Archives for the month of: July, 2013

My office opens onto a deck through glass doors and windows. In the deck, about two feet from the door sits a large Sycamore tree, one that I hope to keep there for a long time although it’s leaning towards me more and more. I had the deck built around it because I love the shade of its big leaves.

There’s usually not much going on in the office, so the dogs are asleep and the cats are asleep either inside or out. But, sometimes, in all this tranquility, the dogs will leap to their feet in a frenzy, jumping in the air with excitement. If I’m there, I turn and see the cause…


…a frisky squirrel, who flicks his tail and chatters to torment them in every which way. He even peeks at me with an impish look, knowing the glass protects him…


He turns to watch the cat…


who is watching him, although not inclined to make a move. That will wait until he can stalk..


With the dogs at frenzy state, I open the doors for them to rush out, barking madly, jumping at the tree in excitement. The squirrel jumps on the roof and runs away, my big dog gives a sigh, and they all go back to what they were doing.

Such is excitement on a hot day…

A friend once told me to watch for the “Magic Moments” when I traveled, meaning the treasures you stumble onto while you’re winding along your planned route. Here’s a little one I had near Broken Bow, OK.

Having worked in a big museum for over seven years, until I retired last fall, I’m well aware of what goes on behind the scenes of exhibitions and collections. I also have a great appreciation for the little museums that are sometimes passed by without a second thought, the ones that you never think you “have to see” while you’re in the area. Outside of Broken Bow, in southeastern Oklahoma near the Mountain Fork River, is the Gardner Mansion Museum. I saw the signs, read about it in the tourist websites, but almost missed it and that would have been a shame. What drew me in was the sign about the 2,000 year old Cypress tree on the grounds. I’ve seen lots of old houses and mansions, so I might have skipped it but for the tree.

I called first and got no answer, but saw the gate open while passing by. You can’t see the house from the highway so you go through the farm gates and up the road. When you reach the house, you see a sign to honk for help. I’m sure we had been seen because there was a truck headed our way as we parked the car.


An elderly man and a younger man, probably his grandson, got out of the truck and we paid our admission fee. This was definitely a smaller staff than the museum where I had worked.


We walked to the house…


and he unlocked the door, walking to a chair where he sat down on the glassed in porch. There was a display of dinosaur bones and beautiful huge hunks of quartz. The information by each one said it was found in the area. When we started asking questions, our guide opened up and told us his history as well as shared his knowledge of the treasures we were seeing.

The Gardner Mansion was the home of Jefferson Gardner, a much beloved chief of the Choctaw Nation. He had built his home on this site in 1881, completing it in 1884, on this site that was part of the Trail of Tears for his nation. In 1922, the Stiles family had purchased the property and have maintained and preserved it for three generations. We were visiting with Mr. Stiles himself, the current curator of this museum. He told us stories of the Choctaw and of the dinosaur bones he had found as a child on the property. One had been found just recently. He explained to me how you get the quartz out of the ground, showing off a piece about a foot or more across that a long time friend had found and given him right before he died.

After a bit, I guess we passed muster, so we were taken into the main house. I’m not sure if you get past the porch if he doesn’t trust you. He unlocked the door and we entered the main areas where there were more artifacts to see. In the kitchen, I found lots of old utensils and dishes of the era. In the living room, he showed us a model of the house and photos of Chief Gardner and others, telling stories of the indians as we looked around. Here’s Mr. Stiles showing us some items, including the hand-carved staircase and other Choctaw craftsmanship used in the home…


Once again, I guess we asked the right questions, because we were taken upstairs. There was a treasure trove of indian artifacts including ancient tools, arrowheads, and natural items from the land. I stupidly didn’t see the signs in front of me saying no pictures, so I took a few. Later, I apologized to him, but he said it was ok. He didn’t want too many getting out because the items are quite valuable. Not like he has a security force there, so I understood and won’t pass those along. Here’s some of the hornet nests he’s collected during his life (he’s been on the property since he was 5)…


He showed us some ancient tools he’d recently found. The cows kick up the ground and these kinds of antiquities rise to the surface. Really a remarkable collection.

