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, September 9, 2020

Like it or Not, Fall is Here

It was Labor Day weekend and inside the house not a human or canine were stirring while the furnace came on. “No, no,” I exclaimed, “it’s too early for the high cost of heating season to begin!” 

Should I even admit that the crisp, fall air and colorful vistas that everyone else looks forward to this time of the year do nothing for me? Yes, I know that’s almost sacrilegious. The only real things I love about fall are cider and donut holes and I’d be lying if I said they haven’t already found their way inside my house, sneaky devils. That half gallon of golden liquid and box of baked goods will be the last I’ll buy until nearly Thanksgiving. First and last of the season, that’s my rule for anything too sinful to resist. Cider is not arthritis-friendly and donut holes go straight into belly fat according to the law of physics. (I misspelled ‘holes’ as ‘hoes’ which Spell Check didn’t pick up on and when I discovered the error while proof-reading I thought about how ‘donut hoes’ is a better description of something I’d nearly sell my sole for this time of the year. They hawk their goods on nearly every end-cap at the front of groceries stores. They give you a temporary fix that you later regret and berate yourself for being so weak, then you hope the misstep doesn’t result in getting a dreaded disease like diabetes.)

Writing about cider and donuts made me realize that something was missing as August turned into September; the sounds of a high school marching band practicing in the neighborhood every afternoon the last weeks of summer. Yup, the pandemic put an end to band practice. I’ve lived within a few short blocks of a high school all but one year in my entire life. So it's a long standing sign that fall is upon us when kid are banging on drums and tubas are doing what tubas do and I hear music with abrupt starts and stops in odd places. And that was the year I left town? I could sit on my dorm room's windowsill and watch a marching band practice on the football field. Damn pandemic.

I was walking the dog yesterday when an older couple stopped by me and struck up a conversation as if they knew me. “Well, fancy seeing you here!” the guy said. Me Thinking: Ah… I live two doors down. “Nice looking dog you have there,” he continued. Me Thinking: Same dog I’ve had for the past twelve years. On and on he went with his wife leaning in and smiling across the gear shifter. “The pandemic is keeping us close to home. We did get out to see Jenny and the kids last week." And finally he asked: "How are you doing?” I made some generic pandemic small talk, all the time trying to figure out whether it was me or them whose brain power is diminishing. I took in their car, their faces and voices, the name dropping. Nope, no bells went off in my head. But when he said there will be a covid-19 vaccine ready by November and we’ll be back to normal by Christmas I knew without a doubt that we live in different universes. You’re welcome to be first in line, I thought, because I won’t trust a vaccine fast-tracked by the jack-off in the White House. (Sorry for the crude nickname, the box of hoes made me do it.)

After they drove off I decided it’s my pandemic hair that made the couple confuse me for someone else. I haven’t had hair longer than an inch since my 40s but thanks to the pandemic the hair at the top of my head now measures 4 ½ inches and the pure white “nest” shocks even me when I look in the mirror. Who is that lady and how did she get in my bathroom? I got it trimmed yesterday but I’m still hanging in there with my goal to find out what it’s like to have hair long enough to flick it off to the side when it gets in my eyes. I told the hair dresser when it gets a few inches longer, I’ll have to start getting manicures---at least on one hand---because I’ll be doing some movie star-worthy hair flicking. Never let it be said that elderly people don’t have goals.

Like it or not, fall is here but the traditions of the season may not all come back full-throated and fun for all ages. Pumpkin patch picking, sure, I can’t see how the Pandemic Rules of Engagement could suspend that or cancel the pleasure of leaf-peeping or going into corn mazes. Starbucks is already pushing all things pumpkin spiced and limited edition pumpkin spice Oreos are in the stores. But hay rides, trick-or-treating, football, homecoming dances and Halloween parties? We’ll have to wait and see if they become causalities of the war on the virus. ©

Edit to add: I get a monthly report from Google that, among other things, tells me what people use for search terms to find my blog. Imagine my surprise to see that someone used the the term "deadly ladies in undies" and landed on my blog. I laughed so hard I had coffee coming out of my nose.

49 comments:

  1. I'm afraid fall is my favorite season...I find it invigorating. I'm still laughing at that last paragraph. :D

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    1. Every fall I grumble about fall and all the extra work that comes with the season. No one ever agrees with me, fall being most people's favorite season. Spring is mine.

