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Grand Canyon (North Rim)

Add comment July 20th, 2014

“You ever been to the Grand Canyon? Its pretty, but that’s not the thing of it. You can sit on the edge of that big ol’ thing and those rocks… the cliffs and rocks are so old… it took so long for that thing to get like that… and it ain’t done either! It happens right there while your watching it. Its happening right now as we are sitting here in this ugly town. When you sit on the edge of that thing, you realize what a joke we people really are… what big heads we have thinking that what we do is gonna matter all that much… thinking that our time here means diddly to those rocks. Just a split second we have been here, the whole lot of us. That’s a piece of time so small to even get a name. Those rocks are laughing at me right now, me and my worries… Yeah, its real humorous, that Grand Canyon. Its laughing at me right now. You know what I felt like? I felt like a gnat that lands on the ass of a cow chewing his cud on the side of the road that you drive by doing 70 mph.”  – Danny Glover, Grand Canyon.

North Rim, Grand Canyon National Park, July 15, 2014

 

 

Add comment July 20th, 2014

Widower Wednesday: Second Place

4 comments July 16th, 2014

Widower Wednesday

From the inbox comes the following question:

How do I handle the days when the widower I’m dating is missing his wife. It reminds me that no matter how much he loves me I will never be the one he really wishes he could be with. I feel I’ll never know what it’s like to be that loved and cherished and wanted. I dated a widower once before and I couldn’t handle this feeling. I truly love this man and I am trying so hard to accept this. Do you have any advice?

Thanks,

T.

Hi T.,

You shouldn’t be dating someone who still wishes he was with someone else. It doesn’t matter if that person is alive or dead. You should feel just as loved and cherished as the late wife. Widowers who are serious about starting a new chapter in their lives with someone else should be able to put their love and feelings for the late wife in a special place in their heart and give 99.9% of their time and attention to the woman they are with now. If you’re widower can’t do that, you’re always going to feel second best. You need to decide if that’s a relationship you can live with.

Hope this helps,

Abel

4 comments July 16th, 2014

Grilled Peaches

Add comment July 7th, 2014

We had a neighborhood party on Independence Day. I always enjoy these activities because there’s plenty for the kids to do and I get a chance to chat with neighbors and get to know them better. And there’s the food. A big, yummy potluck dinner where I get to try new things to eat. The highlight was trying grilled peaches—something I had never considered grilling before.

Here’s a pic as they cooked on the neighbors grill.

Before you cook then, you brush on a light coat of oil on the bottom so they don’t stick to the grill. Cook them on the top shelf for 5-10 minutes. (Cooking time varies depending on how hot the grill is on the inside. Cook until their slightly squishy when you squeeze them. To server you top them with a spoonful of a delicious mixture of Greek yogurt, honey, and cinnamon.

The result is this warm mouthful of yumminess. It’s like manna from heaven. Only better.

Add comment July 7th, 2014

Widower Wednesday: Online Dating Profiles

9 comments June 25th, 2014

Widower Wednesday

The following question was recently left on this post by Sonia.

I was recently matched with a man online who is widowed. I’m interested in meeting him and we have plans to meet this week. My problem is two of his profile pictures are of him and his deceased wife. Forget dealing with photos in the house; she’s a part of his dating profile! I feel weird about it. Is it a red flag? Should this concern me? Or is he just oblivious? I don’t want to inadvertently run from a potentially great man, but I also don’t want to put myself in the middle of something that could be a disaster.

Sonia,

This is a first for me. I’ve never heard of someone posting a photo of the widower and the late wife on a dating site. You didn’t mention how old the widower is? Is he getting on and years and doesn’t understand internet dating etiquette? My level of concern really depends on how long he’s been widowed. Recent widowers, especially those new to the dating game, are pretty clueless when it comes to things like how the photos of their late spouse can affect potential relationships. If he’s been widowed for awhile and been dating for a bit, he should know better.

That being said, I don’t see a problem with going on a date to get a better feel of where he’s at emotionally and if those online pictures should be something you should be really concerned about. My personal opinion is that it’s hard to get a real feel for someone unless you can spend some time with them in person.

So go out for coffee or lunch. Something short and sweet. If after one date you feel, he’s not ready then time to move on to another profile.

Hope this helps.

Abel

9 comments June 25th, 2014

Where the Sidewalk Ends

Add comment June 8th, 2014

On my walk today, I found myself in a Shel Silverstein poem.

Add comment June 8th, 2014

Where’s Abel?

4 comments June 6th, 2014

I’ll be participating in the first annual Indie Author Hub Writing & Publishing Conference tomorrow (June 7) a the Courtyard Marriott Hotel in Provo Utah. About the conference:

That’s right, it’s conference time! Not just any conference, but a conference targeted toward all aspects of indie publishing. This year, our self-published keynote speaker is NYT bestselling author of A Different Blue, Amy Harmon. We will also have 21 breakout classes in three tracks: writing, book creation, and marketing/business. We are so excited to have many experienced and successful self-published authors and other professionals who have agreed to share their time with us.

