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, July 21, 2021

Never too Old to be Open to New Possibilities


Someone stole my sports-allergic personality and replaced it with a person who actually watched two baseball games on TV recently. I've only watched three games start to finish in my nearly eight decades on earth. The other game I saw in person, a high school game where a great-nephew on my husband’s side was playing and my husband got hit in the forehead with a baseball. Neither one of us wanted to be there and we were glad we had a good excuse not to repeat the experience. In the world of do-overs, though, I would have insisted that Don go to the hospital for a scan but he was the type of guy who thought an aspirin could cure a severed limb.

One of the things I loved about my husband was he didn’t follow any sports, couldn’t care less. In my twenties I dated guys who were into golf, tennis, snow skiing, football and hockey and being a dutiful girlfriend during the age of Aquarius I tried to like those sports too, even took lessons in the first three. With the exception of skiing my interest was faked and went away with the break ups. In that power-dating era of my life I had a little sailboat and it never occurred to me to resent the fact that none of my boyfriends took an interest in what I enjoyed doing for fun. When Don came along he went out sailing with me once but he slid off the sunfish and got dumped in the lake. He couldn't swim so who could blame him for not wanting to go again.

While I’ve never liked watching sports on TV most of my favorite movies and books are about sports. Tin Cup, Lee Cobb, The Legend of Bagger Vance, 42, The Natural, A League of Their Own, Seabiscuit, Secretariat and I’d be lying by omission if I didn’t include all the baseball themed romance books I’ve devoured during the pandemic. Hockey too. But it was a book I read while I had to be away from the house for showings that finally got me curious enough about baseball that I stopped on a Cardinal's game while I was channel surfing.

My TV viewing since shortly after the January Insurrection as been practically nonexistence. And this is coming from a person who for my entire adult life would turn the TV on first thing in the morning, turning it off the last thing at night. Between the pandemic and getting my house ready to sell and the state of the nation I just couldn’t handle the stress of watching politics on TV. And I was thoroughly addicted to all the news and pundit shows before that. Don and I followed politics with the same dedication as super-fans of major league sports. We even had all the political trading cards when Newt Gingrich was in the senate.

After accepting an offer on the house it was like a cloud gave way to the sun and TV viewing started creeping back into my life but all the pundit-type news shows are still talking about the Insurrection, Trump and anti-vaxxers. When that point in the ”Bermuda Triangle” going inside my head lined up with reading a great baseball themed romance book and me finding a baseball game while channel surfing, I decided I was going to teach myself about the game, give myself something new to follow on TV.  I just need to pick a team, become a fan and maybe find a Baseball for Dummies book. Everything is better with a book of instructions.

It wouldn’t be the first time I decided to teach myself about something. Whether or not it sticks is another matter. All I really know for sure is that when a romance author can make a baseball team come to life enough to inspire me to watch a game, that writer has some serious street creed going on. Or am I just reverting back to my dating days when I’d became a chameleon with the one I was with? And, yes, I've got a couple of new book boyfriends who play baseball. Good thing I’m not into reading about serial murderers because that Chameleon Theory a strong possibility. Just sayin’. 

The second game I watched, the Tigers vs. the Mariners where Spencer Turnbull made baseball history by pitching a no hitter, was interesting to watch but the eight minute highlights of the game I watched the next day was actually more fun to watch. The game itself seemed so slow. I also got annoyed during the game because the network didn’t label the replays as such or have the camera follow all the balls. Who throws those foul balls back to the catcher? Would it kill the network to think of the newbies just tuning in? After that game was over I watched Inside the Tigers that did an interview with Casey Mize and his girlfriend and I kid you not it felt like I’d read their story in a romance book. 

