Tag Archives: friendship

Sadhvi Shares: Nan and Me


There are a handful of people I’ve met that have touched me deeply, and Nan is one of those. I met her in my freshman year at a college in a small town in Ohio way back in the fall of 1976.

That period is my least favorite in my entire life. In fact, Melinda, another long-time friend from way back in high school who went with me to Miami, feels the same. We have this ongoing argument as to who was the one who convinced the other to go to this college. And I know it was her who convinced me!

I first met Nan in the laundry room of the dormitory of McCracken Hall. I think I took Nan’s clothes out of the dryer, and she came in and asked what I was doing, and I yelled at her. I don’t remember really, but she does! I guess I like to show my strong emotional side (some have called it bitchiness) right away, as a sort of test. Wow, that was over 35 years ago, and whatever bond was made, it is still there.

It turns out that Nan thinks I am funny, and I think she is funny. That’s important to me. No one can be my friend if they don’t have the same sense of humor as me. I feel understood by her, and often communicated with her back then without talking. I know from experience that we are all multidimensional beings, and that language is overrated. Just ask my husband. I feel the same about Karen, who is in the picture on the lower right. I hope to write about her sometime soon.

I tend to have this curious nature in general,  and value my friends opinions for new things and good products.

So I asked Nan a few questions:

What was the name of the first record you ever bought?

Hmmm, let me think a moment. Oh, it was Sukiyaki, the song that came out in 1963 that was sung in Japanese. My mom couldn’t stand it; it drove her crazy!


What is your favorite lipstick?

I usually use the Clinique freebies that they give out. And then, for special times, I have this one from Guerlain that is a little luxury, because it is so expensive (LIKE ALMOST $50!), and the case is so over the top, but the color and the way it makes my lips feel is really great. I really wish Guerlain would make it cheaper by not having the heavy metal case and mirror.

Which group did you like more growing up, The Beatles or the Rolling Stones?

Oh definitely The Beatles. There was something that I found dark and disturbing about the Rolling Stones.

What is the one thing you have to put on or have on that makes you feel good about leaving the house?


Well, I guess it would be my perfume. I like this one called “Artemesia” by Penhaligon. I use it all the time. It smells really clean. In the winter, I like to use this one called “For Her” by Narciso Rodriguez.  My sister, Tina, says that it smell like “sex on a stick”.

Thanks for sharing Nan. I still think my friends are cool, even if we are getting older! I’m really looking forward to this summer’s get-together. Melinda? Tina? Teresa? Mary Ann? Are you guys coming?  Karen has a pool.





Pro’s and Con’s of Approaching the Dreaded 60 (in a little over 2 years)


1) I feel old.  My hair is gray, and there are wrinkles around my eyes and mouth.

2) I will never be a child prodigy on the guitar.

3) The white hairs on my chin might scare young children.

4) I will never win an Olympic gold medal in Volleyball, unless it’s a special competition or old farts.

5) My husband is looking a little older, too.

6) I need more sleep than I used to.

7) I can’t remember anything, especially not anything that happened recently.

8) People in the South say “Yes, Ma’am to me” and sometimes give me that “what a cute  little lady” look.

9) My parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents—all the people who inhabited my childhood world, and even ruled over it—are gone.  I will never see them again, and my children don’t even remember most of them.

10) My hands are starting to look like my mother’s hands.



1) I am a much better judge of character than I was in my twenties and thirties.

2) My husband still looks younger than most people his age.  In fact, strangers think he’s my younger brother.

3) So what if I can’t remember anything?!  Unlike members of the younger generations, my life is preserved in diaries, postcards, letters, love letters, even telegrams—not an e-mail or text message in the bunch—and photo albums with actual pictures on paper (although there is a definite shortage of these starting with the year we purchased our first digital camera).

4) My children are no longer teenagers, at least 3 out of 4.  They are also full-grown (or close enough) and capable of surviving without their parents.

5) I know what I like/don’t like, who I am/am not, who I don’t ever want to be.  I’m past agonizing over my identity or beliefs.  My needs are simple: good people, good food, good laughs–and good sleep.

6) I have the courage to speak my mind out loud (that one took longer than some of the others), and I have great friends  (and 3 great sisters) who seem to value that.

7) I do not ever have to Tweet on Twitter, if I don’t want to—and I don’t want to.

8) I’m past being embarrassed about much.  (Old Fart volleyball tryouts, here I come!)

9) I know that life is too short to waste on any of the following:  t.v. ads, committee meetings, red lights after 12 midnight, liver, and cleaning my house more than absolutely necessary to prevent the spread of disease.

10) I always wanted to have hands like my mother’s, where you can see the veins.  To me, they looked like the picture of love and nurturing and hard work.

12)  I actually like my gray hair and laugh lines—it took hard work to earn them both.

13) I never wanted to be a child prodigy anyway.  It was too much fun playing “Kick the Can” or “Sardines” all summer.

Turns out the Pro’s outnumber the Con’s!  Who knew?!!!

