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Monday, September 25, 2017

Signs

So, on September 16th, our wedding anniversary, I had originally planned to attend a birthday party for my friend Hillary (whose birthday is Sept. 16th) and thought had myself "covered" with a plan for the day.  Then two days before the 16th, I get a call and Hillary's party is cancelled.  Shoot.

So that led me scrambling to make a new plan and I called two of my grief support group friends, fellow widows Linda and Candy who both said they would "be there for me" -- thank god! And also told me we could do "anything" I wanted to do that day.

Well, you know I broke the Buddha statue that I had purchased as memorial for Bob while preparing for Hurricane Irma. I broke it while taking into the garage for "safe keeping" but weirdly, as I was carrying the heavy concrete statue I turned the corner and saw the automatic garage door going down -- which was odd to say the least. So I had to set the Buddha on the ground, click the button to open the garage, and as I picked up the Buddha I panicked worrying the door might come back down on me, so sort of sprinted into the garage (too fast) tripped and fell.  I didn't hurt myself. Buddha broke my fall. But the statue was smashed into a million pieces..... aargh

So I told my friends I wanted to go out and find another Buddha.

On the morning of Sept. 16th, I woke up early (or was it just a dream) but I woke up because I felt pressure around my shoulders and waist. I was lying on my side and looked down and saw (I swear) Bob's arms (complete with his watch) hugging me from behind and I heard him whisper in my ear, "Happy Anniversary, Sweets." I turned, so I could see his face, but he was gone. Disappeared. I sat up in bed. The clock read 6:00 a.m., the radio was on, the dog curled up at the bottom of the bed, and thought "am I dreaming this?" or "did this really happen?" but if it was just a dream, I certainly wanted to go back to it, so I closed my eyes and fell into a deep sleep not waking until 9:00 a.m.

Then when I went into the living room, where I have Bob's ashes and also his photo with his watch draped over the side, the photo was lying flat down, face up... and I could see no way that just this photo was disturbed and nothing on the table. Odd that.

Well, we went on the Buddha hunt and went to the place I bought the original Buddha -- but he had every single imaginable Buddha except, of course, the one I wanted which he had just sold that  morning at 8:30 a.m.  But the shop owner told me he could order me one and wrote down all the info he would need to order it on a business card, because I had told him that I had seen another Buddha at an antique mall and was going to check there first to see if it was still available.

So off we go the to antique mall, which is one of those huge antique malls, with winding aisles and little rooms to the sides and very easy to get lost in. No luck on the Buddha, but Candy had seen a couple tables she might be interested in for her new condo, so I was keeping my eye out for not only a Buddha but a small table and then I lost the girls -- and when I found them, they were talking with another customer, a man, who asking them questions that neither Candy or Linda could answer (not being antique collectors themselves) but me -- this is my field of expertise, so I asked him what he needed and basically he wanted to know if prices were "fixed" or you can make offer and I explained how antique malls work and being a former dealer myself, explained it would depend on some factors (like how long the dealer had the item, how much money that person made that month, etc. but also most dealers mark the prices a bit higher than they really want just to have some "haggling room"). I also explained he needed to get the Dealer code off the price tag as each little room, little area, was rented by a different dealer and he could take that info to the main desk and they could call the dealer from there to see if his offer was acceptable or not or countered.

Anyway, the customer then said he wasn't even sure if the piece was worth what he thought of offering and I said, "show me, I know thing or two about antiques" so I followed him to a drop front desk with a cabinet on top of it, but the bottom half had a different finish than the top so it looked like either someone stuck two pieces together that didn't originally go together -- that or someone started refinishing the piece and stopped for some reason.  Told him I wouldn't buy it and he said he had another in mind and I followed him the next piece, similar to the first one, drop front desk with a cabinet but this was a reproduction. So I asked him if he wanted a real "antique" or not, because it was nice piece furniture and the price wasn't bad, but it was a reproduction. He explained that his wife loved antiques, he didn't care that much, but didn't want to disappoint her and then asked me how I knew it was a repro -- so I started opening doors, pointing out modern screws, pulled out drawers and pointed out particle board bottoms, etc.