After we left the house, we drove to see the 2,000 year old Cypress. He showed us a picture of it with a man dwarfed by the trunk, much like the Sequoias in California. Unfortunately, the tree had fallen last year. Trees die, as Mr. Stiles said. We went to see it anyway, although it turned out there wasn’t much left. Nature was reclaiming its own.


The area had other large Cypress and you could picture the Choctaw trudging through the land, searching for the place where they could stop and live their lives in peace. Very ethereal back in the woods, along the water.


On the way back to the house, we stopped to snap a picture of the cemetery. Mr. Stiles and his grandson had chores to do, so we didn’t want to keep them. Wouldn’t you love to know the stories of those buried here?


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If you’re ever in this remote area, stop and visit the Stiles family. Or find another magic moment along the way, wherever you’re traveling. It makes your trip so much richer…

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It’s almost August: Osage County, but not quite. Yesterday, I drove to the Tallgrass Prairie late in the afternoon. It was an unusually cool day for July in Oklahoma, mid-80s. I wanted to take advantage of the beautiful day and end it in one of my favorite places in the world, places that are away from the crowds, where you hear the quiet. I’m not the only one who enjoys them, it’s not like I discovered them, but I can stand alone and feel the universe.

It takes awhile to get out there, especially if you’re using the lesser traveled roads. From Tulsa, you travel through lush blackjack and scrub oak forests, which were especially green after the storms we’ve had this week. Usually, late in the summer, it’s dry and dusty. You drive through little towns that have seen better days when the oil boom of the 1920s and 30s was in full force.

The town of Pawhuska, the official gateway to the Tallgrass Prairie, is also the seat of the Osage Indian Tribe. I love this town with all its original buildings sitting mostly empty. You can see what it was and you can see the potential for a wonderful restoration of the blocks of early structures. Right now, the Drummond family, including our own Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, is restoring one of the largest. I hope it is the first of many for this place. You head north, up a steep hill, and upwards towards the prairie.

As I left the more populated areas, I saw the beginnings of the prairie and stopped to watch the bees at work in a field of purple wildflowers.





The gates into the preserve are simple…


and then there is the plaque to start your visit…



and the welcoming sign.


You might think the preserve is flat, but it’s rolling and you drive along a not quite paved two lane road. I stopped at the first turnout…



As I got out of the car, I was overwhelmed with the silence. Except for the sound of the slight breeze, the buzzing of bees, and the singing of birds, it was silent in a way you never get in the city, only in these places that feel sacred in their purity. This is what it was like before man came.

The first time I came was in the winter. I came to this spot and literally raised my arms to the sky for the peace it placed in my heart that day. The next was in the fall where I stood in this same spot and watched buffalo graze…


Once I was here alone and was surrounded on the road by the buffalo herd as I sat in my car staring back at the shaggy beasts a foot from me. I should have been afraid, especially since I read that those 2,000 pound beasts can jump 6 feet straight in the air or at you. But the time I was surrounded, we were all at peace with each other and they went their way and then I went mine. Other times, I’ve seen the herd beside the road, mothers with calves, big shaggy beasts with eyes that watch you without blinking. This time, I saw the herd in the distance in a couple of places, peaceful in their natural habitat as they should be.



I did get a glance from the other herds in the area with these two eyeing me from the side of the road…



I drove slowly along the road, stopping to get out and admire the creeks and flowers…




and watch the butterflies flitting and the meadowlarks, hawks, and other birds swooping in the late afternoon…



I thought this was a bird because of the size, but even blowing up the picture, I’m not sure what I saw..


