Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Life Goes On - Part Two

Hello all:

I was totally bowled over by all the support that I received on my last post, where I resumed blogging after my wife’s death last winter.   Thank you all so much. It’s been a few months since then, so a little catch up.  Back in May I said here that “A lovely lady, a cancer widow, has entered my life and made it much richer”.   Well, “much richer” barely describes half of it.    Her name is Joy, and she is well-named.   

I met her through the Anglican parish where I serve as a volunteer assistant priest.  Her husband was being treated for cancer at the same hospital where Kay was a frequent flyer, so we often crossed paths and would meet for coffee and mutual encouragement, telling the war stories that only caregivers can really understand.   Then, last November, mysteriously and ten days apart, first Randy died, then Kay.   That winter was hard, but we got through it, checking in and feeding each other as necessary, and gradually realizing that life, and love, can go on.

In April we celebrated Joy’s birthday with a trip to Mexico.   On the flight home, we talked about how difficult it was visiting each other’s houses with a dog and three cats in the equation, and so high above the Gulf of Mexico we decided to throw in together.   

 

It was a splendid decision, and looking back on it, totally the right one.   We weren’t expecting to find love so quickly, but as is the case with a long terminal illness, we had both been in mourning for a year before our spouses passed, and coming back into the land of the living was an unexpected blessing.   As C.S. Lewis said in another context, I was truly Surprised by Joy.

As I moved into Joy’s house, she was a little dismayed at what came with me.   Most of my furniture I left for the tenants of my house to enjoy, but I did bring a steady stream of boxes full of games, terrain, and little soldiers.     She was a good sport, even as she lamented how her basement was now overrun with things that she didn’t truly understand, but she did appreciate the paintwork on my “little men”.

In late May, a bemused Joy had the chance to see some of my collection set up on her dining room table when my mate James came up the three hours from Stratford for one of our ongoing EX THUNDERING DICE dustups.     We don’t see each other as much as we’d like, so we try to get a lot out of our EX TD weekends.  Here the hordes of Middle Earth prepare to do battle - I think we each used about 40 points of figures using our favourite quick play fantasy rules, Dragon Rampant.

I love James’ work, and am always curious to see his latest units.   That day he debuted this impressive unit of wolf riders, old Vendel figures, with a handprinted banner of little doggies circling the Eye of Mordor.  Joy, who adores husky dogs, was suitably impressed.

Much mayhem occurred that day, and while the Wolf Riders died in the end, they were a right pain in the arse.  Even when they were reduced to one figure, they tied up my Rohirrim cavalry and were generally annoying.  Good doggies.

James has some more pictures here.  Also that weekend, I tried to introduce James to one of my fav GMT games, Space Empires, but I think it was all a bit much for him.  On Saturday we decided to play TFL’s Sharp Practice, but the unpacking was still in progress and since I couldn’t find my ACW figures, we used my SYW figures, Russians versus Turks.   It made me realize how much I enjoyed this period, and how much I would like to get back into it.

 

Joy and I spent a lot of time together this summer, solidifying our relationship, and everyone we know says we just look like a pair of happy idiot kids, so that bodes well, I think.

There was a little more gaming, and I’ll tell you some more about that sometime.   Oh yes, there is a project involving Space Kitties.    More to follow.

Blessings to all of you in the land of the living.

MP

45 comments:

  1. Great table. I am very glad to see things are moving forward for you. My wife calls my lead "little men" as well ;)

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    1. Thanks Pat. I think "little men" is a universal term used by wives/girlfriends to describe their partner's obsession. It was Kay's term as well.

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    2. Yup, same thing for my wife.

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  2. Nice to see the figures out again, glad to hear your well and my wife refers to my "little men" also, occasionally with expletives!
    Best Iain

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    1. Cheers/ More evidence to support my reply to Pat just above!

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  3. Glad to hear that things are going so well for you Michael!

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    1. Thank you Edwin and thanks for all your kind support in the last few difficult years. You're a good chap.

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  4. Glad things are going well.
    Discussing Featherstone and fantasy wargames with James (Quantrills Toy Soldiers) we were discussing the on the tabletop fantasy gaming role for military padres, a little similar to your blog header ... https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/09/08/pound-bag-skeleton-warriors-1-a-bag/#comment-418

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    1. Thanks so much. I love your blog! Such inspired Old School madness and thrift - terrific! Yes, always useful to have a padre around to see off the occult chaps.

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  5. It's great read that things are going well for you and Joy. I hope that the pair of you enjoy a long and happy life together.

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    1. Thank you so much Bob. From your keyboard to God's lips.

