Memorial Dates Set

The Memorial Dates have been set. I will try to get post cards out for reminders. Here is a copy.

I’ll have more info closer to the dates, but we hope you can come to one or the other.

Thank you for all who are stepping in to help out with the plans.

Love Sally

Update on yesterday’s blog on the chain saw carburetor replacement outcome. It started on the second pull and I was able to get the current pile of wood cut up as planned. Yeah for inexpensive parts and decent instruction on some YouTube videos.

Things I Learned This Week

Last week was a hard week. It was the one month anniversary of Ted’s death and honestly, it was harder than the week he died. In that month, the reality sets in further. I’ve realized for quite a few years now, I did my end of the things around the house and let Ted do his things around the house and now, I’m having to do both and it feels like I have two full time jobs. I mean, I am use to coming home and having things to do after work, but they were my things to do and didn’t require too much thought, so I could do them on autopilot. Now, I have to think about the things Ted did and get them done too and they require much more thought and work. Hence, I feel like I’m working two jobs.

So after feeling sad, overwhelmed, and sad some more, I decided to give myself a break and go skiiing. The place we always go to had been closed for lack of snow, but in the past two weeks had gotten massive dumps, so I decided to go. I didn’t bother asking if anyone wanted to go because I already know that none of my pals in evergreen have a pass to this resort and really, I just wanted to go and see how it would be going alone.

Well, I wasn’t totally alone. I did take a bit of Ted in a container with me. I learned that CO makes some wonderful seal tight containers for various products that are sold in the state that work quite well for sealing up some ashes to travel with.

I swear I could hear Ted bitching about the traffic as soon as I got close enough to see there was a line to even get onto the highway. I contemplated turning around and ditching the idea, but then figured this was my experimental day, so I should just go ahead and see how much time it would take in crappy crappy traffic to get to the mountain.

I had started an audio book recently, so I put that on for part of the time and while traffic was stop and go, it was moving, so while it took a half an hour longer than it should have taken, it wasn’t horrid. I got to the mountain and the parking lots were already full – and I had left a full hour before I would have gotten Ted out of the door. I bluffed my way into our favorite lot and found a spot just a few rows from the front. I thanked my parking angels for keeping that one open for me.

When we ski normally, we have a backpack that Ted always carries. It has the goggles in case we need them, a couple of beers for the lift or to share at one of our favorite stopping spots in the trees, the sunscreen, water, snacks and whatever else we think we may need. I think it is a pain to ski with the pack on. It changes your center of gravity slightly, you have to take it off and on each time you get onto a lift and it can get heavy with all that in it. I didn’t even bring it along. I instead, put a water in one pocket, a beer in another, Ted’s little container of ashes in another, and since I had forgotten my skiing sunglasses and had to wear my goggles, I didn’t need space to store them. So, I learned I could ski without the pack.

With the amount of people in the lots and who were already there, I opted for the small older two person lift that had no one waiting to get on. The lift got me to mid mountain where I could ski down the back side and catch the high speed lift to the tip top that allowed me to ski the gladed area with beautiful trees and always good snow. The lines for this lift were long, but since I was not with anyone, I learned what it was like get into the line for single skiers and make my way on fairly quickly. It’s kinda like the express lane on the highway. You have your own lane and as others make their way with their groups of folks, you get to join in at the last moment to make sure the chairs are all full. You never know who you will ride up with and it’s kinda fun to be the fly on the wall at the end of a six person chair and hear what they are all excited about as you ride up with them.

I took our favorite runs. I left some of Ted on one run that had such good powder and trees that I knew he would love to have been part of that powder and so I obliged and left some ashes there. I then had several more runs and was ready to share my beer in our favorite stopping spot and left some more of him at that spot after toasting my beer to him. Here’s the thing. It is easy to slam a beer when skiing with friends as it gets passed around and in no time, it is gone and the can goes back in the pack and we all ski on. I learned that Ted must have been drinking more than half of an open can when we would stop if it were just he and I, because a full one all to myself felt like I was drinking a keg.

So, I learned that a great ski day is a great ski day and a gift whether it be with a group or all by oneself. Nature is always a good friend to hang out with and never seems to disappoint.