So he had another yet in mind, and as I was following him to the next desk I passed a locked glass display cabinet in which were, among other things, two antique telephones from the 1920's, you know the heavy black desk phones, one of which looked a lot like the one Bob & I had and when I passed that display case, I swear I'm not making this up, one of the phones rang. And I stopped dead in my tracks.

My first thought was "that's an odd place to have a phone hooked up" -- then "maybe I just heard an echo from the front desk", or "maybe someone has a cell phone with an old fashion ring tone" (you know the ding-a-ling) and looked around but no one was near me. Then the phone rang again. The sound definitely coming from the display case. I looked closer and could see the wires for the  phones were not hooked to anything. And, then, a pause, and it rang a third time, while I stood there dumbfounded. And then it stopped when the guy I was following came back to find me -- and I asked him if he had a heard a phone ring and he shook his head and looked at me like I was crazy. ha! But I'm not crazy, I heard that phone and that was Bob calling -- I only wish the cabinet hadn't been locked because I would have picked up the phone and answered it. But definitely, Bob was giving me a thumbs up from above, because you know antique shopping was something we would have done on our wedding anniversary....

Anyway, long story short (though this is quite a long post already), the customer showed me the last desk which was the real deal, ca 1900-1915, mission style quarter sawn oak, beautiful piece and I thought a good price esp. since that dealer was having a 30% off sale.  But he was worried it might be "too small" for the space in his house so I gave him directions to a couple of antique malls that he might check out.

You know, I felt pretty proud of myself after that experience, because normally I would not have struck up a conversation with a total stranger and then proceed to follow him around sharing my antique knowledge....  I felt like myself again.  Something I haven't felt like in a long time since Bob died....

So after stopping at a few more stores, not finding a Buddha, but having good friends with me and having a nice dinner afterwards, it turned out to be a good day all around.  (And I ordered the Buddha -- should be here in a few weeks....)

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Surviving Irma

Well, survived the big storm with only a lot of branches down, two broken attic windows, one broken Buddha statue and scratches down the side of the car.  The latter two being my fault. I dropped the Buddha while moving it into the garage, I tripped, holding the buddha and fell on top of it -- so the the Buddha broke my fall and I wasn't hurt, much, just skinned my knees. Buddha though smashed to pieces -- Then I scraped the car trying to back it out of the garage -- the garage being small (one car, old fashion) and stuffed with patio furniture etc., as I was backing up something fell against the side of the car -- shoot. I felt like an idiot.... took me 30 minutes just to back that car out of the garage... though it was the first time I ever put the car in the garage -- anyhoo

Spent the storm with a good friend, Candy, a fellow widow who I met through Grief Support Group.  I had noticed, before the storm, but after the guys had boarded me up and left, that they didn't board up the attic windows.  Candy & I went up into the attic to see what we could do to secure at least the largest one, and lo and behold, right next to the window was an antique hurricane shutter and an antique hand drill.  Candy had a cordless drill with her, but decided to try out the antique one to drill holes into the old shutter. She thought it was "fun" and "great exercise" ha!  She drilled holes and I screwed in the screws and we managed to board it up from the inside, which was good esp. since that is one of the windows broken during the storm.

We lost power at 10 p.m. the night of the storm and my "battery operated" radio (which I checked the week before and was working perfectly) decided not to work at all, so we were totally in the dark (literally) but also having no clue where the storm was going/heading etc.  I had bought a plug in landline phone and plugged that in, and when a friend from Oklahoma called to check on us, I asked her to check the weather channel and she became our "unofficial weather girl" for the rest of the night, calling in updates every 30 minutes.  Thank you, Delana from OK!  It was a long scary sleepless night, wind howling outside. Irma was fortunately not a direct hit on us and downgraded to a Cat 2 by then. But scary enough. Candy, me, two dogs and three cats hunkered down together. Fortunately, we had power back on about 19 hours later, and we uncorked a bottle of champagne to celebrate.

