Thursday, October 21, 2010

Simply Grand

“An old woman is like an old barn.
They both look better with a coat of paint.”


So quipped my pastor.

I told him I disagreed on both counts. Someday I’ll yak all about my love of old barns, but my thoughts this morning are about my love of old women.

I’m blessed to know a group of women so old that they’re approaching the century mark. That’s right… an entire group of ladies all nearly one hundred years old.

And still active.

Faithfully, they attend Sunday School and church and mid week prayer meetings, some still driving themselves to get there. It's the husband’s great privilege to help them from car to building….

and up the steps…
because they still take the steps.

He’s also their substitute teacher. Considering the fact that he has to secure a substitute for his own class to do it, you might find that odd.  Considering these women, you wouldn’t find it odd at all.

They range from 90 to 99 in that class…
And they take notes.

The husband is convinced that their passion for learning is one of the secrets to their fountain of youth. Once a month, they meet to discuss all things literary in their book club. They call it…

Girls Reading in the South
GRITS, for short.

They’re not only faithful; they’re spunky.

Last year, we asked the ones in our DAR chapter to try a little convertible ride in the local festival parade. They jumped at the chance, some of them insisting that they would sit not in the back seat but on it.



In their western wear no less.
Did I mention that they’re spunky?

Last Sunday afternoon, the DAR held an open house for our historical home. Of course, they came. I snapped this picture of two of them relaxing on the porch.

(No. That's not the Duchess in the sassy hat...)

The young lady on the left is 98.
She was born the day the Titanic went down.
The one on the right is 99.
 She’s usually the designated driver.

Could they be any more beautiful?

If you’re wondering where I’m going with this ramble,
 it’s this:

Sometimes you’re just in the right place at the right time.

So it was for me last Sunday as these two wonderful old ladies decided to tour the house. While the 99 year old can steady herself with a cane, the younger one needs a bit more assistance.

Because I was standing there yakking with  them, I got the honor. So with one hand on her cane and the other hand in mine, the grand old lady strolled through the grand old house.

With me.

Funny thing about walking with old people.
You measure your steps…
And you stop...
Often.

And you listen intently to what they have to say. After ten decades, their vocal chords aren’t as strong as they used to be. Their minds, however, are as strong as ever.

So I got a personal tour of my favorite old home with a legend of living history by my side. She told me all about the first renovation. She knew details that weren’t written in any records.

Old folks generally do.

When we reached the staircase, I asked if she planned to venture upstairs. She twinkled her eyes at me and said, “Maybe not today, Debbie.”  But she glanced up the stairs, and I could tell that she wanted to. I almost believe that she would have let the husband carry her up there had she not been wearing a skirt.

Not really.
 You see, besides being faithful and spunky,
 she is first and foremost
a lady.
A very grand old lady.

And this week’s simple pleasure was taking a stroll with her.

*****
Sharing this today with my blog friend Dayle at
A Collection of This and That
Please meander over there for more

46 comments:

Trish said...

Oh Debbie I LOVE this post!! I know what you're talking about. My mother will be 94 in January and my aunty will be 100 next February-God willing! Minds are as sharp as a tack and they live at home..but my aunty is nearly bed-ridden now. Mum is sprite for her age and loves crosswords and is every bit a lady. We think she's gorgeous-no need for paint-she's a natural beauty! Much like your 99 year old friend in the lovely photo. Thank you for honouring precious elders! many blessings..Trish

Marla @ Always Nesting said...

Beautiful post about beautiful ladies!

gnee @ Singing With Birds said...

Grand is grand and you got to experience this first hand. Missing my grandmothers who would be their ages. Thanks Debbie.

Sue said...

What a beautiful story and post, Debbie, These ladies sound so adorable, and what an adorable husband to help these ladies you have, I have one too, and he loves to do the same at our church. And you are so special to have them as friends, I know you glean so much from them. Thanks for sharing.
Hugs,
Sue

Angel said...

Debbie, What a wonderful post showcasing these beautiful ladies and the importance of "respecting our elders". They have much to teach us and we have much to learn. Thank you for sharing this.

Sailing Simply said...

I sooo enjoyed hearing about these grand old ladies! You are quite blessed to have such wise and grand old friends!

Gail @ Faithfulness Farm said...