You can find more information about the conference here.

4 comments June 6th, 2014

Widower Wednesday: Did I End Things Too Soon?

4 comments May 28th, 2014

Widower Wednesday

The Ultimate Dating Guide for Widowers is now available on iTunes. A paperback version as well as Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords ebooks are also available. For those who have asked for signed copies, I should have some copies available in my store in a few weeks. (Thanks for your patience.) If you’re unsure if the book is for you or the widower you’re dating, you can read Chapter 1 here.

***

Below is a recent email exchange I had with a GOW. A few personal details have been omitted to protect the privacy of the sender. Emails shared with permission.

Hi Abel,

I need your advice. I’ve been dating a widower for 5 months. We met a few months after his late wife’s death. Things were going great until one day I learned that he was making daily trips to the cemetery to visit his late wife’s grave. I didn’t feel he was ready for a relationship so I ended things. That was two weeks ago. Now I’m having second thoughts that I might have been too hasty. Should I have been more patient?

D.

***

Hi D.,

I need a little more information before I answer your question. When you asked the widower why he visited his late wife’s grave every day, what did he say?

Abel

***

 Abel,

I didn’t ask him. I don’t really know why he went to her grave every day.

D.

***

D.

Are you still on speaking terms with him? If so, why not ask him and see what he says.

Abel

***

Abel,

I haven’t talked to the widower since I ended things. He’s texted me a couple times but I haven’t responded. I don’t want to be one of those women I read about in your blog and books that go back to the widower and nothing has changed. Are you saying that I should contact him again? I don’t want to get serious with someone who won’t make me number 1. Thanks for your help.

D.

***

D.

In general, you are correct. You don’t want to get back with a widower if he’s not going to make you number one. But I’m not asking you to do that. All I’m suggesting is if you want to know if ending the relationship was a mistake, you need to know why he was visiting his wife’s grave every day. I’m not saying get back together with him rather just have a chat in order to help determine whether or not he’s actually ready for a serious relationship with you.

Abel,

***

Abel,

I know it’s been a week since you heard from me but I wanted to update you on my story. The day after reading your email, I texted him and asked if we could talk. He agreed. We went out for coffee and after making small talk for a minute I asked him about the cemetery visits. He told me that he just felt it was what he was supposed to do. He had no idea that his actions were hurting me. He said he was willing to stop visiting the grave if it would mean that I would give him a second chance. I told him that I didn’t think that was something I could ask of him and that he should be able to visit her as often as he wanted but that he should also keep my feelings in mind.

To make a long story short, we are back together. I feel like an idiot for not talking to him about it when it first came up. It would have saved us both a lot of hurt feelings and heartache had I simply talked to him. He hasn’t visited her grave in the last week but Memorial Day is coming up next week and I told him that he could visit her on that day if he wanted and my feelings wouldn’t be hurt. I don’t know if he’s going to pay her a visit but I think I can live with him going to see her once in a while. I don’t want to dictate what he can and can’t do. We’re both adults and I’m sure we’ll figure out something that we can both live with.

Thanks again for your help.

D.

4 comments May 28th, 2014

The Best Commencement Address of 2014

Add comment May 25th, 2014

Every year I surf around the internet for the best commencement address that go out to new graduates. Past winners have included Steve Jobs and David McCullough, Jr. It’s a harder task than you think since most commencement addresses are pretty much the same. The best ones, at least in my opinion, are those that not only speak from experience but speak from the heart. It’s hard to combine the two.

This year the best commencement address of 2014 goes to Adm. William H. McRaven who delivered it to the graduates of the University of Texas at Austin. You can watch it below.

Add comment May 25th, 2014

The Truth About Running

Add comment May 22nd, 2014

For Marathon Girl and all of my running friends, this is for you.

Add comment May 22nd, 2014

Paperback Version of Widower Dating Guide Available

Add comment May 15th, 2014

The proof for The Ultimate Dating Guide for Widowers came in the mail today. It looks great. That means for those who have wanted a paperback version of the book, it’s now available. Best place to get a hard copy right now is on Amazon. Enjoy!

 

Add comment May 15th, 2014

Widower Wednesday: The Accidental In-Law

4 comments May 14th, 2014

Widower Wednesday

Book update: The Ultimate Dating Guide for Widowers is available in e-book format for the Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords. A paperback version and other e-book formats will be available soon. You can read the first chapter here.

***

Today I want to draw attention to a great essay called The Accidental In-Law. The author, Amy Paturel, is married to a widower. In the essay she describes her relationship with the late wife’s family and the reason she has such a great relationship with them.