Also on my learning for the week was how to swap out a carburetor, gas pump bulb, hoses and spark plug on a small chainsaw. Last week, Devin and I brought over some wood to be cut and split. I have always done the cutting in our house as Ted was an Osha nightmare on so many things, but put a chainsaw in his hands and it got truly scary to watch. I don’t mind. I actually like cutting wood. Problem is, I never had to deal with the chainsaw itself. Ted would always get it up and running and just hand it to me when ready. When I got the saw out, it wouldn’t start. Oh, it would run for a second if I sprayed the starter fluid in, but it obviously wasn’t getting gas. A few google searches later, I determined that it wasn’t getting gas due to either a gas line or the carburetor. A kit to cover both issues is cheap enough, so I ordered it and learned how to swap out all said parts. I still have the spark plug to do, but that is the easiest part, so fingers crossed that the guys on YouTube didn’t steer me wrong and that saw will be humming up a storm later.

I think the last thing I learned this week I learned in theory as I didn’t actually put it into practice. You see, yesterday, it started to snow in the afternoon at our house. It wasn’t snowing down in town at our office till several hours later, but thinking the roads might be dicey, I left work on time so as to get home as quickly as possible. I did have to make a stop over to Ted’s office to pick up the computer to start the quarterly taxes at home this weekend, but the snow was only an inch or two where I was. As soon as I got onto the highway, thing began to back up. Devin had just phoned me and wanted me to pick up some PHO on the way home, so I asked him to check the maps to see if I should take the frontage road or go up the canyon instead of on I70 which was looking like a parking lot. He said that the frontage road was the way to go, so I exited and started my adventure up the road overlooking the highway.

Initially, it was slow, but we were moving. The issue for all roads at this point was that the higher we climbed, the more snow had fallen and what had fallen had melted and frozen to the road. There were many areas with cars that just couldn’t move, so people had to maneuver around them. From my vantage, traffic wasn’t moving anywhere. When I asked Waze or Maps which way to go home, every route was now over two hours in delays, so I decided to just stay the course on the frontage road and continue on, at the now snails pace we were at. We would literally move 10 – 30 feet and then stop for 3-5 minutes and then continue on. Still listening to the same book that had gotten me through ski traffic the prior weekend, I was fairly entertained and just curious on exactly how long this could really take. The answer was REALLY LONG. An hour and half later, not having moved more than a mile – if even that, I was starting to wonder if I would have enough gas in the tank or what to do about the fact that my bladder was now getting full and needing some relief.

At one spot, there was a small lot off to the side for service vehicles and I saw one person exit the passenger side of a car 6 cars ahead of me and run off. A minute or two later, having only moved such a short distance, said person joined back to the car. I knew what they had gone to do and was wondering if I would be able to just put mine in park and run off the same way. Turns out, that was maybe the one spot that we moved enough that I missed that opportunity and that was the only area where you could have gotten out and not been in the spotlight of the cars behind you. The frontage road is build up against the mountain, and so there is no shoulder or space to run off into like a field or something as you would have if on flat land. I began to ponder more and more just where could one relieve themselves outside of the vehicle in a situation such as this. What I learned, or should say supposed, was that given that for much of the time, we were not moving at all, that I should get fairly close to the car in front of me, turn off my headlights, park my car, and swat in between the two cars. I would be low enough and out of their sight lines, the cars behind me would not be able to see through my car, and there was no traffic coming the opposite direction except for the few people that were giving up and turning around. It really could work. I was sure of it. I just needed to make sure I was centered so that my liquid pouring onto the road would not freeze in a spot that would cause my car to not be able to get traction and inch forward when the line began to move once more.

I started to watch the line of cars in front of me and calculate and keep track of how much time we were stopped each time and how much time I would need to exit, pee, return and move. I even turned off my audio book so that I could properly concentrate on the calculations. I mean it really felt like we were only moving when one of the cars in front of us was turning around and going back down then hill, so, with the right stretch of road, I would be able to see and totally make it happen. It was about this time, that we were on a stretch were I could see I70 once again and could see that while it was slow, it was indeed now moving. I was closer to reaching the next onramp to the highway ahead, then if I turned back, but turning back would allow me to stop and refuel, pee and get on the highway back down the hill, so I became one of the cars that gave up on the route and retreated.