After the storm passed, the guys who were due to un-board called and said they would be by after they removed a large tree branch that had fallen on one of their roofs. Then, two of the fellows injured themselves, one ending up in the hospital...

So Candy and I managed to un-board the windows we could reach using my 6 foot ladder -- just to get some light into the house (as the power was still out) and open the front door.  I didn't realize that Candy had never used the cordless drill (it belonged to her late husband) and she didn't even know how to put a drill bit into it, so I showed her how it worked and, my gosh, the woman had tears in her eyes when we got the boards down. One empowering moment for her.  (Later, I gave her the antique hand drill as a memento -- with a card reminding her that "we girls can do anything!")

Finally, house was totally un-boarded on Friday. It was good to "let the light shine in", felt like living in a cave with the boards on.  Still working on clean-up in the yard. Finally can use the pool again. I tell you, a stressful time here at The Pink House.... but I am counting my blessings as it could've been a lot worse...

And Thank God for good friends!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Tomorrow

Tomorrow, Sept 16th, is/was/will always be our wedding anniversary.

I was going to post
about surviving Hurricane Irma  -- and I do have some stories there to tell --but was without power for some time, stressed, frightened, etc.--  then busy cleaning up, after the storm,  ... however -- tomorrow is Sept. 16th

Happy anniversary, sweetheart. 23 years ago we were married.

And Bob, I will always love you.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Boarded Up

And hunkering down.... looks Irma is heading straight for us!



Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Nervously Watching Irma

We are in (what Bob would call) "The Cone of Doom" for Hurricane Irma. It's actually called the Cone of Uncertainty -- so thanks, Bob, for this memory.

Yesterday, Kona and I went to the store to stock up on supplies. Managed to find some water at a Walgreens. Many grocery store shelves were bare, no water, no tuna... But managed to get the basic necessities, ie. dog food, cat food, Vodka...  Took 2 1/2 hours for this shopping trip, as so many people in the stores, crowded aisles, long lines at the checkouts.

I am a bit of a nervous wreck...

And I know this blog has been quiet -- I have been in a dark place, deep grief triggered by dying fish which sounds really stupid, but as my therapist said, it wasn't the fish but what the fish symbolized --

And now this....




Wednesday, August 9, 2017

And The Other One Bites The Dust...

This morning found Two Fish dead -- the last of Chris' fish. Buried him in the back yard near Boomer, Zenith and One Fish...

Oh for crying out loud. I am sick of death.

Been freaking out for days on a "death watch" as I could tell Two Fish was not well -- also giving fish meds and then finding him dead, crying, had a major panic attack at the grocery store today -- all over a silly fish.... that I never wanted to begin with....

Strangely, when I got out of the grocery store and turned on the car, our song (I'll Stop The World and Melt with You by Modern English) began playing on the radio from the very beginning. I sat in the parking lot and cried. And the next song was "Let it Be" by John Lennon -- Bob's messages coming through loud and clear.  Thank you, sweetheart.

I am giving the aquariums, supplies, food, etc. to a friend of Hillary's who teaches special needs children and has aquariums in her classroom for the kids to take care of fish and to learn and relax them -- so it's a good cause.

Otherwise, missed the last EMDR session as Tropical Storm Emily sent a lightening bolt that hit my therapist's office and totally fried the AC system.

On a lighter note, I was very stressed so we skipped EMDR at my last session two weeks ago and did the Reiki instead. I close my eyes during these sessions but near the end I could hear my therapist trying to stifle a giggle and had to look -- and lo and behold, Kona had put her paw on top of my therapist's hand and Kona's nose was nose-to-nose with the therapist -- so I guess Kona is learning to become a Reiki Master!

Therapy tomorrow ---will do the EMDR again....