Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Mirrors, Mirrors Everywhere

On a sunny day last month, a neighbor and I wheeled her infant around a few blocks. We encountered another young mom, who after goo-gooing the baby, looked up from the stroller and wondered (unfortunately, aloud) if I was my friend's mother. In the white light of the sun, my graying hair ~ pulled back in a chic, funky aqua barrette; didn't she see the youthful barrette? ~ probably shone like Granny's frumpy bun on the Beverly Hillbillies.

A few months earlier, I was asked by a new neighbor, a middle-aged man, if I was my husband's mother. I envisioned a snappy comeback, "Haven't you ever known anyone who was prematurely gray?" Alas, when you're pushing sixty, you are not prematurely gray ~ you are right-on-time gray. What I actually said was, "Nice to meet you"; then I ran full-speed home and hoped he'd hear "How many old ladies do you know who can run this fast, Buster?" instead.

The other morning, my dog pulled me toward another young neighbor's dog and toddler on the sidewalk. During our chat about their recent family vacation, she mentioned, "A lot of people in your generation go there." Two days later, it occurs to me I could have then asked if the people in my generation go there for the mountain climbing, the parasailing, or the bungee jumping into active volcanoes. Oh, does my resentment show?

Sigh. The facts of life are sometimes hard to face. This gray-hair business is a tough transition for me. Coloring my hair is no longer an option for health reasons. When the jarring images were just between me and my mute bathroom mirror, they were easier. Now outside mirrors are speaking up. Their perceptions seem to be "goosing" me toward an old-age attitude. But I think I still have other choices, like remembering my value to God doesn't diminish as I age. Like remembering Proverbs 20:29, The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old. So now, whenever I can muster the energy in my sagging arms to squeeze the bellows toward the smoldering ashes of my gray-haired life, I'll be a new woman.

Well, I'm going out now to buy some collagen cream and look up splendor in the dictionary. When I get back, I think I'll phone a colleague to ask if we can be LindedIn contacts. Then I'll probably have to ask her how to extend the invitation via the computer, which is of course the intended way to do this. Oh, yeah, then there's the digital-age transition. At least that doesn't involve mirrors.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Comfort Food

Today was going to be tough for my husband, so I planned comfort food for dinner. So, how does this menu sound: black cherry Jell-O, topped with cottage cheese and mandarin oranges, pot roast, and baked peach/blueberry crumble? Right out of the 50s, I know. Oh well, he liked it.

Next rough day, I'm thinking macaroni and cheese.