Monday, August 27, 2012

Act Your Age Grandma!


"Look up Donny, look up!" But he never stopped
cutting thecookie for  his chums, the birthday boys.
The studio was dark this weekend of reunion. My paints were put away to celebrate eight friendships that have lasted sixty years. All The-Grade-School-Chums-Who-Went-To-New-York-To-Look-For-Women-And-Came-Back-To-Marry-Hometown-Sweethearts when they were 20 turned 75 this year. We opened quite a few bottles of champagne and toasted our good fortune:  the joy of old friends, who knew each other when we were egotistical assholes, and yet, are still talking to one another.

 It was a weekend of constant chatter, comparing  physical maladies, discussing where to get the cheapest hearing aids,  remembering stupid things we did till we reached  the age of reason when everybody had been stomped on, humiliated and beaten into mellowness by life's hard knocks. We ate and drank like we were still twenty, then shared the Maalox and vowed never again to eat a giant chocolate chip cookie after fried squid. (I did say mellow out, NOT smarten up).

The Birthday Chocolate Chip Cookie. Sweet.
 A delightful addition to our celebration was a surprise drop in visit from my son, his son and Brutus, the frisky, two year old canine addition to the family, who fell immediately and seriously in love with Dick's wife and couldn't keep his paws off her. We finally slipped a little Scotch into his water so we could  share Zac's trip-of-a-lifetime to Alaska doing what young men can and old men wish they could--hiking, kayaking, mountain climbing, glacier exploring, sleeping in pup tents, relieving themselves in out houses and showering only when the group didn't make room around the campfire.

Zac's photographed adventure stole the show and had all of us wishing we were fifty nine years younger.

My clients never asked for commodes in the woods. I wonder why?
They're so minimal, so chic.

Call down for a pizza and extra towels.
Boys lazing in the sun before the big climb.
Their destination.
The ascent. 
My conquering hero.
 Come on down. Don't make us come up there and get you!
Woops! Too far . You're in the glacier now.
I told you we'd find the ice.
Do go into the light.
Looking back with satisfaction.
Row, row, row, our boats ...This is no gentle stream!

Home more men than boys.
Back to the same old, same old swim team practice.
Zac, five years older than my current portrait in progress.
It looks like I have a lifelong position as the Roth family's
official portrait painter.

Then it was our turn to show the lad our best strength.  We hiked out to eat, cock sure of  our ability to lift a fork and glass and find our way back to our lavish pup tents, on our own, in the dark, without a flashlight. Are we somethin' or what?

This morning, our gang just closed the weekend closing the delicatessen, our seventh restaurant, our seventh meal out . All of them consumed with great skill, laughter and camaraderie.  We didn't climb any mountains, explore the depths of a glacier or cross any open stretch of the Pacific, but we have trash bags full of champagne bottles and hearts full of gratitude for  lifelong friendships. Now, back to Florida, back to the studio, back to Cosco's, back to marketing, back to accounting, back to closing down a law practice, back to ho hum--

--with hugs and promises of getting together in February. If not, next year. Same time. Different hotel.

The Radisson made it clear, they preferred  a more refined, less rowdy crowd who acted their age.

19 comments:

  1. I guess my reading comprehension is not what it should be I read this twice and I am confused about your trip. Did you go to restaurants while your youngsters went hiking? Did you go out into the wilderness? Well, the cookie looks very adventuresome to me! Your dear H and your pals are very youthful looking. It will be fun to see what comes out of your studio next :)

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    1. Clarified it. Fixed it. Added "photographs." Thanks for telling me about your confusion.

      Though a lot of conversation on the women's end of the table concerned revitalizing creams, we've lessened our grip on staying youthful looking. Sure we all have bottled hair, but what used to be important is no longer a big deal. It's what books have your read, what shows have you seen, what exhibits have you visited, where is your next trip, did you try that new restaurant and politics, politics, stock market, politics. What goes on in the nation and the economy is a major topic and then there's the small talk about more comfortable clothes that look great and cosmetics that beat all the high-end department store stuff in both price and performance.

