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, December 16, 2020

A Pandemic "Poem" for Christmas 2020


  My Pandemic "Poem" for Christmas 2020 by Jean R.

It’s beginning to look a lot like a lonely Christmas

Everywhere I don’t go

Been stuck at home avoiding catching the virus

Haven’t even been to the store to see

If toilet paper and hand cleaner is still being hoarded.

 

It’s beginning to look a lot like a lonely Christmas

With everything I don't do

Haven’t sat down to write a single holiday card

Don’t have a wreath hung, no tree is up with tinsel

And Christmas catalogs all went in the trash unopened.

 

It’s beginning to look a lot like a lonely Christmas

Everywhere I don’t go

No holiday luncheons or parties are on the day planner

No Christmas movies are playing in the background

Not even Miracle on 34th Street, Buh Humbug!

 

It’s beginning to look a lot like a lonely Christmas

With everything I don't do

Didn’t do any holiday shopping except for a goat

I thought about giving through Heifer International

But I gave the money to the homeless shelter instead.

 

It’s beginning to look a lot like next year 2021 Christmas

Everywhere I go

Will be filled with merriment and penned up good cheer

Making up for this year while the virus ravishes the earth

Until then please wear a damned mask, stay six feet apart! ©

 

Granted, it's not much of a poem. It might have lines and stanzas but it's got no rhythm and the meter off by a mile. But in my defense I wrote in less than fifteen minutes and within an hour I had multiple copies printed out and stuffed in thirty Christmas cards. It wasn’t until after I had them sealed that I realized I had a mistake in the last line. (Don’t look for it because it’s gone from this edition.) It was just a tiny ‘s’ that didn’t belong at the end of the word ‘mask’ but it was so typical of what happens when I don’t proof-read a zillion times and do it a few days after I write something. Oh, well, most of the people on my card list are not in the Wordsmithing Police except for one. She teaches high school English so the professional side of her brain is fine-tuned to catches errors like that. I thought about putting a note on the back of her envelope explaining that I originally wrote, “wear your masks” but I changed it to “wear a damned mask” but I forgot to delete the offending ‘s’ and to beg her, “Please don’t kick me out of the wordsmithing family club!”

 I’ve had a decade-long tradition of sending out self-depreciating attempts at humor otherwise known as my annual Christmas letter and it’s hard to stop doing them. But last year I did stop and I heard a lot of feedback about missing my letter. Still, this year I planned on holding firm. “No Christmas letter for you!” said in my Soup Nazi’s voice. So why the last minute change of heart? I was cleaning out my cards and gift wrapping chest of drawers---yes I have/had one. (Don’t judge. Martha Steward have entire rooms devoted to gift wrapping.) Anyway, I found thirty Christmas cards and enough stamps to go with them. I had a choice to make---either use them or send them to Goodwill. My addresses were already in my computer so in no time at all I had them printed on labels. The 'poem' just popped into my head while accidentally hearing Bing Crosby singing It’s Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas in the background on TV as I was getting the cards ready. I say 'accidentally' heard that song because I've been avoiding all things Christmas this year.

Since the pandemic and keeping a blog makes for strange bedfellows, I decided that Christmas Poem would fill up one of my twice a week slots because after the epic week I’ve had of closet cleaning I needed an easy-peasy post. But I promise Saturday’s purging post will amaze, disgust or/and shock you! Maybe all three. ©


 

36 comments:

  1. I'm with you. I'm not doing it intentionally, but I'm not listening to Christmas music, and I'm not feeling Christmassy at all. Just going through the motions over here.

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    1. This is the first time in a decade that I have overdosed on Hallmark Christmas movies. I haven't seen a single one. The cards were the fist and only thing I'm doing for the holiday. New Year's eve, now that's another story. I will do something special for that because I'm more than ready to ring out the old year and a new one in.

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  2. Always love reading your posts. I too am hopeful that 2021 will eventually prove better than 2020.

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  3. I feel the poem. I think it's the only thing we can all agree on. But I am curious to being amazed, disgusted and shocked. You little tease you.

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  4. Just by default, 2021 will be AMAZING. This has been a hard one but admire you for sending out the Christmas letter. I have missed those I usually got from the usual suspects this year.

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    1. I remember way back when it would take days to get our cards ready and we even had to sort them by zip codes. In my life time my list has gone from 250 down to 30. Next fall I'll probably send out change of address cards and play Christmas cards by ear.