Often those who are dating or married to widowers not only have to deal with late wife issues but the late wife’s family who might be having a hard time seeing their daughter’s husband fall in love with someone else. I think the essay serves as a good template for all on how everyone (not just the late wife’s family) can open your heart and life to someone after someone else you’ve loved has passed on and encourage everyone to read it.

That first meeting [with the late wife’s parent’s] could have been awkward, uncomfortable, even nerve-racking, but Roger and Chris made me feel at ease. We strolled on the beach, Brandon and Roger walking ahead while Chris and I lingered behind. Then we had dinner and drinks at a seaside restaurant, talking easily about travel, life, and love.

Noelle’s name never came up.

As we were driving home after dinner, I asked Brandon how Roger felt about me—and how he felt about me dating his daughter’s husband. “He loved you,” Brandon assured me. “He said you were warm, intelligent, sweet, and he told me not to wait too long before snapping you up.”

***

When we’re together, Roger delights in our children, lifting each of them to the sky while the other clambers for his attention, raising their arms and begging for a turn—the picture of a playful grandfather enjoying his progeny.

I think about Noelle. What would she give to have this experience with her dad, her husband, and the children she and Brandon might have brought into this world.

Sometimes, I feel her with us. During Roger’s visits, Brandon might give him some of her old things, or the two of them will reminisce about a long-ago family event. But Roger never dwells in that place for long. He navigates the conversation matter-of-factly, while I silence my longing to ask a million questions about his daughter, and why he has chosen to love what she left behind.

Whatever the reason, Roger has decided to face his loss by surrounding himself with people Noelle loved most in this life. He could have turned into his grief. He could have faded quietly into the background, leaving Brandon to navigate his new life on his own. Instead, Roger has been a pillar of support—embracing me and Brandon in our journey to become a family.

Read the whole essay at Spirituality & Health.

 

4 comments May 14th, 2014

Now Available: The Ultimate Dating Guide for Widowers

Add comment May 12th, 2014

The Ultimate Dating Guide for Widowers is finally here! You can now download it for KindleNook, and at Smashwords. A paperback version and other ebook formats will be available in the coming weeks. You can read the first chapter here.

About The Ultimate Guide for Widowers

Men and women grieve differently. Though both feel the pain and sorrow that come with losing a spouse, widowers start dating much sooner than widows—usually within the first year of their wife’s passing. While there’s nothing wrong with dating again that quickly, widowers often get into relationships before they’re emotionally ready to take that step. That causes problems for them and the women they’re with.

That’s where The Ultimate Dating Guide for Widowers comes in. Drawing on the success stories and learning experiences of Joe Biden, Thomas Edison, Peirce Brosnan, and Paul McCartney, this book specifically addresses questions, concerns, and needs of widowers, including:>/p>

  • How to know if you’re really ready to date again
  • Overcoming feelings of guilt about starting another relationship
  • Balancing your dating life with the needs and wants of your children
  • How to make room in your heart for someone else

The Ultimate Dating Guide for Widowers is the definitive guide for widowers who are looking to sort out their conflicting emotions and avoid common pitfalls that come with dating the second time around. It’s a must read for any man who’s looking to ease the transition from an old life to a new one.

Kindle | Nook | Smashwords | Chapter 1

Enjoy the book,

Abel

Add comment May 12th, 2014

Spring Soccer in Utah

Add comment May 9th, 2014

 

Five years and one job ago I worked with someone whose wife coached soccer. While he was supportive of his wife, every spring he would comment that he hated the spring soccer season because it was always cold and/or rainy and/or windy. At the time, I didn’t think much about what he said. Our boys were two young to play organized sports and I was leaning more toward putting them in other sports.

Years have passed. The older boys have gravitated toward basketball and football. Our oldest daughter prefers gymnastics and tumbling. The five year old watches with insane jealously every time they go to practice or compete at their games. Last fall we put in him soccer because that’s the only sport they allow pre-kindergarten students to play. He loved it and enjoyed every moment of it. All winter he talked about wanting to play it again. February rolled around and so it was time for spring soccer signups. While I was in the process of registering him, the thought flashed through my mind what my co-worker said about the weather. I looked at the calendar and realized games didn’t start until April and figured the weather wouldn’t be much of an issue.

April rolled around and the season started. All the practices have been ice cold. All the games have been rainy or windy. My five year old has had a blast but it’s been less than enjoyable for me and the other parents to watch the games and practices in such conditions. Last Saturday was his only bye week. That day it was 80 degrees and sunny. The forecast for his game tomorrow is 58 degrees with a 60% chance of rain.

The gods look down and laugh.

Add comment May 9th, 2014

Widower Wednesday: Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

6 comments May 7th, 2014

Widower Wednesday

Book update: Just waiting on the final hi-res cover for The Ultimate Dating Guide for Widowers. Once I have that, the book will be available soon. If you’d like to be the first to know about the availability of the book, be sure to join my email list. People on the list will be the first to know when it’s available.

