So, I went on a 4 day chrise with a friend, and that was lovely- not having to do ANYTHING, eating some tasty tasty food, all good. The intention was for that to be a thing to get rested up before all the activity and ridiculousness that runs from late November to January. how well that worked remains to be seen. It was fun, anyway. Weather was mostly perfect, I got to try conch fritters (AMAZING yet somewhat distressing to the digestive system 6 hours later. I wasn’t distressed but probably anyone in proximity for 3 or 4 hours might have been), and chilled mango-ginger soup, and asparagus vichyssoise (look at that! I spelled it right the first time!!). And discovered the delight of cheese for dessert instead of something sweet. Mm. I love cheese.

The Holidays are coming. Typically I look forward to them, and look forward to January to recover from them. Notsomuch these days. It seems like…seems, nothing…it IS ENTIRELY that every bit of tradition that was developed over the last 30 years is half Himself and half me, so now it’s just going to be half me, only there’s the kids too so maybe it won’t be so bad. They will be taken one step at a time. I am not even thinking about Christmas, even though the entire town want me to, with the Christmas Tree stands and greenery every where and such. I refuse to consider it. There’s Thanksgiving to be dealt with first.

Most of my people are coming here. All the boys, The New Wife, The Girlfriend (I think), and my parents. All here. Dinner will be what I want it to be, Not Turkey, Not Dressing, And No Pumpkins Involved. Don’t get me wrong, I love all that but doing Tradition feels wrong right now. Himself LOVED tradition, and was such a sentimental person. However, I am going to do a Southern Fried dinner. Fried chicken, greens from the garden, mashed potatoes and gravy because…mashed potatoes and gravy. No other excuse needed. Also might do macaroni and cheese (from scratch) because once you cross the Mason-Dixon line into the South, it becomes a vegetable. People will be coming in Wednesday before lunch, and trickling in and out, with the last ones leaving maybe Saturday or possibly Sunday.Stuff has been going into the freezer all week, because while I can be satisfied with a can of V-8 and some Cheetoes, apparently the family expects more than that.

In the interest of attempting some sort of nod toward Christmas, I am going to attempt to make some sort of ornament that I’ve never attempted before.  Apparently they’re fairly easy, but I’ll let you know. The decision about how much to put out, and how much to ignore is yet to be made, and #4 might be allowed to make that call. Currently the idea is to get a small potted Norfolk Island pine, and dangle a thing off of it, call that decorating. Even though theres 4 enormous containers of assorted stuff, it just doesn’t feel right, at the moment. Subject to change. Himself loved Christmas and all the Stuff. I may just invite him to come deal with it, as I will be busy being sad about it.

The hard part is coming on. I can feel it, and not really sure how to handle it except for One Day At A Time. See, historically (over the last 25 years) I have dealt with Depression from around November until February or early March. Thanks to Modern Medicine it hasn’t be HORRIBLE, just kind of like a bad case of the blues and no desire to smile or do anything fun. Times past it had been HORRIBLE, so I can handle the Blues, except that…

Himself was always here, encouraging, bolstering, keeping me grounded and focused on the reality of life, and not the leave in October, or garbage that Depression was feeding my brain.

And now he’s not here, I’ve got to wrestle with it alone. And that scares me. A lot. Now, I know I can do this. I have handled it all pretty well so far and thankfully he didn’t die in October because then it might have been a REAL PROBLEM. however, all the logistics have been handled and so there isn’t really anything REAL to fear, just the crap my brain likes to dole out between November and March, and Himself taught me how to love myself enough to be able to ignore the nastiness. There is still a great deal of trepidation, but if I can wrangle with Obamacare and be ok, I can manage this ok, and come out intact (sort of) on the other side. There are a lot of books that are very encouraging, a lot of friends who can drive to Savannah for a Therapeutic Hamburger, and a great place to worship on Sunday, which is a very useful way to get out of my own head for a while. As long as there are regular reminders that the nasty little bat on my shoulder, the one that whispers bullshit about being worthless, is not reality nor truthful, I’ll be ok. Maybe not Merry Sunshine Cheerful, but ok.


