Eighties Ladies

The title of the following gobbledygook could be misconstrued, as it alludes to the possibility that it will contain information pertaining to famous women of that decade. That is not the case.

Allow me to explain further, like you have a choice in the matter. What lies below will not relate to Pat Benatar, (rock singer of that time-period), Linda Gray, (actress who played the wife of infamous scoundrel, JR Ewing—Larry Hagman, on “Dallas”) or Nancy Reagan, (wife of Ronald Reagan).

Instead, this particular piece is a salute, of sorts, to area women, in their eighties, who possess bursting social calenders.

Before I advance, I must explain that I know many eighties ladies, (hence forth known as EL, which could mean eighties ladies or eighty lady. You will have to decipher which is appropriate).

Those with whom I am most familiar are ALL more spry than a jackrabbit on caffeine. However, for the purposes of this column, I am only going to discuss two.

There are many reasons for such. One of which is that, inevitably, I would forget to name one and would face mass chastisement.

Another is because I am quite familiar with the two, since one is my mother. The other is one of the three, to five, bonus moms, who/whom, I've adopted. Lucky them, as none had a say in the situation. However, they are all overjoyed to have me, I'm certain.

These EL possess an overabundance of get-up-and-go, so much so, that they cause your humble columnist to have a feeling of real, live shame.

Yes, I said it. I'm ashamed, and a touch embarrassed, because my mother's weekly shenanigans have me looking comatose. Actually, resembling a dazed turtle is pretty normal for me, now that I ponder a touch.

Evidently, when passing out liveliness, Mother Nature concentrated on those females born between the years of 1924 to 1933. Do you realize how long it took me to figure that out? For once, I'm not being sarcastic. I'm DEAD SERIOUS.

Math has never been my most highly developed skill, to put it mildly. Good gravy. I forced Aunt Liz, (AL), to take up arms, in the mathematical battle, and I almost called Mother, the mathematician. I cannot believe myself, as I'm STILL not positive that I calculated correctly. However, I must get cracking and I don't have another hour to devote to math. I digress to the max.

On another note and another digression, I have to state that I mean no harm when I say, “Mother Nature,” rather than making reference to a higher being. My usage of such is an effort to be all-inclusive. You do realize that we mustn't offend, in these politically correct times. Now, THAT was brimming with sarcasm, as I'm sure my regular readers noted.

Moving along to something—anything at this point, I spoke with an eighties lady, the other night. Her name is Mrs. Cowden, or Gerry to most. I simply cannot call her Gerry and I hope I spelled it right.

During the course of our conversation, I inquired about a Bible study, which Mother attends and Mrs. C. doesn't. Since she is a very strong believer, I just wondered what prevented her from joining that specific group of biblicists.

Well, she proceeded to impart a plethora of clubs, organizations, societies, etc., to which she belonged. One of which prevented her from being able to join Mother's Bible gang, due to the time of day, or night.

By the time she finished, I had baked a cake, icing and all. She had me in the aerobic state, just from HEARING of her swamped schedule. That actually was a good thing because it worked off some of the calories taken in from the cake.

Some of her extra curricular activities include, but are not limited to, the following: total, not partial, church festivities; quilting; member of Mother of Twins; member of TOPS, (Take off Pounds Sensibly), Bible study; Conneaut Lake Historical Society member; Relay for Life, (summer gig), and taking on various fund raising endeavors, for this, that—and the other, charity.

Mind you, that was a fractional list, since I know that she loves caring for flowers and going for walks, to boot.

I really think that many members of my generation, (I'm 49), and some younger types, have become stationary. Now, stop throwing tomatoes at your newspaper because not everyone is less active than EL. I am, however, hard-pressed to locate a more youthful human being, with as much pure endurance.

The second EL would be Mother. As I've mentioned, in columns gone by, she is very organized. I've talked to you about the alphabetizing of her spices and canned goods, for instance. Therefore, she has a literal social calendar, which is followed to a tee, on a weekly basis.

I oft' have to turn to AL and ask what Mother is doing on a given day. AL has it memorized, because that is her forte.

I swear, she could tell me how much she deposited for me, in my checking account, on March 2. Yes, I digressed a touch. I just wanted to praise AL for her special gift. She is not an EL but is a SL. You may figure that one.

Mother's habitual acts would find me in the hospital, if I were to try to shadow her for a day.

What follows is a typical week in the life of Jacqueline Houserman...

On Sundays, she attends church, followed by lunch, with other church ladies and one gent. This group has a cute nickname, due to the one, and only, man, brave enough to dine with the wild ones. They answer to, “George's Harem,” and that's all I am saying.

Mondays are free, but only three per month, since she then attends some sort of church meeting. When I say free, I mean that she might construct a new sidewalk, made of bricks, or fiddle fart about in the yard. (She honestly did the sidewalk deal on many occasions.)

Tuesdays are rather busy, for that woman of eighty-six years, because she sees a movie and then, dines after. Wednesdays are Bible study evenings. Thursdays are great fun, due to a regular game-playing-date, at 1 sharp. They play a variety of games like “Sequence,” cards and mahjong. That is followed by dinner out with friends.

Fridays and Saturdays she, “wings it,” which is a direct quote. We have now made it back to Sunday.

On top of that insanity, she works out every morning, on that step deal, which I mentioned in a previous column. She carries out about 300 steps and I can manage 10—after that, I apply massive amounts of ice to my legs, and ingest some pain relief, for good measure.

How could I forget her job? She is also employed, some full-time and some part-time, (depending on business), by Stitch Art Custom Embroidery.

What is going on here, ladies and germs? Could it be because the EL gang was raised to behave in the manner of sharks, which must keep moving or die?

When I hear of this or that EL whipping to and fro, like a whirling dervish, I'm struck by a deep feeling of pure amazement. (You know that I do not care for the much abused and overused word, “amazing,” because it means nothing these days, due to the above-mentioned reasons. In other words, it is not sincere. Well, in this instance, I must say it because I AM sincere and the word truly fits.)

I honestly do believe that, due to the times in which they were reared, these chicks are simply used to non-stop action.

Some of their terminology brings a smile to my face as, for instance, many call perspiration inducing labor, “puttering” about. PUTTERING. I am floored over the whole deal.

I really can't say much more because I think I've covered all bases, as the saying goes.

The bottom line is this: My generation and some younger folks, could learn a thing or 1,589 from EL. Face it, in my opinion, many of us look like elephants, with our legs stuck in vats of peanut butter, when compared to EL.

In closing, I will state that we often hear of the “greatest generation.” I think many of us imagine men fighting in WWII, (the Big One). In my view, there could, very well, be something missing from that picture. That would be our wonderful eighties ladies and all the work they do—not only at home but, in their communities.