Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Age is a funny thing. All of us have it--we just have it in different quantities. Like fabric.

Vicky and I were kind of joking around about age--specifically, lost youth and retirement. I just hate getting those retirement investment notices through my office that say, "When you retire at age 67 . . . ." What?! 67?! What the heck am I going to do at 67? That's 16 years away! 16! Well, my friend Eileen is several years older than that, and she's doing just fine. Most days, I think she could run rings around me. I admire that about Eileen quite a bit.

Sometimes I feel old, and sometimes I feel young. Today, for some unidentifiable reason, I felt young and full of energy. No appreciable aches and pains. I don't know whether it's because of the healthier eating and loss of a little weight or if it's because I've just had six days in a row off work. You'd think that having to go back to work today would have the opposite effect, but I felt buoyed up all day. Remember skipping? Do you ever skip now? I felt like skipping instead of walking--that's the kind of energy I had. If I hadn't been busy with other things today, I might have gone looking in my closet for those thigh-high boots! (I'm about 50 percent sure they're here somewhere. Goodness knows I haven't thrown anything away for 25 years--just ask my husband. But I digress.)

Have you ever felt out of place because of your age? I suspect most of us have been somewhere at some time--maybe out dancing with our spouses?--and realized that everyone around us was about 20 or more years younger. But have you, in the middle years of your life, ever gone somewhere and been TOO YOUNG? I had that experience several years ago, and it still mystifies me today.

Maybe about five years ago, I joined the National Applique Society. I was in search of a local group to affiliate myself with. There were several, but most met during the day when I was at work. Finally I located a group that met in the evenings in Rocklin, a town about a 15-minute drive from my home. If I remember correctly, they met at 6:30 p.m., once a month, at a local quilt shop.

So, the next time the group was to meet, I headed out to the quilt shop and introduced myself to a couple people who seemed to be in charge, and I expressed an interest in sitting in on their meeting and perhaps joining their group. Well, the meeting went well, and they seemed like a great bunch of ladies, but as we neared the end, a lady seated close to me turned and said something like, "I don't know if this group is for you. If you're looking to find friends here, you should know that most of us are retired and aren't really interested in going out and doing things." What? Hello, are you talking to me? I'm 46 years old! Do I LOOK like I'm here to round up a group of quilters and hit the bars after the meeting? Okay, I didn't actually SAY that, but that's what I was thinking. (And, before you ask, NO I WASN'T WEARING THOSE THIGH-HIGH BOOTS! I do NOT look like a wild party animal--I look like most other middle-aged quilters.) Now, I think we all feel that when it comes to quilting and other quilters, age is pretty meaningless, right? Quilting itself provides a common interest between all of us that transcends age. Not, apparently, with this group! When the one lady said what she did, I glanced around and caught one or two other quilters nodding their little blueish white and gray heads in agreement. Okay, I can take a hint! Of course, I didn't return. And I let my membership in the Applique Society lapse.

Age. It's all relative. And among us quilters, it usually doesn't matter. But I like this feeling of energy I had today--I hope I feel just as good tomorrow. But if I don't get to bed and get my beauty sleep, I suspect I'll be dragging my feet instead of skipping tomorrow. Tomorrow? I just looked at the clock and realized that tomorrow is already here! And I'm a day older. Does it matter?


Yvonne said...

I like to look at it as "just a number". Most days I don't feel any different.
They once interviewed a local lady who was 97 at the time. Asked her if she had any regrets...yes one, she said. I stopped ice skating when I was 75. I thought I was too old.
I planned to keep on quilting and blogging forever.

Darlene said...

I agree with Yvonne - age is just a number! I live in a retirement resort where most of the people are quite a bit older than I am but it doesn't seem to faze them and I could care less.

It's a shame that those women didn't welcome you with open arms - shame on them!

DPUTiger said...

Hi! Lurker coming out of the woodwork! :) Until June, I worked with college students. This year's incoming freshman class was born after I graduated from HS. I have a huge problem with that ;-) All of my quilting buddies in Los Angeles were at least 10 years older than me, most were double that. They are some of the best friends I've ever had.

That applique group would really have gotten my dander up. I would have had to stand on my tongue to keep the snarky remark from making an appearance, and like you, never would have returned. Their loss!

mar said...

funny this comes up, I'm starting to feel old at work. I'm the same age as Vicky (for a couple months) but it seems the office group is getting younger and younger 20-30s. Plus being a supervisor, I'm kinda out of the loop anyway. This is one of the reasons blogging is cool, You might wonder how old a blogger is, but it doesn't really matter because you find so many other things to relate to first. Glad you're feeling so peppy Kim!

Knot Garden said...

When I first started quilting it seemed like I was a lot younger than most of the other quilters I came across. Now I think it's more accepted that women of all ages like to be creative. It's a shame those applique ladies weren't a bit more open-minded.

Tazzie said...

I'm thinking that maybe that wasn't the group for you - not because of age, but who would want to spend time with people that are so rude? Age is a number, not a state of mind.

Lindah said...

Oh, I hope you have found a more hospitable group to share your love of quilting! I love being part of the quilters' blog "group" around the world. It is such a caring, generous, hospitable community of ladies. Even though I do not yet have my own blog, y'all have accepted me and I love you for it.

Fabric Alchemy said...

Your story really struck home with me. When I moved up here to Northern California I had a similar experience.

It's sad that it happened to you, but great that you've kept on and found your own place!

Vicky said...

You can still skip? Wow! I bow to your "skippiness"!! I'm afraid I'd break something or jar something loose if I tried! Of course, you're just a young puppy and I'm older than dirt! LOL

Age is a state of mind. I know. I was 29 one day a couple of weeks ago, and it was fun!!

And those ladies in that poopy group -- their loss!

Greenmare said...

another day or two never matters~
isn't it funny that sometimes we are too old for those around us, and other times we are too young? I guess that might change once we are 90???
by the way, I LOVE YOUR ROSES!!!!!!
I can't wait to try making some!!!!!!!!

Owens Family Adventures said...

hahahahah I love it that the woman turned to you to try and warn you off them cause they might not be exciting enough for you!!! When my friend and I started quilting 3 years ago we went to our first quilt guild meeting and the ladies there were kind of cool towards us cause we were younger then a lot of them. It didn't matter that we just wanted to sit at their feet and gleam some of their quilty wisdom, they shunned us. All except for 3 women. They opened their bee to us and made us life-long quilters with their generosity and helpfullness. Age is just a number!!!
great post!!
p.s. never went to the bath-house....I took a look in the mirror and saw some ummmmmm can we call them "extras" and I chickened out! The world is not ready!!!

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

My group are all older than me and have been a really good guiding hand to me...a good influence if you will!! I am very pleased they welcomed me instead of telling me I don't fit the menopausal criteria!!
But, from a female with a husband 15 years her senior you were never going to hear problems with age from me!!!What does he say?" You are only as old as the woman you feel!!!" Tracey

The Chicken Lady said...

Yep, age is just a number. I'm a very young 40 year old. I act about 20. :) I do like the fact that wisdom comes with each year. I'm still learning, but I know much more than I used to, and that's a good thing. :)

Julia said...


46 years old is definitely NOT middle age!!! :)