Friday, January 25, 2013

New role models for aging gracefully

Attitude - it's all how you look at things
Later in the day after learning how to age gracefully we headed into town in search of food, a shower and a grocery store.

Not knowing where to go we stopped at the first place that presented itself, Sweet Darlene’s Bakery and Restaurant.  I’ve never met a bakery I didn’t like so we ambled in and gazed at the long tables that were packed full of people eating and ordering.  Squeezing our way down to the far side of the room we took two chairs at the end of a table and waited for the waitress.  And we waited…and waited…and waited.

This is understandable when you have a major population explosion in a small town so we just went with it and chatted until we were brought menus.  Our waitress was delightful.  She had forgotten her glasses and so borrowed someone else’s, which kept falling off her face unto the table. Her arms were inked with tattoos and there were as many gaps as teeth in her mouth.  She was delightful and full of personality and quick to smile. Her was a woman comfortable in her own skin.

None of the waitresses were young, come to think of it I can’t recall seeing anyone in this town under the age of fifty…we feel right at home.  About the time she was waiting on us a large group sat down next to us, with the exception of one lady who was attempting to sit on the other side of the group.

Our waitress quickly chastised her and ordered her to sit down “over here” pointing to the seat next to Left Brain.  She then explained that she could sit over there by that other handsome man, but that didn’t happen to be her table.  This was how we met Lila, my new role model.

This cute little lady smiled and parked herself next to my husband and immediately struck up a conversation starting with the standard “where are you from?”  We volunteered that we were from Wisconsin and learned she was from Iowa – ahhh…Midwesterners finding one another in Quartzsite.

There was a sparkle in her eyes and a smile on her lips at all times as we swapped stories.  She is 89 and her husband, sitting to my left, is 90. They had done the full time RV thing for many years before settling into the SKP park in Coarsegold in a park model.  They joined Escapees long before we did.  For example, our skip number is 68640 – their number only has four digits in it. 

She shared the story of being in the California earthquake in the 80’s when their home slide down the side of a hill while they rode it out, with her in the bathtub.  It just goes to show that everyone has stories to share and that is one of the best aspects of this new life – meeting people like her and hearing the stories.  Her only regret was that she did not keep a journal of their RV’ing years.  I gave her my card and explained that I had started a blog to record our experiences.  This seemed to delight her and she borrowed her friend’ card, writing her name and email on it and asked us to send her an email...and I have every intent to do so.

I can only hope to have as much vitality and sparkle as this woman when I reach her age.  In my family people seemed old before their time and most had died by the early eighties.  Now I can see that a person can be alive and full of wonder well beyond this.  Thank you Lila for affirming my lesson on how to age gracefully.
Long Live the Queen of Growing Old, Gracefully or Not


  1. Where did you find this adorable kitty photo? I would loved to have met this wonderful lady and her hubby. It always fascinates me to hear of older folks who are still so full of life and actively enjoying their everyday life. I hope to be that 100 year old lady who is still happily typing and posting her blog every day. I hope to still be having a grand time with my camera and Photoshop. Well, that's my plan anyway. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

  2. I was reading and enjoying your last two days of posts when my brain glommed onto "Shedding all the excess stuff in my life". Wow, how did you do it. That is my greatest burden (well one of them) right now. I have stuff and I don't know where to begin to get rid of it. I keep formulating plans, but always run into some kind of glitch and then it gets dropped (it's called procrastination) for the time being. I am all ears if you could find the time to give me some hints ... I could live comfortably in an "empty of stuff" house. Amazing when you reach a point in your life where you realize you don't need those extra's. They are, for the most part, useless. Some are reminders of good times and at my age I do need reminding now and then, but others are just there .. doing nothing, meaning nothing, gathering dust (and I hate dust, because when it is around it means I will have to clean some day down the road:) Love that your brilliant daughter figured this out at such and early age ... she will be a happier person for it.

    I love the idea that being yourself embarrasses your family ... all that means is that you have ditched the old should do this, shouldn't say that adage from our generatiom of being parented. You should wear that as a badge of honor. I find myself being rather blunt at times when I would never have been back in the day ... fun, isn't it. I think I have stopped my hubby in his tracks a few times when I open my mouth and said what I was thinking. Whoo Hooo, I love it.

    Growing old is freeing, no matter how graceful you are about it. Graceful is in the eye of the beholder (like all other things of value)and as soon as you learn that, the fun begins. I was telling Edna how much fun I was having scoping out all the handsome sportsmen attending the Expo where we are showing our Raptors. Hay, I can look, can't I? :) Of course, I was always willing to look ... but I never used to admit it. Time does change us and if we allow it to be for the better ... Life is good. Now I am off to take Izzi to school and then back to the Expo for more "educating". Have a great day Queen of Self Discovery ...