Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Old Ladies of Christmas

I'm feeling a little old in the bones because it is FREEZING outside. The other day one of my students asked me, "Mrs. M, do you EVER wear any makeup?" I guess I'm looking a little tired at school and my efforts at makeup application are going unnoticed. My hair is looking very pearly white lately, too. When I take pictures of myself I like to look real close and notice the spotty age spot/freckle-y skin and the crow's feet. It's a tiny bit thrilling in a weird sort of way. Well, all this to say that today I am thinking of some old ladies that dance around in my memories. Especially the old ladies in my Christmas memories. First, some of the old lady gifts I gave to my grandmothers . . . soap. Yes, I know. Brilliantly creative and thoughtful. My sister and I thought the soaps we selected were glorious. Why did Grandma keep them in her dresser and not in the bathroom? We asked. "Oh, I'm saving them, " was Grandma's response. "For WHAT?" was my insensitive reply.

We thought "chopper hoppers" were VERY cute and clever and I'm not sure why my mom didn't discourage us from buying these for my grandpa AND my grandma. How many "chopper hoppers" does one need?

A vivid Christmas memory of old ladies (which I say with utmost reverence because I am more of an old lady now than a young lady) is my Camp Fire Girl Christmas caroling ventures. We wore red felt hats (not cute and only borderline elfish) and we visited two or three nursing homes so we could sing to the shut ins. The nursing homes did not smell lovely and I was astounded by the HUGE cans of Campbell's soup in the kitchen. As we sang (I'm pretty sure I didn't know enough words to Christmas carols then) I looked around at their faces and felt sad. One woman I remember most was as thin as a skeleton and had the saddest face of all. I thought about her for years after that. I just couldn't get her out of my mind. Obviously, I am STILL thinking about her.

Now, I do not think of my mother as an old lady. She is so frisky and alive (she's almost 80) and she is so adorable and bouncy. When she was my age, I think she moved around more than I do. I guess I absolutely love the idea of getting older. I know that being a fairy grandmother suits me beautifully and I love the people who are my age and gravitate toward them. I've noticed that women my age or older smile at me like they know me. I like to think it's because women get smarter as they get older and they value friendship and they realize it is fun to connect with "girls" your age. To be honest, sometimes I feel completely invisible to younger people (not to my students because they have to pay attention to me and not to our kids because they really like me) and I guess it's my ego that bristles at their lack of attention. I hope I'm moving past this. I'd rather revel in growing older. Back to Christmas . . . Elizabeth (John the Baptist's mom) was VERY old, "Even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. For nothing will be impossible with God." (Luke 1:36-37) How amazing is THAT?

So, here's a nice old lady saying, "Merry Christmas, my friends!" It's time to put on my warm pajamas, brush my teeth and put in my retainer and my night guard instead of placing my choppers in the hopper, and snuggle up close to the old man and dream of sugar plums.


Maggie said...

What a positiviely wonderful post my dear. I love it and so glad I came back over here to find your follow dingy thing.
I love how you brought back so many memories of my grandparents and yes you hit it on the nail. Women do relate to other women their age and its like they sense it when they exchange that smile in passing each other. I have noticed this myself.
Thanks for your sweet comment on my site too

libbyquilter said...

i am actually looking forward to more of my hair turning grey . . . it's begun and i feel so lucky because i've inherited my dad's "silvery" hair. as he aged his hair didn't look grey so much as silver. i loved it and mine is now beginning to do the same.
btw: i think you are beautiful both on the inside and out~!~


Left-Handed Housewife said...

I remember caroling with the Girl Scouts at a rest home and feeling very sad and a little frightened by it. The smell of nursing homes has not changed one iota over the years. I hope not to end up in one, but it seems like most everyone does ...

This summer I met a woman who said that once she turned 50, she became invisible and the same was true for her friends, and they all found it freeing. I can see that. I'm still vain and still wear make up, but I find I don't look in the mirror as much as I used to.

And I agree, women get smarter as they get older, and wiser, and saner. I find that I prefer their company to men's so much of the time now.

I could ramble on forever, but I must be off to bed. I love your glasses!


Bradley Maston said...

great great beautiful post. Thank you so much for sharing. I want to grow older like you and dad! You are amazing.

debbie bailey said...