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  2. Fall weather? It’s a distant dream here as we sweat away with our usual September heat and wildfire combination. Still, I left Illinois in 1967 after high school because you know those lovely fall days lead to those bitter winter ones lol. But pumpkin anything gets my thumbs up.

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    1. I feel so badly for those of you living in wildfire country! And that latest one started by some stupid couple doing a gender reveal party, I hope they get the book thrown at them. How stupid can you get using fireworks like they did.

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    2. Yup. Pretty stupid and/or self-centered.

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  3. I enjoy almost all the seasons (minus winter), spring being my favourite. Fall is a pretty close second, thanks to its refreshing coolness after summer's heat and, of course, its beautiful foliage.

    I don't do cider or doughnuts because of their calorie punch. Doughnuts are such gut bombs, too--they sit in my stomach for what seems like days. I will do a small cup of spiked hot cider--if I'm splurging, I may as well make it count.

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    1. I used to drink cider all through the fall when available but in recent years I've cut down to only buying it twice a season. I should probably cut it out altogether but what fun would life be without our comfort foods and the memories that go with them?

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  4. I do love Fall and actually Winter. Tired of sweating by now just taking a walk.
    Loved your comparison to hoes and holes. I imagine that will also get some surprise search visits:)

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    1. I thought of that search thing, too, having learned a long time ago to keep the words you do and don't want searched out or in the first paragraph.

      Loved winter when I was a kid. I still love the way a new snow can make everything look so beautiful.

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  5. Who in the world is Google searching for deadly ladies in undies? On second thought, I don't want to know. LOL.

    I'm not a fan of pumpkin spice unless it's pie, but I do love, love, love Koeze's Caramel Apples and they have a very short season. I'm a sucker for any caramel apple, but those have spoiled me. And the donuts holes (hoes?) make me think of our trips to Toronto to see our grandkids (not happening now, of course...Canada won't let us in...smart of them). We never make that road trip without Tim Bits, but they aren't alluring in the US for some reason. I do have the same thrill/regret cycle on them you describe though. Haha.

    Strange convo with the random couple, and probably good to let them try the vaccine if it "happens" to be ready by Election Day. Good grief. Your description of the White House occupant is kinder than mine some days, trust me.

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    1. I know! I was tempted to google it myself and see what came up and I really wanted to find out which post that google search turned up on my blog. But then my better judgement took over and I passed on the idea.

      I used to love caramel apples until I broke a crown on one. Now I just get the dipping sauce for apples, but it's not the same. Koeze's makes the best of everything they do.

      I still can't get that couple who stopped in the car out of my head. I'm quite sure I didn't know them but that feeling of being confused like that is like a preview of what may come to all of us if we live long enough. I need to come up with a polite way of saying something like, "Can you remind me of how we know each other? I'm having mind fog today."

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  6. your blog always cracks me up, I like the nickname for our president, suits him so well. For me I like all four seasons of northeast. all has its own beauty & feel lucky to be living in northeast where can experience it all. love fall colors & then spring is most inspiring, winter has its own charm, first snowfall is so beautiful, you feel good to be alive & inside home

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    1. I like living in an area that gets the four, clear-cut seasons, too. Just when you get sick of one, it's time for a change.

      In your home country did you have seasonal changes like we have here? It's such a big country I'm guessing there must be areas that get snow but I have an embarrassing lack of knowledge of that part of the world's weather, among other things.

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    2. Jean :

      I am from mumbai cosmopolitan city just like NYC where we are suppose to have tree seasons, summer, winter & monsoon. I only remember summer & monsoon, during winter it will be mildly hot,though being close to ocean mumbai was hot & humid. & guess wat as luckwould have it came to this country in october where it had started getting cold, hated winter & geting dark at 4 pm. It took me solid few years to start liking winter too, though winter looks great from inside home.

