Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Two birds of a feather

It's a blue day, it's snowing, and the temperature is falling.  I don't have much to do, except babysit Chase later this afternoon, so I'm content to stay inside and keep warm.    I should be writing up a story for a Marcy project, but I keep putting it off.

"Fran are you there?  I have an emergency."  It's my friend Judi, who lives downstairs from me.   She usually emails her messages on the Apple computer she has learned to use like a youthful expert, signing off  "Judi down under" or "Judi below," or something similar.

"Good lord, yes," I yell down the stairs, where she's yelling up to me. "What's the problem?"

"I've run out of wine."

"Well so have I,"  I yell down.  "Real emergency, Judi!" We laugh.

We are birds of a feather, with many similar interests and tastes, including wine.  Our feathers are mostly white too. Oh, we have our differences, but they are a treat!

Photo, changingaging.org 
Okay, I tell her. I'm going out this afternoon.  I'll make a wine run for you.  She emails me ten minutes later.  "Nevermind. I'm going out.  I have to go to the library,  Judi down under." Judi reads tons of books and borrows TV series and movies, too.  She's a librarian's best buddy.  She also knits and does jigsaw puzzles, complicated and beautiful.

Judi and I are about the same age, although she'll hit 80 a few years sooner than me.   My hair is going as white as her's. We're two old ladies who like to have fun.  We share meals, blogs, shopping, information, stories, and political rants from time to time.  We both enjoy a glass of wine with our dinner or in the early evening. We are on the same page. Mostly it's wonderful to share this old house on Main Street, Sylvania, with a wise woman who has become a dear friend.  It feels safe and secure and warm, just knowing she is there.

Warning, a poem by Jenny Joseph
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.

There's a book by this title, "When I am an Old Woman, " by Sandra Martz, a collection of poetry, fiction, photos. It was given to me many years ago by my cousin Kathy Curro, who also led me to Mary Oliver's poems. I had just turned 50 and was living in Washington, DC.  Now, one of my daughters is about to turn 50, which doesn't make me feel any younger!

From Mary Oliver:
“When it's over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms. 

When it is over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument. 

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.” 
― Mary Oliver

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