Friday, December 30, 2005

The Donut That Ate Christmas

On Christmas Eve, I went down to the city to Gene's neice's (Starr) house. Lots of pies, cookies, coffee and hot cocoa for the little Christmas dessert-get-together with the in-laws. On the way back about 11:30 that night and only about ten miles from my house, I had a flat tire. Conveniently, I had just pulled the spare out of the car and a highway patrolman pulled up behind me and changed the tire for me.

So -- since I couldn't get the tire repaired on Christmas Sunday, and it wasn't safe to drive that far on the donut spare, I didn't get to be with my family on Christmas Day. Sucks, huh? Oh well, I was in a remarkably good mood anyway in spite of the situation. It was a beautiful day and I worked on some projects around here. And watched some old guys from the neighborhood while they tinkered and tried to get Gene's old car working. I know, I know -- I should have been starting it up every once in a while since "the event" but I just didn't. I still had hoped it would start and I could drive it over to see my family on Christmas but it didn't.

On Monday, I got the tire repaired on my car and some spark plugs for Gene's car (diagnosis of the old guys, but it still didn't start after they'd put them in). Then I went over to see my dad and sister and family for the afternoon. Came back with yummy leftovers. Joe, my brother-in-law, made his famous gumbo. It was so good.

On Tuesday, Gene's sister, Kim, came up and we took care of some car stuff as Gene's car now belongs to another of his neices, Laura, who was without a vehicle. Since it wouldn't start, the new plan was for Kim's son, Sean, to come on Saturday and get it working.

In the meantime, I had to have some major repairs done on the house. They came on Tuesday to do some prep work and bring some materials. Kim and I went to the courthouse/town to take care of car stuff and for me to deliver a file and run some other errands.

A couple of guys from the house repair outfit were left here to wait for delivery of materials. They asked about moving Gene's car out of the driveway so the delivery truck could get closer but had to tell them it wouldn't start. One kid suggested they push it out of the way, but the other didn't like that idea too much. While we were gone, he did it the easy way. He said he'd been mechanic-ing for years (must have started at five since he was still very young) and knew what to do to get it started. (Yes, the key was in it from trying to get it started.) I was very, very excited that Sean wouldn't have to spend his New Year's Eve working on it. So, Kim went back to the city and brought someone back to drive Gene's car back to Laura's.

They worked on the house repairs on Wednesday and Thursday. On Thursday, my sister and brother-in-law came over and checked out the repairs. They took me out to eat at the Catfish place. Yum. Haven't had any in a while.

So now it's Friday. The last Friday of this year. A few days past the three-month mark of "the event." I've gotten rid of Gene's car and our clunker car. And I'm getting ready to go to the post office to mail some files off to clients. Part two of wrapping up Gene's office. And gotten these major house repairs done to the foundation -- now can move on to repairing the floor. Gotta say it -- Gene was a brilliant man, but not a house builder!

I should be out there cleaning out one of the sheds. This one has leaked for a long time and there's some really gross stuff in there now. I got started on it yesterday. That's one project I'd hoped to have completed this week while I'm off work, but it's not looking so good right now. Besides all the icky stuff, there's lots of momentos and et ceteras that bring up lots of memories. I sailed through Christmas but had some boo-hoos yesterday.

The weather has been so nice this week. Yesterday afternoon, I had the door open and Einstein has enjoyed coming and going. He brought in a lizard and tortured it until I saw him smacking his lips. Then a little later, he raced in with something else -- a little mole. Just didn't want mole guts on the rug so scooped it into the dust pan and tossed it out.

One more holiday and I'll have the holiday-season firsts behind me. In case anyone asks, being a widow sucks. And oh yeah, have a Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Fall Foilage Finally Looking Good on First Day of Winter

Thought you might want to see a recent photo of me. I have definitely gained back the bereavement pounds I lost with all these holiday parties at work. Oh well ... I'll diet tomorrow.

I think I'm getting sick again! I was warned that it might happen, that I might catch every bug that comes along this winter from the stress of "the event". I'll have to start hitting the O.J. hard.

I had dinner with Kim, Gene's sister -- the doctor, last night. She is back from Alaska and is thinking of going to New Mexico next. It was good to visit with her. Gene was, and I am sooo very proud of her for this accomplishment.

I was looking back at my posts and see that there are actually very few current ones. Maybe I can post more often. I think I might be up to it. We'll see! There are good days -- bad days. Never can predict it!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

A Gnarly Potato Peeled!

The attorney who gave me advice about closing down Gene's office was aware that all the details were very overwhelming and offered the analogy of peeling potatoes. (Imagine the voice of the country lawyer everyone calls by two first names in the Joe Bob & Bubba John vernacular:) "You don't peel a pile of potatoes all at the same time -- you pick up one, you peel it, and then you put it down: then you pick up another'n and you peel that one and put it down, and you just keep peeling 'em one at a time until you get through the pile."

I mailed out 68 letters today regarding people's files that I would like to return to them from Gene's practice. It was very time consuming to process them all and send each the correct letter -- but I finally got it done! Woo-hoo! That was one big, fat, gnarly potato!

P.S. Marylynn gave me a very, very fancy potato peeler at the Blessing Way. A very PINK and prissy symbol of the process. We call it the Epilady Potato Peeler. Take a look at it and see why?

(By the way, it is from the KitchenAid "Cook for the Cure" Breast Cancer Awareness collection if you'd like to support.)

Monday, December 19, 2005

The Weekend in Review

Saturday -- Peggy's Party & Kim's Return
Peggy is the wonderful lady that Kim was staying with when Gene died. Kim loaded me up and took me to Peggy's in the city with her. And Peggy was so gracious and gave me a safe place to just be during those difficult first days.

She had a big birthday celebration Saturday night at a nearby resort and invited me. Kim returned from the job she had in Alaska that very afternoon and drove over straight from the airport to meet up with us there. A nice celebration and a good sized crowd, too.

Sunday -- Dealing With House Repairs
The sills are rotted on one end of the house. I waited around for a guy to come out and make an estimate to repair it. His card said "Remodeling. No job too big or too small" but when he took a cursory look, he referred me to his brother that levels houses. He added, "I do new home construction."

So the brother came out the next day and took a look and called me with his estimate. It was sizeable. Hmmmm. Gene was such a brilliant man, but building a house was not his forte' it seems.

So now comes the getting more bids, etc. Why do I hate having to do that so bad?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Red Tailed Hawk

This past weekend, I went to Barrie's. She surprised me by having Marylynn come in from Arkansas. We had a good visit together. And they presented me with my Blessing Way book. Thanks to all of you who participated. It is quite lovely and all of your kind words were very encouraging. It is very special.

Marylynn, Me and Barrie

I am almost fully recovered from my terrible, nasty cold. And my spirits were bouyed from this past weekend. I was in pretty high spirits on my way to work this morning. That was until I saw the hawk. There's this spot where you can often spot a hawk on the power lines watching it's field. When I would spot this beautiful hawk, I'd report my sighting to Gene. This is the first time I've seen it since "the event."

One of the things we always enjoyed about living so far out in the country is seeing the wildlife. I've recently spotted a fox around my place. Vicki suggested it was Gene come back. I asked her if it was Gene, why wasn't he over there helping me wrap the pipes before that big freeze the other day. She laughed heartily.
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