      The joy of aging is letting go of the superfluous, the time wasters, and smelling the rose of your choice. Mine smells like oil paints; I'm the painter. Rochelle's smells of gold and silver; she's the jeweler. Myrna teaches dance aerobics to seniors; she's the health guru. Jan dosans at the museum; she's the art history maven. The guys are all working including the one closing down the big law firm to form a smaller consulting firm so he can get more time on his yacht. It's an active crowd that hasn't stopped talking since grade school. All of us have had long, successful marriages. That's an accomplishment people envy. Our longtime friendship is an accomplishment people envy. No friendships are as good as the ones you had as kids. I guess I had more to say about that. I had a nice time out of the studio. Filled my cup.

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  2. You seem to have had a wonderful weekend, and there is life beside painting, or at least thats what I have heard.

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    1. Doesn't that trip look adventuresome and totally exhausting? Seeing those photos on the old folks weekend made us glad we had gone over the hill. Only sixteen year olds and crazy people could endure that twenty four day survival challenge. I'll stick to my little room with the easel.

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    2. And another thing: Put down that brush and go live some of that life on occassion. That's what feeds your art. It was at one of these reunions that I photographed pastries that led to painting pastries. All work and no play....

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  3. Amazing trip, your grandson took.

    And amazing reunion of birthday boys. May they enjoy many more.

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    1. The photos were too exhausting for our group, but truly a trip of a lifetime for a young man.
      We reunion every year about this time. We met here because one of the gals also had her 55 HS reunion with all the oldies but goodies tunes. Next year maybe Branson Missouri? That may be a hoot? We don't want to go any place too exciting. It would take away all the fun of eating and drinking and talking into the wee hours. Grab the time with friends while you have them.

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  4. Those sort of get togethers are fabulous, so much shared experience to reflect on but such diversity to dwell upon. Hope the camera has produced lots of portrait material. And as for the youth, I just ache as a former climber, now too old and unfit to raise dust in the mountains, I admire the way they are grabbing life with both hands.

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    1. I'm thrilled their dad,my son, was able to give both Zac and Taylor that opportunity. I think even if my mom would have let me, I would have had second thoughts about traipsing around in that austere a wilderness. Young women back in the fifties only got the Girl Scout experience which involved cabins with showers.

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  5. Absolutely fantastic, Linda! I attend 3 reunions a year ... but yours sounds really special. With the drop in from son, grandson and dog it must have been a really special event!

    I can remember a time when adventure trips weren't as dangerous as they would seem now!! Once parachuting was great... now going upstairs is avoided until necessary!

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    1. LOL. I know what you mean. Well I just loved the kids dropping by. I got to show off my one of my best sculptures ever. And he got to show off his. Made Sunday.

      I've caught a glimpse of your cloisters and it's brilliant! I'll be over to take a closer look as soon as my carpet cleaning crew arrives. Today is an art wash out--literally.

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  6. Dear Linda I am happy you're so happy!
    Beautiful join your party with friends and family.

    If you want to see the little Alice visit my post.
    Alice was born on August 22, is my second granddaughter! If you want to see the little Alice look at my post "the greatest gift."

    Beatrice, the first grandchild will instead have two years next month ...
    I will work seriously to stay healthy to see them grow up!A big hug!

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    1. They are a joy. I will be popping in to see little Alice, a lovely name.
      I think Grandchildren are so much better than your own children. We've mellowed out and relaxed and think everything they do is spectacular. We have none of the awesome responsibilities of the parents; we can just play and be the good guys. Thank God.

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  7. What a wonderful, wonderful time!!! All of you still getting together to have a great time! And Zac the daredevil dropping by, too. [great smile, beautiful straight teeth :)] Thank you so much for sharing this great time with us!

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    1. He does have nice teeth and his father is thrilled. The reference photo I'm using for the two of them doesn't show the braces he got shortly after that picture was taken.
      I have second thoughts just about walking to the lake. If I had seen a mountain like that, I would have been on the first boat, train, plane home!

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  8. Linda, I love your way to see your world, I am very found of your black humor and I am very proud having you as my blog-friend. Thank you so much for sharing of your special weekend and for your comments, giving me wings!

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    1. Thank you Marias. I love the way you see your world too. It's always a delight to visit and see your keen perspective. I guess we have a mutual admiration society going on. Love it. Hugs.

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  9. What a great time, and what a great read. In fact, I had to read it twice before I realized it was the dog that couldn't keep his paws off Dick's wife. I hope I am never forced to act my age!

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    1. Me too. The child within is precious. --Do I need a rewrite?

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