty deposit down on a unit will be able to move forward again. It remains to be seen whether or not my investment income will recover enough for me to move there when it’s completed. And lawn care people were allowed back in action last week. I haven’t seen hide or hair of mine but I’m not worried about that. Yet. He's way behind on spring clean up jobs. My irrigation company has scheduled my spring start-up appointment and by the time this post is published that service should be completed---he’ll be the first person to be inside my house since the beginning of March when my cleaning service was last here. But the part of my life that involves senior hall activities are all on hold until June 8th. They even canceled a day trip that I signed up for to visit a prison down state that was supposed to take place in mid-June. I’m kind of glad about that. After being under stay-at-home orders since March 15th I’ve lost interest in seeing the insides of a prison.  

And my big news---drum roll please---is the lot of 100 things I had sitting in limbo at the local auction house since the beginning of March finally had its day. I was worried that the lag in time would make people lose interested in what was advertised so long ago but the bidding was strong. I got $262 for my taxidermy desert (?) cat from the turn-of-the-century that I really didn’t want to let go of in the first place and all that time waiting for the auction to take place had me wanting to go pick her back up. I loved that silly cat and the memories of the day my husband bought her. Knowing what she sold for makes me believe she went to a home that will appreciate her as much as I did. Heck, no one who ever came over seemed to like her but me so I was worried she'd only go for a buck or two and I'd regret sending her off. Yes, I have attachment issues.

The auction house starts everything out at a buck which always makes me nervous, but it’s fun for the bidders. I also had a 1950s Daisy be-be gun in the auction that I would have put on e-Bay but I couldn’t find a box long enough and I was happy it went for over $100, almost as much as it would have sold for on e-Bay. Local auctions are unpredictable, though. An antique iron screw padlock that I’d had on e-Bay that didn’t get any bidders at all went for $68 locally. But I was royally disappointed that a 1940s fan-shaped pressed glass luncheon set that was my mother’s only went for two dollars and after I pay the auctioneer his dollar listing fee---well, you do the math. It wasn’t good. I didn’t want to let go of that set either but I have too many dishes for the space I’ll be moving to. On e-Bay you can set your minimum bid so you have more control of the outcome and those luncheon sets do decent there, but packing 24 pieces of glass to ship safely is not my idea of fun. When you put a group of stuff in local auctions you’re better off not looking at final bids individually because collective the total usually exceed everyone’s expectation. Auctions all have sleepers, even for people like me who are tuned into the collectibles market and my sleeper was Fossil watch advertising piece in the image of a gas pump that stood 6 inches high and went for $41. I didn’t think another soul on earth would pay more than a few bucks for that piece of plaster besides my husband and he paid fifty cents for it.

When lot auction money comes in, I seem to go on mini spending sprees at Amazon. Here’s what I bought after the auction above: 1) a pretty turban to cover up my shaggy hair since salons won’t open any time soon, but I sent it back because it was supposed to be white and black and they sent brown and black; 2) a long-handed shoe horn because I was sick of only having one in the house when I put my shoes on in two different locations; 3) a hardcopy, non-fiction book by Jennifer Weiner titled Hungry Heart, Adventures in Life, Love and Writing; 4) a Fitfort fitness tracker watch to replace my Fitbit that quit working. I would have gotten another Fitbit but its app kept crashing my computer when I tried to uninstall/reinstall it which I'd need to do to get new Fitbit to work without involving my cell phone. The Fitfort will even take my blood pressure so I’m looking forward to that feature. I’m not looking forward to having its dashboard on my phone’s tiny screen but Fitbit is the only tracker I’ve found that is Windows 10 compatible…at least it used to be compatible before their most recent auto-software update; and 5) last but not least I bought a billfold. Do you know how hard it is to find them these days that includes a place to put a checkbook? It cost the price I got for the Fossil gas pump but it will probably last me the rest of my life. Writing checks will soon go the way of buggy whips and I’ll be one of the last holdouts. 

Things are looking up here in River City and hopefully I’ll start feeling in control of something besides the decision to get out of bed in the mornings. In the meantime we're still under stay-at-home orders until the end of May and if we do go out for food, medical care or to work in businesses being allowed to open, masks and 6 feet social distancing are required. ©

40 comments:

  1. Good luck! At least things are starting to move again.

    I love, "Exiled for the good of the realm." It gives the experience meaning.

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    1. I love that meme too. It makes it sound romantic and adventurous.