Of course, we all know that a good sports story, whether fiction or true-life, is about more than scoring and breaking records. They’re about over coming odds, of survival and dedication and caring about the underdog. Even nurture vs. nature. Dare I say there’s also a lot of behind-the-scenes politics involved in the sports world plus lots of human interest profiles and tributes. And don’t we all like to hear about what inspires others to greatness?  If you follow baseball, who is your favorite team and why? Don't let me pick a team by whose got the best uniforms! ©

34 comments:

  1. Baseball is the only sport I watch other than the Olympics. I've been a Cubs fan for as long as I can remember, through the bad times and the good. Looks like this is going to be another down time for us.

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    1. I like their name---the Chicago Cubs. From what I gather about sports fans they are all loyal to the team they pick to support. I watch some Olympics too but there again it about the stories about the individuals, for me.

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  2. How wonderful that you felt like the sun came out, once you had an offer on your house. Those big life events really do take a toll on us. It will be interesting to see if you become an avid baseball fan or not. I'll watch whatever is on tv, but there's much I don't understand when it comes to sports. My hubby's dad is a big St. Louis Cardinals fan and when their games are on TV, he never misses them. If you stop by to visit, you have to yell over the game noise. He does seem to enjoy it very much, though. I guess anything that brings joy is worth pursuing.

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    1. I think I understand the basics about baseball---the rules, how the game is played. But the whole farm system, training camps and being able to trade human beings and the BIG money involved is still a mystery. Not to mention why fans get so invested in one team over another. The Tigers, the Cardinals and the Cubs are the only teams on my radar right now.

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    2. I kinda think it's like church membership or politics. Often, kids seem to follow what mom and dad did. Where sports are concerned, I know lots of families that follow the same sports teams--almost like a tradition.

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  3. Welcome to the summer fun club. I am a Marlins fan which takes some doing. We have won two world series but usually we are basement dwellers. We earned the nickname of "Bottom Feeders" last year. The other night we lost 18 to 1. Couldn't watch that slaughter. I get attached to the players which can be painful for they are constantly being traded. Sounds like I am really into pain but when we win, it is such a glorious feeling. Have fun with America's game.

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    1. I read or saw something this week that said the teams trade their players so often now that fans are not loyal to teams anymore, they are loyal to their uniforms.

      I don't think I've ever heard of the Marlins. I watched the Tigers play the Texas Rangers last night and fell asleep. When I woke up I remembered my dad would do that while watching baseball but if you tried to turn it off or down, he'd wake up. LOL

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  4. I like movies about sports more than seeing the games. I get that. I consider watching a live game to be like watching a live theater performance. Something I can enjoy once in a while, to broaden my horizons, but nothing I need to do often.

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    1. After my dip into the pool of learning all I can about baseball over the next couple of months I suspect I'll consider watching live games the same way you do. I've always been that way---doing deep dives into stuff, then losing interest. Used to make me feel like a failure when many of the things I learned about I got really good at. Then a collage professor in a Women in Transition class remarked that it was the learning process itself that I loved, not the end result. That enlightenment, that shift in my thinking, was life changing for me. I don't even remember that professor's name but I always wished I could go back and thank her for that.

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  5. I have gotten hooked on the World Series once there is something big on the line, but the day to day hasn't hooked me. It is a great sport to nap to, though. ;) My son has been a Cubs fan since he was about 8 and he cried like a baby when they won the World Series. And spent who knows how much to be at the final game. I guess you love it or you don't. And FWIW, my first husband played college, semi-pro and pro hockey. So I've seen all the hockey I ever want to. /shrug.

    Have you seen Bull Durham? It combines baseball and your love of a good romance. I remember it fondly although I haven't watched it in years.

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    1. I do love that movie as well. One of my cousin's coached the semi-professional hockey team here in town and had sons that played. I don't really like the mind-set of hockey players although my great-niece's husband plays (for fun) and he is such a great guy he is challenging my stereotype of the players. I'm hope to see him play sometime since I'll be living really close to where they practices every week.

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  6. My husband sold programs at Dodgers games when he was 13 back in times long gone by. He’d spend his earnings on hotdogs and soda and then watch the rest of the game. Bless his mom for driving him there. I only sa2 one game before I met him in grad school lol.

