Living Fully as an Older Woman “Warning: When I am Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple” by Jenny Joseph (April 2009)

Susan's Thursday morning note April 23, 2009 
Warning:  When I am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple by Jenny Joseph

Good morning!!  SPRING has come!  Our windows are already cracked, the birds singing (not in tune for some reason this morning), the cats already on the hunt, the perfect coffee/filler combination – our dream morning from the last few months!!!  Bliss!!!  I was shown such a fun little book this week.  The book is made up entirely of the following poem with illustrations.  I’m going to send a Mother’s Day note separately to you this morning that includes this little book in what you can let me know you’d like saved for Mother’s Day gifts.  I think you’d have fun slipping it in with a novel or book that your mom, daughter, or dear friends that you honor would love.  Here is the poem – I hope you smile, too!!

When I am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple by Jenny Joseph

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.

And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.

I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells

And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.

I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
and hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

How fun!  Now don’t go taking the lines too seriously & writing me what you disagree with – I disagree with some, too, but the idea jumps out – LIVE!  Life is so short…..LIVE.  Hear the birds.  Pray constantly.  Say thank you.  Call your friends.  Eat your favorite chocolate bar.  Put extra filling in your coffee.  Smell your child’s hair.  Kiss his/her toes.  Grin across rooms to your family or friends or who you’re working with.  Write or call your friend instead of e-mailing.  LIVE.  Pick the flower & put it in your book.  Mark in your books! (that kills some of you!)  LIVE!  Have a great weekend!  Thank you so much for coming in for your gifts – I’ll also be thinking of graduation ideas for you….I hope I’m working when you come over, but if not – please know that your support and encouragement mean so much.  Susan

Latin for this week:
amo purpureus - I love purple!

Works Cited:
Joseph, Jenny.  Warning: When I am Old I Shall Wear Purple. 2001.  Souvenir Press.  London.