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Penstemon Primrose

Let us age with: Grace Humor Courage and Confidence

Pass this on to other seasoned women who will enjoy it.


 It was a perfect spring day in Omaha. The sun was just slipping behind the giant trees to the west. Hadley Joy Morris-Whitfield, Robbie Leary, Mary Rose McGill, Marge Aaron, Wiley Vondra and Raven Five Horns were seated at a big table on the patio of Meadow Lakes Retirement Community. Alphonso Greatwood, Meadow Lakes owner, was pouring the men shots of whiskey while the girls were sipping Chardonnay.


“It's Whistle Pig rye,” Alphonso announced to the men. “$289.99.”


“99 cents?” Wiley asked with a wicked grin.


“Plus $289,” Alphonso smiled. “It was a gift from one of the owners of the Kansas City Chiefs after I made a free guest appearance in an ad the team was doing.” Alphonso had been drafted to the Chiefs decades ago. His knees proved it.


“Wasn’t really a free appearance,” Wiley pointed out, looking at the Whistle Pig bottle.


“Three old men drinkin’ whiskey and rye,” Raven sang. He had a surprisingly good voice.


“Drove my Chevy to to the levee but the levee was dry.” Wiley sang.


“Pie, pie, American pie,” the girls sang, joining in with the wrong words.


“Oh my,” Mary Rose said after taking a sip of her wine. “This reminds me of years ago in Salem's Crossing.” She looked at the girls. “Remember Penstemon Primrose?”


Marge laughed. “And my police chief colleague, Matilda Minor Milldew, one powerhouse black amazon if ever there was one” She lifted her glass in salute to Dr. Robinson Leary, black professor. Robbie nodded in agreement.


“Raven doesn’t know about this,” Robbie continued. “Years ago (book VI: The Eye of the Moose) I got a letter from attorneys in Salem's Crossing, Nebraska: Butts, McCracken and Rears, telling me I had inherited a Victorian mansion. Turns out it was a B&B that needed a monster amount of repair.”


Hadley, Marge and Mary Rose nodded in agreement.


“It had snakes,” Mary Rose said with a shiver.


“It also had Penstemon,” Robbie went on, “who came in, went into one of the bedrooms, took an afternoon nap and would only say, ‘Shut up and drink’ before she left.”


“We could not follow her or find her,” Hadley added. The men were interested. Raven nodded seriously. “We finally went to the police chief, Matilda, who had pink laces in her boots, ‘CHIEF’ in pink embroidery on her cap, and a collection of Vera Bradley bags.”


The men were losing interest.


“The chief took us to Shut Up and Drink,” Marge said. “It was their neat old local tavern.”


“And there was Hummer, the bartender,” Mary Rose said with a smile. “Humiliation Stykes, a Puritan.”


The men began talking among themselves, sipping the expensive rye, and nodding at the smooth taste. The girls were talking to each other and that was just fine.


“Remember how gentle Hummer looked when Matilda said we wanted to know about Penstemon? How she had dementia and the whole village took care of her?” Mary Rose was smiling at the memory.


The girls nodded and smiled.  There was quiet from the boy’s end of the table.


“Hummer said she came there every afternoon around four o’clock and had a drink with one of her three boyfriends.” Mary Rose thought for a second. “Jack Daniels, Johnnie Walker and…” Mary Rose thought some more.


“JIM BEAM!” the three men said together.

“I knew they’d know it.”   Mary Rose said with a giggle.


“Life is an adventure for sure,” Robbie said with a smile. “And we have lived it to the fullest.”  They raised their glasses to each other and to The Eye of the Moose.


Joy’s note: Remember: we are all the BOOB GIRLS. We all have Maggie Patton’s toughness, Robinson Leary’s intelligence, Hadley’s grace and poise, Mary Rose’s innocence and Marge Aaron’s street smarts.



I want to be with those women!”


Everything Changes: Everything Ages (Buddhist Wisdom)

It is what it is; it becomes what you make of it.


A is for Aging

A Burned-Out Old Broad’s, Perspective on Growing Old

My father died when he was 63

I was 22

He was ancient

Now my son is 63

He’s just a kid


Acclaim: A Joy Story

Chocolate Sauce


When I was six years old, it was 1944 and World War II was raging. We had Ration Books and it seemed as if there was a shortage of everything. Gas was rationed. Sugar, coffee, flour was just some of the things that required ration stamps to buy and ration stamps were hard come by. Worst of all, chocolate was severely rationed.


As this is the month of Mother’s Day, I always enjoy thinking of one of the best memories of my own mother, Mary. It was my birthday. I was having a party where at least ten of my young classmates were attending. I had opened my presents, and we were at tables in my mother’s big, sunny kitchen. She cut my birthday cake, put a slice in a bowl in front of each child, dipped vanilla ice cream on top and then….oh, THEN…. She reached over to the cupboard, lifted up a jar of precious chocolate syrup, and drowned each child’s ice cream in it.


I can still remember the “oooohs” and “ahhhs” that came from the little mouths. I still remember the big eyes at what Mrs. Millard was doing. I was never so proud of my mother, and I had never felt so special.


Happy Mother’s Day month to all.


Grace, Humor, Courage and Confidence


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