Jasper gets home from Nicaragua tomorrow. He has been gone more than home this last month, and I have been taking advantage of the relative freedom. I’ve been gone more than home, too….and it’s been really nice. Yesterday I came home to a lawn that needed cutting, an empty refrigerator, and a mound of laundry. I dealt with the lawn, ignored the laundry, grabbed the 2 beers in the fridge and an opened bag of corn chips and headed down the street for a 4th of July potluck BBQ. Not much to offer, but nobody went home hungry.
I spent some time in Roseberry with a friend that is trying to get a garden going. Not a small one…one that produces enough to sell at the farmer’s market. Add a couple thousand feet of elevation to the cold wet Spring we had in Moscow…and this is what she is facing. But, the fence looks nice, and a small greenhouse is in the works. I made chicken soup while she planted carrots, and I got to spend time alone…and time with people that have never met Jim. Anonymity. Ahh.
I went to my annual Assistive Technology training in Boise. Last year it was held in March, and I spent a lot of time leaving the room to line up Dr’s appointments for Jim at UCSF. While there are always new folks joining this group, some of us go back over 10 years. I like these people. They understand the part of my work that I am most passionate about. Some knew that Jim was sick, but few knew he had died. They never knew Jim. Anonymity. Ahh.
I spent 4 days with my darling and dependable daughter in Missoula. We went hiking, and mountain biking, and climbing. She is house and dog sitting, so we had lots of space. We went out for dinner, out for coffee and dessert..followed by lunch. I slept 9-10 hours each night. Emerald is easy to be with. She knows that a good bike ride speaks for itself….and doesn’t need to be polluted with too many words. If she says, “Let’s hike in the am before work”, I can wake her with coffee in bed, and she isn’t too crabby about it. I got to meet a lot of her friends. None of them knew Jim. Some probably don’t even know that her father has died. Anonymity. Ahh.
And now, I am back in the “Cow” as Emerald calls it. I wish I could say that it feels good to be here. But, I kinda liked the anonymity. I liked being seen and heard as Kathie….rather than the dead guy’s wife. I love my home. I love my friends. I have family here, and meaningful work. I wonder how long, if ever, it will be before I have my own identity. How much time needs to pass before I can be just a woman rather than a widow? Perhaps I just need a pair of those Groucho Marx glasses.