An interesting cloud formation caused me to stop…


and then head for home. One of those afternoons that restores your soul…


Living in Oklahoma is not for sissies. True to the song, that wind does come sweepin’ and sometimes it’s a little strong. The beautiful plains probably handle it better than the cities. In Tulsa, we are in the corner of the state called “Green Country” by the tourist bureau. For those who think this state is flat and dry, you haven’t seen all of Oklahoma. We have gorgeous trees and hills in our lovely city.

This week, we had a blast of 70-80 mph winds that swept over our area, swirling and blowing until a large portion of the city was without power and nature had pruned our urban forest. It would break my heart to see the huge trees upended in yards all over the place, but I’ve been through it before and know that when all is cleaned up, we’ll look much the same around here with a few gaps in the sky. We have an abundance of trees. After our major ice storm a few years ago, the city looked like a war zone, but nature picks up and goes again. I’ve also learned from the National Parks, where they let nature take its course.

Getting around town has been slow as you dodge limbs in the streets and wait to go through intersections one at at time while the street lights are out. Poles are broken and leaning and crews are arriving from other states to help! I saw some poles propped up with a smaller pole bound to it.



If there is anything good about storms like this, it’s the human spirit that shines through. Days without power make us more grateful for what we do have. After writing about Keeping Cool earlier this week, many had to live it in the humid heat following the storm. At least there are places to go with air conditioning and ice. Neighbors and families with power provide meals and cool places to sleep. We know not to open our refrigerators to keep them cold or put perishables in coolers with ice until the stores run out. Most people should have lanterns and flashlights around. Some have generators left over from ice storms.

One of the newest problems is charging all our devices. One of my daughters without power took all of her family’s electronics to her sister who had power to recharge…iPhones, iPads, iPods. We’re kind of an Apple family and need our gadgets to stay in touch.

On the other side, my brother doesn’t have power after three days and needs to be connected for health reasons. I check on him and make sure his phone works so he can get help if needed. I’m sure there are many like him. I have to wind through the back streets to get to him because he’s on a main street blocked by electric company workers trying to get everything going.

Power outages bring out our pioneer spirit, 21st century style. We’re not exactly without resources these days. Neighbors help neighbors move limbs until the hoards of trucks and men with chain saws flood the city. There’s money to be made following a storm.

I’ve been grateful to have power, although I lost my internet and cable for a couple of long periods. Hard to complain. In fact, it makes me laugh to think how deprived we can feel without things that are really luxuries. Reading books is back in style, by lanterns or on tablets, in a storm.

Here’s a sample of some of Tulsa’s damage this week. Multiply this times a bunch and you’ll see what we’re seeing…

Here are two trees uprooted onto the owner’s house…


A tree broken across a fence…


A multi-trunked tree uprooted onto the house and new car…


and debris piled on the curbs for pick up…



One of the major problems is our glorious oaks that die from the inside and look fine on the outside but are vulnerable to the winds…


So, we’re picking up and going again. We survive wind, tornadoes (big wind), ice, heat and cold and floods here in Oklahoma. We’re OK.

As I sit in glorious air conditioning, I had an image of the summers when I was a little girl. I looked it up and they weren’t nearly as hot as today, but hot enough. Glad they invented air conditioning before global warming!

Our first air conditioners were window units and we only had one to begin with. It was in our den, so we spent a lot of time there playing board games and card games in the summer. But sleeping was another matter. Houses were built for circulation and we had fans and attic fans, so we opened the windows at night and laid on top of the covers spread eagle, waiting for a breeze. Sometimes there was no breeze at all and it could get miserable. Or the fans made it too cold and you had to cover up eventually. I don’t remember anybody I know having allergies so we just breathed in whatever the air brought and were grateful for anything that cooled us off.

In the house where I grew up, at least until I was about 10, we had a screened-in porch right off of my bedroom. Sometimes we made our beds out there in the summer or we slept under the stars. Anything to keep cool.