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  7. Donut Ho, a Deadly Lady in Undies, well, at least you're not going Commando... pandemic can make us lose all inhibitions! *Winks* I was LMAOROTF about the Anonymous MAGA Couple stopping to strike up pandemic small talk! You used more restraint that I, since I wouldn't have been able to resist the urge to mess with them a bit for my own Amusement, feeling Wicked at times has Spiced things up during Lock Down I guess? Where I just need to Toy with people like a Cat with a poor Mouse, worrying it half to Death. *LOL* Say it ain't so that you barely tolerate Fall, my Favorite Season of all... but then, I live in a Desert where our Fall is akin to your Summer/Spring, where the weather turns glorious and our Utility bills go way down after having been way up all Spring and Summer, as the intense Heat subsides. This is why we attract all them Snow Birds, who I Pray don't drag the Virus from their respective Hot Spots raging right now, back to Arizona and make us a Hot Spot again Virus Wise? I'm concerned about Tourist Season, every State that has them flocking to it has had major Outbreaks, since people on Vacay throw all caution to the Wind and revel with reckless abandon. Look at Sturgis... all those Bikers created a disaster in that typically sparsely populated area... then went back to their respective States to Super Spread it around some more! Lord Help us, since this Administration certainly is not.

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    1. I don't know if you've been following the breaking news about Bob Woodward's new book that he can back up all the quoted materiel with videos of his many interviews with Trump and others. But it's going to be interesting to see the spin the president's people are going do and if it makes any difference to the cult when they learn the president understood early how now dangerous the virus is but he lied about it to the American people in the same time frame.

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    2. I heard the Tapes, guess the Village Idiot made 18 of them, that's a lotta Hours of stuff we ain't heard yet, should be interesting!! I heard something interesting about his Base, that most don't care how much he screws up or lies so long as he sticks it to those they resent who are better Educated and doing better in life than they are. Most of his Base aren't very well Educated and have felt like a neglected subclass of Poor Whites who resent that many Minorities may even be doing better than they are and thus get inflamed at being called Privileged. This really lines up with what I hear people I know who still support him... most of them aren't doing so well and feel like victims and think someone like him Hears them and will rise them up to a better standard by virtue of just their complexion being enough. It's sad, and another part of his Base are the Affluent who know he does look out for the Rich more than 90% of the rest of America. The 3rd part are the Fringe Groups and they will always support someone who is one of them. So I doubt this revelation, as important as it is, will change Minds in his Camp... I doubt too many of them are so stupid they didn't realize he Failed the entire Country, now they just know it was intentional and not just because he's an Idiot.

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  8. Count me in for a few hoes!!! Keep the traditions, no matter how small ... they are important!

    Oregon has four seasons although winter hardly counts as winter.

    I'm so ticked I changed my blog layout ... I can't figure out (yet) how to add links to my favorite blogs!!!

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    1. That would upset me something to no end. I don't subscribe to any blogs and depend on my blog roll to keep me in touch. In the old layout you do it through the add gadgets link.

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  9. "deadly ladies in undies" Ha! That's a good one. I wonder what you wrote that led Google to send them to your blog.
    Cider and doughnut holes sound so comforting.
    I'm one of those who loves fall. We sat outside the other night and I had to get my sweater. That story about the couple who mistook you for someone else is hilarious. Can you believe that neither of them realized their mistake?

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    1. Okay, you made me look and I figured it out. When I googled the phrase it took me to a lot of sex sites and one in particular was spamming me for a while. So it wasn't anything I wrote but rather something written in a comment that was in my spam folder.

      That couple was older than me and they probably went home wondering why I was so stand-offish. LOL

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  10. I enjoy Fall and Spring the most. It is great right now in Illinois even with the rain (my lawn needed it) - nice cool temps for my daily walks. I have to try harder to keep busy and happy. It is difficult, though, with the pandemic and politics to drag me down. My goodness, we need to win big in November so the current president will be gone, gone, gone for good. PLEASE!

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    1. Most of the time I never had to work at being happy and never for so many weeks/months in a row. You are right about needing a big win in November but I'm not sure we'll get it. He still has a lot of support in the states that gave him the win last time with the electoral college.

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  11. Bwahahahaha! Damn straight us deadly elderly ladies in undies have got goals. You are too funny, Jean!

    Deb

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    1. Isn't that a funny search phrase! Tickled my funny bone all afternoon.

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  12. 'Nice dog you have there' ??? First clue: Not dog people. Dog people don't say things like that. You would remember meeting someone who wasn't a dog person, so they made the mistake, not you.