Debbie...a wonderful post! I am so in awe of older people and I am always grateful for the ones that have been in my life. These 2 are surely GRAND ladies :)

Blessings!
Gail

Karen said...

This is the best! I absolutely love old people. The part about stopping and talking and measuring your steps (such truth). But, oh don't you enjoy hearing the stories. I believe it is because they make us (SLOW), the reason I love them so.

Denise said...

Just a little jealous that you were the one to have the honor of helping these dear women. Oh how I wish it had been me. Such great dames indeed. I'm in that book club with them as well and do so enjoy listening to their insight. What a wonderful inspiration. If only they knew....

Dayle said...

Dear Debbie, this was a very moving post, and a perfect simple pleasure. I always say, if you want great advisors about life, make friends with the elderly. These beautiful women were blessed to have you along for the tour, as you were them.

A very blessed lady! said...

Wonderful words, my grandmother was 94 when she passed and i wish i had written down the storiesof our family she would so often share. Thanks for reminding me of the beauty of WISE women!

-K

Toodie said...

I bet the older generation gave that pastor an earful, hopefully. There's ah joke in these parts that says older women are like dog poop, the older they are the easier to pickup! Oh Lordy they will git old one day and may have to eat their words. There are quite a number of women here over 100 and live in their own homes. I admire them so much. Keepin busy they say is key. Loved your post and love the GRIT!

FrouFrouBritches said...

Oh Debbie, "The Husband" reminds me so much of "My Hubby". What a sweet post about these beautiful ladies. I love listening to older people talk about things. I know lots of "older ladies" who have such amazing stories to share and I most of them are so spunky!!! Love that! Makes me feel a lot better about getting older! Sweet post!

Lynn Richards said...

Debbie,
These women are a blessing!!!! To have them for role models is beyond wonderful. I think when I grow up, I want to be just like them.
xo
lynn

skoots1mom said...

so wonderful...they are GRAND!

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Debbie, you are such an angel. Some would have considered this experience to be a drain on their time, but not you! I think people like you get more out of life, because you are always looking on the bright side of things! I love that you took the time and showed the love to do this and to learn from this wonderful lady. I'm sure she felt that you were more of a blessing to her than she was to you. Beautiful post! laurie

Miss Merry said...

Thank you so much for introducing us to these special ladies. What a wonderful group. And so pretty, too!

SavannahGranny said...

Debbie, This is a wonderful story and so beautifully told. I hope we can relate because to have one of these "Grand Ladies" in our life is a blessing.
I lost my dear mother when she was 50. I am fortunate to have an aunt who is 99. She will turn 100 on next Fourth of July. I am here to tell you that she is one firecracker. This year, when a nephew gave her a 100 dollar bill she quipped "I owe you a dollar change".
We can learn so much from the wonderful people.
I absolutely love your blog. I am your newest follower. I hope you choose to follow me as well. Thanks for visiting me this morning I enjoyed your comments. Thank you again, Ginger

sarah said...

Debbie...this was the best. I love those spunky ladies....and what a privilege to accomany them.

Jen said...

If my grandmother could have lived that long, I know she would so fit in with this club! Thanks for the precious story!

Cindy aka Sunshine said...

I loved this post, and thanks for sharing these special, spunky women with us. Great post.


Hope your having a awesome day.
Hugs,
Cindy

Linda said...

What a wonderful post...this just made me smile...I'll say these women looked so great. My Mom is in her 80's now and sure is going strong too...she is active at her church and everywhere else too. She plays in the church band and just organized her high school's 60th class reunion...are old ladies grand? You gotta love them!!

Jennie said...

When I was in high school, I considered a career in geriatrics. Because I love old people. It prompted me to volunteer one summer at a nursing home, and that ranks right up there as one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I just love the wisdom and energy exuded by women (and men) just like the ones you describe.

This just made my heart sing today. And you know what else? I bet you're as big a blessing to them as they are to you.

Ms.Daisy said...

Debbie,
Most of my dearest friends are in their late 70's and early 80's and do they have stories to tell! Loved your Simple Pleasures post about these lovely ladies.

~Jean

Christine said...

You have touched a warm spot in everyone's heart. This is a precious post! These ladies couldn't be more cute.And to think you got the privilege to walk with one of them.

