silhouette of couple on seashore

Finding love again as a widow


I never expected to be a widow. I was a working mom and wife.  My kids had both gone off to college. My husband and I discussed different retirement scenarios.  It was going to be easier now.  We could relax a bit.  Not work as hard and maybe do some traveling.

It did not work out that way for us.

One week after we dropped our youngest off at college, my husband was gone.

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photo of woman meditating

The Unexpected Joy of Doing Nothing

It’s Saturday morning and I’ve spent the week skiing in the snow covered Rockies with 3 “kids” in their 20s. I’m rockin it.

I get up and make us eggs and coffee. We catch the shuttle and spend hours riding lifts and making S turns down the blue runs. The sun comes out for 20 minutes and then snow flurries begin. We stop for lunch. Then back to it.

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Early Retirement during the Pandemic

Three weeks into retirement and I have to admit, it feels like 3 years. 2020 has been an odd year for everyone. Retiring during a pandemic is a bit anticlimatic.

In January I was offered a retirement incentive at work. Being of a certain age I was eligible. My husband of 6 months had retired but I did not feel ready yet, so decided to wait at least one more year and declined the golden handshake.

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He’s gone -It’s OK to say their name

After spending the past thirty 4th of July’s together, which was also my husband’s birthday, grief comes back full swing and is one of the more difficult holidays to get through for me.

Year one I made a nice Facebook post with photos. Then I made sure to be away from home. My brother and sister and mom and our kids joined us in Cape Cod for a family reunion. This ensured a good distraction and no one really mentioned Mike. Avoiding pain and sadness was my immediate goal. My family was hopeful that I’d be OK, so I was.

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Don’t Bring Green Smoothies to the Nursing Home

The dimly lit entrance way welcomed me Sunday morning as I went to visit my mom in the nursing home.  That is a sentence I never thought I would write.  It may sound better if I call it the rehab center but it is mostly a nursing home.

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How to Transition to Summer Vacation

So I have a list at home of all the things I want to get done this week. I’m serious. First week off from work as a teacher; I finally have time to focus on cleaning those neglected spots in the house, filing away papers, making a few phone calls and selling/donating stuff we don’t need anymore.  This summer I am going to get organized! Finding Joy in the act of getting rid of clutter.

I wanted to write a blog about transitioning from work to summer vacation, especially for teachers and moms.

When my kids were little, that first week off was always so stressful. How do you transition from working full time away from home, to literally working even more full time at home, with no preps or lunch breaks, and with your own wonderful cherubs?

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Same face, different life – The passport photo

Well, the face is almost the same on the updated CVS photo that is going to be on my U.S. passport for the next 10 years.  My hair is lighter and the wrinkles are more obvious but there is some resemblance.  You are not allowed to smile and your hair must be pulled behind your ears.  I guess you’re supposed to look like you just survived a 14 hour international flight and you sat next to a crying baby the whole way- that’s what I look like in this photo.

I am planning to visit Japan this summer to see my son in Tokyo where he is studying abroad this semester.  My passport expires in August so it needs to be renewed thus the trip to CVS to get the photos.

I do not like the picture.  I look better when I am smiling. I don’t know why smiling is against the rules.

The whole photo shoot reminded me of when I went with my family to get passport photos 10 years ago.

We all drove to the local post office.  I removed all jewelry and was told not to smile. I was wearing a black turtle neck in the photo and I realized that I haven’t worn turtle neck sweaters in years.  I guess it has something to do with hot flashes.

Mike and the boys each had their photos taken that day too.  We had planned a family vacation to Jamaica and it was the first time the boys were going to be out of the country.  Mike and I needed to renew our passports so we all went together.

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