Hi! I've been seeing 'Pom Pom' in the comments at the Left-Handed Housewife site for some time, and today decided to look at your blog. I'm so glad I did. You're cute as a button!

This post encouraged me as I too as getting to be an 'older woman'. I'm not as accepting of it as you are. I'd like to be. I think it's harder for me because I have an eleven-year-old daughter who likes to comment on my gray hair and point out daily that I'm old. I guess it's hard for her to have a 54-year old mom. Fortunately, she has lots of friends with moms my age. 1998 must have been a good year for pre-menopausal flings (with husbands, of course).

It's a journey anyway. I do like the wisdom and calmness of this age. If only I could have my thirty-year-old body with my fifty-year-old heart and mind!


You are beautiful Pom Pom. I like your white hair and I can't see any crows feet or age spots for pretty make up! You are mother Christmas itself!

Lots of love

Aisling said...

What a thoughtful, lovely post. I still think of soap as a lovely gift! lol! Lavender or rose and beautiful shaped, or hand-made and rustic and flecked with herbs or flower petals. I have been known to tuck soap in a drawer myself though... one year my kids carved rose shapes out of soap and gave them to me as gifts and I'm "saving them" still.

May the remainder of your week be lovely!

scrappy quilter said...

You were a "Red Hat Lady" long before your time. I loved this post. Reminded me of my great granny. Hugs..

MamaF said...

Pom Pom what a wonderful attitude do you have. Really. You know i love older ladies with grey hair, but now (at least here in Italy ) it's almost impossible to find one, everybody out there seems to colour their hair. I am almost 34 but you can believe i'm already thinking at my future granny years and already telling all the time my kids ( who are way young ! ) that i want so many grandbabies from them ! lol
And how neat you quoted the gospel of Luke, isn't it wonderful ? I love it and keep reading Luke 1 and 2. I printed them both and cut avery couple of verses and put in the advent calendar for the kids, so each day we find one, read out loud and paste in on cardboard and on Christams day we'll read all of it together.
Oh my i realize i wrote too much !

Many many blessings !


Michela said...

Hi! I loved so much this post! You're a beautiful lady!

Angela said...

Grow old along with me - the best is yet to be...said the poet...and there was much truth in that. I'd rather be old, wrinked & wise than young, beautiful & naive.
I have a confession- I have one solitary false tooth on a little bridge, and when I got it, my old dentist told me to keep it in as much as possible. But my gums keep bleeding, and my new dentist says it must come out at night. Tell me where I can get a chopper hopper - I have never seen them in the UK!!

Advent blessings xx

Karol said...

We did give the funniest gifts. I remember mom making me take back the water pipe from pier one.:) I love getting old I guess it is because the older women in our family have always embraced it. Wish I could be in one of your classes. Thanks for loving on those kids! Miss you so much.

Gigi said...

I miss my 'old ladies' too - so much! Their leaving left a huge void, but I try (and rarely succeed ;-() to think of living in their honor and hope that doing so helps to fill that void a little bit, ya think?
Blessings to you Pom,

Anonymous said...

Lol! Loved this post!

Hey ho Pom Pom, I have a new blog...will you come and visit me? xx

love, Tina x

Kerri said...

I love that you love getting older! I love how finding new signs of age thrills you! You are now my poster girl for ageing with grace x x

wayside wanderer said...

How fun to see that Camp Fire Girl picture. I was a CFG and wore that outfit minus the beanie. I am also currently showering with Yardley Lavendar soap! My fav. is the Almond Oatmeal.

This may all be TMI but was tickled to see some familiar things. You look lovely. Merry Christmas!

Lisa Richards said...

Here's another older lady who loved your post! I'm fond of every grey hair I have. They're a badge of honor, as far as I'm concerned.

I loved your comment, "I've noticed that women my age or older smile at me like they know me." I've noticed that, too. I think we become part of a secret society at a "certain age". Also, I think we begin to feel a compassion and love for the human race as we get older that we may not have had before we went through all the struggles of our lives. I love growing older. My mom is a great role model also. Very young for her 77 years.

Loved this, Pom-Pom! I second the comment about you being cute as a button! =0)

Deborah said...

I think you look fabulous!! In fact, I'm a little envious of your beautiful white hair. I think my grandmothers received the very same bars of soap. I do remember loving the smell of them myself. Maybe they used them to scent their drawers.