    We tended to try to switch to local teams when we lived in San Diego and Atlanta and sat through innumerable mind numbing Little League t-ball and baseball games with my younger son who adored baseball cards too. We all seem to have moved on and perhaps you are right about the frequent trading of players reducing the fun.

    I’d pick 5he team that has lots of fans where you live b3cause then you will hav3 lively conversations during the season which will make it more 3njoyable.

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    1. That is a great way to pick a team! Thanks. I'm pretty such that means I need to go for the Tigers or a Cubs since I live between their home fields. I need to ask around my friends and family to see if anyone watches. I know the CEO of the place I'm moving is a fan because he was so happy about telling us the channels he picked for our free TV included will bring us baseball.

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  7. Oh, baseball. If only they could do something to shorten the games, they'd have a lot more fans. It's just such a hugely long, drawn-out game. Worse than golf in that respect, but not nearly as mind-numbingly boring.

    I'm with Juhli; pick the local favourite, even if it is Detroit (LOL). I say this as a Clevelander who is a very casual fan. I'd say "of the Cleveland Indians", but we're finally dumping that name next year.

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    1. Ya, maybe I can be a fan of just the highlights. LOL Funny the way you referred to the Detroit Tigers. I don't really want to like the Tigers but being from Michigan I kind of think I need to keep them in the running.

      My dad and I used to watch golf together when I was share-caring him. I'd take him to golf movies and read him golf articles. He was a huge of the game and of tiger Woods fan. So I do know a lot about the golf and I have warm feelings about it because of our shared history of sport but I never want to play it again. 18 lessons was enough!

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  8. I really identified with this post. When you mentioned taking lessons in golf, tennis and skiing, I realized, me too! But mine was not at the request of boyfriends, I think it was just the time period. Unlike you, I was a huge baseball fan until I met my husband, who was decidedly not one. I took him to a world series game when we first started dating and he was not impressed. He liked drag races and football. But then, so did I. Funny thing is, I traded my baseball obsession for all types of auto racing, which we both enjoy and we're still big football fans. All in all, I think I'm the more sports driven personality in our marriage. Another funny thing, true murders are my favorite book genre which used to greatly bother my coworkers judging by their uneasy jokes, but has never bothered my husband.
    It's so fun to read blogs and see how different we are from others, yet so much alike! If only our polarized world could have such an epiphany!
    Btw, I'll put in a vote for the Orioles. They have nice colors and a cool mascot.

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    1. Love what you shared here. You love the blogs for the same reason I do. I follow some bloggers from overseas which really drives it home what you said about "how different we are from others, yet so much alike" and I'd add in all the ways that really count.

      Given you migrated from a sport you loved to one your husband loves I'd say you have a bit of chameleon in you too. LOL Glad it worked out for you. I've been to drag races with friends who love them, but much prefer car museums to moving cars.

      I'll check out those Orioles.

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  9. I'm with you -- I watch the Tour de France which Rick hooked me into and now I think I watch it more than he does! And that's it, except occasionally basketball, though I always route for the Cleveland Indians. Here are some other good sports movies for your list -- you probably have seen some but.... Field of Dreams, Pride of the Yankees, the first Rocky, Bull Durham, National Velvet (OMG, Angela Lansbury and Elizabeth Taylor as teens!), Chariots of Fire....

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    1. I hate watching basketball...it's the sound of the ball and sneakers hitting the floor that drives me up a wall. The Tour de Frances sounds so 'civilized' by comparison. LOL

      I did not realize Chariots of Fire was a sports themed movie. Afraid to see National Velvet because I did like it when I was a young and I'm afraid it won't live up to my memory of it. Have not seen Pride of the Yankees but I can never really warm up to Field of Dreams for some reason and I've seen in many times. And I'm a huge Kevin Costner fan. I should have Bull Durham on my list.

