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I am embarking on a new project, namely,  to write “Widowingon” as a graphic memoir.  If you are reading this blog entry, then you are among the first to know.  I welcome any comments!

The illustrations above are the likely frontispiece and also the first page.  Since all journeys usually start by opening the door and going out, my “widowingon” memoir will begin by my leaving the brownstone in Brooklyn where I lived for 3 decades.

The house was filled with memories of family dinners, birthday parties around the kitchen table, play dates when our children were growing up,  discussions about college applications and then acceptance celebrations, and the countless mundane daily activities that get patched together into a quilt of living in a fulfilling marriage and raising children.

Leaving the house in the early afternoon of January 11, 2012, after the movers had filled 2 trucks of household possessions for temporary storage in a warehouse in the South Bronx while my apartment on the Upper West Side was being renovated, was unspeakably difficult.

The memoir, like the blog, will attempt to document the adjustment process that I had as a widow.

I wanted to mention here an article written in the New York Times on January 20, 2015 entitled, “Writing Your Way to Happiness”. The gist of the article is that “writing..can really nudge people…into a more optimistic cycle that reinforces itself.”  I believe that to be true and I’m grateful to this blog for contributing to that evolution.

I’m hopeful that the planned “Widowingon” graphic memoir will be an additional source of happiness.  Let me know what you think.


I set my alarm for 7:00 am, dressed, stripped the bed and collected the blankets and  bed linens to launder and then take with me to the temporary apartment.  Breakfast was a bowl of cereal from a Tupperware container I found (with all the dishes in the warehouse in the South Bronx, I was glad to have it) which I carefully balanced on my lap.  There was just one folding chair left to sit on.

That last morning was a blur of doing laundry, packing last-minute toiletries and groceries and watching as the bed was picked up to go to the dump.

I definitely had more things to bring with me than I ever anticipated.  It’s totally different from going on a vacation or business trip.  You can’t leave behind anything for when you come home. Since my temporary stay would be for several months, and a change in season from winter to spring, I also needed to be sure I had clothing that would work on possible 20 degree days with snow and 70 degree days with sun.

I walked the 4 blocks to the garage where I parked, dropped the lantern off en route at my neighbor’s, and left an automatic garage door opener I owned on a neighbor’s car windshield with a note saying I was moving and wouldn’t need it anymore.  Here, at least, was a place which I had no regrets leaving.  For $275 a month, I had to painstakingly maneuver my Subaru past another neighboring car which was an  enormous 1980 black Pontiac with license plates which read, “Dark Girl”. A skull and cross bones plaque hung from the rear view mirror.  My new temporary space in a garage in the East 30’s, with attended parking, would be $300 a month.  Good riddance, Dark Girl.

It took me about 40 minutes, and much lugging, carrying and pulling, to get everything into the car, which was, finally, packed to its welded seams.  This is when moving when you’re not old and infirm is advantageous, I thought.

Before I pulled away from the curb space I had adjacent to the house, I gave one final look at the 3 street trees I planted years ago, and the side elevation of the house with its graceful bay window. Best to drive and see clearly without tears, I thought.  I turned the key in the ignition.

I had planned with the mover to come the day before the actual move to pack furniture, breakables and everything else I didn’t pack.  However, when the truck and 5-man crew arrived at 9:30 am on brilliantly sunny packing day, the foreman suggested that they do both the pack AND the move that day and not run the risk of having to deal with a snow storm threatening to hit New York City on the following move day.  I had some added flexibility because, except for the things I was taking to the temporary apartment, my possessions were all going into a storage warehouse in the South Bronx into which I could move until 8:00 pm.

The plan made sense and, with my agreeing to it, the foreman called in another 5-man moving crew to help. By 10:30, there were 10 guys almost demonically packing, wrapping, hauling, throughout the 4-story house.  It was a cacophony of tape gun noise, mixed with wrapping paper and punctuated by the sound of their heavy footfalls on the stairs. By 1:30, the moving truck pulled away from the curb and was en route to the storage warehouse.

Packing the Lamps

The next stop:  a 10’x20′ storage room in the South Bronx.

Now Unrecognizable Possessions About to be Stored

Completing the Move into the Storage Room

I signed a lease for the room, padlocked it shut and returned back to the now practically empty house, where a bed and just a few other pieces of furniture and some boxes of books remained that my son or daughter wanted to keep.  Yes, it was extraordinarily hard  to see the empty rooms, and hear the echoes.

Empty Study

Empty Dining Room

Empty Bedroom

A neighbor invited me over for dinner, with another neighbor, but the house and I were to spend one last night together when I came home later.  The next day I would move to a temporary apartment in Manhattan.