Jews Don’t Do Flowers

Today, I received an exquisite bouquet of flowers, condolences from a non-Jewish business acquaintance. It’s the third arrangement of flowers I received this week, and, while I truly love flowers, I find myself conflicted because of the Jewish traditions of not sending flowers to a Jewish house in mourning nor planting flowers on Jewish graves. I am certainly going to thank these people for their generosity and kindness, but I’d like to educate my blogosphere why “Jews don’t do flowers” for the bereaved. Feel free to stop reading if you don’t want to hear the sermon. Continue reading



We take a break from our mournful navel-gazing for another in a random series of rants against Big Business. Today’s target is Xfinity a/k/a Comcast.

I moved to The Zone more than 14 years ago. At the time, the only cable/internet player in town was the phone company, Sprint. I  signed up with Sprint and ended up in the Fifth Circle of Hell, where the wrathful and sullen are punished:  intermittent Internet service, cablecards that never worked right or just died. It was so bad that I got the name and direct-dial number of the local senior hardware engineer, who ended up personally trouble-shooting my account. After 18 months of pure hell, I switched everything to Comcast.

For a few years, we had no problems; then, the obsolescence epidemic hit. Continue reading

Opposites Attracted

At both the funeral and the memorial service, Wild Thing gave passionate memorable speeches about his father. One point that resonated in both elegies was that WineGuy was always moving. It’s true:  WG would work a whole week, and I would tend to the kids. He’d want to spend the weekend running around exploring everything, and all I’d want to do was collapse. Most of the time, we went on adventures because they made us all happy in the long run.

WG’s gone now, and I’m mastering the art of wallowing. It’s kind of embarrassing, really, because I have a thousand things to do or at least a hundred thank you notes to write. What have I accomplished today? Nothing other than sleeping late and surfing the Internet for a possible escape from hollow reality vacation. I will have to put a stop to this idleness. Tomorrow.

The Widow Speaks

WineGuy, the light of my life, my bashert and true companion, passed from this world on May 18, 2015. He fought lymphoma valiantly for the past 2 years, but in the end, cancer won.

The past two weeks have been a blur of funeral arrangements, traveling, an endless barrage of phone calls and emails. My closest friends circled around me, helped me with what I hardly knew I needed, and ran my life. Now, shiva is over; the memorial service is done. Harsh reality set in today when I realized how very lonely I feel. Tonight, I just wanted to have a conversation with WineGuy about anything or about nothing at all. But, all I have is an enormous hole in my heart and three sons still to raise.

For most of this evening, I debated whether to shut down this blog. I’m a loyal person, and I can’t turn my back on the history I’ve created here. I feel like writing may help me through this process, yet I still can’t decide whether this blog is the right venue or whether I should abandon yet another project and start something new. Since I always counsel others to wait until the right choice presents itself, I’ll follow my own advice.

NaBloPoMo started me blogging back in 2007. It emails me monthly, nagging me about the month’s designated topic. I saw June 2015’s topic, “Ready, Set, Go” and can only respond this way:  I’m not ready to be a widow. My life is turned upside down, and I’m far from set. I have no idea where I’m going. The healing process has to begin sometime. I’m not sure if now is the right time. I only know I am compelled to write once again.

Clueless in College

WineGuy and I started last week with such high hopes. Wizard was finishing his summer session at community college and getting ready to start at the local public university. Wizard reported that his summer classes were going well and that he expected to receive As or Bs in his three classes.

Tuesday afternoon, WG and I drove up to the community college and helped Wizard pack up all his stuff. “Helped pack” meant WG randomly threw stuff in plastic bins while I carefully folded the laundry that Wizard thoughtfully washed some days prior. Mamafoldit worked for 40 minutes folding and packing every polo shirt, every t-shirt, every pair of shorts, pants, socks, and underwear in to Wizard’s suitcase. Wizard swept up some stuff and threw a few things in his backpack. By G-d’s grace, we finished and were checked out in just over an hour, and returned home 40 minutes later.

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Wild Thing Drives

There’s nothing like a new teen driver to turn the most atheist and agnostic person into a G-d-fearing bowl of jelly. Wild Thing turned 15 in May and got his learner’s permit then. WineGuy refused to drive with him at first, so I got stuck with the initial driving lessons. After the first lesson, I was willing to pay any amount of money to hire a driving instructor, but WineGuy said “no”. So, I took WT out driving a few times, mostly on deserted Sunday mornings when there were fewer targets on the road. WT went off to his summer program and returned, anxious to start driving again.

Good wife that I am, I volunteered WT to be WineGuy’s chauffeur to his daily wound care and other doctor appointments. WineGuy gave me a dirty look, but I just smiled and skipped away gaily while bluebirds flew out of my butt. Every day for the last week or so, WT drove WineGuy anywhere the daddy needed to go.

The family was brave enough to let WT drive us to Shabbat services yesterday and out to lunch today. I sat in the back seat with my lips clamped shut and my eyes hermetically closed. Moose sat next to me, whispering in my ear repeatedly, “Jesus, take the wheel.” I almost agreed with him, but we’re Jewish. I’m a fervent monotheist, but never in my life have I wished for an armful of idols, saints, and kachina dolls to which to pray. The silent scream oratory went something like, “OMG.OMG.OMFG. Jesus Christ, slow down!!!”

We’re back home safely now, and Xanax is my best friend.

Evil-Minded Vehicles

Many, many years ago, I bought my first Mom-mobile:  it was a 1997 Volvo 850 sedan with a leather interior and a manual transmission. I took delivery of that car when Wizard was one month old and loved every mile I drove it. When the Volvo went out of warranty, repairs were minimal until the a/c in the Pennsylvania-purchased car decided it couldn’t handle the Florida heat. Still and all and a couple thousand dollars poorer, we kept the Volvo for 14 years; sometimes, I still wish I had that car today.

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