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FIRST WEDNESDAYS


“Tres Mujeres” watercolor painting by kayti sweetland rasmussen

My island of Alameda was lovely as always yesterday. It occurred to me that none of us has ever wished we had lived anywhere else. We “ladies who have been lunching since high school” meet on the first Wednesday of each month to do a little gossiping and get the update on life in general. We are all turning 90 so it’s really quite exciting. Mine won’t come until next year, so I am still “the baby”. What began as six old friends renewing their friendship has grown to nine or ten. Now and then someone else from our class of 1945 finds out how much fun we are having and wants to be a part of it. It is interesting that though everyone knew someone, none of us knew all the others in high school, so it is like meeting new friends all the time. The painting above might be about only Three Women, but we keep growing.

As a group of this age, no one has escaped the trials of Life. Yet smiles and good attitudes prevail always. You always hear about the elderly recapping their various ailments, but not these ladies. We all still think we could run a marathon, but we simply don’t choose to do so. Those people who still think old people have nothing to do but sit around are wrong. Most of us are still accomplishing, we just do it slower. If one doesn’t do it today, there is always tomorrow.

There are numerous jokes passed around, hoping to put a light touch to the matter of aging, however a good friend was leaving our house last week after a frustrating time when all three of us were having trouble remembering a name. As he walked down the path he turned his head and called out over his shoulder “Old age sucks!” Well yeah, sometimes it does, but as my doctor tells me our “bodies aren’t meant to last forever”.

I think the trick is to always keep something unfinished. It could be a book you are either reading or writing, a painting, outliving your dog; whatever. Maybe just wanting to stick around long enough to smell the roses.

We have two 90th birthdays to celebrate next First Wednesday and I don’t want to miss it.

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13 comments on “FIRST WEDNESDAYS

  1. Oh, AK, you are so wise and inspirational. Is this a new watercolor or one of your older ones? I am reading a new biography out on Georgia O Keeffe. If you could get it on an audio book, I know you would find her life so doggone interesting.

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    • It is a new painting. Just finished it yesterday. I love anything about Georgia O Keeffe. Remember all those 40 years we spent in New Mexico every year? So she is sort of ingrained! Her life had so many layers. I never thought she was a truly happy woman, but she gave her heart and soul to the Southwest, and I can identify with that. Between there and the Northwest it’s a tough decision for me. Being out painting alone either place would be awesome. But just painting in my own little studio now is pretty darn nice.

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  2. Another article with pearls of wisdom with a lovely contemplative painting. Thank you, Kayti.

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    • Thank you Gerard. It was a fun painting to do after my hometown sojourn. The days keep coming faster when we will no longer be able to have a real life connection. Unfortunately, most of these people don’t have computers which makes connecting so much easier.

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  3. That painting is beautiful. I have no idea why, but it reminds me of the Lady of Shallot, especially Waterhouse’s paintings of her. Of course, we’d have to call these the ladies of Shallot, and arrange a much better ending for them!

    I think it’s wonderful that your group keeps expanding. That’s exactly the opposite of what I so often hear described. Many groups keep diminishing. Stability of place has something to do with it, I suppose. Your group is easier to find. I have a friend who gathers once a year with her classmates, in Minnesota, but it really takes some effort for that to be pulled off.

    This is exactly right: “Most of us are still accomplishing, we just do it slower.” And beyond those unfinished projects, I have my own little mantra that I keep at hand: “Life’s getting too short to devote time to the irrelevant, the stupid, or the boring.” So there!

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  4. I hadn’t thought of Waterhouse’s painting until you mentioned it, but I remember seeing it at the Tate in London years ago. It was so lovely. I don’t think my ladies measure up in any way. It was fun to paint because of working with total transparent paints.

    I look forward each month to seeing old friends and talking about old times. Good to see they still have the attitude! Keep up your old aquaintences. they are important.

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  5. I aspire to be just like you and your friends when I (hopefully) reach my 10th decade. Friendship is such an important thing in life, I am often surprised how little is made of it. One of my favourite poems is by Thomas Hardy called Ice on the Highway, it always makes me smile https://www.poetrynook.com/poem/ice-highway

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  6. You inspire me and make me smile. Thank you!

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