Monday, May 10, 2010

Isn't it grand to grow old?

A friend of mine whom I haven't seen in years stopped by the shop the other day. It was so wonderful to see a familiar, wonderful person with whom I had once shared so many pleasant memories in the past -- my wedding, the birth of my first child, and just plain old girlfriend moments that mean so much in that instant but that you can't quite recall years later except to say that they were great. She walked in and said, "Is this the Karina Gentinetta I know? Is this all you????" Of course, she knew me as the practicing, mad lawyer that I was and I guess, not having seen me in years, the jump to this is quite striking to a lot of people who knew me as I was.

After exchanging all the recent (or maybe not so recent) news of children, husbands and lives, I just told her how absolutely stunning she looked (and she did). She was radiant! And she said the same about me (which, of course, I don't feel at all) and after vehemently denying any glamour on my side, I told her how I was turning 42 this Saturday (the one that just passed). She said, "Oh, isn't it grand to grow old?" My brain went into instant replay. Wait -- say that again????? Old? Wonderful? Are you freaking mad??????? Did you just hear what I said, woman? I'm going to be 42! 42! Did you hear what I said?

But she did and she said the same thing, "I know. Don't you love it?"

I went home that evening and thought about that all night and the next morning. Either she was nuts afterall or there was really something to what she said. After I thought about it, I started embracing that concept. -- Isn't it grand to grow old? And I went through my day like any other day. I saw photos which my friend Claudia is tormenting with daily regarding her flea market trip to Paris. :) The treasures, the relics, the finds that line up the streets in Paris! These things are divine! They are old and age has perfected them. They carry the patina and crusty paint of years of enjoyment.

Am I crazy or aren't these chairs, oozing with age, just simply gorgeous???? (photos courtesy of Claudia Strasser).

And these Italian sconces with their original crystals and gilded patina.

And this 19th c. Spanish 5 arm tole sconce?????

Or this chippy Italian desk that has layers and layers of leftover paint and lots of stories to tell.

And somewhere between all of this revelation while I was at the shop, I got one of those video messages from my husband. I opened it up and on my phone screen was my 6 year old son, Liam. He was showing me how he lost his tooth just a few minutes before. His very first tooth!!!! My little boy!!! And my first impulse was to cry. Not only am I old but my son is not a baby anymore!!!!!!

But rather than to give in to the impulse and start crying, I stopped myself and thought of what had just happened. My son had lost his very first tooth. His very first tooth. And he was happy. He couldn't wait to show me. And wasn't that grand? This was an occasion to celebrate, not cry.

And so with that, I became a year older and a year wiser.

Yes, Elizabeth, you were so right. It is grand to grow old afterall.


  1. IS grand to grow old, and you do that with grace, dignity and style. That's obvious with how you display your wares, how you choose your words and most importantly, how those around you are loved and love you. Happy (belated) Birthday to you!! Hoping this is your best year yet!!

    Dorothy & Bobby-
    (by the way, GREAT shot of you! We should all look so good!!!)

  2. Karina, the previous comment says it all. Happy, happy birthday and I'm so glad you can rejoice in another year more beautiful and wiser than the last! xoxo -elizabeth

  3. Dear Karina!-)*

    Happy,happy birthday to you!!!
    Every time when I comes here by you and I reading you you post,I think what an amazing and very talented lady she is!!!
    Because you have a magical eye for those pices as an antique fourniture and how is it possible that you maked it so fantastic nice,just mirrical nice!:-)))*
    And when i read you storys,you thoughts about you daily life...I enjoed it beyond much!!!
    Wish you more and more inspirational days in you life!

    I admire as usual all pices here in you post,
    thank you so much for share,

    Love and care,

  4. Let me join in the happy birthdays! The expression "life is what we make it" rings so true here does it not? Your choosing to realize that growing old can be grand is so purely personal alias it can be grand if we decide it will be. I was so taken by your title to this post because it caused me to pause and reflect. So I salute you today for such a profound and enlighten post. Ah...yes you do look grand love the photo. The furnishings are to die for as well.

  5. Dorothy, as always, you are so kind with your comments. You have been a tremendous emotional support.

    Violetta, what can I say? You are always there for me in your words and encouragement.

    Elizabeth, we are long due for a glass or two of wine.

    And Victoria, thank you so much for sharing the effect my post had on you. It is my hope, as I write each post, that it touches someone out there. You made my day.


  6. I've just seen the chairs you want from Paris and I wanted to say Hi and now I want to tell you " Joyeux Anniversaire "

  7. It is soooo grand to grow older. I love my life more and more each and every year. Once you turn 40 a whole new world opens up to you. You see life so much different I embraced it and now I'm 51 a loving each and every year. Happy belated birthday Karina

  8. Oh my pet you have a way to go before you grow 'old' and that is from someone who knows!!!!! The other day they wrote that an elderly woman did something or other and the really terrible thing is she was years younger than ME!!!!!! Enjoy each and every year and only ever be as old as you feel inside....which makes me 23!!!!

  9. sorry I missed all this ... was doing the nada farm barn sale ...

    happy happy dear friend ...
    wish we were neighbors ...

    you're so cute!

  10. I specially love the old chairs and the chippy italian desk... brava!


I love hearing from you. Please don't be shy and share your thoughts.