Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Rage, Rage!

My husband and I love to dance. Sometimes when we hear a good ballad playing, we’ll grab each other and break into an impromptu slow dance. Yes, our kids hate us.

Mostly we like to go out to dance. There are times when I think we’re too old. There are also times when I’m positive we’re too old. Like the time we were out on the floor bustin’ what we think are some real smooth moves and this barely pubescent couple shows up next to us. She is in a belly-baring top tied above her stretch mark free waist and he is in an outfit that coordinates with her schoolgirl, plaid mini skirt and black boots. Between the two of them, they’ve kept some tattoo and piercing parlor in business. Anyway, they sidle up to us and break into a full on choreographed dance number complete with hand-across-the-belly moves, spins and Madonna-esque vogue moves. We took one look at them, looked at each other, and headed off the dance floor. That night, we were too old to dance.

Despite the occasional momentary setback, I’m never going to stop dancing. It’s part of my plan to stay young forever.

For quite a few years now, I’ve been watching people age. I know people who have done it wonderfully and beautifully and I’ve been stealing their secrets.

My Granny Hazel was a beautiful example for me of how to age. She never had an easy life, but she made it happy. She was the perkiest person I’ve ever known. I can remember as a kid going to her house and doing cartwheels with her in her yard. She must have been in her mid to late 40’s at the time. I make it a habit to do cartwheels at every opportunity. She also stayed active until Death made her stay still. Well into her 80’s, she kept a garden, mowed her own lawn, hung her laundry out and never sat still for a minute. My husband gets onto me sometimes for never sitting down and relaxing. Doesn’t he understand that if you’re moving, you can’t be dead?! Granny taught me that.

Growing up I knew a lady named Dot. Dot is my other example of how to age. This woman had class oozing out of every pore but was a kick in the pants. I never once saw her without a full set of makeup and her hair done. If her husband wanted to go on a golf outing for vacation and she wanted to go to Hawaii, well, that’s what they’d do. The rule was that for every vacation they spent apart, they’d go on one together. She didn’t sweat the small stuff. After Dot’s husband passed away, she decided to draw her friends closer around her so she wouldn’t be so lonely. So, she instituted a weekly slumber party at her house for all of her friends. Everyone in her group of twenty or so had a standing invitation so she always had at least a handful of “girls” at her house every week to spend the night, eat M&Ms, watch movies and giggle. She carried this on until the week she passed away.

My Gram and Pa Colclasure were also fine examples of staying young. Up until The End, Pa took his Labradors and hunted regularly for racoons with his cronies. Gram & Pa also attended the weekly dance at their town square until Gram passed away. If you knew what my Gram & Pa looked like, this would make you smile. Both are under five feet tall and they’re old-time Pentecostal, so Gram wore her white hair in a huge beehive on top of her head, making her about 5’3”. When I think of them dancing, my heart skips a beat. they are. See for yourself.

The example of these dear people and my own desire to stay on this rock called Earth as long as possible, keep me dancing. I plan on doing it until the music stops.

“Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”


Linda Rae said...

I agree with you, Amy. Trouble is, everywhere except for our house, it's so smokey we just can't go in to dance anymore. So we dance in the kitchen--fun, but not something you care to do for an entire evening.

You quoted one of my favorite passages. Thanks.

4Wheel4Fun said...

Mom---move away from Oklahoma. They don't allow smoking in bars in most of the areas in Arizona and some areas in DFW don't allow smoking inside bars (but they do allow it on the patio). Or, start smoking. It's all the rage and very cool. I'm thinking of starting.

Reya Mellicker said...

I'm not raging against old age, though ... I do find it humbling! (I'll be 56 next week - yikes!!)

One thing I know for sure. There is no such thing as being too old to dance. Not ever!!

Get out there and do it!

Gloria Ives said...

A picture says a thousand words
and your words do just as much justice;)