Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I've been thinking

I remember, when I was growing up, there was a "spinster" or two that all the kids knew about, yet none REALLY knew. I think I might be that spinster now! She was an older lady (yep, that fits) that lived "alone" (uh huh) that usually had a few four legged companions (hmmmm) and had some strange ab-normal behaviors (motorcycles likely count in this one). She tended to do a bit of outside work in either an apron or a bathrobe (now this is getting frightening) and we would sometimes see, or hear, her in town singing or whistling when there was no music to be heard (there is always a song in my head). While my parents were always nice and friendly to everyone, they also cautioned us to leave her to herself, as she was likely "busy." She often had some sort of physical gimpiness. Be it a hunched posture, walking with a cane or big stick and was often hard of hearing. (sigh). I was always curious about them. Sometimes the yards had an arbor that made the house appear to be down a long tunnel (I was pretty young with that one, and can find the house even today, if it is still there). As kids walking to school we would stop and peer down the long tunnel and wonder if she was feeding one hundred stray cats in her backyard, and if she fed them little children. The houses appeared to be in decent shape, but needed a paint job, and I remember once my father thought about offering us as a work party to do just that. I am not sure if I was happy or sad when it never happened. I recall hearing someone once say something about one not being "right in the head." It is funny; as I now consider that to be a compliment. My aim in life is to keep people guessing. I have never been a real public person as far as my deep inner feelings. I tend not to share my conflicts either. I think I got that from my father.

Wikipedia defines "spinster" as unmarried and childless. I was married for almost 28 years and I have three kids and three grandkids (phew) so do not really fit the definition. That does not, however, mean that I can't ACT like one!

As I was in my childhood, I am still today; trying to decide if that makes me crazy, or as my parents said "eccentric." Which ever it might be, to whomever is curious, I consider it all a badge of honor. Who in their right mind really, truly, wants to be just like everyone else? As I pull on my leg and my scottie dog bathrobe, and gimp out to feed the mini horse, with corgwyn at my heels, I find myself humming:

"Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise"

Lennon/McCartney (for S2: the Grateful Dead version)

That is truly what I was humming as I headed out to do chores



Kira said...

Spinster no, but crazy neighbor lady maybe. Doesn't that also mean that your funny neighbor lady may also be one of said "eccentric" older women, if you could the crows as her pets?

Stephanie Frieze said...

The lovely thing about becoming old enough to not care what anyone thinks is being able to speak your mind and I don't think that's crazy. Your writing shows no indication of craziness. Along with age can come singing--a joyful noise afterall--or any fool thing you might like to do. Older women are wise. Old men are, too, but not like old women. As crones we've earned their wisdom, but historically that's made us frightening to men and gotten women burned at the stake. Some of my best friends are single intelligent, interesting, ladies living with a cat.

And the spinster thing comes from the Middle Ages when any woman old enough to marry, but not was by law supposed to spin everyday to help provide cloth for the lord.