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  5. That was a clever poem! I am feeling pretty relaxed about Christmas this year and am liking that! I have put up my decorations, bought some gifts and sent out my cards but I don't feel the stress of planning family gatherings or fretting over who will come when and what other parties do I need to attend. Some of my kids may come to visit and some may not and I am okay with that. Whatever is safe and works for them. We may just do tacos or pizzas and so what!?
    It will be over before we know it and life goes on.

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    1. I think a lot of women, especially, get overly stressed doing the big family dinners that are more than just cooking. You have all the cleaning and shopping beforehand and clean up afterward. So a quieter Christmas this year might relax a lot of people. When it was just my husband and I we'd do a roast beef dinner which was both of our favorite meal.

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  6. That was GREAT!!!! I started out mailing a legal size collage of photos throughout the year. Then I switched to the same thing only via email.

    Thankfully, our house is decked out to the max because of the kids and energetic kidults. Even the bathroom! And I have a few things in my room as well.

    Here's to 2021

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    1. Decorating is so much more fun with kids in the house or expected to come over. I actually decorated at far more places than I ever did at home. When I was in the floral business I got paid to decorate at rich people's houses. But the time I worked weeks on those places I didn't do much at home except for a tree. In recent years just wreath.

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  7. We sent out Andy's annual letter by email this year and sent only one Christmas card (which included his printed out letter)...to Torben's mother. Christmases have always been low-key for us, but it was a relief not to to have to mess with cards. I love "the tree has fainted" cartoon.

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    1. I have not gotten an email Christmas card of letter but I'm sure it will be trending this year or in the near future.

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  8. I liked this enough to reblog it and I never do that

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  9. I haven't enjoyed the holiday season much since there are no little kids around. I firmly believe the commercial part of Christmas should be reserved for kids under 12 only. Greed seems to set in somewhere around that age and it's not fun to give kids gifts anymore. So I don't. And I don't exchange with my friends. I have enough stuff already, I don't need any candy (because I'll eat it with abandon and little guilt), flowers only thrill me when they're alive and growing outside, and I don't much like to shop. Especially this year. Amazon has plenty of business without my orders.

    Thanksgiving is the preferred holiday for get togethers. Far less pressure....unless you're the one cooking.

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    1. And I thought I would be hard to buy for. I love fresh flowers and good quality candy.

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  10. I stopped sending cards (and a Christmas letter) last year but decided to restart my tradition this year. If ever it was a year for putting a smile on someone's face with a pretty card in their mailbox, this is the year I figure. Good on ya, Jean!

    I put up a few paltry decorations and did some baking. I'll be dropping stuff off at my daughter's but won't be spending any time indoors with them because they have his kids for this Christmas (from their mom's home on the mainland - which is much harder hit with Covid and that household is not...um...careful). So ironic, I am finally closer to my daughter and still will be spending Christmas alone....ah well, next year!

    Deb

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    1. That is ironic about not seeing your daughter on Christmas. Maybe you two can go on a hike between the holidays....start a new tradition.

      I agree this IS a good year to send out cards.

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  11. A Purging Post might either motivate me or make me feel guilty, I'm not sure? *winks* Glad you did the Cards, I think getting Mail during the Pandemic is cheering up some people who aren't able to Socialize with anyone at all. We had a Dear Friend unexpectedly drop by Today, hadn't seen him since last Year, he said he found us with the return address on the Christmas Card I'd sent him. So glad to sit and chat with a Guest/Friend coming by for a visit. He'd had his Test very recently so knew he was COVID-Free and Safe to drop by. He had thought, until getting my Card, that we'd bought the Wickenburg Home, so was glad we're still in the City instead. In hindsight, tho' that Pueblo Home was Fabulous, nobody would have driven out to see us there ever. *LOL*

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    1. The Pueblo house was a real work of art but where you landed is so much better considering the neighbors you got and the less isolated location. Glad you had a good visit with an old friend.

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  12. Greetings from Malaysia. I hopped over from Jo-Anne's Rambling. Nice reading your post. Like you, it is going to be a lonely Christmas for us because our boys will not be able to visit due to movement restriction until end of the month. I am not in the mood for Christmas decoration nor listening to Christmas carols. I haven't been sending physical Christmas cards for many years because we have gotten used to sending e-cards through Whatsapp messenger. Hopefully, we will have a better 2021. Have a wonderful day. Stay safe.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by! Sounds like you and I are on the same page regarding dealing with Christmas. I'll check out your blog later.

