Besides my dear sweet mother and several aunts and my grandmothers there are only two women that I've said "I want to be her when I grow up." One is Doris, the other is Joan.
I met Joan at the coffeehouse. She came almost every afternoon with her own mug and stuff to read. She was one of the main reasons we brewed a pot of decaffeinated flavored coffee each day. She is very stylish- and not in the way that most 80-something women are. She wears cool glasses and I love her silver jewelry.
I always invite her to my annual Saint Valentine's Day party and we've talked about getting together for brunch for years. Joan finally rounded up Novella, Marcella and I for brunch today.
Her home is beautiful- on the property of a former Catholic all-girls high school that I attended my freshman year (the school closed, nothing to do with me- swear). Her house is full of wonderful art work, books, photographs and memorabilia.
Joan is up on current events and has a real-life experience and history to back up her opinions.
She and her husband ran a Kentucky Fried Chicken for years - she's familiar with hard work and long hours. Even though she and her husband have been separated for decades she visits him everyday in the assisted living facility for Alzheimer's patients. Their only child, a son was killed in a car accident years ago.
She prepared an amazing brunch- sausage frittada, spinach and stuffed tomatoes. And two desserts- pumpkin pie and cranberry puddingy something - both with freshly whipped cream. I could have stayed there talking all day. And Novella and Marcella stayed until the afternoon.
You guessed it- Cinderella Nora had to go to work at Marigold.
I know that people don't have amazing brunches with wonderful people in beautiful settings every Sunday, and I hated to race out of this one.
I've been feeling super bogged down lately. My poor house is a mess, all I seem to do is race in for a few minutes, drop a bunch of junk on the floor, and race out. Or like last night (or rather this morning)- get home from work at 3:00, shower, dry my hair and sleep for four and a half hours and do it all over again.
I'm declaring 2009 the Year of Nora Slowing Down on Volunteer Stuff. I know that sounds a little selfish, but its someone else's turn.
The hard part will be saying no.