The title is a description of my old life...but these days I ramble on about widowhood, homeschooling, single parenting, adoption, special-needs parenting, & living a life I never planned for or expected - a life that God, thankfully, continues to strengthen & equip me for daily...
Monday, September 15, 2014
DIARY OF AN UNWILLING WIDOW
Sept. 15, 2014
more awake tonight than when I was when I wrote my last post, so, hopefully
I'll sound a little more connected!
I had a
delightful 3+ hour lunch today with two of my favorite ladies, Carol and Jeanne.Carol is my mom's age and goes to my church.
I adore her - she's so "un-old," Jeanne is 81 and a good friend of
Carol's.I met her last Jan. when her
second husband was in hospice care.Actually, her first husband was one of my professors at Faith 25 yrs
ago.Small world.Jeanne is going to be a guest speaker on
widow issues for a class at Faith next month and it sounds like I may get to
tag along for that.I'm excited!
up talking aboutremarriage,
though.Even though I am determined to not
date until the three year mark has occurred, the subject keeps coming up with
people!I don't know if it's because I
think about it or if it's because I'm past the one year mark and people are
just wondering what I'm planning to do with mylife.But anyway, I was pretty
touched when Carol and Jeanne informed me that they are not going to let
me make a mistake when it comes to this all-important decision - that they
intend to be right there vetting any potential second husbands and making sure
I'm not about to mess up my life.Sweet
friends...I appreciate their wisdom and concern for me.
the boys had their first flag football game of the season.I had to miss my mom's group to attend which
I didn't want to do at all.I felt so
torn.Will drove down to help coach but
ended up playing because they were short a player.He was pretty tickled about that, even though
he's got a bad cold right now that is working its way into his chest.He was even more tickled when he found
his good football in the tub of equipment.That thing disappeared a year ago but he was positive he had not left it
on the field and ultimately ended up replacing it.
though, I'm just thankful I got to go anywhere after the day I had
yesterday.Oh, man...So, Iowa is kind of a big deal when it
comes to politics.Every year Sen.
Harkin has this steak fry in Indianola, which is where I go to church.It's held right off Hwy 92 which where my church
is located and the highway I take to go home.It's kind of a big deal for Democrats.Actually, it's a huge deal.This
is the last one because after 40 years (! Term limits, anyone?) Harkin is
finally hanging up his liberal hat and retiring.Everyone who is anyone in the fairy tale
world of Democrats was to be at this thing.The Clintons were there, the national
media was there, and all kinds of Democratic senators and representatives and
people who like to hob nob with the elites paid big money to attend, too.
really think anything about it as I pulled out of the church parking lot and
onto the highway.I'm toodling along and
soon I realized I was stuck in bumper to bumper traffic as vehicle after
vehicle got in line to attend the steak fry.I just wanted to go home and eat my chicken in the crockpot.It was kind of interesting, a little
bit.We did see a group of protesters
holding up signs asking questions about Benghazi and suggesting that Obama
should be impeached.But mostly, it was
all leftist propaganda.Huge posters
staked into the ground encouraged people to vote democrat if they want to solve
global warming (eyeball rolling here).Others exclaimed, "Run, Hillary, Run!" (more eyeball rolling
on my part).There wasn't a thing I
could do except sit tight and enjoy the show.I should have gone up Hwy 69, construction and all and circled back
through Carlisle.Even with the construction delays and backtracking it would
have been faster than this circus.
my van died - right in the middle of traffic.Having a non-functioning vehicle in traffic is right at the top of my
THINGS TO WORRY ABOUT list.In fact,
last month when I took my van in for alignment I asked them to check things out
to make sure I wasn't in any immediate risk for this very type of event.They missed something, but we'll get to that
later.Holy cow - what to do now?There's a car in front of me and another on
my bumper.I put the van in park and
restarted it, which it did,But then it
died.Each time my battery light would
come on and the engine would shoot to "hot."I thought - alternator?But those usually give you some type of
warning they're on the fritz.I did this
twice more before I pulled over to the shoulder.By this point I wanted to
hyperventilate.Just in front of us on
the same stretch of shoulder were protesters.These ones held up pictures of dead Palestinians and called for the
destruction of Israel - or something like
that.The world is truly coming to an
end.Biblical prophecy is unfolding
right before my eyes, just up the road from my own church and I have a dead van.It would have been an excellent time for the
my pastor, who ultimately ended up coming with his son.I felt so bad later when it dawned on me that
it was his birthday and I had just interrupted his birthday lunch!He assured me all was well, but I still feel
bad about that.I then called AAA but I
didn't get very far with them because I couldn't tell the guy where exactly I
was.There were too many people and too
many protesters for me to read the street sign up ahead.In the meantime, David had called Will and
described what was happening.It didn't
take long for Will to call back and tell us he was pretty sure my serpentine
belt had slipped off.David jumped out,
popped the hood, and sure enough, the belt was not on the track where it should
be.But I couldn't fix that.
waiting for Pastor to show up and pretty soon this long black car with very
dark tinted widows pulled up behind us.My first thought was, "Secret Service - I am in SO much
trouble!"But the guy that got out
looked like media, so maybe he just snagged a ride with an SS guy - if that's
what it was in the first place.
