Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Secret

I have been waiting for years for this moment.

But, before I tell you exactly what has happened, I need to give you a little background.

I highly admire both my Grandmothers (they are both gone now). Grammy, my maternal grandmother, was a kick. She had shocking white hair that was never out of place. She ALWAYS wore high heels. In her 60's her job was driving a semi-truck across the United States - hauling oranges, onions, her heels, no less (and much to my Mother's consternation, was dating an ex-con during that time). She was an outspoken Democrat who ran for Montana senate and lobbied for Senior Citizens.

My paternal Grandma Thelma couldn't have been more different. She was the heart of our family ranch. She cooked sourdough waffles every morning, had jars full of cookies at all times, cooked for hired hands, handled all the accounting, collected any and all things of interest to local history..... it goes on and on. She liked her position of power just as well as Grammy did, except she wielded her power from behind the scenes.

Not many people are lucky enough to be raised around such powerful, intelligent women. And to see it from both sides is something that had deeply affected my life.

Grammy would stand on her head for at least one minute every day. You could walk into a room and see her perfectly straight and rigid form, heeled feet perfectly pointing at the ceiling. After a few moments, she would slowly return to the upright, pat her coif of white, and continue with her life as if nothing strange had happened.

Grandma was not quite as healthy or active. She had bad knees and used a wheelchair at the end of her life to do the majority of moving around for her. When I lived with her in my early 20's it was one of my greatest pleasures to comb out her waist length white hair. She would sit and tell me stories as I combed, then braided, and wound the braid into a bun, just like she liked it. With her hair down she looked so different. It was such a private thing to see her like that.

I found my first white hair two days ago.

I have secretly and fervently prayed to all the deities that I know for years that I would have white hair like my grandmothers'. My Dad had grey hair. My Mom has grey hair. I was worried.

But it's white. Shockingly, glaringly, unapologetically white.

And I am thrilled.


At 8:50 AM, Blogger Jerk Of All Trades 2.0 said...

I've got white in my beard and silver up top.
It's cool.

At 11:30 AM, Blogger KOM said...

That's a great post. I never, ever thought that I would say this to anyone, but I hope you get white hair!

I loved the aside about Grammy standing on her head. Maybe that's part of the secret?

At 12:18 PM, Blogger Christine said...

That's awesome! Congrats on the white hair.

And I must say, your grandmothers. They sound like they were great.

At 12:59 PM, Blogger Sherri said...

I hope you enjoy your white hair. You're a stronger woman than I am...I fight my grays every 4 weeks with a bottle of Clairol!

At 1:14 PM, Blogger anika said...

Shari you're the cutest EVER.

At 2:52 PM, Blogger Ant said...

That is brilliant! I have always thought that white hair adds "distinction" to a person's image and I am so happy that you're happy (a lot of people wouldn't be...)

Those grandma's sound excellent too! Treasure those memories...

At 6:25 PM, Blogger J- said... white hair = distinction? Whoa, I am one distinguished gentleman then.

Perhaps it was my chldhood experience acting as a lightning rod. I digress.

Grats on the strand, Shari!

At 11:02 AM, Blogger Gareth said...

This sounds really familiar to me. I was lucky to have two wonderfully intelligent grannies too (granny and nana). I miss them loads :(

At 3:05 PM, Blogger Squishi said...

i don't have any grey at 30. My sisters both had it in highschool! The odd thing is i colour my hair anyway, so no one believes me!

My Nanny went completely white at the age of 20. No joke. From dark brown to dead white in an instant. The best part about it? She used to colour it every colour under the sun to suit the latest fashion or dresses.

She doesn't do that these days, but she's very fashionable nonetheless :)

At 4:23 PM, Blogger Janie said...



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