when I’m an old woman I shall wear purple

So much has been going on I hardly know where to start. Last Friday the hubby disappeared–he does that a lot since it must be a great challenge to live with an older woman (he’s exactly 10 months younger, you see).    I was in the office because there had been a telephone call a few moments before that I expected Hubby would answer, as I was sure he knew I was busy catching up on my ironing in the bedroom. But he didn’t. After four rings, the answering service picks up. I wondered why he hadn’t answered–so I went looking for him, deciding first to check to see if the missed call had been important or if there was a message. The doorbell rang. I waited a moment for Hubby to appear because I was still in my pajamas even though it was nearing 11:00. Then it rang again, this time more urgently.

What to do? First I called out to Hubby. No answer. Where was that man this time? I can see the front stoop from my office window, so I glanced out and saw the back of a young man’s head, but I could tell from the voices there was at least one other person with him. My first thought was missionaries. Or Jehovah’s witness.  Now I have nothing against either group, but I was so behind on seasonal switching out chores I truly didn’t have time to chat. The doorbell chimed again, then the banging began. I started to the bedroom to find a robe, but when I saw the heavy winter fuzzy hanging there, I thought it would look sillier than the white tee-shirt with blue fish (yes, the very one I was forced to wear in Edinburgh in September when the heat wave hit) and the blue plaid pajama bottoms I had on.

I was so rattled, maybe startled is a better word, as I opened the door and saw the black haired young man was Ben, my NY daughter’s Significant Other, and two women. Time seemed to stop! What in heaven’s name was Ben doing here? It was when shouts of “Happy Birthday” or “Surprise” or something like that it hit me! The next day I would be having a significant birthday–the big seven and O! Hubby has always said that’s an important birthday in India, but he usually had such trouble keeping secrets and he gets so excited that I always know something’s afoot. I’d already figured out that he and the daughter who lives down the street were possibly planning something bigger than the usual dinner and cake she usually prepared. I even told him please don’t throw a surprise party or making a big deal out of it. Particularly this one! His answer was Don’t worry. You know we aren’t party people! Suddenly Hubby appears out of nowhere, and chores and everything else were forgotten. For this birthday and Mother’s Day, the whole family would be here; they’d all been planning it for months! It was the first time I ever remember being totally taken by surprise in almost my whole life.

Of course everyone came bearing gifts–themselves for the festivities (dinner out at our favorite Indian restaurant that evening and dinner with favorite cake at daughter’s house onn Saturday), books, a new linen blouse, and lime green sandals with such pizazz I’ve hardly taken them off my feet since. I am one hot mama–or grandmama–as the case may be! I’m planning to post a picture of my feet in the new shoes just as soon as I can get to the store and buy some nail polish and paint my toenails! Crimson or Cerise. Or how about Hot pink?

As for birthdays, I think 70 is a good time to start getting funky. You probably remember the book and cards from the 70s, so you know the drill. When I’m an old woman I shall wear purple! I’ve even begun to plan a new color scheme for the big room of our house that we plan to have repainted next year. One purple accent wall–with a natural gray or light charcoal walls all around with white wooden trim! (Let’s see if I still have the gut nerve next year when the time comes!) I got the idea from the new Community Center (gym, library, cafe) that opened in our township just a few weeks ago. Just in case it’s clear what that artwork is made of, here’s a close-up:

As for birthdays, especially the really really big ones, I think 70 is a good time to start counting backwards. Next year I’m going to be 69. Again. And I’m really looking forward to 21!

24 thoughts on “when I’m an old woman I shall wear purple

  1. I’m sorry I missed your birthday!
    Sounds like a fabulous suprise.
    How come there are no pictures of you answering the door?

    • Oh please, no one should be sorry! I purposely don’t try to call attention to it, although with all the nice comments I’ve had maybe I should. As for a picture of me opening the door…cheez…that would have been superb! At least my hair was clean, as were the pajamas. 🙂

  2. Happy big 7-0, Alice — belatedly, I’m sorry to say. It sure sounds like it was a great one — you deserve it!!!

  3. Oh what wonderful fun. Yes, please, red hats, purple walls and photos of the lime green feet. Just flat out a delightful birthday. Hurrrah!!!!

    • I was hoping you’d like the color scheme, Mage! I still love your orange bathroom! I’ll post the shoes as soon as I can, as I’ve always thought I should be a foot model (they’re my best feature or at least used to be).