Three Women Over 50 on a Jaunt

Last weekend I had the privilege of visiting with my two roommates from college.  We met in Minnesota, where one of them lives.  I was a little nervous before the weekend.  I worried that things might be awkward.  After all, we hadn’t seen each other in years (not one of us could remember exactly how many!).  What if we couldn’t relax around each other?  What if we didn’t like each other any more?  How I wish I had lost that extra 10 pounds I need to lose!  It’s funny how all that mess disappeared from my brain as soon as we were together.  And now that the weekend is over, the only thing I’m thinking about is why didn’t we do this sooner?
We had a such a great time together, as if no time had even gone by.  Of course we had some disturbing things to talk and vent about, things that have happened in the interim:  Kippy has had to go through the horrors and trauma of cancer (but our readers know how courageous her fight has been–and she is in remission and looking magnificent!); Cindy has suffered through a painful divorce (once again, with flying colors).  Their two incredible spirits in the face of such struggles gave me the strength to deal with whatever may come in my life.
But we didn’t let reality get us down.  We tootled around Minneapolis, went out on a boat ride on Big Fish Lake (with Kippy’s wonderful dog, Mozart), tried to stay up to watch “Sweet Home Alabama” on the television (but fell asleep–all 3 of us–before the ending), ate ice cream with Bailey’s Irish Cream on top, went out to a breakfast that included homemade blueberry pancakes, and played a version of “Name that Tune” with Kippy’s gracious-and-funny-husband Warren that kept us up till about 2 in the morning, laughing about songs that brought back college, such as “Heart of Gold” (playing loudly through the leaky walls of the dorm each night) or “Can’t Live if Living is Without You” (Nillson) or “Don’t Worry Baby” by the Beach Boys (that was the one I was trying to remember, Kip and Cindy–the one that always reminds me of our buddy Alice, who lived next door.)  It all brought back memories to my head–of things like playing Hearts in our dorm room, or going off campus in Cindy’s car (the one she had at school for one semester!) to eat a Peppermint Drizzle at Howard Johnson’s, or our trip to Disney World to celebrate graduation (with all of us and Alice–and our wonderful friend Beth).  I have to say:  some of us, who will remain nameless, remembered the details better than others!!  (Bless you, Cindy, for being a year younger!)
We felt grateful for the time and space to be sitting in a room together or walking along a road by a beautiful Minnesota lake–and talking and laughing–and laughing some more.  Cindy, who is a dedicated veterinarian and carries the burdens of her animal patients on her shoulders, said she could feel her neck relaxing.  I could feel my heart filling up.
My wonderful friend, Kippy, sent me an e-mail before I even boarded my plane, ending with, “at the end of the day, life is about faith, family, and friends.”
I couldn’t say it better.

Oops 50: Check-in from Farmer Nancy: Emmy and Otis

Last week I had to take our dog Emmy to be pts.  I can’t even write out the words.  She was diagnosed with lymphoma last October, and, after researching it, we decided to try chemotherapy.

We had to take her to the vet in Clayton, an hour away from our farm in Rocky Mount, and she hadn’t been in a vehicle since we’d first gotten her.  We’d always had to drug her with Ace to get her there for regular visits, and even then, she drooled, panted and tried to escape from the truck for the first 30 minutes.  I figured that by the time we’d get there, she’d be practically asleep– but I knew it would be stressful on her system.  The vet wanted to try her coming without drugs.

On the fourth trip there, we made it, with just some hard breathing, and Ems was the perfect lady in the waiting room.  She let the vet techs draw her blood with no problem.  Turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks.It worked—for a while.  Her appetite returned.  We had read that a high-protein diet would combat the cancer, so she feasted on stew beef, pork chops, turkey burgers and chicken.  No more biscuits for treats: she had beef jerky.  As a vegetarian, I’ve never bought so much meat in my life.  Thank you, Costco!  My carnivore stepson, who became Emmy’s personal chef,  also benefited from this diet–probably not in a good way. Continue reading Oops 50: Check-in from Farmer Nancy: Emmy and Otis

Time Really Does Go Faster As We Age

Diane Puckett

Time really does go faster as we age. It has been a year since we moved to the mountains of Western North Carolina, but it seems like we just got here. The year has been quite a whirlwind of change.

Full Moon in DC

The biggest change – leaving the Washington, DC area, a place I had lived over half a century, (did I really say that?).  It’s my entire life. Though we had planned to move to Asheville for years, it was still a big deal, and happened far more quickly than anticipated. With a beautiful full moon and all the planets apparently in alignment, our house sold in two days.

Thus began the whirlwind. Three full moons later, we would move to the mountains, and there was much to do.

There were many people to say goodbye to, knowing I would never see most of them again. I closed the psychotherapy practice I had worked years to establish, bidding farewell to clients and colleagues. The local pottery studio, my hangout of kindred spirits was toughest to leave. Well, other than my sister, but that’s too tender to write about now.

We headed South on a cold December day, cars crammed full of stuff and our two beagles along for the ride. Not long after we arrived, a snowstorm followed, leaving us with no electricity and lots of tree damage. It was a tough winter, especially since we knew almost no one. Our holidays were non-existent, as we were busy moving.  The day I found myself strolling through Walmart for entertainment, I knew something had to change. Facebook provides an illusion of a social life, but it’s not reality. The North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement at UNCA was my lifeline during that long winter, feeding my brain and giving me a connection with other people.


Molly Beagle, my best bud for thirteen years, slowly wound down and passed on to the Rainbow Bridge. Our last day together was a sacred time – we cuddled up, and I talked to her about the good times we shared together.  At the end, I sang the Golden Girls theme song to her. I’m grateful Molly had some time here in our beautiful new place. We buried her next to my studio where she will have her own garden of the flowers she loved.

Diane's studio

Living here feels like I’ve finally come home. I love the spirit of this place, the creativity, the energy.  It’s been a year now, and I feel like I’m finding my niche. I’ve made good friends and know many of our neighbors.  I have an almost-finished pottery studio, a dream-come-true.

I’ve given in to my craving for a hammered dulcimer and have begun music lessons again after a 45-year hiatus. Maybe this time around I’ll practice.

Most of all, I love the magnificent mountains. I cannot even think of adequate words to describe them. May I never take them for granted or stop seeing them.