I realize that I fall into the new category of "widow." New for me, at least; not for many of my friends: Middy, Jean, Betsy, Jane, Carmel, so many others. We women do seem to outlive our men. Once it was war that made that equation unequal. Once seafaring (hence "widow's walk") Now it is so often cancer.
But like many of today's women, I am accustomed to being independent, to traveling alone, to doing things with women friends...even when Martin was alive, he simply rolled his eyes and waved goodbye as I went off with my pals to yet one more obscure, depressing, sub-titled movie. And it was Martin who encouraged me to head to Easter Island last January without him (and Sumatra, back in 1996; and Costa Rica before that)...he had no interest in going to some of the places that facsinated me. Nor did he spend much time, just occasional weekends, in Maine. But he was always interested to hear about the movies, the trips, the Maine garden. Again and again he carried my suitcase upstairs, me trailing behind yammering, "so then we...."
Now I am in Maine once again (yesterday's sightings: oriole, cardinal, rose-breasted grosbeak, wild turkey, and two deer), this time with my friend Margaret, who returns next week to Minnesota. Other friends will come and go, as they do each summer. And I will at last turn my attention to the neglected manuscript that has been here waiting.
I have trips scheduled for fall: Idaho; Paris for a week in October (I'll be there doing things for my French publisher, but my German family will then come to Paris for a few days, so that will be fun); Kansas City for the opening of The Giver opera in January; possibly Patagonia with my friend Kay in the winter as well.
But for now it is summer.