Pastor made it and we pushed my van further over on the shoulder.We got pretty close to the anti-Israel
protestors and I thought it might be a shame if my van tire
"accidentally" rolled over someone's foot.They were fortunate, is all I can say.Pastor brought me the church van, handed me the
keys, helped load the kids up in it, and told me to keep it as long as I needed
it. What a blessing!Then, he stood out in traffic, held up his
hand to stop the onslaught of traffic and I was able to pull out and drive
home.That was my first time ever
driving a full-size van, too.
the afternoon, Will came down.He got
some tools, a remnant piece of carpet from our remodeling,and the hydraulic jack out of the
garage.We drove over there and Will
commented that last summer, while working at camp, he ended up working on two
vans just like mine, so he had a good idea of what to do (God at work
again!).He took off the tire, removed
the cover, and discovered that the tensioner, a piece of equipment that holds
the belt had gone out.He's guessing
that when the new belt was put on last month it "snapped" enough for
the mechanics to assume it was still working so they didn't know it needed to
be replaced.The past few weeks that
belt has slowly been working its way off.
because I drove to Iowa City last Wed and I'm doing it
again next Wed.Yes, it was rather
embarrassing and inconvenient to get caught up in the Democrat traffic jam, but
better there than on the highway two hours from home.Better to do it in Indianola where I have
friends that can help.And how fortunate
am I to have a son who knew what to do and who wasn't hours and hours away at
college?All it took was about an hour
of time on Will's part and a $43 replacement part.But, thankfulness and all, I am very happy that yesterday is OVER!
yesterday's event has caused me to realize that there would probably be some
wisdom in beginning to search for a second vehicle now.I don't have anything else to drive if
something happens to my van.I want to
replace our truck, anyway, with a dual cab one that would fit most of us.David will be driving next summer and I'll
need a second vehicle then.I don't
really want him driving a truck for his first vehicle but Will and I have
discussed the possibility of having David start out in his car and Will take the new
truck.So, we're going to start nosing
around on Craig's List and see what we can find.As much as I intend to keep my van upkept and
road worthy it's just the nature of the beast for things to wear out more and
more as they get older.I need to have a
back-up in place for when those times happen.
getting another debit card again.I have been going through those things like candy this last year.It's really annoying because I have a number
of payments that are tied to that card and every time I have to replace the
card, I have to notify all those creditors.I got caught up in the Target breach last winter and was issued a new
card.And then I went and lost that card
a few months later and had to get a new one (grrr).David found it in the van about an hour after
I got home from the bank :( And then this summer I bought my lawn mower at Home
Depot.I never shop at that place
but they were the only ones who carried the mower I wanted.And of course the news broke a week or so ago
about a credit card breach at Home Depot.I wasn't surprised when my bank called me late last week and said,
"Uh, we're sending you a new card."Argh!Seriously?!This almost makes me see the value of being a
cash-only customer.I mean, I am cash
only in that I don't use credit, but maybe carrying around bills with me is the
way to go instead.This is getting old.
to a concert next month with Will.He
invited me to go as his (paying) date.He's taking a music appreciation class this semester and has to attend 3
classical concerts.The Piano Guys are
doing one night in Des Moines so he thought that would be a
good way to fulfill one of the concert requirements.I don't really know anything about them so I
youtubed one of their performances and enjoyed it.They have a unique twist on the
classics.Will said a lot of his
classmates are going to this particular concert.And apparently, he's still willing to
take his mother, even though he is risking being seen with me by his peers!I am rather flattered.I think he's going to surprise Lizzie and
take her to one of the other concerts that he has to attend later.It was my idea and Will was agreeable.She is going to be thrilled down to the tips of her toes
to do something alone with her big brother!
concert, though, is the same week as the NBA pre-season game that we have
tickets for - being held in the same place, too!That will be a busy week, that's for sure.
the girls came down Friday afternoon/evening.She brought cupcakes and party plates and treats for the Littles to
celebrate the girls' one year adoption anniversary (this Friday).How many people would think to do that for
someone else's kids?She's something
else.We went to the mall, as usual, and ended up spending quite a bit
of time at Barnes and Noble.I found
myself in the magazine section, perusing the selections.Nothing appealed to me.And then I realized what I was subconsciously
sure that doesn't exist.They have
magazines about motorcycles, weddings, Hollywood, cooking, travel,sports, home remodeling, and electronics, but
I am fairly certain there are no magazines out there devoted to the subject of
death and dying.
there should be.
When I realized
what I was looking for, though, I kind of laughed at myself in a rather
sardonic manner.And then I joined my
kids over in the children's section and watched them play with the train set
and forced myself to sit down, relax, and enjoy their moments.
need to read a magazine on coping with life after death.They're living it.I could take a few lessons from them.