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  2. Sounds like a nice haul at the auction! Good for you. I am struggling with my hair, too. Right now, I'm headed into Florence Henderson as Mom Brady but with a shaggier front (think The Shaggy Dog). If I could cut the back I would...it's the worst part.

    We have an air rifle that shoots pellets (purchased to get rid of groundhogs...it works!) that we are ready to get rid of. But we found that you can't sell guns on eBay or the Facebook Marketplace. So it sits. I'm sure we'll get more engaged when it's time to move. So many things we won't be needing. DH promised an ice chipper to a neighbor and she drove up the other day to see if she could have it yet. He originally told her she could have it if the house sells, so she'll have to wait. LOL. (You never know...I sure didn't think I'd be spreading 8 yds of mulch either.)

    We have a couple showings of our house set up this week, so we're hopeful. Hang in there...things are looking up. And the sun is out (weekend forecast notwithstanding). And I love "Exiled for the good of the realm"!

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    1. e-Bay is really weird about selling toy guns too. You have to stuff something orange in the tip to do it. Sold a few cap guns and had another pulled off the site. Just depends if someone reports it or not. You could call the non-emergence number of the police department and see if they can recommend a place to sell the air riffle. There are auctions around town twice a year that deal in just guns and knives and the police are always there to register them. A policeman helped me tie in with them to sell my husband's collection.

      I was glad to see the auction finally took place. I guess he submitted a plan to the state that would social distance bidders and make appointments to pick stuff rather than get it right afterward. Years ago we lost a lot of stuff in a similar situation when a consignment shop got closed for back taxes and everything inside got sold to pay off HIS debts. I was afraid that would happen this time.

      So glad you're finally able to show your house again! Fingers crossed.

      I'm hairdresser quit just before the pandemic closed down all the shops so I'm not sure how hard it will be to find another once salons open back up. Thankfully, we're all in the same shaggy looking boat.

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  3. Yeah - forward motion in lots of areas. Interesting results of the auction as who ever knows what people want to buy at any given moment. Glad you made out well.

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    1. Ya, forward motion, even in baby steps, is lightening my mood.

      Auctions are scary for a sellers under normal circumstances, but having stuff sitting in limbo so long was growing my anxiety.

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  4. Congrats on your auction results. I know just from doing garage sales that you never know what people are looking for. It's funny what sells.

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    1. I know what you mean. I only had one thing in this auction that didn't get a single bid and it was brand new.

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  5. Think you really did good with little effort. Can see the point in not looking what each item brought. Still I'm sure the nice surprises outnumbered the not so nice.

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    1. I was able to watch the auction online which was both scary and fun. For the 100 items I got just over $1,000 minus the listing fee of $100, so I was happy. I was only really emotionally attached to a few things but you have to let go no matter the outcome. I cared the most about the cat. LOL

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  6. glad you did good in auctioning, my mom loves garage sales, she loves the fact she can find great bargain. Summer time my brother allocates Saturday half day & will take her around. I sometime try to share that job, but after spending hours on it buying all the junk, she will still say oh it wasn't that great, so I always tell her whats the point, all of stuff she buys eventually will either dumped or donated after she is gone, so why buy. I understand she is close to 80, if this makes her happy then so be it,but anyways I guess people like to buy in garage sales or auction for thrill of finding great deal or bargain.

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    1. It's all about the thrill of the hunt...garage sales, flea markets. What a naughty daughter you are to tell you mom that what she buys will get dumped or donated when she dies, so what's the point! LOL She's got a hobby that gets her out of the house and gives quality bonding time with her son. Speaking of sons, how's yours doing? Can't remember where he's at in his education. Is he working in a hospital yet?

      Just teasing you about your mom, I know she loves you as much as she does your brother and vice visa. :)

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    2. Jean:
      My son is in first year of top medical college, luckily he is at the place where he truly belongs among all other very smart kids. you can see I am one very proud mom. I am so relieved that my stroke adversity didn't ruin up our son's life & maybe it helped him see beauty of other professions, though I know we as a parent Wecan't take any credit for all his choices in life, all we can do is just pray & be there on sidelines & make sure he is on the right track. I got fortunate in marrying great guy who held our fort tight when I felt like giving up & running away from difficulties.