2501 S. Birmingham Pl.  Tulsa OK

We wore shortie pajamas in the summer and I can picture us sneaking outside to run in the dark yard at night, feeling the dewy grass between our toes, or playing cards on the bed.


I loved that house with its big side yard for playing softball or running through the sprinklers. I don’t see as many kids playing in sprinklers today, but there are great splash pads in the parks.

We also waited for Jack the Milkman to come by because he would chip ice for us to suck and sometimes let us ride in his truck for a block or so. The ice cream truck would come by with popcicles and ice cream bars for about a dime. We’d run to get our change when we heard the bell announcing his presence in the area.

We also traveled to Oklahoma City just about every weekend to see my grandparents and aunts, uncles, cousins there. We didn’t have air conditioning in our car or even the turnpike, so we drove old Route 66 with the windows down, arriving sticky at the least.

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When I went to my grandmother’s house in southern Oklahoma, Ardmore to be exact, we couldn’t wait to get there in the summer. She would make “squares” for us, which were Kool-Aid (just the powder mixed with lots of sugar & water) poured into ice trays and frozen. I’m not going to explain ice trays. We would get a bowl of squares and sit on her front porch, swinging on her porch swing, sucking on our cherry or grape squares (my favorites). Here’s a picture of my mother as a teenager in front of the house with the porch swing.

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It was hotter down south so we would walk to the ice plant and get chips of ice from them. Then we would try to catch the horned toads (or horny toads, as we called them) in the dusty yard.

Sometimes I feel like I grew up centuries ago with all the technology that has developed over my 67+ years. Hard to imagine how much has been invented in my lifetime and how much more comfortable our lives are.

But, sometimes, I’d like to swing on the porch swing with my bowl of squares and just enjoy the summer breeze, swinging as high as I could go.

I take a lot of photos. I’d say too many but I don’t think you can take too many. We’re a far cry from the days when you took the picture and had to be careful you didn’t waste the film or the plate or whatever you were using. I love all photos, posed or candid, although I admit to loving the random moments we catch best.

I’ve got a lot of old family pictures, collected from my grandparents and my parents. I was looking at some of them recently and it crossed my mind that I wasn’t sure who took them. Who captured this special moment, what were they thinking? I can guess at some of them because of the setting. It opened up a whole new look at people I knew, gave them a new dimension to think of them behind the camera, catching this moment.

Here’s what I mean…

Who took these photos of my great grandfather and great grandmother? Who had a camera on that farm? Who wanted to capture him chopping wood or her feeding the chickens?

Benjamin Holt cutting wood

Grandma Holt 1

Who took this picture of my father? I know they hired professionals sometimes, but…

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I’m guessing my grandfather took this one of his parents with his children. I never saw my grandfather with a camera, so this is a revelation.

Mom & Dad Hamilton with J. C., Ed & Sara

This one of my great-grandmother with my mother and her brothers is a mystery. My grandfather had already died when this was taken, so who took it? I don’t think my grandmother had a camera then.

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Did my grandmother or one of my uncles take this of my mother at her high school graduation? Who would she pose for?

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I know my father took this one of me as a baby…

Karen   June 1946

He must have taken this one too and it touches my heart that he captured this moment.

1949-Jim, Karen, Mommy

And I guess he took this one of his father with my brother and me…

Jim, Karen, Grandad

My mother always said she didn’t like photos, but I bet she took this one…

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I know how I feel behind a camera and I know what I’m looking for, the moments I’m trying to capture. I know when I get a picture that has caught a look we all know. Now I’m thinking of all the members of my family who went before me. The photos they took, the ones they kept teach me a lot. I feel even more of a connection with them through these photos. I hope I’m passing that down to my children and my grandchildren and that they can feel those same connections. There is something about looking through a lens…

My fascination with clouds goes all the way back to my childhood when my grandmother and my mother sang this song to me…

Two little clouds one summer’s day
Went flying through the sky.
They went so fast they bumped their heads, And both began to cry.
Old Father Sun looked out and said, “Oh, never mind my dears,
I’ll send my little fairy folk
To dry your falling tears.”
One fairy came in violet,
And one in indigo,
In blue, green, yellow, orange, red,– They made a pretty row.
They wiped the cloud tears all away, And then, from out the sky,
Upon a line the sunbeams made They hung their gowns to dry.

