Murdick’s and the Mall

December 1 (Friday) was EJ and my 27th anniversary. We were going to celebrate our anniversary on Saturday and I was going to plan something awesomely fun because there have been many years when we weren’t able to do much to celebrate. A time or two we celebrated in a very special way, some times we at least went out to a restaurant, but many years EJ had to work long hours every day for months so that he was not able to get away. He now gets weekends off so I was determined that we were going to do something special.

But then Danny died.

We didn’t really feel much like celebrating, so we decided to have a quiet weekend at home. And that’s ok. We actually enjoy quiet weekends at home. And we’ve had lots of fun weekends taking turns celebrating our “extra birthdays” so we didn’t mind staying home.

We are mostly doing ok about Danny. Sometimes I think that, wow, as much as I loved him, I’m not really grieving for him all that much because although I think about him all the time, and I get choked up when I talk about him, I’m not crying my eyes out. I did most of my crying the day we took him to the veterinary hospital. I recognize, though, that grief affects people in different ways. I feel an underlying sadness, and although I am not crying, I can feel the grief affect me physically. I feel sad and stressed, my stomach is in knots, and I’m not sleeping very well.

I really miss having a dog–both the companionship and protection–and I don’t want to wait too long to get another. I don’t plan to wait a year, or six months. Maybe a month or two. But I don’t know how to choose a new dog. Before Danny, we had Jake. We got him when a group of neighbor kids came to our house trying to find the owner of a stray dog they had found. I told them that if they couldn’t find his owner, I would take him. A couple of hours later they brought him back to me. Neighbor kids always brought us homeless animals–mostly kittens. Now that we live high on a hill on five acres instead of in town, we don’t have neighbor kids bringing us homeless pets. And, of course, Danny found and chose me at the pet supply store. So I’m not sure how to find our next dog. I’ve looked at animal shelters on-line, but I haven’t seen a dog that I felt a connection with. But, then, we really aren’t ready for another one yet.

JJ has had an interesting situation at work. I don’t think I should go into too much detail so I will just say that his company recently hired a guy who, on his first day, made remarks and behaved in ways that really made JJ uncomfortable. JJ googled him and found a news report that indicated that the guy was a serious sexual predator. JJ said that he had never really felt that the articles I shared about abuse was relevant to him–until now. Because of the articles I’ve shared, he recognized that this guy was trying to victim-groom him. This is why I share things about abuse–to not only help victims understand what is happening to them, but also to educate others so they can recognize red flags and won’t become victims. It is important to learn to recognize abusive behavior and teach them to your kids.

Even though JJ wasn’t sure if he would lose his job, he reported the guy to his superiors because he believes that such a man should definitely not be working as a security guard. I mean, women are always told that if they feel uncomfortable at a mall, they should ask a security guard to walk them to their car. Having a predatory security guard is like asking a fox to guard a chicken coop. JJ believes that he has a duty to help keep others safe. He had the day off today so he went to work and wrote out an official statement, which will be handed over to his company’s Human Resource and legal departments. Apparently, others have been creeped out by this guy as well and most of his superiors are standing with JJ. I’m really proud of JJ for caring more about protecting the vulnerable than keeping his job. I think he will make a fine police officer.

I rode to the mall with JJ and sat in the Buggy to wait for him. I didn’t sleep much last night and was very tired, so I told JJ to try not to take too long–I mean, I have no problem with him taking as long as he needed to do his business, but I told him not to engage in long chats with his co-workers, or go to a restaurant, or go shopping, or anything like that. I had left my phone home to charge because the battery was low so I couldn’t contact him and I had never been to that mall before so I didn’t know my way around. I told him that if he took too long, I just might start wandering around the parking lot acting weird, and when the security guards came out to investigate, I would tell them that JJ was my son and I needed them to take me to him. LOL. He didn’t think that was a good idea. He said the guards would mace me first and ask questions later, but I think he was just trying to scare me so I wouldn’t be tempted to act weird. It took JJ quite awhile to write out his statement and I had to go into the mall to find a bathroom. I get lost very easily so before I left the Buggy, I wrote a note for JJ in case he returned before I did: “I went to find a bathroom. I’m probably lost.” I did actually find a bathroom AND I was able to find my way back to the Buggy. I forgot to remove the note when I returned and JJ laughed at it when he found it.

I wanted to buy some authentic Northern Michigan fudge for a friend of mine who lives in a different state. Northern Michigan is famous for its fudge and tourists come to Northern Michigan–especially Mackinac Island–in order to buy it. For that reason, tourists in Northern Michigan are nicknamed “Fudgies.” JJ and I stopped at Doug Murdick’s, which is an authentic Northern Michigan fudge shop, to buy the fudge. Murdick’s cooks their fudge in large copper kettles, which is then poured out on beautiful marble tables and cooled. Fudgies can watch the fudge being made. You can read about Murdick’s at their website and see photos. We bought some fudge for my friend and some for us.

On our way home, we stopped at Culvers because JJ hadn’t eaten anything all day and was hungry.

The weather has turned cold and VERY windy, with winds of 25-35 mph and gusts up to 40 mph. The wind shook the Buggy as I waited for JJ at the mall and the seagulls flying overhead looked as if they were struggling a bit. The wind blew some papers from my purse as we walked back to the car after leaving Murdicks, and it ripped more papers from my purse as we left Culvers. I don’t deliberately litter, but since the papers  were gone before I could even hope to retrieve them, and I don’t know if they were important, I’m sort of hoping they ended up soggied and unreadable in the bay. The wind also broke some of the snow fence lining our driveway. We are expecting at least 6 inches of snow through Thursday.

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