Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Relaxing with Jim was always fun. He taught me how to do so many things that have helped to relieve tension and to make life a little nicer. I tried to teach him too. We leaned on each other and seeked each other out for support.

He taught me how to really pick the crabmeat from a steamed crab - to get the most of the meat. To pull the tab, get the guts out and then pull the legs to get the meat out before cracking the center. I learned to cut the body so the meat is easier to remove. Much better than the hammer method I was taught years ago.

And I taught him how to just sit outside on a nice spring day and enjoy the blue sky and dogs at your feet. We would sit out back and have some ice tea or a beer and watch the clouds roll by. We talked about our life and decisions to make and that we had made. He told me stories about his childhood in the neighborhood.

This is one shot of Jim at the computer. He was not a computer geek, would go to read emails on his "website" which is what he called his email address. But I thought he looked so serious here, I had to grab a shot. He was actually reading a joke that someone sent him and is in a fit of laughter after this. No, computer was not his way to relax. I guess it is mine. He would come up and listen to music while I was on the computer and that was good for both of us.

Now, Jim's family are Poker players. Not the new style of Texas hold em but the traditional style of 5 card draw or 7 card stud or some that are just traditional in their family like 3 card quarter in. It is played at every family gathering - thanksgiving, christmas and just sunday night after dinner. This was a tradition from way back with their father and their uncles gathering to do the same thing. Tradition lives on.

I knew how to play when I shuffled into this family, but have gotten really good since then. Jim and his sister always played a game at the end where they would push in their winnings and play high card. Shuffle the deck, spread it out and each pick just one card. Highest wins. Not sure how he did it, but Jim won almost every time with that one. Its a way for them to relax.

And I think this next pic was his most favorite way to relax. Laying around with the dogs. He would take them for a walk, think about all that is going on and work it all out. He would come home from a walk feeling refreshed and the dog would be exhausted. We would try to do that 'communication' thing and figure out what was happening in our lives. It was not all roses and sunshine, but we worked it thru. Not always quietly, but in the end, with each other at our sides.

So the dogs helped him to calm down to get to his center spot. He would be happy to just lay around with them on the couch in front of the tv. He always looked so comfortable with a couple dogs on either side and the cat on his lap. I would have to push my way thru, but believe me, I won out.

Tonight I sat on the couch with a dog on either side of me. And it was a myriad of feelings. Peace on one side, hurt on another, anger in the front and warmth in the back. Confusion hit my brain and I had to stand up, move around and work it out.

I think what I was feeling was all the emotions that have been on that couch. I know I was the cause of them over the last couple weeks. But I think the feeling of warmth and peace are coming from Jim. He always loved to relax there and thus made me relaxed. Oh I miss him.


Anonymous said...

Just finished reading your blog. Journalling is a great way to help yourself heal. Being able to smile through the pain is important. Recognized A Night in the Forest right away... love John Denver. Great great title for your blog.

CarolChretien said...

Spotted Hugs to you today, Betsy.

Ginger D said...

Dear Betsy, Jim and your closeness mirror a lot of me and Butch. We went out one nite and were inseperable from the second date on. I even gladly fell for his "marriage proposal" about how we'd save money on our income taxes. Saturday mornings were always LooneyTunes and the 3 Stooges. Friday nite was "Dallas" (Gimme a break- it was the late 70's and JR was such a nasty guy). Always built an oversized snow creature (a dragon, Harvey...) with the first snowfall. We'd wrestle out on my Mom and Pop's backyard. Argued about the dishes. Rode our motorcycles together. Jostled for space in the shower (had to save water). Planted gardens even though the racoons ate all the corn. Never wanting weekends to end, oh, how I cherished them. It was give and take, learning new things, and having space and sharing time together. I'm a better person because of him - better because of us. Blog on.