Monday, January 28, 2013


Feeling my age after weeks of hubby and I dealing with winter viruses, yesterday I wandered around in public again like a new woman. There's nothing like a little retail therapy to lift a girl's spirits.  Loaded to the gills, I headed to the checkout.
“I can help you over here,” the clerk said, motioning to the dark haired woman and her elderly companion in front of me.
“This way, Grandma,” the younger woman said. 
They put a few items on the counter and the Italian grandmother handed a twenty to the clerk, who held it up to inspect it.
“It’s good,” she told the store employee.  “I got it from the bank.”
I had to laugh.  I liked her spunk.  If she was four foot ten, I’d have been surprised.  Dressed comfortably in modest slacks, her short white hair stylishly coiffed, she rested her deeply veined hands on the counter.  She must have worked hard all her life, I thought, guessing her age to be about 85.  The years had been good to her.  She could have done a commercial for Oil of Olay.
“Do you want the receipt with you or in the bag?” the cashier was saying.
Her granddaughter answered for her.  “She’ll want it in the bag.”
“I’ll take it,” said the opinionated grandmother, and I grinned as her granddaughter rolled her eyes and theatrically threw her hands in the air.  Then she spoke to the cashier and me.
“She’s 104,” she said, pointing to her grandmother.  “I told them your age, Grandma,” she said loudly to the white-haired matron at her side.
My eyes popped.  104! I thought that was just a notch on a thermometer. 
“Congratulations!” I gushed.  And then I had to do it.  Seriously—you know I had to ask.
“What’s her secret?” I said to the younger woman with better hearing.
“She drinks a half glass of red wine every night.”
I nodded and smiled.
“And she’s not afraid off a bottle of gin, either.”  And then the two of them walked out the door.
I laughed and winked at the cashier.  Suddenly I felt a lot younger than when I came in.  I only hope I look as good as the white-haired centenarion when I exit this life. 
Time for a glass of wine.

Photo courtesy of DonireeWalker's photostream at Flickr.com


  1. I'll join you!!! chin chin :)) what a gorgeous story...xx

    1. Thank you! And there's a new toast for me to use - now if I visit Italy I'll know how to sound like a local. :) Thanks for your comment!

  2. Wow. If I live to 70, I'll have exceeded my own expectations. I'm not much of a wine drinker. I don't suppose Mai Tais and Sangria do the same thing...

    1. Love that! I'm a lightweight myself, but they keep saying red wine . . . There's red wine in Sangria, isn't there? It's for your health - cheers!

  3. What an excellent story and I feel all the more encouraged to open a bottle of wine tonight. But let's be honest, I was going to do that anyway...

    1. And . . . you made me smile. I'll open a bottle, too, and salute to both our health. (Healths?)