  4. Happy Birthday to a new 70 year old from an older, not wiser! 73 yo! Diane .. and many more healthy years are my wish for you!
    My daughter, Kerry as a little girl, once asked me how old I was on a significant Bday…I, too, said, I’m not getting older! Now I get to be younger each year! She, ‘when you get to be a kid, will you play with me?’
    I loved it!

  5. A Happy Birthday with the color purple – halfway between red and blue. A great celebration for your 70th. Are you counting down while exercising at the new center?

    • You have an eye for color, I see. Yes, my purple is somewhere between red and blue–not the purple that screams purple but changes hue as different light hits it through the day. I do exercise at the new center sometimes, but P prefers going to Steiner because they have the sauna there. At the new center we have not just the amenities I mentioned, but the library (county) as well–a big draw for me but not so much as the pool, hot tube and sauna have for him. You can tell who’s boss in this family. 😉

  6. Oh and I missed it, too. I’m glad you had such an awesome surprise! Wait. This is all familiar. Did I. Just so it’s happy!

    • Thank you for your good wishes, Edna. You’ve had a few surprises yourself from your own family, haven’t you? Let’s hope we both have a lot more to come. (Have you begun to write–other than social blogs–again? I sure hope so. 🙂

  7. I thought that was a beautiful necklace from India and was going to scream to have one until I realized it was tennis shoes. Happy 70th and what a great way to celebrate – with a surprise. My dear friend just returned from Russia where she was celebrating her dad’s 70th – apparently in Russia it is very common to throw yourself a very formal, large party complete with a roast of the host etc. Happy day!

    • I must admit that the tennis shoes really catch my attention. They make the walking/running (10 times around equals a mile) track that meanders and curves the whole floor seem so much shorter, and the felt track is so much easier on my poor feet than the cement at our other gym on campus. As for 70, when you get there Tin will be about 20 and probably an up-and-coming musician and he’ll be taking care of you instead of the other way around. Look forward to it! 😀 It’s not as bad as you might think.

  8. A special birthday deserves to be celebrated for a full year, so on that note I am not late to wish you very special greetings for the occasion and many, many happy years ahead.

    Red hats and purple t-shirts all round.

    PS: I started with red shoes, I got them the other day!

    • Yes, I believe we share May birthdays, don’t we? And you’re absolutely right about celebrating for a full year. That way when another year rolls around, we’re only one day older than the day before! As for the spiffy shoes, I propose we have a show and tell day. 💡

      • Alice – I’m a March bird, so my birthday for this year is well over. Elly is the may blossom in this family.

        I might well do a show and tell with my shoes

  9. Happy Birthday, Alice. Sounds like it was a great one. I wish you many more happy, healthy ones.

    I love the idea of a purple wall. I think you’ve got it just right.

  10. Happy Birthday!!! I remember you quoting “when I am old, I shall wear purple” way back when when we shared a gym seat watching our girls play basketball and have thought of you often thru the years. Have a wonderful birthday year. I am getting to the purple stage myself. Dawn talks about the “crone, wise woman” stage of life as a time to enjoy and I intend to!

    • Thanks so much, Sharon. Boy it was a surprise to hear from you after all this time. I always enjoy catching up with your Christmas letter, and always think I should write you a note, but somehow never get around to it. I had no idea you ever saw Wintersong. I know you’ll enjoy the grandmother stage of your life, as you learn all kinds of new things through your kids. Hope to see you again!

  11. And the shoes are…..? LOL

    Yesterday we went to see that movie. How marvelous it was. George kept saying, “yes, it was just like that.” We both left smiling. Thank you so much for turning us on to this film. 🙂

  12. Happy Birthday, my Blogging Friend. Had I known, I would have surprised you on your doorstep as well!

    I’m starting early to reinvent myself with pops of fun color, jewelry (not made of tennis shoes), and redecorating with gray and turquoise!

    I always appreciate your drop-ins at my blog as you take the time to make such wonderful comments. You truly are a fun friend.

    Here’s to many happy days ahead!

    • What, thank you so much Mam. At the moment I’m trying to figure out how to write a real poem–not just words masquerading as one. I think wearing purple and trying to figure out the mystery of poetry writing go hand in hand, don’t you? As for that tennis shoe art?…imagine how expensive that would have been using Nike! 😀

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