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Whereupon I rant

  1. eager or quick to argue, quarrel, or fight.
    “the increasingly pugnacious demeanor of politicians”
    synonyms: combative, aggressive, antagonistic, belligerent, bellicose, warlike,quarrelsome, argumentative, contentious, disputatious, hostile,threatening, truculent;

    “this looks like the kind of dive that appeals to pugnacious patrons”

I have been feeling pugnacious. Not in the “I’ma run over those irritating people in the Walmart parking lot” but more of the “the world is filled with morons and I seem to be one of the VERY few people with any sense” kind of way, which makes me want to tell people to JUST STOP IT and be all disputatious, truculent, and hostile. I want to threaten them with a fiery tempered (automatically hot) and aggressively belligerant smack across the back of their heads.

Here’s why: Apparently, Starbucks of the Coffee Thing (not the Starbuck of the whatever-that-show was called in the late ’70’s with the robots with the oscillating red eye that cashed in on the Star Wars Space Theme thing) chose to go the Plain and Simple Route for their Christmas Coffee Cup this year. Plain red, no snowflakes or nuttin. Apparently in the past their cups featured Nativity scenes and small indulgences with which you could redeem for a day out of purgatory  snowflakes and depictions of an assortment of festive ornamentation, and since the Nativities and indulgences  snowflakes and seasonal festive ornaments are not there, Starbucks has declared A WAR ON CHRISTIANS. 

This image has been blurred to protect the delicate sensibilities of the Pure Of Heart

This image has been blurred to protect the delicate sensibilities of the Pure Of Heart

oh…Well then. IF I WERE A GOOD AND PROPER CHRISTIAN I WOULD BOYCOTT, BOYCOTT I SAY! Starbucks. And here it is, Pumpkin Spice Latte season and stuff.

Dear America,  Here we go again with the egregious butthurt stupidity. Good Lord, people. JESUS WOULD NOT DRINK STARBUCKS BECAUSE OF THE SNOWFLAKE DEFICIENCY   So march your Bible thumping self righteous selves right into your nearest Starbucks and TELL THEM. YOU WANT SNOWFLAKES. Because Jesus would want it that way. Pretty sure of it.

Once again, I sit down and fantasize about my near (18 months now) future, in the new house in the middle of an isolated Hillbilly Compound, where I can set up heathen red Starbucks cups small targets (tin cans, squirrels ~yum~ and the like) and wreak Hillbilly havoc, gleefully pretending to be Ma Ingalls or maybe Gramma Clampett or something. and ignore The Butthurts™

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Conversation with myself

Why are you anxious?


What have you been doing that might make you anxious?


How much coffee did you have this morning?


Image result for big coffee cup

Then what did you do?


How did that go?


Maybe you should set it aside for a couple of days and mull it over.


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Getting my feet settled

Image result for really ugly shoes

Not much to write about lately. I am doing well, still missing Himself, still getting used to the Widow label…it chaps and I don’t like it, but there it is anyway.  The hardest part to swallow is not having a companion who GETS me, with whom I can bounce the ideas off, or try out a new recipe, or whine about someone and have him say “What’s up with that?!”

Then there’s the whole safety net part. While I am not exactly twisting in the wind alone, the responsibilities of being In Charge Utterly are new and strange and occasionally confusing. There are, however, lots of resources out there in the form of books and forums and such, that encourage and give ideas on how to handle stuff.

Thing is, I KNOW how good I’ve got it. Complaining about ANYTHING seems disingenuous and ungrateful. But then, each person has their set of problems, that, to them, are REAL PROBLEMS. Comparing them does no one any good. Someone said recently, after starting in with stuff that was bothering her, “Oh, I am sorry, you must think I am such a whiner”…no, not really. Whatever you’re going through is still a problem for you, and my situation doesn’t change that.  But, my problems, whatever they are, are still problems for ME, and I whine about them. There is always someone out there who’s situation is worse than yours (or mine).