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  6. I am genuinely smiling to see you happy again. I followed your blog with much sadness during the last couple of years. I wish you and Joy many happy years and long may she continue to appreciate the paintwork on 'your little men!'.
    With best wishes as ever,
    Jason

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    1. Thanks Jason. I am sure a lot of my grief and sadness bled into my blog. It is wonderful to feel genuinely happy again.

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  7. Great to hear that you have Joy in your life! If she didn't turf you out once she saw the toy collection, then she must be a keeper.

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    1. Thanks so much Peter. Joy is indeed a keeper. Hard to believe such a wonderful woman wants me, but I'll take it!

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  8. My happy grin reading all this, I wish you could see it. Made me all warm and fuzzy inside to hear about you and your new life. Long may that continue my friend.

    Good to see the minis getting played! Both yours and James' Middle Earth collections have grown impressively and look splendid on the tabletop.

    As to Joy, perhaps finding an anthropormorphic genre (Considering her appreciation for fluffy hounds) she might be interested in "could" sway her into trying out some dice-throwing in the future? ;)

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    1. Thanks Dai. So glad I put a grin on your face.
      James and I have amassed some epic scale LOTR armies and it's probably a project I'll keep at, because the battles should be big. DR as a rules set doesn't work as well with larger armies, but that's just a problem to be solved.
      Not sure yet if Joy is really the gaming type. A fun night at our house is making cocktails (anything with gin, really) and watching a Noir-ish detective show like Wallander.

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    2. If you're up to subtitles, I can recommend the Danish/Swedish The Bridge. Also Danish is Dicte. Both are on Netflix.

      Actually, all three variants of the Bridge are good: US/Mexico, UK/France, and Danish/Swedish. It's really interesting how the three productions handle the same starting point (the first episode is essentially the same for each one) and particularly how the three actors handle the lead female character.

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    3. Thanks. Joy is a huge fan of The Bridge, I have yet to watch it. Haven't heard of Dicte.
      Currently we are taking a detour through Kentucky watching Justified on Amazon Prime, great fun.

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  9. So pleased for you to read this Padre. I wish you all the best together.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

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  10. "As I moved into Joy’s house, she was a little dismayed at what came with me"

    You just summed up every wargamer's life :).

    Great to see you up and about, living life and gaming again.

    Cheers

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    1. Thanks mate. Joy said about one of my cats yesterday that he is both "annoying and stupidly cute". I like to think that on my good days that applies to me as well!

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  11. Wonderful news. Sounds like you have both been blessed and been wise enough to recognize and accept it. I wish you both good fortune.

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    1. Thank you so much Ross. I am both awed, humbled, and grateful. It's a good combination.

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  12. Awesome to hear you are getting some enjoyment and you both look very happy together. I am sure Joy will get used to seeing your collection coming out to play.

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  13. All the very best to you and Joy for now and the future.
    Alan

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    1. Forgot to say I really enjoyed seeing pictures of your games and look forward to seeing more of what you are doing gaming wise. The Vendel figures are super,pity they are not available here in the uk anymore. Your post has sent me scurrying to the lead pile and to look for some Vendel giants to paint up ...

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  14. So happy for the two of you! Glad to see the little men out and seeing some action!

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  15. A Wonderful post Padre, I wish you both much happiness. A splendid looking game as well. Congratulations :)

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  16. Marvellous news, Padre, may it continue long.

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  17. “Happy idiot kids”- sounds great. All the best, Padre.

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  18. Cool. So glad that things are looking up. The past can't be changed, the future is unknowable, so only the present provides the space we need to live our lives.

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  19. Compliments and very best wishes on your "developments", Mike. I was reading this post with growing apprehension, waiting for something of a downturn when Joy realised the true horror of your hobbies, but it seems I was unnecessarily concerned. There used to be an old legend about the dream partner being a millionairess who owned a brewery, but I see now that your new set-up is far better than that. Please give my best wishes to the lady - I'm sure she'll be thrilled...!

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  20. Michael, so encouraging to read of your current situation. I know so well what you went through and understand perfectly your observation of the mourning/grieving period beginning during a prolonged illness.

    Best wishes and good to see you back.

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  21. Good to see you and Joy happy together.
    Bless you both

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  22. I'm glad to see you having fun again Father.

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  23. So good to hear that you are continuing life, with love and games involved. So happy for both of you.

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  24. I couldn't be more happy for you and Joy. Its great to read that through so much hurt and heartbreak that something good has came out of it, at the end.

    Two great looking games too, when do you think Joy will be throwing the dice???

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  25. I‘m glad to hear the good news Padre! All the best to you both.

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  26. Good for you Padre glad to hear you are well and sneaking the boxes in :-)
    Cheers
    Stu

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