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Friday, September 23, 2016

Four Widows in a Cinderella Carriage

OK, we all may have lost our Prince Charmings, but that doesn't mean we can't go for the carriage ride!
This pic taken on Sept. 16th.
Fellow widows from the last grief group treated me to dinner in honor of my & Bob's wedding anniversary
and afterwards, I treated them to the carriage ride.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Favorite Poem

This poem has always been one of my favorites, for long time, since I was teenager. It was written by Edgar Allan Poe in 1849 in honor of his wife after she died. It's been on my mind lately. Now, meaning more, than ever.  Thought I'd share:

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was child,
In this kingdom by the sea:
But we loved with love that was more than love--
I and my Annabel Lee
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me
And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
my beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsmen came
and bore her away from me
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me
Yes! that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we --
Of many far wiser than we;
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee
And so, all the night tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling, my darling, my life and my bride
In the sepulchre there by the sea
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

My favorite line from this poem has always been
"we loved with a love that was more than love."
As a young woman, I thought that was the most romantic thing I'd ever read.
And wondered if I'd ever have that kind of love.

And then I met Bob and knew I had found the "love that was more than love"
And now he's dead, the whole poem rings so true.

And now I need to find the way to write something as beautiful in memory of Bob and the love we shared.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Freak Accident

So I have this antique railing, that we've had for years, and it's quite heavy and seven feet long and I had it leaning against the fence near the pool....

On Tuesday, Kona and I were in the pool and Kona, of course, was playing with her tennis balls when one ball rolled behind the antique railing and Kona went to get it....

Before I knew what was happening, Kona stuck her head between the bars on the railing and her head got stuck. In her attempt to free herself, she backed up, taking the antique railing still caught around her neck with her and she toppled backward into the deep end of the pool, railing still stuck on her neck.

I was there, of course, saw the whole horrifying surreal moment, as if in slow motion. I dived immediately into the deep end and will never forget the image of Kona caught under the railing, pinned to the pool floor, motionless.

I dived but failed to reach the railing.

I dived again, failed again.

By then, I was freaking. Panicking. Wanting to cry out for help, realizing there was no one but me, so I dived again.

And this time, the third time, I managed to reach the railing and somehow pull it up by one end but Kona's head was still stuck in the seven foot long iron rail and there was no way I was going to get her and the heavy rail to the surface of the pool when suddenly she sprang to life, kicking away, and my underwater vision was just a blur of flailing blonde legs and bubbles. And me, underwater, holding onto that rail for dear life.

Kona somehow managed to extract herself. I saw her ascend, as if some force pulled her upward.

And she popped to the surface.

And I dropped the rail and surfaced and watched Kona swim to the edge of the pool and climb out.  Shaken, but unscathed.

Jeepers. She nearly drowned that afternoon.  I nearly had a heart attack.

After assuring myself that Kona was okay, I now had the problem of a seven foot long railing lying on the bottom of the deep end of the pool.

Took me awhile, and some ingenious maneuvering with a garden hoe, to get thing up again and I propped it, ladder-like against the side of the pool, climbed out and managed to lever it out. Yesterday, a friend helped me move the darn thing to the other side of the house, far far from the pool.

Kona is fine. She's on antibiotics, in case she got salt water in her lungs.

Mom (me), on the other hand, has many bruises on my knees and legs and sore muscles and feels rather like I've been beat up or run over by a truck and I am still pretty shook up.... but I am also very grateful that Kona survived.

I don't think I could have handled it if she had not.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Guest House Renovation

I tell you, this grieving process is not easy and I am still having a hard time of it -- so been trying to keep busy on a few projects, one being renovating the guest house (Chris' old apartment). The apartment is fairly small, but bigger than an efficiency, what they call (here in Florida) a "mother-inlaw suite" and consists of one bedroom, a bathroom and kitchen/living area combined. Sort of a small motel suite size.

The project is nearly completed now, just waiting for some new windows to be installed. Here's some before and after pics:

The cupboards were painted, but note the pealing paint left hand lower corner. So my
first project was going to be to repaint the cabinets.
But when I attempted to sand the pealing paint, the paint came off in sheets!


Turns out whoever painted these cabinets painted over Formica....
The floors were also in bad shape, old linoleum pealing up in spots, uneven in others...

So I ended up stripping all the cabinets down to the original Formica and installing new bamboo floors.
Really makes a BIG difference.....
Soon I'll be ready to entertain guests! So make your reservations now!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Big Storm

So after several days of rain, finally Hurricane Hermine made landfall to the north of us. We were not in the direct path, but on the "sweet side" (as I heard someone call it) which basically means we got a lot of rain. And I mean A LOT.

Eighteen inches along our coast.  Ten inches or so here in our neighborhood.  Lots of flooding, lots of trees down. We had wind gusts of 65 mph. Water restrictions from the city: i.e. don't do laundry, dishwashers, showers (yes, showers!) as our sewage system was overloaded from all the rain water.  I had to drain the pool four times as it was overflowing. I sandbagged the garage apartment door. The main house is on piers so it's a couple feet off the ground, but the guest house is on a concrete slab, maybe an inch or two off the ground.

Then our neighborhood lost power last night for four hours. Scary. In the dark. Rain and wind.  Thunder rumbling in the distance like some monstrous beast approaching.

And lonely.

I used to love storms when Bob was alive. I used to feel so safe, knowing we were all under the same roof, together (Bob, me, Boomer, Zenith and Ripley).  Now it's just sort of spooky with no one to talk to, no one's hand to hold.

I spent a lot of time crying these past few days.

Still raining today, off and on, with the feeder bands --- local TV station is still on "fear-plex" mode, you know, all day all storm coverage.

But the house is OK, just a few small limbs down in the yard. Kona, Ripley and I are safe and sound. So that I am thankful for....

I just wish I could quit crying so much.