The Belles-Letters Book Club has been around for more than 50 years. Some of the women have been members the whole time, including Barbara, who started the group with my husband's maternal grandmother. She passed away years ago, but Barbara kept the club going. Even my mother-in-law was a member of the group for a long time.
These women have it together. They're so organized, they even have voted leadership. They seated me as the guest of honor at the head of the group. As I rested into my comfy chair, the club's president looked at her watch and called the meeting to order. What proceeded reminded me a lot of our high school student government meetings:
*The secretary read the minutes from the last meeting
*One member made a motion to approve the minutes
*The rest nodded and seconded the motion
But this was way more well-planned than any of those meetings from my days of student campaigns and prom planning. These ladies even had dessert. Homemade banana cream pie. Coconut pie with freshly-made whipping cream. Little bowls of candies, nuts, and chocolate-covered almonds were placed carefully around the room. There were even tiny bottles of water for everyone. And the women all sat at attention - as best their spines would allow - awaiting our discussion.
I scanned the room, guessing their ages based on their hair color, wrinkles, and mobility in their hands. The youngest were in their early 50s, with smoother skin and little greying. The oldest appeared to be close to 90, with a curvy back curled onto her seat while her cane propped next to her. Each woman had the evidence of life lessons wrinkled next to her eyes. I felt instant respect for all of them.
I sat up straight and felt a warm energy throughout the room. These women had a true bond of sisterhood that readily welcomed me.
We shared stories. Me - about the adventures that led to my marriage and book. Them - about how loving a family I had married into. I spoke for an hour as they interrupted with questions and comments. How did you meet all of these men? What did your mother think? MY husband and I met in New York City too!
|some of the Belles-Letters girls|