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  13. Somehow this year I am feeling more holly jolly than ever! The house is blazing with lights, Christmas music is on constantly and the baking has started! I'll start doing Secret Santa deliveries of baked goods and ornaments (this is how you downsize your ornament collection -- leave them on stranger's doors in the neighborhood during your walk.) I decided I could be bummed about not seeing the kids or grateful that I was alive to see them eventually. I chose the latter. I get a bad rap for being too optimistic but it really is a lifesaver this year.

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    1. What a cleaver way to downsize ornaments! Whatever it takes to get us through this holiday I'm supporting whether a person takes the cheerful route like you or the stick-your-head-in-the-sand like me I'm all for. I actually put a Christmas sweater on today for my doctor's appointment, so my mood is improving. If I got one of your cookie drops at my doorstop, it would brighten my day. It will do the same for your neighbors.

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  14. This is such a weird year. I've had fleeting moments of holiday spirit, but mostly every day feels like the other except for a few more lights. I think I'm flirting with "the blues" in that not much is motivating me or sounding like fun this week -- usually the week of peak cheer for me -- and just getting to the other side of Christmas sounds like a good plan. I do like my tree this year and generally that isn't a big deal for me. So I guess that's good. I did revive the dreaded Christmas letter though. I stopped sending them a few years ago, deciding others generally derided the very notion of them while I rejoiced each time I received one. I LOVE them! I'm in the minority I guess. But I sent one this year, feeling a need to reach out in this time of physical distance. I sent more cards than usual over all and enjoyed thinking of each person as I addressed them. I've received 7 so far. It's a tradition so far gone I feel like relic

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    1. Card writing is a dying tradition. My list has remained in the 30-35 range for sending and receiving. After my cards went out this year, I got two calls both from people who said they couldn't bring themselves to do them this year.

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  15. Sounds like you're continuing to make good progress sorting through your belongings as you ready for "the BIG MOVE"! I should be doing more of that and I'm not moving. Good for you! I admire your dedication and perseverance.

    How we "did" Christmas mellowed after our children left home. The only time that changed when my husband was still living, then after I became a widow, was whenever I visited family or they came here. Otherwise, my decorating is minimal at best as it will be this year. I don't experience this pandemic year as that oppressive which so many lament as I have adapted to relying more on virtual contacts. I ceased my Christmas letter last year, or maybe it was the year before. My greeting card list has continued to diminish but seemed to take a quite significant hit this past year. There's hardly anyone left to drop off it for next year, including the few who wrote the last holiday letters I enjoyed receiving. I'll miss them now, forever, the cost of outliving friends and family.

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    1. I was doing Christmas cards to a lot of in-laws and in-law nieces and nephews that never sent us cards but I wanted to keep them aware of us but then all of a sudden I didn't care anymore...LOL

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  16. Ha! Ha! Thanks for the poem.
    I still send Christmas cards, but not many. About 16 or 17. People like to receive cards at Christmas, but most people have stopped sending them. The postage isn't cheap.
    I can't believe you've already cleaned your closet. I'm going to clean my closet and the pantry after the New Year. That's the plan.

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    1. Wait until you read my closet purging post. You'll see that I need to do it again. I have way too many clothes.

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  17. Dear Jean, for perhaps forty years I've sent out a full-page (11" x 8") Christmas letter to family and friends. But this year, that tradition is going in the paper bag to be thrown into the rubbish bin of past traditions for which I no longer have the energy, or perhaps the interest, or the income. This growing older is a trek into both the joy and the sorrow of letting go. Peace.

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    1. My letters where 8"x 11" full page, single spaced too but it really did get to be a project. It was time to let go of the tradition even though I did back slide this year.

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  18. I, too, have not been able to motivate myself to do things like send out cards. I did sit down at the computer yesterday and create an e-card that I can send via email and post on Facebook. It's the third stanza of your poem that really speaks to me. I often spend Christmas alone, and have many special rituals to make it a special day. But normally that day alone is surrounded by a full social calendar of concerts, holiday gatherings, and gift exchanges. The absence of that social setting makes the day alone feel very different this year.

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    1. I plan to do my normal New Year's traditions because I'm SO looking forward to 2021. But I've got my 2021 Christmas decor planned and packed for my new home. The absences of social gathers is so strange this year, Last year I had five things to do in December.

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