Courtney S. Barr

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday Memos! ~ warning.... ;o)

-Jenny Joseph

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm 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 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 pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats 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.


I love this poem. There are moments when I do think about how I will be when I get older & it is in these lines that I smile the most.

I have a Great Aunt Eloise & Great Aunt Clara; sisters they are. My memory is peppered with things that they have done. I am too young to have known them in what they would say was their heyday, but the women I have come to admire still have a sensational shock and awe lifestyle. Now don't let your mind drift to south of the gutter, their shock and awe may be tame to some of you, but for me it is an enlightened experience every time I have the pleasure of visiting.

They took me & a cousin on trips during our childhood summers. Excursions to the beach where we would rent a house on the sand, listening to the soft morning murmurs of the Gulf and nights of games & laughter. They would tell scandalous stories of their youth - the men they dated, the men they loved, the men they lost and those that are forever etched on their hearts. True Southern Belles to the core, they are the kind that Scarlett would have been jealous of; their romances, adventures and even calm days are ones that could fill a hundred books! I have always admired that with each passing year they seem to get more energetic, more alive. Eloise travels often to see her children. Clara, though recently age & illness have been a battle, for years kept up as though she were ten years younger than her birthdate. Both have always been eclectic, outspoken, kind, women of gumption and barrels of laughs - refreshingly growing more with ever year.

I loved them as a young girl for the ice cream sundaes, caramel cake, trips to the Gulf and sweet disposition. As a teenager I fell in love with their ability to listen, to comment and to share their own teen trials without ever preaching or patronizing. As a woman, I now appreciate their zest, their ability to promote family, to live life, to speak their mind, to be eccentric, and to love with all their hearts.

They are my WARNING. My poem, walking around this earth reminding me of purple hats, red dresses, summers sipping sweet tea or brandy and the need for satin shoes. I am enjoying every day that I get to spend on this earth and hope that I will get to live out a life so full of fun & love that one day my own nieces & nephews will write a post about me.

I hope to do it justice... ;o)

Do you have anyone who inspires eccentricity or any habits you have that help in continuing an eccentric life? I know you do - you are a writer ;o)


Do you think you read Sci- Fi? (SyFy)...yeah..maybe genius has a great post about science fiction, but um, some of you may be surprised when you realize you already read sci-fi

Send Matt over at The Quintessentially Questionable Query Experiment well wishes on his 'sabbatical' - I know I will miss his posts!

Check out Jennifer's Featured Writer Interviews this week: First up Karen from the English Writer Blog!


Wanna win anARC of Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz? I do and Hannah's giving one away!!

Liz over at Cleverly Inked is having a VACATION GIVEAWAY - no you don't win a vacation - breathe & quit googling locations! - BUT you do win an awesome prize pack of goodies from her travels!


UPDATE! WIN an ARC of Guardians of the Gate by Michelle Zink at PJ Hoover's blog!!!


  1. I love that poem, too. I already wear purple, so no waiting for old age on that one.

    When I was in college, my Great Aunt Gertrude passed away at 84 years old. She was my inspiration. Though she'd never married, she'd served in the military, lived in exotic locales such as Pakistan (then exotic!) and Japan, told stories of the one that got away (and was aware of her loss), and always made me feel proud to be her relative. She was 4'-9" inches tall but all woman. I miss her terribly.

  2. They sound like a pair of amazing ladies! How wonderful for you to have them be part of your life.

  3. This is one of my favourite poems!

    My mom has always been a proponet of living life to its fullest and enjoying the small things in life. She speaks her mind, has in incredibly generous heart and isn't afraid of anything. She's amazing. I'm very lucky :)

  4. This is such a nice poem, post, and blog!!! I'm from Georgia so I love that you're a Southern princess :) My aunt and mother are two women who lead interesting lives.

    I'm excited to follow you!!

  5. i've seen a version of that poem involving wine and dogs. And as a dog person i heartily approve of it.
    but this version has eating lots of sausages which is also very very good

  6. Oh, Courtney, I love this post. You are so lucky to have such a loving family, rich with personalities and traditions. Your aunts sound delightful.
    You're damn terrific and fun NOW (and you're a spring chicken), so I can just imagine what a stunning 'seasoned' lady you will be. :)

    Hey, I'm already knocking on old age's door, and I love me some purple, and I think I might already be a super-freak... just add a few wrinkles, some sagging and I guess you have my future. :)


  7. Aww, I already love your aunts. I'd like to eat ice cream sundaes with them at the beach and complain about my dating life. :)

    Great poem.

  8. *sigh* What a wonderful post, Courtney! You are so lucky to have them. My mother-in-law loves to wear the fun "old lady" straw hats when she works in her garden. I love it! :-)

  9. I love that poem! I so aspire to be like that. :-)

    In many ways, both of my grandmothers remind me of this poem, and I hope that I"m half the women they are when I'm their age!!

  10. When I am old I shall laugh as loud as I please even if I accidentally snort through my nose. I will pinch the tooshies of waiters and...I wonder why I don't dare do these things now?

  11. Good morning, Princess! I have an award for you today. :-)

  12. Yes - I am ever so blessed to have such amazingly, strong women in my life. They are two wonderful ladies that make me smile often!

    I am glad to see that many of you have your own "Aunts" and plans to be as eccentric as possible as we travel this life.. ;o)

  13. Why wait, indeed? It's never too early to start being ornery. ;)

    Lovely post, good lady. I do enjoy your tales of family and character.


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