There was something so sweet about it or maybe it was the way they sang it. I can still hear them.


We didn’t have a lot to do in the summer in those days. We went to the swimming pool and I played golf from a young age, but there was a lot of time on our hands. We didn’t have air conditioning until I was in grade school…horrors! Actually, I wouldn’t trade air conditioning for much, so I’m not yearning for those good old days. We didn’t have television for a long time and, when we finally got it, it didn’t come on until late afternoon for the first few years. How old am I anyway?

We spent time in the yard and the neighborhood. We played workup with however many kids we could find and a softball and bat. We got stung by wasps and looked for earthworms, picked the flowers from the trumpet vine, sucked on honeysuckle and got into poison ivy. We looked for fossils in the gravel on the driveway since ours wasn’t paved yet. We looked for four leaf clovers and laid on blankets under the trees to stay cool. And we stared up at the sky, thinking and dreaming. What a luxury that time was and we didn’t even know it.

The clouds changed shapes as we watched them move across the sky. There were bears and dogs and monsters and angels. A canvas for our imaginations.

I took that fascination into my teens. Once, when I was about 16, I had a date with a guy who was a class leader…quite a deal to snag a date with him. I asked him about the clouds and he looked at me blankly. That was the end of whatever chance of infatuation there was with him. I couldn’t imagine being with someone who didn’t see anything in the clouds.

The first time I flew I was kind of disappointed with the inside of the clouds when I discovered they really are just fluffs of air. But then that became another fascination. How do they look so thick when there is so little to them.

Yesterday was a glorious summer cloud day, which we get when the heat comes in. They don’t show on radar, just popping up out of nowhere. Still fascinating.

You start with a cloudless day, a bright clear blue sky…


Suddenly you notice clouds exploding all around you…




They develop little wispy areas to soften the thickness…


And there is always the effect of the sunshine from beside them, around them, through them as the day goes on…




Obviously, I haven’t forgotten how to entertain myself outside. No matter where I see them, whether it’s in the city, out on the plains, up in the mountains, near lakes and oceans, or from the air, I always stop to watch. Clouds still make me smile, stir my imagination, and are just as mysterious and magical as I’ve known them to be since I was little. Heads up…don’t miss the great shows Nature sends us.

Just got back from a morning walk and remembered this piece I wrote for no particular reason 10 years ago. So much has happened since then, but a lot hasn’t changed. You can read this while I cool off…


I took a walk tonight – a small journey. I have lived in this house, this neighborhood, for less than a year. I moved from my big family house of 27 years to my small house for me. It is a nice neighborhood with homes from the 1940’s, a neighborhood of four blocks with distinct boundaries. There are older people and young couples with small children – a good mix. Some of the homes look small from the street, but they have been remodeled and rooms have been added and they can be deceptive.
I have always liked to walk – it makes me stand up straighter, get my arms and legs in synch, and let my thoughts flow free. I wasn’t walking too fast – but fast enough. Other walkers said Hi – we do that here. I waved to a young couple & their children who are friends of my kids. I got into my rhythm and let my mind flow to other summers, other walks. This summer has been mild so far – the hot Oklahoma sun has not begun to beat down, withering everything in its path. The night was pleasant, everything is green and smells fresh. I loved the air against my face.
I used to walk through the old neighborhood with my husband. At one time, I was trying to get in shape and we walked every day for months – maybe close to a year. He was obsessive – like a personal trainer. We would walk four miles every morning and three miles every evening. Just leave the kids and walk. And talk. I have no idea what we talked about – but we talked and talked – trying to keep breathing while we moved. Neighbors said they could hear our voices traveling up to their second story bedrooms in the early morning and they would know it was just us. People who saw us walking laughed. He was 6’4” and I am about 5’5”. About every block, I would do a little quick run walk to catch up to his stride. He just walked and I jump stepped to keep up. At least he didn’t have me jogging beside him. I don’t know if a run of bad weather or kids’ activities or what made us stop. Some excuse.
Tonight I walked just before sunset. It was light enough to see but the lightning bugs were starting to blink, bringing back memories of childhood summers chasing each other around in the dark, filling jars with holes punched in the lids full of the wonderful bugs, hoping to catch their magic. The bugs were talking – I remember June bugs from summer. We would catch them and let them walk across our hands – tickling us with their feet.
I walked through another neighborhood, past homes that used to occupy my childhood friends. A feeling of stability and continuance – I have been here and am still here. I walked on a street where I used to walk with a friend in high school as he threw his paper route.
I walked to move my body, feel my heart pump, my lungs breathe and my thoughts flow. I walked to get away and to come home.

