313 weeks and 6 days . . .
72 months and 6 days . . .
6 years and 6 days . . .
It seems like he’s been gone forever . . .
It seems like he just left yesterday . . .
Rocky sometimes sits at the top of the stairs when we go to bed thinking that Daddy might come home in the middle of the night and he doesn’t want to miss him . . .
I still expect to see his car sitting on the street in front of The Little House when I come home from work . . .
There are three grandchildren that he’s never even met . . . but they are so much like him that we are sure he’s “seen” them somehow . . .
This year the anniversary of “the day” was on a Monday . . . and it was the Martin Luther King holiday . . . and I DREADED the day so much I took the day off from work expecting to stay at home . . . in bed . . . under the covers . . . wishing the day away . . .
But I got a beautiful invitation from my dear niece to go to lunch and go shoppping . . . how could I say no . . . so I got to spend the day with two of my nieces and my mom . . . shopping and laughing and enjoying the day . . .
The third week of January is still a rough week for me . . . and I’ll always dread January 20 . . . but for once it didn’t totally suck . . . maybe there’s hope for me yet.
Crabby Appleton is a term my mom used when we were little kids to describe our attitude when we were having a bad day . . . grumpy, in a bad mood, everything was terrible . . .
Today I was Crabby Appleton . . . in a bad mood for no apparent reason . . . everybody was twanging on my last nerve . . . everything was frustrating . . . if I didn’t know better I’d think it was PMS . . . but do post-menopausal women get PMS . . .
I saw a cartoon on FB that showed a cat as a therapist . . . asking the human patient if they had “tried pushing a bunch of shit off a table?” . . . and I laughed . . . then thought that might make me feel better . . . but I didn’t want to clean up the mess . . .
So I did the next best thing . . . I got out the lawn mower and cut the weeds in the front yard . . . it hasn’t rained a lot here lately and the grass is dead but the weeds are still growing . . . the yard looked better . . . then I decided I needed to edge the sidewalk and the driveway because, well, weeds . . . and I have this fabulous new mower and trimmer and haven’t used them at all . . .
What do you know . . . it did make me feel better . . . the yard looks nicer . . . even though the grass is dead . . . and the sidewalk is nicely trimmed . . .
Thank you, my darling Prince Charming, for teaching me that yard work can be therapeutic . . . I’ll have to work on the back yard over the weekend . . .
You know “it’s not a holiday if you don’t have a project” and this year my project was to “do something” with the front flower bed. I’ve had the same project every Memorial Day since you left. I would weed the flower bed, put down new mulch, but I never planted anything because I couldn’t make up my mind about what I wanted. So I didn’t plant anything and half-heartedly tended to the weeds that took over. Every fall I would say “next year I’m going to do something with that flower bed.” Every spring I would look at the seed catalogs, scout out new plants at the garden centers . . . and since I couldn’t make up my mind . . . I did nothing. This year I decided that “doing something” would be tearing it out.
I want to apologize for un-doing the beautiful work you did to create the front flower bed. Trust me, this was not an easy decision for me. I’ve agonized over it for weeks. I stood in front of the flower bed and cried because I remembered how much precision you put into putting down the weed barrier cloth, how exacting you were in placing the border stones, and the many conversations we had and trips we took to find the right plants.
I’m not a gardener. I’m a certified plant killer. I can kill a philodendron (and have many times). I don’t like yard work. It was fun when you were here to share the work load but now it’s a chore . . . one that I dread every week . . . the phrase “I really hate your ass right now” is uttered at least once during every yard work session. I could do it if I wanted to . . . but I don’t want to . . . so I’m not going to torture myself over it anymore.
So the border stones were carefully removed, cleaned, and stored in the shed . . . in case I change my mind next year and decide to put them back . . . the weed barrier cloth was taken up . . . and I’m headed to our favorite handyman store tomorrow to get a bag of top soil and grass seed to put where your lovely little flower bed used to be . . .
Your little concrete foxes are safely in place in the back yard . . . because I’m afraid they will be stolen if I leave them out front without the protection of the weeds they’ve been hiding behind for the last five years (gasp . . . it’s been five years . . . dang). Now I can see them every time I look out the back door.
