I’ve had two particular women on my mind lately for two very different reasons.
My friend’s mom is stuck in New Orleans. She’s plugging along and doing fine but it still scares the hell out of all of us that she is still there. She’s not my mom and I don’t want to claim the fear but it still makes me pretty nervous.
But she’s doing fine. She’s got telephone service and is regular contact with her family. She’s got food and water and a gun, should she need it. She tried to leave and met up with some flooding and lost her transportation so it’s not like she’s able to go on her own anyway. But she still wants to stay where she is. And I can’t really fault her for that, I would probably be sorely tempted to do the same but I’m a big fucking sissy and probably wouldn’t have. So on the one hand I have to say, “Woman, what are you doing? Get the heck out of Dodge!” But on the other hand, I understand and I applaud her for sticking to her guns (I hear it’s a Winchester, by the way) and I think she’s a damn sassy old broad (said with the utmost respect) for doing so. I only hope she stays safe while she stays sassy. I do believe that she is sassy enough to know when enough is enough as well and pack it in.
The other person on my mind is my own mother. She spent last week in West Virginia as part of a mission team helping to rebuild a house that needed some repairs and updating. I believe that the woman who lives there has fallen ill and needed some help making her house more accessible.
My mom is 66. Almost 67. She drove the 13 hours to West Virginia with another woman around the same age. They stayed in a church, and drove 30 miles every morning to the work site. My mother does not have a computer because she’s not sure she could work one. She has never programmed a VCR. She doesn’t own a microwave and it’s only within the past 10 years that she has her own washer and dryer. But there she was, repairing drywall, laying tile, and installing insulation. After a week of that she went home to plant the front yard and today she is working for the Red Cross from 2 until 8>
These two women are pretty amazing. As for me, I plan to spend my retirement as that old woman you see in the corner bar. The one in full make up, a fake fur coat and lots of bling. The one who’s got a little dog (wearing a tiara) in her purse (or, if I can successfully train my cat to live in a purse and wear a tiara…well, what more could I ask for?). The kind of old woman who drinks martinis and spills half of them on herself but doesn’t really care. And if I had any fascinating stories to tell, I’d be that kind of old woman in a bar too, but don’t get your hopes up for that.