    If Biden wins, I'm hoping all the people who felt Trump's win gave them the right to FINALLY say whatever bigoted/ignorant/offensive thing that sprang to mind are gently returned to making their remarks to only those they know are like-minded. That doesn't mean Biden voters have the right to be obnoxious, but they do have the right to be relieved!

    I'm awfully suggestible these days, so your mention of donut holes might have some consequences for my expanding waistline. Sigh.

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    1. I think Trump let the nastiness cat out of the bag and it's not going to be that easy to get his followers to put it back in after he's gone from the White House.

      Enjoy your donut holes, they really are good this time of the year.

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  13. Fall is a in-between season and I like the in-between seasons best when it's not too hot or too cold

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    1. I would not like living in a place where we didn't get "in-between" seasons like fall and spring.

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  14. that is one fun lot of objects you have made today - the "box of hoes made you do it" the "couple who were sure you knew them" and then the "deadly ladies in panties... whatever search"

    CM showed snow in her apartment car park - that felt completely wrong, whatever happened to slowly leaving summer and getting into Fall (Autumn)

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    1. I couldn't believe CM got snow already. They usually get it a early than we do here in MI but early September is early for out there.

      The hoes for holes cracked me up when I first found the error. I'm glad I decided to write it the post.

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  15. You really are a funny old bird, but a 'deadly lady in undies' funny? Hmmm. Maybe deadly lady in 'track suit bottoms’? Yes, more likely.

    Autumn has arrived here too, nights are getting shorter, drat it. And cooler. I think I may have to adopt another dog to survive a pestilence winter.

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    1. I can't take credit for coming up with 'deadly ladies in undies' because I figured out it was a spammer for a sex site who wrote it in a comment and google found someone/s searching for the phrase and landed here. It's that crazy though!

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  16. Jean, thank you for the giggles. Who knew donut hoes... I guess spell check knew you spelled it correctly. :-) I don't even like donuts and cider but you made me now want some.
    And I'm with you on the first in line for the vaccine. Jerk off was a good term, no need to apologize :-)

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  17. I love fall. I just don't love it till mid-October. Then it should go through Thanksgiving, which recently seems not at all likely. We had a fire from 7 am till bedtime on Tuesday up north. Home, rainy and gloomy. Here for a few days and will probably take all summer decor out even if I can't bear to go full fall yet!

    Funny about the neighbor.... Bet you won't be chatting about mutual interests soon!

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    1. I'm not sure he was even a neighbor. Since he was in a car he could have been just out riding around. I hope I don't see him again because I hate that feeling of not really knowing who you're talking to when they act like they know you.

      There is something I do like about the fall and that's the various shades of browns you see in the fields. You're a painter so you'll know what I mean. Use to bug my husband when I'd say things like, "I love that patch of raw sienna over there." He had no clue what I was looking at.

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    2. I do know what you mean about browns. In fact, I probably go through almost more brown paint than most other colors. It's soft and lovely.

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  18. "The box of hoes made me do it" Ha! I love this sooo much! Thanks.

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    1. Who would have ever guessed a spell check oversight would bring so many smiles.

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  19. Deadly Ladies in Undies -- great rock band name!!!

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  20. Yes, it's fall here, too, in NE Alberta, with geese, golden crops & combines, frost warnings, ripe corn, the routine of the school buses, morning fog, shorter daylight hours. It was cool enough a few days ago that I actually fired up the wood stove. Today, a balmy 24C. Soon it will be time for the woolen panties!!

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    1. Keep fall up there as long as you can. I'm not ready for it physically or emotionally.

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  21. Dear Widow:
    I clicked on your blog link from someone's comment form (I forgot who's...blame it on age) and really enjoyed my visit. I couldn't stop giggling. Blame THAT on a box full of hoes (are those anything like street walkers?...I'd like to see just how stores display those on end caps!). I like mine dusted with confectioner's sugar (I say powdered, but you may get the wrong impression). okay, I'd best leave before you compare me to that weird couple.

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    1. Welcome Anni! And thanks for the image in my head of powdered sugared hoes...I mean donut holes. I predict they will try to hop in my grocery cart next time I'm at the store. LOL

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  22. I'm still trying to imagine the thought process that leads someone to do a browser search for "deadly ladies in undies"!

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