My Novels

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Letter to my late husband

Dearest DH,
What would I say to you if I could see you today, four years after you died? First, I'm coping and I've survived. That would make you happy, because you always put me first, and wanted to see me secure and well. It's been really, really difficult at times, but I always kept you in my mind: how the first thing you said when you realized your illness was terminal was that you were sorry, how brave you were in that statement, and the epitome of love: even facing death, you thought of me first. You knew how much I depended on you and how lost I'd be without you. Yet I think you'd be proud of me: I've been keeping on keeping on.

Most important of all, dearest DH, I'm home now -- back in the house you and I shared for 25 happy years. But I left here because I wanted you to realize your dream: having a farm and your horses nearby. I don't regret that we bought and moved to that farm; we had some happy times, although we were only just beginning to realize the dream come true when you fell ill.

I often find myself wondering and dreaming about what if, what could have been, what you and I would have done with that farm by now. I try not to dwell on "what could have been" these days though, because I know it can never be. One of the worst regrets I have is that you couldn't have lived to enjoy your retirement; for a couple years after I lost you, I felt so very guilty for getting your pension, (and life insurance) even though I know you arranged that so I wouldn't have to struggle financially. Still, many times I still feel bitter that you were cheated out of the years we planned to be golden and carefree together.

I miss you every day, but I'm getting better -- begrudgingly. I didn't want to get better or get over you for so long, for I felt I'd be losing you forever. But after these four years, I know I'll never lose you: you are in my heart. And as long as I live your memory will live in me -- so in that way, you'll never, ever die so long as I live.

The first year after you died, I did exactly what you said to do: sold the farm, moved back to town. The second year I couldn't bear the loneliness so I went back to the newspaper -- but I was older and it was just too stressful (which made me often wonder if I was repeating what happened to you: staying in a stressful job too long). I quit, and then I started dating -- perhaps I thought I could replace you. I soon found there are some nice men out there, but by then, I'd learned to be independent -- and frankly, none of them could compare to YOU. When you've had the best, why bother with the rest?

I won't lie, this February misery is becoming less and less each year as you grow further into the past. I don't lie awake crying at night, nor do I get up and roam the house, shouting and cursing your untimely death; however, I do sometimes still awake early in the mornings panicked, feeling something horrible has happened, that I need to take action to prevent it immediately. Yet as I calm myself, I reflect that I'm okay, nothing is wrong and let my memories go from sorrow to joy and happy times together. But the one thing that will never go away is how I miss sharing every day's events, the small, insignificant, and the major ones too. I know mostly how you'd feel and respond, but still, I miss hearing you say it...and oh yes, I miss the comfort of your big bear hug, the overwhelming security of being wrapped in your strong arms.

Yet, as selfishly as I want you here with me, I would never have wanted you to have lived a moment in the kind of horrible pain and suffering that the acute leukemia would have caused you. I have accepted that your sudden death was a mercy granted you because you were a wonderful, caring, giving human being.

I'm not the only one who misses you, both our families miss you and you live in their hearts as well. I have met so many people in the community who miss you too, and they always say they can't believe you've been gone nearly four years. That is the legacy of a good man -- and you were certainly one of the finest, the best men in this county. You are not forgotten.

So just for now, this time-out-of-time, let me remember you with some cherished pictures from our farm:

Our farmhouse in a side-by-side comparison of the old house before/after we did renovations.

The beginning of the barn you & our friends built

An extension on the side, you working on it that last summer

The last colt born on the farm; you named him "Harley" because he was going to be your motorcycle!

Ginger & Festus, the miniature horses you helped me rescue from awful owners who were keeping them in a dog pen! We fattened them up real fast, and they loved running, grazing in the big pasture.

You enjoying a trail ride with your buddies

Below is one of the songs I listened to when I was dating you, and in some ways it was our special song -- though already outdated in 1970.

P.S. I still love you and I always will. You were THE love of my life.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Garden Prep

Late February, and I'm dreaming of spring already! We had two near-perfect days this past weekend: sunny, mild, light breeze. Saturday I took the dogs to the lakeside park, and we walked the entire trail, as well as just sat on a bench staring at the ducks and geese frolicking in the lake. Some people out, but not as many as I'd expected.

When I got home, I decided to make a run to a nearby garden shop. I picked up some seed, since I may want to do starter-cups for tomatoes, peppers, etc. inside and then transplant into the garden in late March or early April. I can't wait for fresh spinach, Swiss Chard and lettuce. I'm also planning a turnip patch separate from the main small garden.

I spent the remainder of Saturday digging in the dirt! My last tenant had started a composting area in one corner of the yard, and I covered it in straw, let it lie dormant. Saturday I got my pitchfork out there, and raked it up, turned it over, tried to get most of the few weeds up. Then I put my plastic fencing around the space to keep the dogs off of it. The dirt is rich, black gold now and I'm hoping to produce a lot of veggies off that small space. Although the spot is shaded in the photos below, it does get lots of sunshine until late afternoon. As the sun changes position in spring/summer, it'll get even more sunlight.

I'm also planning the other corner for the turnip patch; long narrow sections beside the fence on either side of the yard for several longer rows -- probably tomatoes or English peas/green beans. Having separate smaller spaces will be easier for me to manage than one huge site like last year.