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  10. This was fun. I like hearing from someone who doesn't love the sport point of view. I had a mom who loved the Detroit Tigers (remember I grew up in Erie PA) her sister loved the NY Yankees. Oh I'd hear them trash talking and laughing in the kitchen when I got home from school. The portable TV would be on and mom would be ironing and my Aunt Dee having her cigarettes and coffee watching the game too. My Aunt convinced me that being a NYYankee fan was the way to go. Then my high school sweetheart was a big time ball player and he LOVED the NYY and asked me to read these books on them and their legend. Then it began. He went on to play for the Cleveland Indians so I had to root for them but...my heart wasn't in it like it should have been.
    Thankfully I divorced him and married a man who doesn't watch any sports but tolerates the games for me. I even caught him watching one the other night when I was not even home. Oh oh! And there is no better than Field of Dreams. I just love that movie. It's all about hope and belief.

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    1. I knew you'd connect with this post and hoped you'd stop by to weigh in. I knew about your mom's love of the game but did not know you were once married to professional player---maybe in more ways than just baseball? Lots of temptations for professional athletes.

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  11. You might enjoy the Olympics. Lots of variety to the sports and they always add those side stories about the competitors. I must admit, tho, that I do not watch a lot of sports.

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    1. I do like the winter Olympics because of what you mentioned plus I identify more with winter sports having done a lot of them as a kid---ice skating, skiing, sledding. Even figure shaking related to the dance classes I took for 4-5 years.

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  12. I've never been a sports fan and my husband didn't like sports either so we got along well. lol

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    1. When football season started I was always grateful I didn't have to feed a bunch of guys shouting at the TV.

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  13. I am not interested in sport in any way or form

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  14. I grew up watching the Green Bay Packers with my dad, and was an NFL sort-of-fan for years. Then, the game changed, the players' attitudes changed, and Houston lost the Oilers. At that point, I just drifted away. I still will listen to sports talk radio from time to time at work, especially on the station where the hosts are literate and funny -- and don't limit themselves to stats. But baseball? I've never been able to get into it. It's always seemed too slow, and now that the game's been slowed even more for various reasons, I just can't. I'd rather watch a fly than a fly ball.

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    1. Seriously, I thought it was a crime to be from Texas and not watch football. Football is my least favorite sport and my brother played it in high school so I do understand the game well. From what I'm seeing so far---and I watched another baseball game last night---none of the professional players are having much fun. But twice now I've fallen asleep during a game which is kind of a great thing since I usually have trouble sleeping.

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  15. I think our minds have been traveling in similar circles. I too have been leaning toward watching more sports. I used to say I didn't have that channel (sports) on my tv. And like you, since the news has not improved and I feel like I've seen everything I might like on tv, I'm just ready for new. I guess that means sports because it certainly is new to me.

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    1. Exactly! I'm tired of silence and I'm missing storm warning but I can't bring myself to care about my past TV viewing again.

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  16. My Brother actually did some Promo Photography for "Tin Cup" and had Kevin Costner call my Mom since she was a huge Fan and my Brother and Partner know and she represented a lot of Celebrities. Kevin was very sweet and Mom was overjoyed to receive the Call. I can imagine him being very nice in person. My Mom watched Basketball in her 70's with gusto becoz the Coach for The Bulls, back when Jordan was playing, was Hot and she had a major Crush on him. *LOL* I was very active in Sports in my Youth so it's surprising to me I'm not a huge Sports 'Fan'... guess I liked playing Sports more than being a Spectator of them? The Man played Sports and was on some Military Teams, he likes some Sports like Football and Wrestling, I'm glad he has his own TV. *LOL* I like developing new Interests and as for TV, don't watch it much... watch it less when the News is grim and the shows are reruns mostly or lame shows I just can't get into.

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    1. Everyone says Kevin Costner is a genuinely nice person, same with Micheal Jordan. As celebrity crushes go, I always go for the good guys, not the bad boys.

      My husband has the big living room TV and I had a tiny one in the kitchen. I multi-tasked and mostly listened and only watched if some said caught my attention.

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