20 December …


Another week gone …  and the sunrise yesterday was spectacular.


This morning, Mark (using radio club equipment) will make a connection with Santa Claus via ECHO link on the radio club’s repeater and a group of third graders will get to talk with the old boy using what ham radio operators call “third party traffic”. 

Mark also has plans to see that each child will receive a QSL card from Santa whose call sign is “C 1 AUS”.  QSL cards are postcards ham operators send to anyone with whom they make a long distance contact. 

Bet it’s a holiday those third graders won’t forget.


Some evenings Paul and I are left to babysit each other. 

We are developing a pattern.  I settle in my rocking chair (which is nearly an antique now) with my knitting and he pulls his rocking chair (which is now being used by the fifth or sixth child) next to me and either reads or plays MindCraft (which I don’t understand at all … but I have developed the ability to say “Wow” or “Yea” or “Oh oh” at appropriate times).

We are five and eighty-seven …


This has been and continues to be a busy day for local ham radio operators. The contact with Santa this morning will be followed by an exam session this evening for a wannabe and an operator looking to upgrade his license.  That will be followed by the annual holiday potluck.

Last year, George and I prepared a game for the holiday get-together this year … a BINGO game using RADIO as the headings.  I won’t be going to the party.  I thought I could, but this morning I realize I’m not ready for condolences in large servings … yet.  Family can take over for me.

For the three door prizes, Mark and I got a large holiday decorated plate with matching bowl and I made up a batch of pimento cheese dip.  Boxes of crackers were included.


Snow this morning … but nothing like winters past.

This is George on the front loader clearing the road …

and this is looking at the house from the driveway (the window you can see is on the second floor).

I wonder if we will ever see those winters again.


I had an appointment with the Social Security office last monday.  Tying up leftovers is a chore.  Fortunately, I had Mark for support while facing the bureaucracy.

I will be receiving a lump sum death benefit and a slight increase in my monthly allowance.  Now to work on a new budget.


Recent big setback was a phone call with the daughter of a friend from 63 years ago.  Her mother died unexpectedly, shortly after George.  We had served in an American Friends Service Committee group composed of college age folks the summer of ‘54.  George and I were the “leaders” since we were the oldest of the group at 26 and 24.

Liz is second from the left in the middle row.

Can you find George and me?

How young we were. I would guess many of the others are also dead now.  After all, we must ALL be in our 80s.

Memories …


I’m doing much the same as same …

The upside-the-head blows hit when most unexpected.  One evening last week I burst into tears when I came in from closing the chicken coop door because there was no one waiting to ask me how many eggs had been collected.

Two steps forward to every one step back … but those forward steps seem to be accomplished with less fuss and fewer regrets.

It will have been a month tomorrow.

Reassure me again how it gets easier.  

The things we need to learn before we can do them, we learn best by doing them.

… but no one promised us “easy”.


So … ‘til next week …


13 December …


Another week gone.

Life adjustments are never easy, but trying to make as few ripples as possible while adjusting is a real challenge.  Even when doing your best …

If you goof and don’t succeed … try try again.


Last week John returned “Grandmother” clock to me.  She needed work but it hadn’t gotten done over the years.  John took her and did the work.  Now she is next to my bed singing on the quarter hours and marking the hours !!!

Maybe I should explain her name.  She was given to George’s maternal grandfather in lieu of payment for some work done and he gave it to George’s Grandmother.  Hence the clock is called “Grandmother”.

She seems to be a bit temperature sensitive (after all she is 110 years old), but I don’t care.  Just having her with me is a blessing.  The fine tuning can wait for Spring.


Weather has been not-Winter … cold but no new snow.  Morning frosts.  Sunny days.  Not at all like last year.


Short post this week.  I am making headway in whatever, but there are the inevitable set-back days.  I am learning the backstory for “widow” behavior I didn’t understand before such as just sitting and gazing off into nothing and the tea and toast diet and empty morning time between 0300 and 0500. 

As long as the two-steps-forward-and-one-step-back routine continues … I’m okay.


After all …   


Success is a matter of attitude and appreciation. Every day you look at the grass from the top down, you are a success.


So … ‘til next week …


6 December …

Well, I’ve been a widow for a bit over two weeks.  I am gradually piecing “me” back together as I start the third part of my life.

One thing I learned for sure is that all the ideas, thoughts, assumptions, hopes, desires, anticipations, plans, etc. I had for this time in my life were all wrong, misleading, useless and that “off” days will catch you unaware.

I also learned that there is joy and laughter even in the hard times.

Case in point … one evening a couple of days after George died, Paul (who is nearly six) was doing his “homework” of reading to an adult before bedtime.  He was reading the children’s book “Are You My Mother?” in which a baby bird, whose mother has gone shopping, goes looking for her asking various animals if they are his mother with obvious results (i.e. “I can’t be your mother. I’m a cow.”). Paul reached the place where the baby bird asks a steam shovel which replies with a snort and Paul put everything he had into that reply …

*** SNORT !!!  ***

He then looked up at all of us and said “Well, that would have woke Papa up if he were still here.”


Both Mikayla and Tyler were here from New York.  Tyler took this picture while he was here.

Mikayla left last thursday and Tyler on friday. 

That meant the entire family was here with George for those last days and each got time alone with him.

It was great having them here, in spite of the reason, and I look forward to summer when we will see them again.


We have reached the time of the year when school kids leave home in the dark and return in the dark.  I remember those days very clearly from all those many years ago.  I worked weekend nights and so slept weekend days.  That meant for a few weeks each year I didn’t see the boys in daylight.

Oh well …

Fortunately, this is also the time of year for the most holidays  and “No School” days, so Paul spends more time at home.

The tree went up last week and the living room is now colourful.  George and I had reached the point of a small tree up on a table.  But there is once again a child in the house so this year it is a seven footer on the floor with a roundabout train.


Sunday morning was the first more-than-passing snow. There were still patches on the firewood at nightfall.


My first day away from the house (“to air off the stink” as per my Grandmother Tyler) in nearly six weeks was yesterday.  I went to Medford with John and Mike. 

It was a mixed day.

I got my sewing machine back from the repair shop so I will be able to make a pinafore for Brenda (Kamille’s teaching aide doll) and get started on the dream pillows for holiday gifts.

The hard part was saying goodbye to Jeff, the server at Sizzler in Medford who has been taking care of George and me each month for nearly four years on days when we went to the retinologist.  George always liked going to Sizzler for the salad bar.  Without him, I doubt I will be going there again.

I did enjoy the trip.  Watching the seasons change … the madrone trunks are now bare, even of shreds of old bark, and a light red-beige in colour … and there was hoar frost on trees, bushes, and rooftops all the way into Ashland.


Things are moving forward … slowly.  I am not yet ready to talk with folks.  I still cry too easily.  Even answering cards and emails is difficult.  But that too shall pass. 



How lucky I am to have [had] something that makes saying goodbye so hard. ― A.A. Milne



So ‘til next week …