When I am Old, I Shall Wear Purple

Last weekend Cheryl and I drove to LaPine to see our parents. It was our shortest trip, leaving on Friday morning from her house, and returning on Sunday. That is a lot of driving in a three day span.

We visited our Grandma Tate:
At almost 96 Grandma is doing very well. She is blind, and her memory comes and goes, but on the day we visited, she was in rare form! Witty and cheerful, talkative, and  loving.   Cheryl and I sat on either side of her holding her hands and chatting. She cracked us up a couple times with her quick one-liners. She asked us if we remember her ever getting into a laughing fit at the dinner table and ending up with tears streaming down her face. Are you kidding? One of my favorite memories from my childhood. Grandma laughing at the table. Of course, everyone else was laughing too, with and AT Grandma!

This is Jenny.  She is a sweet lady who lives at Prairie House where Grandma lives and Mom and Dad always say hello and visit her when they see Grandma.  She was enjoying a Mother’s Day luncheon hosted by the Red Hats Society of LaPine.  Mom and Dad didn’t know about the Red Hats Society, so we filled them in.
By Jenny Joseph

When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple

with a red hat that doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.

And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves

and satin candles, and say we’ve no money for butter.

I shall sit down on the pavement when I am 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 pickles for a week

and hoard pens and pencils and beer nuts 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.

Dad gave Cheryl her first tutorial on brewing Kombucha:


This is a SCOBY.  The Kombucha “mushroom”, which is really not a mushroom at all:


This is funny to me.  Here you see the kombucha brew, a very healthful and alternative process and drink, with Mom’s prescription bottles in the background, as well as the wine glasses from last nights evening discussions.  For the record, we drink RED.

This is Dad’s stockpile of Kombucha in the bottle.  See those light colored ones, the square ones?  Those are the bottles the Lutheran pastor, Peter brought over.  They are left over from the communion wine at church.  Peter has befriended my parents and was supplying them with these very cute and trendy looking bottles.  Only problem is they didn’t hold up to the carbonation and shortly after Cheryl and I left last Sunday one exploded.  Shattered.  Into a million pieces.  Dad’s looking into other denominations:



We had a beautiful drive home on Sunday.  For having to make the trip in such a short time, we sure picked the perfect days to drive!  And we really did have a nice visit with Mom and Dad.

See that little tiny mountain in the distance?  Right in the middle of the photo, the little triangle of white?  No?  Ok, wait, here, let me help you….


…Better?  That’s Mt. Adams.   I think.  Cheryl and I get confused EVERY time we make this drive.  There are just SO many mountains along this stretch and we can’t get them straight!


Although, this helps:

These are Juniper Berries.  I thank God so often for Juniper Berries.  They beg the question:  Which came first?  The Gin or the Berry?  Oh, wait, that’s another riddle.

These rock-hard pretty little blueish berries are what Gin is made of.  And I love them.


Someday I will figure out a way to photograph these wind turbines to accurately reflect their size and grace.  Maybe I’ll make Cheryl climb out there and stand underneath them.


Hey!! How did she get in this post?? Hello sweet thing. I missed you. (I slipped this one in, just because it’s been too long since I’ve posted a picture of her. Grandmas can do that)

And just because I can’t think how else to end this post, you get to see us in color:

p.s. when I turn 50 in 2 years, I plan to start my own Red Hats Society. Consider yourself warned.


5 thoughts on “When I am Old, I Shall Wear Purple

  1. Linda, I always enjoy visiting your blog. The pictures with your grandma are so sweet! So glad you had a visit with her when she was so able to enjoy it 🙂

  2. Red Hat Society’s ROCK! I will be 40 in 2 years can I be a junior member?
    Wow that Kombucha is some powerful stuff if it can explode glass bottles!
    ps: how do you get the cool borders on your pictures? I like the retro Polaroid look.

    1. Bliss, I will have to take a vote among the members about having a junior member join. Once I HAVE members. Once I have a Red Hat Society.

      I still don’t know what you mean about the cool borders around my pictures. We will have to have a look when you come over Friday night.

  3. I love The Red Hat Society! A couple of months ago I was in downtown Honolulu and saw about 25 Hawaiian ladies at an outdoor cafe all wearing their red hats and purple scarfs…oh how I wish I had a camera!

    OH PS that granddaughter of yours gets more adorable every time I see a picture of her!!

    1. Tracey, I wish you’d had your camera too! Could you maybe stalk them for me and get a pic? Maybe we could do that together when Rick and I come to Hawaii.

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