      Asha

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    3. From what I've seen over the years your son got his strong sense of empathy and compassion from you and from his dad he learned to stay the course and be strong even when things are at their darkest. Between the two of you, you raised a guy who is going to make a wonderful access to humanity and to his chosen profession. Never under estimate how much you and your husband influenced and molded him. Parents always make a huge difference for better...or for worse.

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  7. I am quite glad that we are not ready to ease restrictions, we still have far too many deaths. Restrictions will remain for the over 70s anyway, but even if they were lifted any time within the next few weeks I’d probably stay very careful.
    I can get the virus off anybody and if I do, I’ll be very seriously ill. Or worse. I am not ready, I want to live.

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    1. The state where I live has a governor who is lifting restrictions in steps, each step two weeks apart. And while some people can go back to work, those over 67 will be under a stay-at-home order until at least May 21th. She is getting sued by far-right groups who think she's over stepped her authority. It's a mess.

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  8. things in the lockdown mode in New Zealand, went down to next level, but it's been called the "waiting room" by the PM. It seems that wasn't heeded by a good few... I think (because day/date still not with me) we learn more Monday about whether we move down to next level. I know it will still be the wrong level for me, I have to wait.

    but I'm becoming accustomed to this new life now, yes I have my off days but when I realise I have to return to the kitchen, the laundry and so forth...they soon are over!

    I think with any downsizing the $ in your hand can radically vary...and you have to see it as a "need" so that when you do move, you should by rights have less of certain items...less hassle, etc.

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    1. That's my goal with moving...to not keep any collectibles of any real value and very few of the other kind. Don't want my family to have to deal with my stuff after I'm gone. But I'm not going to be dumb about downsizing either. I'll make the most money I can until I have to cut bait.

      I just hope the world isn't going back to "normal" too soon. Although the economy is important too, especially for people who haven't been able to work and pay their bills.

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  9. Happy times will return just not too soon I hope can't rush it

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    1. Ya, I like that our governor is opening new groups of workers every two weeks, taking it slow so they can study the science and numbers in between. We still have to practice social distancing and wear required masks out in public.

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  10. Yay! Glad to hear construction will resume on your new place. I’m deep into sorting, packing, and letting go. Decision fatigue is taking a bigger toll than actual physical fatigue. It’s good that you are being so proactive on this, Jean.

    Deb

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    1. Boy, you are so right! I look at the thousands of decisions it took to buy the stuff we accumulated over the decades and mostly come with memories attached, so it's a thousand decisions to sell them. Younger people can at least have the ability to accumulate again if they want, I won't be able to so every decision seems more important.

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  11. Well done on the auction. I like ëxiled for the good of the realm! Works for me.

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    1. It's always a bit scary to put stuff in that auction but all the extra time worrying about the auction company going out of business with my stuff locked up drove me scary. Glad it's over.

      "Exiled for the good of the realm" makes you smile, doesn't it.

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  12. Wow! Glad the auction was a success! Your state and ours sound like they are on a similar schedule. We have a 4-phase plan to getting all services and freedoms back...but for "high risk" populations (over 65 and with underlying health issues) we are the last to be set free in Phase 4, which if everything goes perfectly puts us leaving the house sometime in early July! I predict a lot of cheating on that one.

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    1. Our governor is being sued, claims she's overstepped her authority to the pandemic and our Republican led senate is fighting her too. I guess it helps to bring your gun-toting, Nazi and Confederate Flag waving protests inside the capital buildings. These are not grassroots demonstrations, they are PAC funded with ties to our president who just this week called these people "some fine people" just like he did of the White Power rally in Charlottesville two years ago. It's going to be a weird summer!

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  13. Ha ha! I love your quote. I am going to think of it that way now ... it’s so much more legant and interesting to be “exiled for the good of the realm” and not “sheltering in”.

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    1. Makes me want to draw sword out of its sheath, stand outside the grocery store challenging anyone who goes in without a mask. LOL

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  14. Dear Jean, congratulations on how well your local auction went. I know that it's hard to let go of objects you've treasured (and I've treasured so many things!!!!). Like you, when I've given things away to Good Will, I've hoped that someone would find it there and treasure it as I have. It's like setting a piece of wood with a leaf sail attached onto the stream and watching it go downstream and around and bend. And then it's gone and we have to trust it to the elements. To Nature. You know one of the things I always get from your postings is that you keep yourself involved in life and busy. It's inspiring! Peace.

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    1. Nice to see you on the web again, Dee. I do keep busy but no matter what I do I can't get rid of the guilt that I haven't done enough. I'm hoping after I move I'll finally be able to play at writing, painting and socializing and do it with abandonment of a kid.

