Monday, December 20, 2010

I Shall Wear Purple

This is my Aunt Elsie.  She is the oldest in my dad's family of seven siblings.  When I saw her in August, 2010, at the annual Cousin's Reunion in Port Orford, it took my breath away because she looks exactly like her mother, my grandmother, Alma.  Aunt Elsie turned 90 in September and although we missed her birthday party, we were so happy to see her in August.  When she and my Uncle Elmer pulled up in their RV, it was a happy sight!

Aunt Elsie is a great example of a hard-working, dedicated woman. She raised 3 children on a farm and still lives in the same house in a little junction on the way to the coast of Oregon. My sharpest memories are going to visit her at the little one-room library where she volunteered on a constant basis. My  other grandma (on my mom's side), who died a couple of years ago, also volunteered at the library and the last time I saw them together, I snapped a photo of them in front of the library. These woman are what I call the brick-a-brack of my life. I have lots of brick-a-brack ... and plenty of time to write about them, I hope. 

I received an email late last week that Aunt Elsie had a medical crisis and she is going in for surgery today.  My cousin wrote that the doctor who is performing the surgery is young but has been doing this procedure for 10 years now and very proud that he has never lost a patient.  I have a feeling today will be no different

Ninety.  I think about that and if I live to be 90, that's  a lot of life between now and then.  I can accomplish a lot of things if I set my mind to it.  Since we moved to Washington, I feel like I've done more things in two years than I did the whole last 10 years.  Life is not be wasted. 

I love this photo of Aunt Elsie talking to my Aunt Glenva. She was, no doubt, recalling all the names & events surrounding these photos.  She's as sharp as a tack and I think good, clean living, good food and reading  lots of books has contributed to her longevity. I love it that they brought all these old photos to share with us.

We're thinking about you today, Aunt Elsie, and hoping the surgeon has his best day ever!

NOTE TO SELF:  Remember to print photos to leave for the kids.


  1. Just wondering.....what does wearing purple have to do with your story? I'm SURE there is a method to your madness!

    With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
    And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
    And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
    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 people's 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 pickle 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 must 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.

  3. I Shall Wear Purple is by Jenny Joseph


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