January 7, Day #6
The Rave Reviews Book Club has challenged its members to blog without fail for 30 Days. Accepting this challenge has opened me to the possibility that with inspiration and motivation, I can accomplish some very lofty goals in 2023.
Occasionally, I’ll share something that occurred that day that signals a Renaissance moment for me.
#2 To push harder and speak louder for what I really want!
Ivy Leigh Hunter, a beautiful dark-skinned woman, came into my life in 1985. Southern Texas rolled off her tongue and her manner exuded quiet grace and style. Physically, she was beautiful, and she gave the best hugs.
Huge vases of white summer flowers adorned her warm home and flowed over highboys, chifforobes, and wooden tables. Her guest bedrooms smelled of an exotic pot-pourri. She frequented used stores, resale shops, and antique stores where she purchased high beds with step stools, colorful patchwork quilts, plush down coverlets, and fat pillows. Joy filled me when I visited her home.
She’d say, you want to buy a few classic pieces that will last forever and won’t go out of style. With her by my side, I opened a charge account at Saks Fifth Avenue in Chicago. I bought a soft-brown suede, shearling hat that is as stylish today as it was thirty years ago.
Ivy Leigh carried a large black doctor’s bag before they became popular. Gucci and Prada meant nothing to me as a working woman trying to make ends meet. My sister and I agreed we’d buy a black bag like hers one day. Her hands and feet were well manicured, and she liked red lipstick and nail polish. Her close-cropped curls complimented her small face and head.
I don’t know where she cultivated her style because she told me she’d grown up on farmland off a dusty road in Texas. Perhaps the evenings she spent working at a famous department store on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile helped hone her fashion sense. Customers in both the men’s and women’s departments asked for her by name.
During the day, she was an administrator at a local hospital. My reputation went up several notches when my brother discovered Ivy Leigh and I were friends. He had taken a position at the hospital after college and he, along with several other young professionals, revered the iconic Ivy Leigh.
Ivy moved back to Texas after her divorce, and I grieved her loss. I never looked at her husband the same way and we’re no longer friends with him. It wasn’t possible for me. I’d expected Ivy Leigh and me to grow into stylish old besties together. She’s in all my stories, and she’s the co-author of many. I miss her, and since she left, I have no urge to remain fashionable. Who would even understand? Ivy Leigh and I used to put on heels and makeup just because it was Tuesday.
I’m about to call her now to wish her a happy New Year. We will talk about her child, my daughters, our grandchildren who we’ve never seen. Such sorrow. But our conversation will turn joyful. We’ll trade iCloud photos of everything and then we’ll cry. Outrageously-loud laughter will burst from me and cause my husband to insist I put her on speaker phone so he can comment.
Just describing her to you is flooding me with warm feelings. In thirty-five years, I’ve never told her these things.