Life in a Senior Residence Community is challenging and cherished.

Posts tagged ‘women’

Two Book Events in Alamos

Three months have passed since I last wrote a blog. Looking back, I think that life was too full of living to allow time for writing. Several book talks, a trip to San Antonio, the holidays, family…On New Year’s Day, I promised myself I’d write a blog at least twice a month. Then, January passed and I still hadn’t written anything. I arrived in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico, and life is slower here.

There is more time to lie on a chaise longue in the portal to read. More time to gaze off toward the mountains. Rather than writing, though, I am promoting the book of stories by the gringas of Alamos. The final title is Our Stories of Alamos, A Pueblo Magico! , available on

The plan was hatched two years ago when five of us women were having lunch at Terisita’s Bistro and Patricia Hamilton declared, “The women of Alamos are fabulous! We ought to write a book! I’ll publish it.” We all agreed and that was that. Within weeks, we dispersed to our other homes rather far away. (more…)

How Did I Get to Alamos

In my previous post, I talked about how  a few of the women of Alamos, Sonora, Mexico planned to profile each of the fabulous women there  and ask them to write the story of how they arrived in Alamos. Here is MY answer:

Curiosity. I’d always been curious. In Coquille High School biology, I asked, “How does the water get up the corn stalk?” She answered, “It’s God’s will.”

During rush week at University of Oregon, I asked, “How much is your mortgage?” My father had said, “The higher the mortgage, the less money for good food.” In those days, I was slender and hungry so I pledged a sorority with no mortgage. (more…)

The Stories of the Women of Alamos

Last month while I was in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico, five expat women friends and I had lunch and planned a project that we now call “The Fabulous Women of Alamos.” We hadn’t planned to plan anything, but as we chatted, Patricia, the newest among us, said, “You know, the women of Alamos are really fabulous. I bet they have great stories to tell.”

We sat at Terisita’s black and white tiled French Bistro, enjoying our grown-in-the-backyard greens, and talking about our friends, the fabulous women of Alamos. Bernadette, a painter and photographer, said, “I should take photos of all the women and we can have an exhibit!” (more…)

Feelings and Footwork

In the Friday morning Feedback sessions, when ten or so women share comments about what  each of us has written and submitted, I am often reminded to show more emotion in my pieces. I have struggled with that. I found a printed list of feelings, divided into long columns of positive and negative, and make efforts to incorporate those feelings into my chapters.

Why is this so difficult for me, expressing feelings? I looked around the room a few Fridays ago and realized that I am a generation older than anyone else. I hope that explains part of it. In my childhood, we were taught to sometimes be seen (“Show Uncle Glenn your new shoes.”) and hardly ever heard. Little girls were taught to “be nice,” and that meant to be quiet, to not draw attention to themselves, to not take up much space. “Keep your knees together and your hands in your lap.” “Move with gentleness. Young ladies don’t fling themselves about like monkeys in trees.”

So, if the younger women in the writing group wish me to express feelings, I like to think that means they were, as girls, encouraged to express themselves. That they were  allowed to have feelings, to laugh big, sob in frustration, and even take up space. They flung themselves wildly around the dance floor and into their lives. What a great stride forward that is!

Eighty-plus years after I learned to “be nice,” I, too, have begun to say what is on my mind. I write words on pages and fling them out into the world in books and on a blog (Facebook and Twitter coming soon!) And I wish you could have been in the “Fun With Fitness” class this week, when many of us older women were dancing in unison to the sounds of Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey and Artie Shaw, big band music we played on records when we were teen-agers learning to dance. Women kicked high and swung our arms out in giant circles. When our leader called out, “Four steps backward,” you’d better watch out. We step backward, swinging to the music,  not even looking where we’re going.

I felt giddy and young and full of pep. No one said, “don’t take up so much space.” The leader said to me after class, “I am fascinated by older women who have a lot of energy and enthusiasm.”  Well, we’ve just let it out…. And we are still nice! Now I’ll practice it in my writing.

How do you incorporate emotion into your life and your writing?

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