Monday, August 29, 2011

The Incredible Power of Persistence

This is my mother, Ruth, who found to her great surprise last spring that she could no longer walk on her own. When I watched my tall strong son and nephew practically carrying her down the sidewalk for "walking practice," all I could think was, "She's headed for a wheelchair."
You'd think I'd know by now that Mother does not take anything like this lying down.
She forced herself to take baby steps around the house while leaning heavily on her walker. Then she became a regular on the cemetary's smooth roads, laughing off the sextant's challenge to a race. She put in her time, step by step, until two weeks ago she could stand without help. She's graduated to using a cane or two, except on the day she got an adrenaline rush and dashed from the computer to retreive her purse without thinking. When she looked around for her canes to return to her computer, they weren't there. She'd left them behind, walking without any help at all! She is living proof of the value of determination and consistency, whether you want to write a book or race the sextant around the cemetary. Let's all stand as tall as straight as my mother and step out to meet whatever it is that brings joy into your life!

Monday, August 15, 2011

TAG! You're IT!

I was only trying to be nice when I moved forward one row at church to whisper to a lady, "I can see the tag on the back of your shirt. Unless that's the new style, it might be on backwards."
"Oh, dear," the white-haired lady said, pulling her sweater from the back of her seat up over her shoulders.
"Don't worry," I assured her. "I put my shirt on inside out yesterday and didn't know it until my sister told me."
"Honestly," the woman said, hunching herself smaller. "I need a keeper."
"No, you don't," I assured her. "I do it all the time. I button my buttons wrong, too."
She was too immersed in her embarrassment to say anything.
I assure you, if you ever see my shirt on inside out, I'd like to know about it. The same goes for food in my teeth, dog poo on my shoe, and any length of toilet paper trailing out the back of my clothes. I mean, if you're my friend, you're not going to let me wander in public like that, are you?
This incident reminds me of the time I went to speak as a professional author. I sat waiting for my turn, smiling and happy to be there, when a lady leaned over and said, "Your dress is unzipped." It was a side zipper, so I quickly slid it upward just before they called my name.
"I'm so excited to be asked to speak," I said into the microphone. "I was equally excited that my dress felt kind of loose, which meant I'd lost a few extra pesky pounds. Then I discovered my dress was unzipped. When I zipped it up, there went all my weight loss. But I'm still happy to be here."
I suppose we could solve the inside out clothes problem by stuffing our closets with that nifty reversible clothing! Then the only thing I'd have to worry about is putting my shirt on upside down!
Would you be embarrassed if someone told you your shirt was inside out or backwards?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Rockin' out on hymns!

I'll admit it, I really like this! WARNING - not everyone will, I'm sure, but it made me smile, and this is my space, so here it is! I see energy, I see joy, I see gladness - all good things in Shirley's book of Living Large and Free. I also see a trip to the store for sore throat lozenges, but even that can be an adventure. "Do you want wild cherry or lemon echinacea to go with that throat, Elder?"
What kind of music brings you joy?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Electric Blue Shirley

It drew me like a bug to a bug zapper - a swatch of electric blue swishing down the church hallway. I zeroed in on the bright, happy hue of blue and tapped the lucky lady on the shoulder. "I love your dress," I gushed. "It's so bright!"
The woman gave me a brilliant smile. "You know, when I pulled this out of my closet this morning I wasn't sure I dared wear it. Then I thought to myself, 'Shirley would wear it,' so I went ahead and put it on."
Really? She wouldn't have worn it without my silent, absent stamp of approval?
I cannot fathom people calling each other to ask what the other is going to wear to whatever event they're both attending. What difference does it make?
Speaking of clothes, a couple of ladies recently talked about me while I stood beside them. After making vague references to some book they'd both read, one said, "And that's just like Shirley."
"What's like me?" I asked, not following their thread.
The other lady turned to me. "You're authentic to your style."
I blinked in surprise. "I don't even think about style," I admitted. "I just wear what I like."
The woman gave me a patient smile. "That's why you're authentic."
What is YOUR authentic style?