There are many things that shapes us and influences us as we travel along Life’s highways—prunes are one of them. I’ve always loved prunes. I didn’t know how important it was to my grandparents, but when my Mom packed raisins, dates and prunes into my school lunch, it was a good day. I would trade anything else in my lunch box, but unless the trade involved a chocolate bar, the dried fruits were mine.
My first eye-opener on the importance of this innocuous fruit was when my girlfriend and I did our first Mississippi paddle-wheeler cruise. As we pulled away from the New Orleans dock to begin our paddle-wheeling adventure, there was an “emergency” announcement that there would be “no prunes available for breakfast” the following morning—in fact, there would be “no prunes” for the entire week on the river. That was our first indication of the general age group on board. It was also our first indication that we were out-of-luck meeting “hot guys,” but really safe in meeting their grandparents.
I think “aging” is big bucks in a market geared to capitalizing on staying forever young. This makes it especially delightful to note the older women competing for “Best Actress” and “Best Supporting Actress,”—actresses like Frances McDormand, Meryl Streep, Mary Blige, Laurie Metcalf and Lesley Manville. How wonderful that the directors’ choice of talent and skill far outweighed the prejudice of age.
Lotions and potions have always been big bucks for women focused on remaining ageless. The more the companies claim they have the ultimate formulae for their “fountain of youth,” the higher the price-tag for the tiny bottle of “miracle.” I always thought mild soap and warm water, along with a good moisturizer did the same job.
Last week, Milly, a very lucid lady celebrating her 102nd birthday, daintily sipped her tea, while answering questions.
“How do you remain so young in your looks as well as your thinking?” And she replied,
“Don’t smoke, eat right, get plenty of sleep, wash your face with a gentle soap and warm water, use a good moisturizer, wear a hat with a large brim to keep the sun off, don’t fuss about the rough patches Life throws at you, but enjoy all the good bits while you can.”
“But,” persisted the reporter, “what about drinking?”
Milly winked impishly and smiled. “Well, my Dear—drink plenty of water flavoured with a big dollop of whiskey and serve it in a teacup. This is guaranteed to ward off colds and anything else that ails the body or mind. Works for me, every time!”
Happy Birthday, Milly. May you stay forever young. . .