The main thing is, over the last almost-a-month since I wrote last, I feel like I am finally catching my breath with all this. We all still miss Himself awfully. I still don’t particularly like setting the table for dinner, for just 2 of us. Mornings are kind of hard, especially if one of us dreamed about him. But, the days are ok. A weekly meal with #’s 1,2,and 4 and affiliated girlfriend has been established, so at least that often the table gets set and a proper meal with silverware and napkins happens, so we don’t lose our social skills. I remember to check the mail now, and do the assorted household maintenance things that Himself took care of. And (dummmdadummm!) *I* get to decide if the windows stay open and the A/C turned on/off! That was a thing. It really was. He liked the house cold, I liked the air fresh. Usually he won.

My creativity has returned, with the sewing and all. That kind of just evaporated for a 8 months. It was frustrating but I didn’t care…creativity was overshadowed by mind numbing grief, but now the mind isn’t so numb. Himself would like that. He was always so encouraging about my sewing. I also feel comforted in the sewing room, because he made nearly every bit of furniture in it (with the exception of an antique rocking chair and side table).

Anyway, that’s where it’s at right now. Church doesn’t hurt anymore, with all those couples sitting next to each other. Reading God’s word doesn’t make me angry like it did…now I can say “Ok, You did what You did for Your very good reasons and just because I don’t know what they are doesn’t mean they don’t exist.” The bitter rock lodged in the back of my throat is gone…most of the time. Occasionally it coughs up and I have a good cry..that’s exhausting.  The boys (they aren’t boys! They’re 27,25,24, and 16!) are holding up pretty well, each in their own ways still mourning the loss of their Dad, probably always will, but dealing in their own ways and moving on with life.

So that’s how it is…Life is going on. I miss him, but I am not the one who died, and need to keep going. So going I am.

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Maybe I’ve been worried because my brain (which, of course, has NEVER LED ME WRONG) says  I need to be worrying.

(why did it switch to italics? Dunno, but it’s pretty so it will stay that way.)

A couple of friends pointed out I was (essentially, they used kinder words) being stupid, and upon reflection it was determined (by me) that they are right.

The simple truth is, for all it’s upheaval, life’s not too bad. There’s a roof, food, a car, a bit of income quite adequate for our needs, and a cruise (bought back before Himself did his thing) upcoming in a little less than a month.

That’s right. A cruise. Nothing fancy like 3 weeks on a private yacht checking out the coast of South America, or floating up the Volga River, but fancy enough, with guys named Carl wearing shorts and delivering beverages featuring rum and tiny umbrellas. Plenty fancy since all we (that’s right, 2 of us middle aged women and a pair of teenaged girls, not sure what we’re going to do with them) really need is the rum and someone to make the beds. And room service with pastries first thing in the morning.  you know, the standard cruise stuff. This is a much anticipated affair, kind of a way to gird my loins for the holidays, which I can’t decide if I am looking forward to or dreading.

Thing of it is, it is almost as if…(almost? Try completely) everything (all things considered) is Just Fine. Which it is. I read an article recently on how people manage being a widow, the different ways of coping. All this time I felt a bit like something was wrong because it wasn’t debilitating.  Aren’t I supposed to be grieving, like with deep depression and huddling under the covers or something? But it wasn’t MY life that ended! I lost something incredibly precious, my favorite person, He With Whom I Shared My Life, but I wasn’t the one who left the Earth in favor of something better. I’m still here, still living and breathing and still looking at (potentially) another 50 years (give or take). There’s things that need doing and one of the things that frustrated Himself was the way I had to get ALL the things DONE before having some fun, and I’m too busy getting ALL the things DONE to have time for despair.

