Hey, wow, look at me! I'm still here. Never thought when I started with that initial post ("Hear that? It's my Blog Cherry popping!" - 8/9/05) that I'd still be at it.
Today's landmark post is dedicated to my wonderful mother, Mama Iva, for she exemplifies the idea that the longer you stay around, the more fabulous you become. (Here she is, cooking with champagne at left.)
Sure, she grew up a shy, only child in North Dakota but today she is every inch a California girl. She is 76 but looks 65, still works 40 hours a week (by choice, not necessity) as a secretary and is wildly popular with her friends, my friends and my brother's friends. She is also the longtime Membership Chairwoman of 'Young at Heart Singles.' (Their tagline: 'Young at Heart ... Older in Other Places.') They were originally called 'Life Begins at 40' but had to change it once all their children hit 40.
So, I spoke to her briefly last night. First, I asked about her annual Superbowl party last weekend. "Yeah, it was fun - about 35 people," she said, with some disappointment. Superbowl parties of the past have had 90 or more people but her peers are aging and starting to die off, which is unsettling.
I remember trying to get in to one of her parties in the past and some woman with a clipboard met me at the door. "Hmmm, I don't see your name on the list so I'm sorry but ..." Seriously? I'm like, "Lady, I LIVE HERE."
As a result of the party, she also somehow ended up with more TVs than she stared with - most were upgrades. I think she now has at least six.
Anyway, as we were chatting, I asked why she was home from work early. She laughed. "Well, the guys are work are being so careful with me because they think I'm an old lady. So, when it started raining, they said, 'Iva, you should go home before it starts raining too hard.' Ha!"
This is true. The guys at her job love her so much that the word 'retirement' is verboten in her presence, lest she get any ideas. Her boss has also made it clear that even if she couldn't walk, they would build her a ramp or whatever else they needed to do to keep her around. I have heard these sentiments with my own ears when I visited her office.
So, Mom getting sent home early - because she's so old and delicate - is hilarious because it simply gave her more time to pack for her weekend. She's heading to Palm Springs - by limo.
With some buddies, she's off to see the Follies - a spectacle described as "a world-famous, Broadway-caliber celebration of the music, dance, and comedy of the 30's, 40's, and 50's with a cast old enough to have lived it!"
"Okay, let me get this straight," I said. "You've got the guys at work convinced that you are a frail old lady, when, in fact, you have a weekend of partying planned? Love it. I'm picturing you standing by the curb in your bikini holding a six pack."
She thought that was funny. I told her I'd give her a call on Sunday to review her weekend. "Just make sure you call in the late afternoon," she said. "We're stopping off at Knott's Berry Farm on the way home for brunch."
"Well, of course you are," I said.
I can only hope to 'grow old' like Mom. Likewise for the blog.