March in the rearview mirror means I just made another trip around the sun. According to Facebook, this marked day was a milestone in my life’s journey. But, like Mae West said, “It’s mind over matter, if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”
Remember the poem “When I am an Old Woman?” If not, as in if you are too young, you can find both the poem and the backstory https://laterbloomer.com/jenny-joseph/.
At one time, that poem made the rounds at the art fair circuit, around the late 80's and early 90's. After that, the Red Hat Society was formed and well, the rest is history. Now that I think about it, I don’t see too many purple dresses and red hats at lunches anymore.
However, NOW, that I am an old woman I am finally giving up wearing purple. The color doesn't suit me as well as red and orange. You may have deduced that as I am an Aries – a fire sign.
But soon I will not care about what color to wear. My uniform will be baggy work trousers without a matching shirt. There will be stains on the bottom of that tee shirt from carrying unwashed vegetables from the garden to the house. The hem on my pants will be worn and thready, but if need be, I can roll them up to my knees, but not past, since I might have to garden on my knees and need the protection. Shoes are optional.
I will rarely comb my hair and allow the wind to style it in waves and tangles. Someday you may find a ladybug, or two, sunning themselves on the twigs that wind their way through the curls. The curls, of course, becoming curlier from the sweat on hot summer days or on the rare occasion when it's going to rain. I wish it would rain. I will love the rain and will stand in it with welcoming arms and with prayers of thanks for thunder and lightning and precious water to nourish my tomatoes.
Oh yes, now that I am an old woman, my desire is to drive less, and walk more. Stay out of closed rooms and work outdoors. Eat all the fresh bread and butter and vegetables that I can. Order my toilet paper online and hand the UPS driver a fresh-baked cookie when he or she delivers my box.
My grandchildren will come out to visit me as often as they can and lift heavy bags for me because both Grandpa JC and Grandma Sue BB have to start thinking about avoiding lifting. You know you have to watch your back when you are an old woman, never letting that stop you from pulling those weeds or thinning those carrots. There’s no shame in getting down on your knees in the fresh moist soil and communing with the precious earthworms and insects that keep that soil alive.
I will daily say my prayers and listen for the sound of God the Father, Son and especially the Holy Ghost, in the wind and every living thing that crosses my path. In the morning I will stretch like Walter, our cat, and give thanks for the sun. In the evening I will watch the moon rise and give thanks again.
If I have time, I will continue to write my memoirs and tell a story that can only be told by me. If you are my friend, expect a card or letter in the mail someday because hand written notes are still the best.
So, now that I am an old woman and can say whatever I want, I will begin by thanking you for all the birthday wishes and cards.
Sue B. Balcom
Writing, or maybe talking, comes naturally to me and under the guidance of a great newspaper editor I have acquired skills that led me to author four books.