Lord knows the world throws ALL the things at you…death is about the most inconvenient thing (even more than having a baby because at least you usually have some time to prepare for that) I have ever experienced. On top of ALL the things, you’re dealing with losing the one person who helped with the things and I had to figure it ALL out.

Which led to much anxiety and whining to a degree that the people who know me best finally said “stop it…” Not to the missing of Himself, they know better, but to the whining about things which I had no need to whine about. They were right to do that, and I appreciate their candor, because it’s easy to miss it when you’re doing it, even when it’s something you’d point out to them if they were doing it.

So. Sitting back and evaluating all of it, the immediate concerns, the concerns for the future, and the  plans in place to deal with those concerns…things are going well and for that I am immensely thankful to God for setting us in a place/time/circumstance that has the best possible outcome for a very difficult situation.  My life hasn’t ended, nor will it stagnate. It’s just taking a different direction from what was planned. It’s going to be OK


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Growing up

I used to have some fun reading pasts posts…what was I doing 3 years ago on this date, that sort of thing. It would be a chance to evaluate, maybe see if a particular problem got solved, if the kids are behaving better now.

I can’t do that anymore. It’s like reading a diary from when I was 10. How clueless I seem, so unaware of the monumental change that was coming.  I read about how Himself was tired, or nauseous in the morning, and this was YEARS ago. Symptoms, completely unaware. I chalked it up to anxiety, he said it was sinus drainage making him gag. Was it? Who knows. I reckon it doesn’t really matter now.

Truth is I feel about 100 years older. Less joyful, more sober, who is there to play with, after all? The person I laughed with, who I bounced ideas off of, planned with, that’s all gone. More mature, too, not just all wearing black and sad, but…life is serious business now. It’s shorter than I planned, and longer, too. Staring down a tunnel, wihtout a companion by my side…kind of daunting, really. I know I can do this, but it will take time to get used to an idea that I DON’T WANT TO GET USED TO.

When I’m sitting in church, seeing all the couples together, some who’ve been companions for 50 years or more, others less than 6 months, and everything in between, I am happy for them. When you’re 23 and newly married, you feel like you have 100 years together. I have no idea what it feels like to be married for 50+ years. I wonder if it’s that different from 28-1/2 years. Is there complacency? Have you gotten past that and are in the deep appreciation stage? Is there joy, or frustration, or is it just a mindless habit that’s too much trouble to break? How do you tell people to not take it for granted?

One of the things Himself loved to think about was our 50th anniversary, held at wherever we retired, with children and grandchildren and a big barbeque and us sitting on the porch watching it all and holding hands. I mourn for the loss of that.

I dreamed about teasing him because his teeth were in a glass on the bathroom counter. He said he’d tease me about my giant Grandma butt. Who’s going to do that now? Who’s teeth will I laugh at and who’s going to pat my butt and call it Large and In Charge.

Probably no one, at this point I would have to get married tomorrow, to a 40 year old, in order to make it to a 50th anniversary, and I am not interested in 40 year olds.

So, since the course of my life isn’t looking like front porch hand holding and butt-pats, I have decided to sign up for school, and pursue a certification in business administration. Less than an associates degree, but should find me work at a small business somewhere, making coffee for the boss and filing stuff. I’m ok with that. I’m not ambitious, but it would put some money in the bank and fill the hours not spent cooking meals and planning trips with Himself.  The kids are grown and doing well, and don’t really need me to constantly be there…ok #4 still does, but in a couple of years he won’t.  I’m not saying that in a Pity Me sort of way, but that they are following the natural course of things, and leaving the nest to go be adults. I do not fear or grieve for that, it actually makes me incredibly happy, BUT…the Now What question must be dealt with.

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7 Months Out

It’s been 7 months now, since Himself left us. A lot has happened, the sorts of things I never anticipated or figured I’d need to do. A few platitudes were thrown around initially, but for the most part people have been helpful and kind and and taught me many things about How To Friend.

