This little bit of prose has been around for quite some time, but I find myself relating to it more and more. It could be, that's exactly why I like it.
It is simply titled, " Warning," by Jenny Joseph
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat that doesn't go and doesn't suit me,
And I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired,
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other peoples gardens
And learn to spit!
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickles for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats
And things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry,
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We will have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old and start to wear purple.
I guess this getting older isn't all bad, after all. I remember Grams B. and some of her curious habits. Each time she went to the store, no matter what, she always, always came home with white bread and bananas and white thread. Her sewing drawers had more spools of white thread. I always wondered, as a young girl, what is she going to do with all of that white thread. She didn't sew much, mostly did occasional patching. I don't ever remember seeing her truss a chicken., so I asked her once. Her reply was, "You can never have enough white thread." There was no other explanation. To this day, I'm still curious.
I also had asked her, to what did she attribute to her longevity and her good health? She told me to remember always to use it, or loose it, but not abuse it. She repeated this whenever she saw me limping across the yard when my joints and back started to give way. Grams also told me she ate two eggs a day, a banana, white toast, coffee, and a sip of wine never hurt. I don't know why that surprised me. I still think she may have been kidding as she a smirk came across her face. She warned to always stay active, as she jumped on the back of my brothers motorcycle in her late 70's. Don't be lazy as she yanks grapevine out of the trees in her 80's, and remember to pray. Now I understand.
Grams believed in using plants for medicinal purposes. There was peppermint for tea for her upset stomach, chamomile too. And pansies just for your salad tho they would purify your blood. I never paid much mind as a kid, thinking it was all nonsense. Now I find myself wanting to hear more.
Grams gave birth to 8 babies, at home. She saw a doctor for the first time in her life at the young age of 92. She lived a life full of spunk and adventure. She passed away years back just shy of her 102nd birthday. I wonder if I have inherited her zest for life, her long-life genes.
Do I want to live that long? Only if I still have all my wits about me like she did and only if my health holds true. I do not wish to be a bother to any of my children. Life is short on this earth, but not at the expense of a loss of dignity.
For now, I will be content to live busily but quiet, as I have, enjoying the sunshine and the beauty around me with my family and friends to laugh with. I will someday wear purple, (well, maybe), and for certain, I will run my stick on the railing. I already know how to spit and I have been known to wear my red slippers in the rain. I won't eat 3 lbs. of sausages for they upset my delicate system, ha...but chocolate covered raisins sounds like a good substitute, don't you think? I do not need to make up for the sobriety of my youth, as I've been there, done that, no more. I already hoard pens and pencils, and love little boxes, even empty. People who know me, will not be shocked or surprised if I should wear purple. If I were to wear a lil black dress and suddenly go out dancing, ....maybe a surprise. Life is just too good to miss out on all the fun.
God Bless You All as Life Passes You Good Fortune and Health So, Dance
Thanks for stopping