Monday, October 13, 2014

Autumn Rain

Dear John,
 
It's 10:00 in the morning - what is the world coming to?
 
This is Columbus Day and a bank holiday. So I'm sitting up in bed with the laptop, listening to the rain through a window open at the top, looking at the fall leaves through fog, with the dog beside me and the cats on me. It's pluviophile heaven.
 
Autumn rain has me thinking about our trip to Door County. I remember that you were scheduled for a week of training that got cancelled, and Matt already had the restaurant covered without you. So you told him you'd take some vacation, and we headed up to Door County. 
 
We found it closed for the winter. And it rained all week. We didn't do what we'd planned and we had a lovely time doing it, which is typical for us. We spent a couple of days touring Green Bay. We got to see Lambeau Field and visit the gift shop. We wandered a mall, and that's where we got the blue-and-white pajamas that I'm wearing right now.
 
Door County in the rain
We took a day and drove all over Door County. I remember we stopped at a boat ramp on the bay. I stood in the pouring rain for almost half an hour, just gazing at water with no visible land on the other side, and soaking it in - both figuratively and literally. You sat in the car like a sensible person. And I appreciated that, because I could stand there as long as I wanted without worrying about you being miserable. We found a diner on the shore and stopped for lunch, and had burgers and cherry pie.
 
And that must be where I picked up H1N1. Nobody had told us that there was an epidemic bad enough to close the schools. I came down with it while we were staying in Green Bay. But I had a light case, and over the weekend, so we vegged in the hotel room and watched football and had pizza delivered from that lovely little place down the road - no hardship there.
 
On the way up we stopped at Stir Crazy in Chicago. I had found one when you were at the Cleveland Clinic, and was glad to get to take you there. We took the back roads home and found a combination cheese-and-antique shop near the Wisconsin border. We got some cheese, and that's where we got the jadite salt-and-pepper shakers that are in the kitchen.
 
It was a serendipitous and wonderful trip. I remember it every time I put on these pajamas, and especially when there is autumn rain. The memory is special today - this is the 2 1/2 year mark of your death. I wouldn't have believed I could survive this long. I know I never wanted to. But then, I never wanted to survive you by 2 1/2 minutes. It does get better with time. We can get used to almost anything, I suppose. I am adapting; I have a full and good life. Know that I love you no less, feel no less married to you. And today I am filled with memories of autumn rain and Door County and you. Especially you.
 
Thanks for the memories,
Joan.

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