Anyway…So many unexpected things have (and are) happened. The menfolk of this community have come around #4 in ways that seriously bring me to tears when I think about it. One of them takes him to breakfast regularly. Another couple take him hunting. One, who lost his father at a similar age, wrote him a letter about it, that has been an immense comfort. They have been surrounding him with a brotherly love that has kept him sane and standing.

The women have come around me, brought me closer, comforted me with raucous parties and hamburger trips (there is a place in Savannah called Green Truck with the World’s Most Therapeutic Burgers) and quiet listenings to my vents.  Early on I remember reading all I could find on How To Widow, and many things warned that I’d be dropped like a hot rock, because of Fifth Wheel Syndrome (you know, Older Single Person Making Odd Number At Party) and Might Steal My Husband Disorder…that hasn’t happened. Not even remotely. Maybe I just have really good friends. Maybe they don’t have husbands I’m interested in stealing. Perhaps there’s so much of me I count as 2…No clue, but friends, I have in abundance and thank God for them.

All the legal paperwork is DONE. I am FINISHED. Even though Himself had no will, it’s all done and through the courts and signed and sealed. And I made a will. The paralegal at MB Esq. said please do, for she wasn’t willing to go through all this 4 times over with my sons.  Also, everything that needed paying off has been paid off. Thank the Good Lord for life insurance, and for the for esight to insist that Himself get a private policy should he get that motorcycle and leave his hide on the pavement. Which he did not, but the policy was there anyway and allows small income until I figure out what to do with my life.


Finishing everything up was the turning of a page to a new chapter. The previous one was all about paperwork and the steep steep learning curve. The one before that was one week long, separate from all other weeks of my life, from the Monday he called and said he was having a heart attack, to the Friday everyone went back home and the house had no Himself in it anymore.  This past chapter, 7 months long. The next one, only God knows. My sincerest hope is that it will be 22 months long, until I pack up and move to Alabama, to a new house and life and beginning. That’s just a hope, though. God knows what He’s doing, He has seen me this far.

Did any of you see that movie this Summer, of the little girl and her emotions? Inside Out, I think it was called. One of the premises was that there are pivotal moments in a life, special memories that stick with you forever, and you can recall perfectly. They can be good or bad ones…how do you even define “good” or “bad”? Every event has an effect on our life, influences the way we respond to stuff and people. The week Himself died was, by many definitions, a Bad thing. It was certainly painful for many people. However, many Good things have come from it. Good enough to make me say I am glad he died? Absolutely not. It’s safe to say I will never be glad of it, but good enough to say something beneficial to lives in this family has come of it. I have learned how to navigate the legal system, how to word letters so Bureaucrats Will Read Them, and how to budget carefully. All of the boys have learned how to stand on their own feet, and just how much Himself taught them over the years. We have all learned how very much strength we have, what we can do when we have to, and how to lean on each other. Thank You God, for family.  Every event, whether we define it as Good or as Bad, effects how we live afterwards. Do we allow it to frighten us? For several weeks after Himself died, I was fearful of going out, driving anywhere, that sort of thing. What if something Bad happened to me, and left the boys without either parent?  That wasn’t really in my control, and was selfishly assuming I had control of my destiny. It didn’t mean I should gleefully drive 130 mph down Excelsior Church Road, or take up FireBreathing BASE jumping,


but going to the store, living life normally, was ok to do. Then I became fearful of living the next 50 years alone, also silly. Most people get to live alone early on in their adult lives. I married at 21, went straight from my parent’s house to the one Himself and I shared. Now I get to see what independence feels like.  Good things, all these, or maybe they are just comforting thoughts in the midst of a hurricane. Whatever. Like I said, I will never be glad he’s gone, but he is, and I have to make the best of the situation. I loved the life we had together. Now there’s a new life, and I need to learn how to love this one.

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