***

A comment that was recently left on a past Widower Wednesday column asks for help:

John was happily married for 38 yrs. We started dating 10 months ago, meet on a website. He’s been widowed 4 yrs. & 2 mo’s now. He claims to love me but somehow I feel that he’s holding back due to guilt.

Here’s the problem: His deceased wife, shortly before she died, ask him to promise to Never be with another women Ever! He made this promise knowing he wouldn’t keep it, but wanted to not cause her any further pain, emotional or otherwise. He’s a wonderful, caring man who appears to want to go on w/ his life, but only so far as his guilt will let him. He says he’s “over this guilt re: his promise” but I don’t really feel he is as I can feel him holding back…in all ways.

He hardly touches me during sex, foreplay wise, almost as though “he shouldn’t touch or enjoy me too much”. He says he’s committed to me, but doubts that he’ll ever marry again. (I would like to be married again but am willing to let that go as long as I know he truly loves me). His grown sons (36 & 38 yrs. old) are still single & are almost too close & dependent on him. He “allows” this, it seems because I believe his wife made him feel responsible for them for the rest of their lives. I feel they need to grow up and move on w/ their own lives, thus freeing John to do so also. His sons and I have a good relationship. John is extremely close to his deceased wife’s family/sisters and her best friend. Even 4 yrs. after his wife’s passing, they all still call on every anniversary: her b’day, their wedding day, the anniversary of her death, etc.

I believe this helps to prevent John from being able to truly move on. He admits that the frequent calls on anniversaries makes his pain worse, but says he’ll never tell them that. The sisters and best friend of wife, all know about the promise she made John give and told him most likely she didn’t meant it and that it was o.k. for him to date. BUT, it seems it’s only o.k. for him to date…..Not be really in love w/ another woman. He still has many, many pix’s of his wife, sons, and himself all over his house, including his bedroom. He took out the ones of just the two of them together, at my request. He does try to please me, but it’s limited to what he feels comfortable with.

I wonder if I’m wasting my time, will I ever be on the same level as his deceased wife was, even if not married, in his heart. I love him dearly, he’s an easy man to love but after reading your books, I don’t want to be taken care of. Am I just a “place holder” for her?

Dianne

Dianne,

You’ve got a host of concerns here but it seems like most of them could be taken care of if John really wanted to take care of them. For example, John knows the calls from friends and family on special dates hold him back but he won’t do anything about it. He allows his two adult children to be overly dependent on him. He also allows his “promise” to his deceased wife get in the way of your sex life and hold back in other ways.

Does this sound like a widower who’s ready to start a new life with someone else?

This isn’t a man who’s ready to make you or anyone else number one in his heart. Widowers who are truly ready to start a new life with someone else figure out a way overcome the obstacles that present themselves. They man up and politely tell friends and family that he loves talking to them but doesn’t need their anniversary calls anymore. He can choose not to use a “promise” he made to his wife as an excuse to hold back.  Yet after 10 months together he doesn’t do any of these things. If he’s not willing to make baby steps at making you number one, odds are things aren’t going to change 10 months or 10 years from now.

The best thing those in your situation can do is decide what you can and can’t live with, set boundaries, and let the widower know what you want from the relationship. At that point it’s up to him to decide if he values you enough to make you number one in his heart. If he’s not willing to do that, find someone who’s willing to treat you like a queen.

6 comments May 7th, 2014

Life in the Garden: Week 1

Add comment May 4th, 2014


A view of our garden, after planting.

One of the things me and Marathon Girl both like to do is garden. At our old home, we had a small garden in the back yard. It was smaller than what we wanted but it was a small home with a small yard so we made do with what space we had. At our new place, the yard is roughly three times as big but since it was a new home, the yard wasn’t done and there was no space or good ground for a garden. We’ve been saving up money in the (almost) two years since we’ve moved in order to get a yard that the kids can play in and a garden space for us. Over the last couple of weeks we’ve removed rocks, put in some good soil, and planted grass.

Saturday I (finally!) planted the first half of the garden. There are now rows of lettuce, beets, radishes, onions, cabbage, carrots, and Swiss chard. Basically I planted all the hardy and semi-hardy plants that need to start growing before the weather gets to warm. Next week we’ll add tomato plants, peppers, squash, melons, beans, peas, and corn. Most of the veggies I planted we don’t have a lot of experience growing. Most of them are an experiment to see what we can or can’t grow well in this area. In our last home we learned what worked and what didn’t and after our first year could generally plant year after year successfully. I’m just glad we have the space to try new things. If three-quarters of what we planted turns out, I’ll consider this part of the garden a smashing success.

Add comment May 4th, 2014

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