      I love your leaf-sailboat image!

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  15. Glad to hear the auction was a success and that it lifted at least one worry from your shoulders. The cat is adorable. Did you ever name it? I would bet whoever scored it will love it and give it a good home.
    I went to our local hardware store last Saturday. I had called ahead about the item I wanted to buy and asked if they were following social distancing rules. Long story short, it was a disaster and a huge crowd of no one following any rules. I am thinking my choice to go on a Saturday was poorly thought out. Lesson learned.
    Everyone is moving too fast about going back out. I just think the consequences of this will be horrible in another month or six weeks. I was delighted to hear tRump's valet and Pencer's staff member have Covid. Fingers crossed. I am not the sort of person who wishes bad things on folks but in this case, I guess I am.
    I hope you are well and finding some lemon goodies to ease your anxiety.

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    1. No I never named her, but I spent hours online trying to figure out exactly what kind of cat she was because It's hard to list stuff on e-Bay without a title. LOL One of the reasons why I liked her is for her historical significance, done in the Victorian era when taxidermy was a gentleman's hobby---today I hate the practice. You can tell by the form the skin was stretch on which is handmade butcher paper mache. Before moving here, I had Victorian decor and she fit right in. Here, she fit in with the Western theme. My new place will be beach cottage and no cats allowed.

      I went to two grocery stores this week and finally scored a package of toilet paper! Limits on what you could buy. People where wearing masks and doing the social distancing for the most part. A few not paying attention to the one way arrows in the aisles but that's new so I'm giving the a pass.

      The news in your last paragraph struck me the same way. Heard he went ballistic that "he wasn't being protected." As usual not taking responsibility for his own actions or lack thereof in this case.

      My niece sent me a care package of windmill cookies that should last me all summer. No lemon goodies for me unless I buy a jar of lemon curd to spread on top of the windmills. Windmills are a long standing comfort food for me. Lemon is a more recent favorite. I've actually used the last of lemon curd on a peanut butter sandwich and I liked it.

      Stay out of the stores on the weekends!

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  16. "Exiled for the good of the realm" YES!

    And happy to do so. Oregon is also slowly opening up. And my kidults are going over to Jesse's Mom's house (5 acres) and this will be the first socializing they've done!

    So happy (and relieved) that your treasures are selling! Especially at reasonable prices. Construction is just 6 weeks behind? They may be able to make that up! Fingers crossed.

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    1. Eight weeks behind. They are going to let us know the new timeline later this month. I will probably miss the ideal selling months for listing my house, but it is what it is and I'll have to do more maintenance here.

      Happy Mother's Day to you and all the other mothers ready this.

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  17. Congrats on the auction. Excellent news. I think your quote about social distancing would definitely make people more excited about it. We are in Phase 1 of reopening in our state. If all goes well, then Phase 2 starts next weekend and that also means I can get a hair cut. It has been 8 weeks and I am ready for one in a big way. Take care.

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    1. It will be twelve weeks before they open the hair salons around here. At least we are all in the same boat so we don't notice each others shaggy hair.

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  18. I'm glad to hear your Auction went so well collectively even tho' a few items didn't do as well as expected or hoped for. I'm also glad to hear the CCC will resume construction so you can feel optimistic about your Future moving there. The Desert Cat... good price for it and I know it was difficult to Let Go of, I'm certain it went to an Appreciate and Good Home!

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    1. I was pretty sure you'd be the one person who'd comment on my cat since you have a 'thing' for taxidermy. That kind of stuff sells good on e-Bay. I had a 'free garage sale' for some family members last summer and my great-niece picked up the cat and said her students would have fun with it. (She teaches high school.) But I became an Indian giver quickly, thinking of all the pranks it would be used for. LOL

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  19. Hair salons have opened back up in Maine, with a lot of restrictions -- but it still doesn't seem safe to me, so I cancelled my appointment and will continue to get shaggier. I did buy a gift certificate for later haircuts to give my hairdresser some desperately needed income now. Just sign me as 'Exiled for the good of the realm' here in Maine.

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    1. I have an appointment for June 1st and will go in a mask. Even before the lock down in early March the shop I go to had a huge bottle of hand sanitizer on table near the door with a sign to use it before going any farther. I think they will be really careful when they do open back up.

      Enjoy your exile, the realm thanks you.

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