It still took me another hour to get home, but I made it and now have a plan that could work if ever needed in the future. As I write this though, I just remembered that some of the new cars have rearview cameras that don’t just work when in reverse. I could just see people in the car in front taking a video of the middle aged woman peeing right in front of their backup camera and sending it viral. Oh well, people need a story and that would certainly give them one.

Those were some of my learned lessons this week and I’m sure there will be more. Here’s to hoping the chain saw works and if I can get the books done, maybe I’ll just ski again tomorrow.

Here’s a pic from our spot skiing together last March.

Love Sally

Remembering Rob

Today is my coworker Rob’s funeral and while I had planned to go, I don’t think that I can. Its too much emotion to confine in this body and In public. I’d be crying for Rob, crying for Ted and a mess to be dealt with. I know Rob would give me a hug and tell me it’s ok.

Rob. Here’s what I know about Rob from my years of working with him. Rob liked adventure. I wouldn’t say he liked adventure as in you would find him alone in the artic or anything, I mean he liked adventure as in just his daily life. Rob had his pilot’s license and use to fly small planes to fun places. Crazy things would happen around Rob. Some were crazy good and some were crazy bad. I know he had at least two strangers die right in front of him on separate occasions. I know of several commercial flights he was on that had emergencies and the plane sent to an emergency landing area and crew and passengers sent down the evacuation slides. Once, on a business trip abroad, he and another sales guy were to be heading to one of the beaches one afternoon and since neither had packed a swimsuits, they each went off their different directions to shop and run errands. Several hours later, after shopping in completely different districts of the city, they showed up on said beach with identical swim trunks. I mean, that is so like a scene out of a cheesy comedy film, but that’s the kind of things that happened with Rob. Adventure happened with Rob.

People were drawn to Rob. He would get a sales call and before the call was over, he would know the life story of the caller. People would tell Rob intimate details of their life within minutes of the first Hello. Many of us would have shut down a caller that wanted to relay their current hurt and pain, but Rob would listen like he was sitting across the bar from them.

At work, Rob seemed to attract kids. We would laugh if we saw a big family pile out of a car about to come into the showroom and joke that they must be some of Robs customers because he always got the ones that took the most attention. Rob would have customers fly into Denver to try the chairs and literally bring their knitting and sit in a chair and knit for hours so that they knew what it would be like at home.

Rob was kind to everyone. Before covid, He would smoke on his breaks and purposefully leave about 1/4 to 1/3 of his cigarette out in a spot for the local homeless guys to come and pick up to finish.

Rob was a proud man. He was proud of his relationship and Marriage to Laura and proud of his son Cambell and the man he had grown up to be.

Rob wasn’t perfect, but he didn’t pretend to be. He could take a good joke at his expense and even add to it. Rob was fun to be around and never boring. We have more office tales of Rob over the years than anyone. There seemed to always be a story to go with anything Rob did.

He hasn’t been in the office for quite sometime, but I still very much feel his presence and I think most everyone else does too. Rob was a good guy and we all miss him.

I’m glad I knew you Rob. Heaven got lucky getting Ted, you and Betty White all in the same month.

Love Sally

New Year

I say New Year, because I can’t quite give in fully to a Happy New Year. I’m not sure if I don’t want to acknowledge all of last year, if I want to hang on to the parts of last year that were good, or if I am just not ready to turn the page and see the new year as the blank page that many would have you think that it is.

What is ‘happy’ anyway? Right now, I feel like ‘happy’ is the glaze on a good cinnamon roll. It’s nice, but it isn’t the substance that makes the layers of sweet dough, butter, cinnamon and sugar come together to be the bit of heaven that a good cinnamon roll can be. I guess I feel like life is like that. If you roll up gratitude, adventure, love and connection, you have something that, like the cinnamon roll, is lovely on any day. And if you have all of those ingredients, then whether that day has the happy glaze or not, doesn’t really matter, as it is a good day none the less. (I probably should eat before writing so that my analogies are not food related. Fun fact: I don’t like alot of sweets, but a good cinnamon roll is my weakness – but please don’t send any as my comfort eating does not need the extra calories)

I guess that is how I am experiencing life right now – every day has the right ingredients, but it isn’t necessarily a happy day. People want to know every day how I am doing and there just isn’t one good answer to give. I am still sad alot some days. Not all the time, and not generally when I am with others, but there is just so much of everyday life that reminds me of what I have lost when Ted died, that sadness creeps in more than I ever thought that it could.

