We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
When I am an old horsewoman I shall wear turquoise and diamonds, And a straw hat that doesn’t suit me And I shall spend my social security on white wine and carrots, And sit in my alleyway of my barn And listen to my horses breathe.
I will sneak out in the middle of a summer night And ride the old bay gelding, Across the moonstruck meadow If my old bones will allow And when people come to call, I will smile and nod As I walk past the gardens to the barn and show instead the flowers growing inside stalls fresh-lined with straw.
I will shovel and sweat and wear hay in my hair as if it were a jewel And I will be an embarrassment to all Who will not yet have found the peace in being free to have a horse as a best friend A friend who waits at midnight hour With muzzle and nicker and patient eyes For the kind of woman I will be When I am old.
-By Patty Barnhart, originally published in The Arabian Horse World magazine in l992. I have no idea who she is.
This is an obvious (and surpassing lovely) gloss on the Jenny Joseph poem which is the founding scripture of the Red Hat ladies:
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.