Inspiration for the Young at Heart

Slumber PartyR8

CR Rae

Age merely shows what children we remain.

—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

A group of us like to stay and think young, so we developed "Senior Slumber," a slumber party for us more  ... mature women. It may sound crazy but it is something we look forward to during our long, dreary Midwest winters. Early in the year we begin planning the annual event, setting a date during a warm summer month.

The event begins early in the morning, when we leave town and make a couple of stops at garden centers, craft stores or antique shops along the way to our party location. Recently, I suggested we stop visiting the antique stores. I found them a bit depressing seeing that my precious childhood memories were now labeled "antiques."

Once we arrive, we drop our luggage and head out for fun. The contents of our slumber luggage have changed from baby doll pajamas, Ouija boards, potato chips and candy bars to nightgowns, pills, bladder leak protection pads, and sugar-free candy.

After our first dinner we enjoy a relaxing sunset wine and cheese cruise. Once we have returned to land we build a bonfire and make s'mores. When the mosquitoes come out, we go in.

After an evening of talking and playing cards it is time to slumber. Okay, so maybe we go to bed before the ten o'clock news has finished and we sleep in beds instead of in sleeping bags on the floor, but our attitudes are youthful. We have yet to Saran Wrap a toilet seat or short sheet a bed, but we have fun.

On the second day of the event we have breakfast and take a trip to an Amish store, craft store or maybe spend a little time on the dock watching the fish swim by, sometimes with our eyes closed. After lunch, whether we eat in or out, we are always up for a rousing game of cards. Before dinner we take another bracing pontoon ride and come back and begin the annual Corn Hole tournament. So what if we move the boards closer together than the rules state? We have fun. Somehow I usually manage to finish the tournament in a prizewinning position. My strategy is to remain relaxed while throwing the little corn-filled bags, although I have realized over the years that maybe that relaxed attitude comes from the Dramamine I take for the high-powered pontooning.

Playing cards is a continual activity throughout the event, as well as eating, and we find that relaxing in the sun can still be exercise as we pass around the sunscreen until dinner time. Maybe we are beyond the half-century mark but it does not mean that we can't have fun. Strenuous kids' activities might have gone by the wayside but we have found tubing behind a pontoon boat can be as much fun as a speedboat.

On the last day we make good use of every minute. Some of us read a book, others go shopping in the little college town, and one of us sits down at the computer and writes about the event.

After two days of eating, talking, playing cards, and pontoon excursions, our jaws may be tired, but our sanity and attitudes are restored, giving us new memories to enjoy throughout the next cold, dark winter.

Probably one of our finest moments came while we were sitting on the dock as the sun was setting. Sharing our thoughts and laughing, we saw a boat full of young men slow down and begin to cruise by us. They were hooting and howling, saying things like, "Hey baby, what are you girls doing tonight?" as they approached us. They did not realize how sound travels across a still lake, and we heard one of the "gentlemen" say, "Hey, they are old." The boat turned and sped away.

Maturing in body, but not in heart, with our young spirits still intact, we are the same girls who slumbered at parties many years ago.

(681 words)