Dinner with a Few Fabulous Friends!

ba55a18c-51a4-45fa-a108-2bf7f0594d56-1Social media has been great for reconnecting with longtime friends, and I recently had an awesome time having dinner with three friends I have known since junior high school.  Yes, I said junior high school! Meet (left to right) Naa (Diane) Green, Suzanne Finnamore Luckenbach, and Deanna Alexich.

What a joy to see Suzanne and Deanna, whom I haven’t seen since our graduation day in 1976 at Skyline High School in Oakland, CA, and Naa, whom I reconnected with about  eight years ago, after losing touch beyond high school.  As friends on Facebook, we all have shared tidbits of our lives;  marriages, divorces, children, careers, special causes, etc.  But nothing takes the place of getting together in person over a great meal and adult beverages!

We met at Kincaid’s, which is in the Jack London Square area of Oakland, CA.  Upon arriving, we hugged and squealed like high school students.  After sharing compliments of how awesome we all looked, I turned around and apologized to the diners sitting next to us, saying, “Hope we aren’t being too loud!  We haven’t seen each other since  high school!”  They smiled at us, and replied “Wow, that’s fabulous!”

One of the  most  poignant moments was when Deanna said she had something for us and presented each of us with a gorgeous white gardenia, which we promptly pinned to our hair. I turned to Naa, and saw tears beginning to well in her eyes.  Taking her cue from jazz vocalist Billie Holiday, Naa wore a fresh white gardenia pinned to her hair almost every day, and it became her hallmark from junior high school through high school.  This was a great memorable moment, and the gardenia now symbolizes this special group of ladies who have touched each other’s lives in remarkable ways.

Next, I gifted each of the ladies with a custom hand fan.  Now any woman over 50 knows the importance of always having a hand fan available; especially in the warm summer months.


One thing became abundantly clear as we were reminiscing and sharing tidbits about our joys, triumphs, challenges and accomplishments… these ladies are true inspirations of boldness, eloquence and sass!  I will be profiling each of these incredible ladies, so stay tuned!

I would love to hear your stories of reconnecting with old friends, so please share.
Also follow me to be further inspired by audacious women over 50!

 

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“An Exultant Aha!”

WINSLOW HOMER, SUNLIGHT AND SHADOW, 1872.

While recently perusing through Flipboard, a picture of a young lady in The Paris Review caught my eye.  She was laying in a hammock and reading a book.  “How very relaxing!” I thought, as I envisioned myself also lying in a hammock on a warm summer day and enjoying a great read.  I sighed; feeling thankful that since I was no longer working full-time, I could actually enjoy this bit of peaceful solitude any day of the week. What a joy!  Then I read the title of the article.

I Have Wasted My Life

How could anyone envision relaxing in solitude as a waste of life!   Was the writer at a life-low when even something as peaceful as this would bring on words of despair or defeat?  Or was this a play on words?  I sure couldn’t figure it out, but decided to read on…

Over my head I see the bronze butterfly
Asleep on the black trunk,
Blowing like a leaf in green shadow.
Down the ravine, behind the empty house,
The cowbells follow one another
Into the distances of the afternoon.
To my right,
In a field of sunlight between two pines,
The droppings of last year’s horses
Blaze up like golden stones.
I lean back, as the evening darkens and comes on.
A chicken hawk floats over, looking for home.
I have wasted my life.

Now I am really puzzled. How could a beautiful butterfly, and a field of sunlight bring about such despair? I will admit that horse dropping did elicit an “ewww,” but let’s continue.

The author goes on…

“I imagined the defeat was that he was just describing a butterfly, a wizened horse turd, a this, a that. I thought he was ashamed of his aimlessness and that he was valiantly articulating his failure.”

I starting thinking what this might look like for a 50+ woman.  When would solitude look like loneliness?  Would an unmarried woman feel this way?  How about one who has remained in a bad marriage? Or a woman who is beleaguered by the constant demands of the job and family, and can’t find a place or time for quiet solitude or reflection?  Would any of them think they have wasted their life?   I sure hope not, but instead hope it is seen as a way to recharge our batteries, a time for reflection… creativity!

While I encourage you to read the entire article for yourself, I will give you a hint:

You just may find you experience “an exhultant aha!”

And if you liked what you read, why not pick up Patricia Hampl’s new book:

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Now, I am off to find a place of relaxation and solitude and a good book!
Et toi?

I’d love to hear what you thought about the article!  Just scroll down to leave a reply.

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Au revoir,

Lisa