About Me

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Four years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Poor Anna. Poor Mr. Bates.

I came home early from work on Friday (more on that, later) and have spent much of the past 40+ hours napping, snacking, and watching the second season of Downton Abbey.

When I began watching the series a few weeks ago, there was much going on that made no sense to me. Having now watched from its premiere to the end of season two, I have a greater understanding of the multiple story arcs and a much greater appreciation for the richness of the writing. Even the minor characters are treated respectfully, from William’s father to the shell-shocked veteran who briefly serves as footman. (And I have a grudging respect for Miss O’Brien, who is allowed to show tenderness and compassion as a respite from her usual Machiavellian doings.)

The patient Anna and the beset Mr. Bates marry and have one glorious and tastefully photographed night together before he is whisked away to stand trial. She is my favorite of all the characters, because she embodies so much to which I aspire: devotion, patience, loyalty, determination, perseverance, respect for others and for self, and a willingness to tackle the hard stuff.

I love Robert’s remark that we must be mindful of the ladies’ delicate natures. (This, after Anna, his daughter, and his wife have just smuggled an inconveniently dead man out of his daughter’s bedroom.) A good woman is frequently far more pragmatic than an equally good man. I know that I have learned to be more so, over the years. When I was young, it was all about pleasing a man. I learned a lot of helplessness while married to the children’s father. Thankfully, the fallow years gave many opportunities to unlearn it, and I think I have most of it out of my system.

I paid a few bills yesterday, and I used the pattern in “One for the Money,” a pamphlet published by the church many years ago, to set up a spreadsheet to pay off the charge cards. I paid off the smallest one and am saving that receipt in the “Estate” envelope for when we probate. The card itself will go into the shredder as soon as I post this, and tomorrow I will contact the company and request that they close the account.

I am hoping that when we complete our tax return, the medical expenses will zero out the lack of withholding on Beloved’s disability income, and that we will owe less than $200. A refund would be lovely, and I am not holding my breath. I just want to break even, more or less.

I am trying to look ahead, over the next six months or so. I hope we will have the estate probated by then, that I will have another card paid off, and that each of us will continue to strive to be kind to one another. I am calling a family council for next Sunday night, as today is the twins’ birthday, and I think it should be strictly for worship and celebration, not for family business.

Poor Anna. Poor Mr. Bates. But not, however, “poor me.” I feel calm and steady today. I am certainly well-rested. I am tucking season three into the media cabinet, unwrapped. I want to enjoy the broadcast tonight and anticipate the remaining ones in the season, with no spoilers.

And I shall have to save the account of my wild ride home from work on Friday for another post, although if we are friends on Facebook, the Readers Digest version is there.

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