Yesterday, in preparation for the winter storm that they were predicting, I set about looking for the shovels, the windshield brushes, setting up the pallet and backstop so we could stack some wood up underneath the covered portion of the deck and trying to think of anything else that needed handled before the snows covered everything up . As I made my coffee – actually, I warmed up some coffee still in the pot from who knows when, but as I stood in the kitchen, I thought about how if Ted was here, he would already be outside doing all of those things. I would instead be making a full coarse breakfast while watering plants. I would feed him something like ham, potatoes, eggs and toast and he would go back out and continue to do all of the little things that I now must manage. Lucky for me, I have great neighbors and they said they were coming over to fix the gate by the garage (that wasn’t hanging quite right) and to make sure the snow blower would start. We needed some screws and they found them before I did – as I have said before, they have done many projects with Ted, so they know where Ted keeps lots of his extra pieces and parts. We got those projects done and they helped me secure the setup for the wood as well.

I was suppose to go to a New Year’s get together with my “Mom’s” group last night. The husbands were invited too. We will often include the husbands from time to time and the guys end up in one room and us Mom’s still get our time and hilarity together. I realized my perception has changed. All of a sudden, I was the single person coming to the couples gathering. I had to kick myself a bit and remind myself that it’s not like I haven’t gone to any of these functions without Ted before. He could totally decide an hour before we were to arrive that he just had too much to do and didn’t want to stop what he was doing, and so, off I would trot, without him, and never think another thing about it. I need to think of it like I’m just going without him, not that he will never be able to go again, or it is hard. Our gathering was cancelled due to the winter storm that had arrived and made the roads to hazardous to venture out on.

So this is a New Year, but really just another day. It won’t always be a Happy New Year, but it won’t always be a sad one either. I imagine it will be filled with many new and wonderous things and many memories. Every new turn might not lead in the direction I thought I was going, but I will trust that I am on the right road.

Love Sally

Tangled Lights

Last night, I was laying down to sleep and my mind was so lost that I couldn’t even pick out what it was even trying to focus on thinking about. Then, out of the blue, an exercise popped into my head. It was the one where you write yourself a note or letter. One where you are objective and look at yourself as an outsider and offer some kind words and understanding. I realized I was a jumble of tangled emotions and the picture of Christmas lights popped into my head. You know, the ones where in haste, the lights are thrown into a container and somehow during the storage period, they all get intertwined and when you reach in next time to use them, they are so tangled that it feels like it would be easier to pitch them and go buy new ones.

And so I wrote: Dear Sal, I know it hurts and you just don’t even know how to feel your way through all of the emotions. You feel sad, alone, unsure, doubting and like all of the emotions are wrapped in a knot that feels like it won’t ever be undone. You use to have this other person to love, to blame, to lean on, to have an excuse about and now you don’t. Now its just you and you’re not sure where yourself really starts and stops because it was always intertwined with Ted. Now there is this scary prospect of finding out who you really are, where you want to go with life, what you want to do. Take your time and think about that. Be honest with yourself. I know you are mad too. Mad that you have to deal with shit you don’t want to even look at. Tired of thinking about what needs to be done. tired of waking up and not getting back to sleep. So desperately not wanting to deal with bills and decisions even though you have been the only one to pay bills for 32 years.

Then I got a text from a friend who’s sister also just lost her husband. She said that she was thinking of me and her sister and that today would have been their 33rd anniversary. She also included the photo below. (it wasn’t the first time someone sent it to me, but I’ll include it because it is a good one and one I agree with)

I tried to think of a response, but was feeling so raw in connecting my pain and her sister’s pain and knowing that while similar, we are also different, that again, my emotional christmas lights were too jumbled to untangle so as to even write a message in response.

I simply fell asleep and actually slept till around 4 in the morning. I awoke thinking about my friend and her sister and how to formulate a response. I finally responded to the anniversary reference.