At my latest class reunion, our 50th from high school, there were definite signs that it had indeed been 50 years. Gray or white or no hair, talk of knee and hip replacements, and wrinkles galore. Even the best preserved had some crinkles here and there.

It’s a shock to look in the mirror these days, if you really look. Who is that? I seem to be in a lot of discussions about our appearance these days. One of the main conclusions of those who look pretty good is that they owe it mainly to having good genes. Some of it has to do with exercise and eating right and generally taking care of yourself, but a whole lot of it has to do with what you were born with, your DNA.

I always thought I’d be white-headed by now, but all I have is silver streaks. My father and his parents had beautiful snow white hair and I thought that’s how I’d look by the time I was 50. I guess I got my mother’s side of the family in that gene selection.

The sun has taken its toll through the years. I look at the spots on my hands and arms with shock. When you use those blowing hand dryers, some of the more powerful ones these days will blow with such force that my skin is pulled away from the bones in a huge wrinkle that is appalling. I have more wrinkles than I would like on my face but it’s generally pretty smooth. My mother always stressed moisturizing and she died with hardly a line in her face, like her mother. Thanks for that.

All the parts are wearing out no matter what you do. Eyes, ears, joints and organs are not quite what they used to be. Dang! Well, that’s enough of that depressing talk. Time to eat healthy and exercise so I can try to keep up with my grandchildren. They’re still growing into their bodies. Wonder whose genes will show up at their 50th reunion?

Photo on 7-17-13 at 8.04 AM

Casual is my style and always has been. My mother took great pains when I was growing up to make me look like a sweet little girl and a lovely young lady, but I was always for kicking off those dresses and getting into something more comfortable. But I do appreciate her efforts and I can dress up if I want to.

I was thinking about this when I was going out to dinner with my three grandsons the other night. They are 15-16 and really nice kids, dress like their age. One of them had on a tank top and the rest of us had on t-shirts, all in shorts and sandals of some kind. I may have been wearing a pair of TOM’s shoes since I love those. From old habit, I looked us over to see where we could go eat and then decided it didn’t really matter. We could go just about everywhere looking like we did. We could probably even go to church, although the tank top might have to be changed. But the tank top came from church camp, so whatever…

We’re a far cry from the way I grew up. Lifestyles have changed over the past decades to the place where just about anything goes. You may see an occasional sign at a restaurant that say you must have shoes and a shirt, but that’s about it. Jeans are acceptable everywhere except some country clubs and even they make exceptions all the time. After all, how do you differentiate between jeans you work in the yard in and your $100+ designer jeans and who is going to tell someone their jeans aren’t nice enough? I’ve even seen jeans in church at funerals and weddings, not to mention regular worship services. Ministers got to the point that they just wanted people in the pews and they weren’t going to quibble about what they were wearing.

