Okay, so here I go again, responding with one post for two blogging challenges: Travel Words’ Life in Colour selected purple for this month, and That Travel Lady in Her Shoes’ Just One Person from Around the World. Well, actually, my response celebrates Two Persons from Around the World. (I never said I was a conformist.)
These two ladies adorned in purple are from the Red Hat Society. The RHS is an international organization for fun loving older women (originally age 50 and above).
Both creative, kind, and generous souls, Marion and Dorothy were the best of buds, and loved music, theatre, and travel. Once they felt unable to drive safely (well into their 80’s) I loved chauffeuring them around neighboring towns and hearing their giggling oohs and ahs of delight over Christmas lights and decorations.
Dorothy and Marion embodied the color purple which is associated with creativity, wisdom, dignity, grandeur, peace, pride, independence, and magic.
Cognitively, both of these good-natured women were still very much with it all their days. In addition, Marion’s commitment to preventive health care afforded her a life sans eye or hearing aids and retaining all of her natural teeth. Dorothy’s greatest downfall — no pun intended — were bone fractures, but never serious enough to require hip replacement.
When asking these lighthearted gals the secret to aging well they responded with twinkling eyes, “Have young friends. And keep making them!” Considering Marion was Dorothy’s junior, and I was another 30 some years younger, I’d say Dorothy and Marion were doing exactly that.
Sadly, Dorothy passed just two weeks short of her 101st birthday, and Marion followed a year later at age 88. Both have been dearly missed the last number of years but the sweet memories and photos linger on.
The Red Hat Society is often associated with this poem about aging:
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
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 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 beer mats 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 practise a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.
Here’s some other purples from the archives…