“Thirty three years. My Ted and I just celebrated 32 in August – a few days after Koo’s birthday. I hope it has been a good day for her. One where she picked a few things to do or eat that she knew they both would have loved to do together. I hope this one day was free of the mess of emotions that follows the death of a long time love and spouse. I cry for her or maybe I’m just crying for me. Or both. I hope she is able to look in wonder at what must be rushing in from all corners of her life to fill the void of the loss of a great one. It’s hard to not just get stuck in feeling the void. I know, as I feel her void and mine so deeply right now. For me, it is like looking at the Grand Canyon. It is beautiful and daunting and you can’t ever see or capture all of it in one look or picture, so you feel like you can’t really ever describe it fully. Hugs to Julia and to you both for your friendship.”

I thought I had felt through enough emotions in the past many hours, but when I got to work, I remembered that our owner and one of the sales guys had gone to visit another of our sales guys who has declined in health rather rapidly and was just put onto hospice. In recounting their stories of their visit, it brought me back to Ted in the hospital and his last decline. It was relayed that if I wanted to visit, that I should get to his home soon, as it wasn’t looking good. I had to admit that it might be cowardice, but I wasn’t feeling like I could face that situation right now. Seeing him in near coma and having to look at his wife in her desperate need to keep him alive felt like I’d be standing in front of a mirror that was on magnification and in that moment of contemplation, just didn’t want to see myself in his wife’s eyes.

The decision was not necessary, as he passed away before we even made it to the lunch hour. I thought about his wife and family again and how they will now have to work through having such a void in their lives and learn how to live in a space without his body but still so full of his spirit. Our entire office was sad and quiet for most of the remainder of the day.

Through all of this onslaught of events that were thrown at me today, through trying to convey responses and basic communications, I felt the tangle of emotions loosen. It felt like a few bulbs made their way out of the mess and more were readily available to lay out for use as well. I know there are still more tangles in there, but to get half a string free feels better.

And to balance out the heaviness of the past 20 hours or so, I received a message that my pregnant friend was heading to the hospital to have her baby. As I write, they are sending me photos from the hospital sharing their story of the birth of their first child. Happy hospital drama this time around. I’ll be glad to shed some tears for joy later when baby Rio arrives.

Love, Sally

A Beer with Ted

Today was my appointment to pick up Ted from the cremation place. I had no idea what I would be feeling, so I took the afternoon off. The cremation facility was not too far from the hospital, so I had decided I would swing by the hospital first and drop off a plate of the home made Christmas decorated cookies that the kids had come up and made with us yesterday. I was a bit shaky walking up to the ICU with emotions creeping in that this was a different mission and that Ted wasn’t at the end of the long walk up to ICU anymore.

My melancholy vanished at the sight of the main nurse that had taken care of us both so well. I got to talk and laugh some really good laughs with her and got to see and hug some of my other nurses as well. So, by the time I left, I was feeling thankful and no longer sad.

It was a beautiful drive to the cremation place. It was unseasonably warm – I drove with the window down – and the route followed the Platt River and it just felt like a good day.

The cremation place was locked and you had to ring the buzzer for entry. For a second, it felt like a secret entrance to a speakeasy lounge or something. Inside, it looked like a small reception area for the times that they host funerals or calling hours. I produced my ID and they produced a rather heavy black polymer container holding Ted’s ashes. They also provided the death certificates and the travel papers should I be traveling with his ashes anywhere beyond going home. It amused me that I should have to take a passport of such if I was to be hauling his entire remains around.

It was so nice out that I really felt like it was the kind of day that Ted and I would stop and enjoy the day and have a beer together somewhere. I quickly cycled through some breweries that I remembered being in the area, thinking that I could take Ted into a bar and we still could have a beer together today. It didn’t take long for me to dismiss the thought. Walking into a bar with my dead husband’s ashes sounded a bit too much like the start of a joke, and really, his bar at the house was where we should have a beer, so I headed home.

No one was home when I arrived, so I took Ted down and sat him atop the bar, got out a beer, poured half into a small glass for me and left the other half in the bottle, next to his box. This was how we often spit a beer. I got the small glass and he finished what was left in the can or bottle. I had just toasted and had a few sips of beer when Devin arrived home with his skateboarding friend. He asked what I was doing (I was not normally at home at this time in the afternoon) and I told him. His face registered some shock (I guess I failed to relay that I was picking up the ashes today), but he quickly recovered and he asked if he could have a swig of his Dad’s beer . I said sure, and together, we again toasted and then decided to check out the contents of the box.