Carol said...

Debbie,
Another wonderful post! I do love your words, or yakking, if you must call it that. It's wonderful.
What treasures these women are. If I must live that long, let me be like them!

Chatty Crone said...

Oh my goodness Debbie - this blog is what I am always preaching about.

L I V I N G ! Living is so much more then blreathing - it is touching - listening - tasting - smelling -

You did this with these ladys. And because you did ALL of your lives got enriched.

Awesome. Do you know what I mean?

You head and learned things others won't.

Love,
sandie

CindyC said...

What a treasure! Thanks for patiently and diligently sharing that enriching encounter with us.

Grace on the Narrow Path said...

BEAUTIFUL post ... if we would just take a stroll with the very old . . . and the very wise how blessed we would all be.
Enjoyed this post so much!!!
Blessings,
Bren

Holly said...

I love this. I want to be a spunky lady like that when I get older. I see some of the ladies at one of the charity shops and this reminds me of them. I get great pleasure form chatting with them and seeing how they live.

Sharon Kirby said...

What precious women!! I love older people, they are a delight. Their slower pace has so much to teach us about living life! Thanks for a really sweet simple pleasure...

(p.s. Sent you an e-novel...)

CAL said...

I smiled the entire time I was reading and couldn't wait to see the picture of these two wonderful women.

Thank you for sharing your day and allowing us to meet both of them.

Cindy Adkins said...

Wow, this is an amazing story!! And you know, I heard somewhere that the reason that women live longer is because they seek a spiritual connection more readily than men...I don't know if it's true, but maybe it is...These women are an inspiration...
Thank you so much for sharing this!!!
XO

Vanessa said...

Oh Debbie! I don't know why but I read through this with tears in my eyes. Maybe its because my one living grandparent lives across the country and I will most likely never see her again on this Earth...or maybe it is because there is so much about our culture today that doesn't value our elders and those with age and wisdom...or mabye it is because I so want to embrace aging with that kind of grace and style and Faith. Whatever it was, thank you, my friend, for reminding me of these things today and for being the kind of gal who will go onto a blog and write about finding beauty and joy in the simple pleasure of a slow walk!
Vanessa

Joan said...

An amazing story, Debbie. We had a neighbor who lived to be 94 or 95 - lived alone and was rather healthy physically and had a mind sharp as a tack. Such a blessing.

Linda W said...

What lovely and beautiful ladies. Thank you, my friend, for introducing them.

Beautiful blog.

Gayle said...

Beautiful, Debbie. Just beautiful.

Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

Ah Debbie, this is priceless. I was blessed to know some wonderful vintage ladies too...and hope to be one myself :))
thank you for sharing this. If I had known about the open house I would've taken a drive myself.
(())

tea said...

I love this! Older people are such a treasure. Especially people who continue to live and learn and share their experiences. They are so valuable to those of us who are younger. I had the privilege of being friends with a woman like that, and I am so thankful for her. I hope to be like that someday.

Jil~Say It With Roses said...

What a wonderful post....I loved my Grandmothers to pieces and now I am one...I have always loved older ladies for all their wisdom, caring and knowledge.
I want to be like them...live to a hundred and be spunky, busy and able!
Thanks for the inspiration!
Jil

THE OLD GEEZER said...

“An old woman is like an old barn.
They both look better with a coat of paint.”

I think that can also be said about Old Geezers :-)

Marydon said...

G'day Debbie ~ How blessed you were with these ladies ... My cousin lived to be 102 & was as sharp as a tack, but not mobile any longer! The beauty of her inner soul & memories of life were so warming ...

Have a beautiful day ~
TTFN ~ Hugs, Marydon

Manda said...

Oh, to grow in grace as these one do... That is beauty!

SALTBOX TREASURES said...

Hi. Love this post. Hope I can be the same when I'm their age. You hubby sounds very kind.
~ Julie

Sonja said...

Hi Debbie:

I loved your comments on Mr.Geezer's page today, so I hopped over here. This is a treasure! I've loved strolling around and reading your blog. I will be back for more!

Blessings!

Sonja

Kelley said...

Ahhh... Love it! I tweeted your "Funny thing about walking with old people" quote on Twitter today! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to be with old people!

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