I met the potential buyers of my other house last Thursday when my sister was here; we'd dropped by to pick up something out of the storage shed for her. The buyers pulled up, said they were there to meet the house inspector. We talked awhile, they seem like a nice middle age couple, and eager to buy the house. The next day the realtor called and said the house inspection was fine, nothing for me to repair. Relief! So now I'm just waiting to hear if their loan is approved (and it's looking good according to the realtor); should know something by next weekend. And within 30 days we should be closing. It'll be a relief not to have two houses, believe me.

I'm still waiting on the final forms from my financial investments so I can get my income tax return ready. Anxious to get that over with!

At any rate, here's a few photos of the garden spot prepping I did Saturday.

I have a gate at one end of this fencing, the white links are part of the gate so I can enter/exit.

A close-up of the garden soil.

The small cedar I transplanted in the back yard; got it off the creek bank on a walk with the dogs. Keeping fingers crossed it lives!

If you know the identity of the two following tree/flower photos, please leave a message in the comments section. Thanks! (Enlarge for big picture)
Anyone know what this is? I've staked it with sticks on either side, so as not to forget where I transplanted it in the back yard. Kinda looks like a peach or apple tree to me, but not sure. Found several growing in the compost pile, and removed to spots in the back yard.

Anyone know what this is? Looks like some kind of day lily; there's several in the back of the yard, always bloom in spring.

I've added a link in the left sidebar to my past "Childfree by Choice" articles archived at Those were originally written in 2000, but thought some of you might like to read them. I still get requests to reprint/post at various childfree blogs/publications; the number of childfree people is still strong and growing.

I'm working on a special annual tribute to my husband for later this week; it'll be four years since his death on the 25th of February. I've chosen some pictures to post as well.

With that, I'll close for now.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Snow pictures

We had snow Friday, and I took a few pictures. Saturday and today were a break from the awful gray, freezing days...but after midnight tonight, more snow on the way. Luckily here in our immediate area we are only getting a few inches of the fluffy stuff -- most melting soon, not causing road problems.

Yesterday and today I took the dogs on very long walks, enjoying the mild temperatures and sunshine. I love being home, able to let the dogs play fetch in the privacy-fenced yard, sitting on the covered deck/porch. I plan to have comfy furniture out there for spring/summer and sit outside, enjoy the fresh air.

I'm hoping all goes well with the buyers for my other house; however, it will be two weeks before I know if their loan is approved, and then they are doing an FHA deal, which can be up to 45 days after that. I told the realtor that if the house inspection turns up anything, I won't fix it; nor will I drop the price one penny. I'm taking a small loss as it is, but will not compromise any further. So who knows what will happen? Not going to count my chickens before they hatch, that's certain.

At any rate, here's a few of the photos from the recent snowfall:

The front yard, and the magnolia DH & I planted many moons ago. Initially it was much larger, but an ice storm in the 90s broke part of it off. Click the photo and you might see the small ivy plants and cedar I've put out lately.

My next-door neighbor's huge trees/cedars; it was snowing when I took this photo.

This is the back yard; if you enlarge the photo (click it) you might see the tiny ivy twigs and cedar I transplanted.

Oscar, confused about the "white stuff." He wouldn't go out to do "business" all day -- would stick his nose out the doggie door, run back inside. Finally when the snow stopped, nature called and he went out! LOL

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Worst widow dating story...EVER

Just a brief post with this true story from Widownet about a dating experience:

Dog Leash Dating Horror

He asked me out when I was with my bff at a dance club. I went to dinner with him and we talked and talked. All was okay.

2nd date: He offered dinner, but instead I took him with me to trick or treat with my friend, her husband and their small daughter. My friend and her husband told me later that he farted all evening. They were walking behind us.

So, silly me, I accepted a 3rd date for dinner. Afterward, we were sitting in his vehicle outside the restaurant when he brought up the "sex talk." (This was his idea...I was not interested in a farting sexual tryst).

Then he said, reaching down between the seats, "I can't get hard without having my balls beat with this," holding up the dog leash.

I laughed my butt off, thinking it was a joke.

He was completely solemn...didn't crack even a smile.

I realized he was dead serious, so I said, "Gotta go! And by the way, if I was mad enough to beat your balls the last thing I would want to do is screw you."

And with that, I got out of that car and headed anywhere but there.

Yep, there's definitely worse things than being ALONE! ROFL

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Pets, pets, pets!

Random pictures of my critters:

Oscar on a cold day, doing what he does best - being a couch 'tater!


Rambo sits in front of the door, ever-vigilant for intruders! Always on the job, 24/7!


Bitty Kitty sits atop my desk chair, smirking about how superior she is to dogs.

Slinky is thinking about it, not sure she hates dogs but knows she hates Bitty -- jealousy!

Then a spat breaks out between the two cats, and they square off in the hallway, before Bitty runs Slinky toward the door that leads to the safety of their sunporch!


Ah, so it goes. Never a dull moment when you have cats and dogs, just the way I like it!

Blustery, overcast day but I walked the dogs, found a small cedar alongside the creek and got it, planted it in my back yard. Just hope it lives along with all the other flowering bushes/ivy I've set out this past couple weeks.

Sunny tomorrow, but very cold. Will be so happy to see the sunshine, and plan a LONGER walk. I cannot wait for spring, and a long, slow walk at the lakeside park in town. Ah...dreaming!

And now, I'll end with a YouTube song by Johnny Cash. I'd never heard this until recently, and it reminded me of a couple bank robbers I corresponded with years ago. I think the lyrics fit them, except they never killed anyone. However, both were very proud they never picked cotton or worked in coal mines (which might have been their lot had they not robbed banks)!