We both commented that the ashes were grittier to the touch (through the bag) than we had expected. We closed the box back up and the kids headed back out to the skate park. I came upstairs and hooked up Ted’s office computer to do some work, but felt like I didn’t get to finish my little talk with Ted, so I headed back downstairs. I told him that I needed him to help me out with some of his secrets. I started with where to find the magic switch for the hidden TV in the bar. I found one of his headlamps in the bar area and proceeded to really delve into checking out the space once more. It only took maybe ten minutes and I found the switch. Ok then, I said, lets work on where are the guns and some of the money you have hidden. We had an issue earlier this year where we felt we should move all the guns and I generally don’t give a hoot where he puts stuff, so I wasn’t made privy to the new hiding spots. I went to where I felt he would most likely have stashed some of the stuff and in another 15 minutes or so, found the guns, some silver coins, one stash of cash (I’m sure there is a few hundred here and there, so more likely to be found). I had already looked in all of these spaces, but for some reason, today, Ted seemed to be directing me to spaces where I needed to look but had not gotten to in prior searches.

Who knew that all I needed was to do was sit down, have a beer with Ted and ask. Thanks Ted for the early Christmas presents. I hope I don’t have to have a beer every time I have a question. LOL

All in all it was a much better day than I was afraid it would be. Just goes to show you that you shouldn’t project what might happen and should instead flow with what does happen and appreciate it.

It is good to have Ted back in the house today.

Love Sally

A Big Wave

They say grief comes in waves, yesterday was a big wave.

It was a hard day. As fate would have it, I was alone most of the day as Devin was visiting a friend and that was probably for the best as it allowed me space to deal with issues and emotions unfettered.

I had taken the day off from work because I had to call social security and the hospital and several other entities that can take up more than a lunch or ten-minute break would allow. It was also the day of Ted’s cremation and I felt like it might be a harder day and work wasn’t the place to process those emotions.

I couldn’t have been more right. The finality of it hit hard. It was so akin to the same feelings I had when Mom died and they closed the casket. I can remember feeling that my connection was somehow severed when that casket was closed. To not be able to see Mom again – even her dead body was comfort to me – and to have her closed away was too much. I honestly remember thinking that given the option, I would have had her stuffed and put somewhere that I could at least see her and have her near. That same feeling washed over me yesterday in the knowledge that Ted’s body was now also gone to me.

Just like when it happened with mom, the tears flowed. The hurt and pain of the loneliness were palpable. Spiritually, I know I don’t need the presence of a body to be connected, but viscerally, I want the face to look at, the arms to hold, and the touch and smell of the person. I wonder if tears flow so that the uncontrolled part of ourselves emits what we cannot say, and joins the atmosphere where we are so loved, and thus somewhere deep inside we know the flow of connection is still strong and always will be. Anyway, that’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.

Oh, and just so you know, lots of tears can be generated and sent down the cheeks while on hold with the social security office. Time well spent.

There will be more hard days, but that one is behind me. The sun will be up soon with a new promise of life to be seen, experienced, wondered about, and enjoyed.

Thanks for listening.

Love, Sally

Death doesn’t change some things

In my life, there has seemed to be an unwritten rule of the universe: that plumbing doesn’t fail until you have guests in the house. I had thought it might be a Ted thing as we have a storied history of plumbing issues when we have company in town, but I guess death didn’t change that.

To be honest, I had known something was amiss before Ted was ever admitted to the hospital, (and so did he by the way), but it wasn’t mass critical, so I let it go. The water would lose pressure about once per day (usually while I was in the shower), but after 5-10 seconds, the pump would then kick on and everything was hunky dory once again. As the hospital stay got longer, so did the pauses in water outages until the pressure would again kick on.

Just prior to my friend arriving, I counted to 30 Mississippi’s before the water decided to turn back on as I stood all lathered up hoping that I hadn’t waited too long to instigate a fix. I thanked the plumbing angels when it did resume and vowed that I would take action. Just a few days prior, I had googled the issue and came to the conclusion that it was the pressure tank switch and I should just call the neighbor, whom has had many discussions of plumbing with Ted, and so, I would ask him over to consult.