Even though I’m sad that another part of “our” life is gone . . . I’m at peace with the decision. Or at least I will be once the new grass has taken hold and it doesn’t look like a construction site in the front yard.
I hope you understand . . .
Love you forever and forever, Pammie
I’m not a huge Taylor Swift fan but I do enjoy her music. I was not thrilled to hear the new song every hour on the hour the other day for it’s debut . . . until I realized that Brendon Urie was singing with her (that dude could sing the phone book and I’d listen to him!) so I paid closer attention to the song.
That’s when I heard the line “I never want to see you walk away” . . . which reminded me of the promise that Prince Charming made me when he came back into my life “I will never willingly walk away from you ever again” . . . .
So that’s the story of how the new Taylor Swift song turned me into a puddle of snot this morning . . .
Finished the research to pick a mower . . .
Picked the brains of Little Brother and Older Brother In Law . . .
Thought, re-thought, agonized over the decision . . .
Finally made a decision and ordered the mower . . .
Arranged for in-store pick-up . . . prayed that the mower would fit in Hal . . . worried about how the heck I would get the mower OUT of Hal once I got it home . . .
Mower fit in Hal . . . wasn’t too hard to get it out of Hal once I got home . . .
Now I have to put it together . . .
But first I have to make sure I “read, understand, and follow all instructions” in the manuals provided . . .
Stay tuned . . .
I did a 5k on Saturday . . . the second one of the season . . . I am so out of shape it’s not even funny . . .
But I started the race . . . and I finished the race . . . one step at a time . . .
And, like always, about half way through the race I thought to myself . . .
“Why the hell do I do this to myself?”
“I don’t even like doing these things!”
“Isn’t there a statute of limitations on doing these stupid things in Prince Charming’s memory?”
Then I hear a voice tell me . . .
“No. There is no statute of limitations on your love for him, so yea you keep doing them as long as you have breath in your body and you can walk.”
“Walking is good for your blood pressure, your cholesterol, your weight, your bones . . . ”
“You know he’d be here doing this with you if he could.”
And then when I thought I didn’t want to do another race ever again . . . I heard this song on my iPod . . .
It was the song playing when we walked into the restaurant on our first “adult” date . . . when it gets to the part where John sings “everybody was looking, but I saw you first” Prince Charming turned and looked at me with that mischievous smile and the devilish twinkle in his eye . . .
“Damn you, Bowman, you always know just how to get me to smile and stop bitching about something . . . ”
So now I’m looking at race schedules . . . .
Prince Charming was a huge astronomy buff. He loved space, stars, and planets. He even made his very own telescope.
There were many nights I’d find him just standing in the back yard looking at the stars. And he’d tell me the names of the stars and the planets and point out constellations to me.
I am not a huge astronomy buff. I know the Big Dipper and the North Star. Because of Prince Charming, I know that the red spot in the sky is usually Mars. The really bright thing is Venus . . . or Jupiter . . . I can never remember.
I loved standing in the back yard with him looking at the stars and listening to his descriptions. I wish I had paid more attention to what he was saying . . . yes I realize I say that a lot . . . I was just so happy to hear his voice . . .
I told you that story to tell you this story . . .
It’s been cloudy, dreary, yucky winter weather here for a while. I usually go from the house, to work, to where ever I’m going and not pay much attention to the sky. Except to grumble about the rain, the snow, the clouds, the very cold wind . . .
Tonight was a little different . . . I was hurrying home from my haircut appointment. Thinking the dogs are going to be mad for having such a late supper. Wondering what I’m going to fix myself for supper. Looking forward to watching a couple of episodes of “Blue Bloods” or “Corner Gas” and doing some cross stitch . . .
I don’t know what made me stop and look at the sky . . . but I did . . . and it took my breath away . . .
The sky is clear (for a change) and it wasn’t horribly cold . . . and all the stars were out in their glory . . . I stood on the front sidewalk and just stared up at the sky for a while . . . the neighbors must have thought I had lost my mind . . . but for a few minutes I swear I could feel Prince Charming standing right by me . . . and I could imagine hearing him say how beautiful it was and telling me which star and which constellation I was looking at.
And suddenly the drab dreary winter didn’t seem so drab and dreary . . .