Hats are another thing. My grandfather wore a hat always, but he removed it in the house or at dinner or church. Everyone, men, women, kids, wears ballcaps now and few remove them very often. Hat Head is the excuse. They still remove them for the National Anthem and in church. That’s about it. Sometimes in restaurants, very fancy ones!

At times in my life, we didn’t go out without little white gloves. I can remember having white white white cotton gloves, probably bleached clean by my mother, to wear when I went shopping downtown or to luncheons with my friends when we had dressy parties. As I got older, I advanced to kid leather gloves, even my favorite red ones to go with the white. All our mothers were trying to teach us social graces. I don’t remember when it ended but here’s a picture of me getting ready to be interviewed for a beauty (Hah!) contest at OSU when I was a sophomore in 1964. Note the white gloves! Very proper!

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When I was little, we dressed up for luncheons and shopping downtown or plays or concerts or dinner in a nice restaurant. When I was in college, we dressed up for football games. Really. We wore skirts and sweaters to the games, no matter how cold it was. We wore skirts to class, too! On snowy days, we would put some slack under our skirts so we wouldn’t freeze walking across campus. Quite the fashion statement. Oh! We also wore hose, held up by girdles or garter belts, although my mother didn’t think those were very proper. I wore a girdle when I weighed barely 100 pounds and had no stomach. No wonder I laugh at Spanx today! Been there, done that and not doing it again. Ever!

The 60s started the changes. I can remember teaching at OSU when the mini skirts came in and realizing you could stand at the front of the classroom and look right up every girl’s skirt. As the skirts got shorter, the rules relaxed and you could wear pants and then jeans. Fashions changed rapidly through the 60s and 70s and we were the generation that lived it, even as we married and raised families.

We still dressed up to ride planes (heels and all), go to church, go to concerts, out to dinner. The gloves were gone, but you dressed up. The guys put on shirts, jackets and ties and the women wore hose and heels and skirts and makeup and had their hair done. There were social rules you had to follow after all.

I remember a date specifically that I began to realize that the casualness I loved was permeating maybe too far. On our 25th wedding anniversary, my husband took me out to a very nice restaurant. We ordered champagne and a lovely expensive dinner. We were dressed up nicely for this special occasion in our lives. When I noticed that the guy next to us was wearing jeans, nice jeans, with his tie and jacket, I thought to myself that there really was nowhere you could dress up for a special night out. He didn’t spoil our evening, but it was jarring in a place where everyone else was pretty spiffy that evening. And, remember how casual I am, so it’s interesting that those social dos and don’ts were so ingrained in me that I even noticed it, much less remember it all these years later.

There are practical reasons for everything, of course. It was expensive to have entire dressy outfits for our four children and I am amazed at the price of my huge grandsons’ shoes alone. They can’t afford to have very many styles since their feet seem to be endlessly growing. At least one of them is past a 13 adult size now which equates to expensive.

Another time, almost twenty years ago, some friends of mine met for lunch at a retirement home where one of us was working as a development officer. It was a lovely place and we dressed appropriately, but we didn’t match the lovely women who lived there and came to lunch dressed like the ladies they were. They had their makeup on and wore suits (jacket, blouse and skirt) and dresses and hose and maybe even girdles and carried their handbags on their arms like Queen Elizabeth. At the time, I remarked that our generation would probably come to lunch in sweat suits. Lordy!

So, here I sit in yoga shorts and a t-shirt, which I may wear all day no matter where I go. Or I may dress up, which implies I put on leggings and a nice top and nicer sandals. That garb would work where I live even if I had to go to a concert or church. Adding earrings and a necklace or scarf would really make it pretty impressive. All about the accessories. A guy probably would put on a nicer shirt and pressed shorts…maybe.

I don’t know that I am complaining about the changes…just making a mental note. I don’t want to forget how to dress up because there are a few times left that I might need to. After all the Queen might summon me. And I still have a box of gloves to wear…