Of coarse, things then got busy. My friend was here and we were catching up and visiting other old friends and while I didn’t get the neighbor called, I did warn my friend for when she decided to take a shower. We were able to still do dishes, laundry and showers -up until yesterday – mid morning that is. I went downstairs to tell Devin we were leaving and he said something was amiss and asked me to come check out the leak in the ‘control room’ (that is as loose of a term as you can possibly imagine – think mad scientist workbench in with all the plumbing apparatus of radiant heat with 12 zones, no covers to any wires and stuff stashed everywhere).

Water was dripping from a switch and starting to smoke. Seemed bad, so I turned off the pump, turned four shut off valves – I figured, better to cut off water as much as possible until we returned, and then, on our way out, called the neighbor.

He came over after work and we both came to the same conclusion that it was very likely the pressure tank switch. My job was to drain the pressure tank and check the pressure as that would tell us which switch to purchase – they come in various pressure ranges. The good news was, I was filling up 5 gallon buckets like no ones business and was able to flush all the toilets, fill their tanks back up, put a bucket by each one in case someone needed to flush again, and also water the plants and some of the shrubs outside. Overkill Fill (common reference for Ted), had, of coarse, the largest pressure tank available and so it felt as though I’d never get it all drained.

Once drained, I checked the pressure, and wouldn’t you know it, he also had the switch with the largest pressure range to go with the big tank. My handy dandy neighbor had stopped and picked up the switch on his way home. One of us had watched a YouTube video enough times to know how to swap it out proficiently – it wasn’t me – and by mid-evening, we again had water. It likely went so smooth because my company had just left earlier in the day and we no longer had the ‘guest plumbing curse’ active.

I suppose this is how things will be now that I don’t have the consummate repair guy in the house – try to figure things out, make a guess, call in the reserves and stand there and hold tools and parts as needed.

At least we have nearly all the tools and spare parts to fix almost anything (finding them is another story). And he left me with lots of great people who are willing to help out.

Thanks for the support.

Love Sally

Memorial Plans

I know everyone is interested in what the plans are for celebrating the fun and times we all had with Mike/Ted in work and play, family and friendships.

He was not a formal service kind of guy – which is why it worked out well for us to get married as part of a hiking trip in the Colorado mountains 32 years ago. So, as I previously eluded to, we will have a cornhole gathering with fun and merriment to get all who wish to gather and share their stories, antics, hugs, and toasts. The new plans though, are to have two celebrations and not just one. These dates are yet to be determined, but you will have a choice of coming to one in Colorado or one in Ohio. Ted and I both have family and friends in both locations, so it makes sense to have a celebration in both spots and let those who would like to participate select the best spot for them. The boys and I will be at both (at least I hope we can be). I’m currently thinking that it will likely be toward spring and/or summer. I’ll check with the main crews to help at each location and let you know in a future post.

Ted’s body will be cremated in the next week or so (exact date not yet given), and then we will decide if he will be shaken over his beloved raspberries, added to the filler of the cornhole bags (just kidding), divided up and taken to his favorite spots (I picture me filtering out the ashes through my pockets as in The Shawshank Redemption movie – since I believe it might be illegal), part of our houseplants, buried beside our beloved Kelsie and Bullseye, or put on a shelf – (well closed, so we don’t just think it is extra dusty on that shelf and vacuum him up), or added to the church columbarium.

I’m not in a rush to decide and don’t feel like I have to decide right away anyway. For now, I might just stuff him in a punching bag or in a teddy bear. Could depend on the day.

Love Sally

Blind Sided

Today I awoke and realized there are still important people in our lives who may not know what has happened. People we only connect with via text and phone that likely haven’t seen or heard there were posts.

It was akin to catching that freshly formed scab on the doorway as you walk through and suddenly the pain, blood, and tears are right back to when you sustained the wound. The only difference is, it feels like I’m inflicting wounds as well. I know these friends have been blindsided without the chance to have been knowing about what was going on like those who had access to the blog and knew what was happening as it occurred.

I’ll not blame myself for not thinking of everyone while this was all happening, but I’ll also not deny that to hear and read their shock and horror penetrates the part of me that wanted to think that I was prepared, but so very much associates with the shock and horror of it and doesn’t know what to say or where to go from here.

If you read this and can think of anyone who should know, please reach out and tell them or let me know so that I can do so. I am sure there are some whom I am still too much in a fog to see.

Thanks again for your texts, messages and love.