Today is my 77th birthday, and I’m going full-blown Style Crone in this vintage white felt hat trimmed with black burnt ostrich feathers and my favorite black vintage jacket. I accessorized with vintage long white gloves and vintage pearls. The cane was used in my hat shop to capture hats on high racks.  I started blogging at the age of 67, which means that in July I will have been publishing posts for a decade. It is a part of the structure of my life.

These are uncertain and unpredictable times. I’m aware that my age places me in a high-risk group for Coronavirus. I am practicing social distancing and taking care of myself as much as possible. I’m practicing yoga with an app as opposed to going to my class. I’m not going to restaurants or events. I’ve begun ordering groceries online.

The closest similar experience that I remember is the polio epidemic before the development of the vaccine. When I was a child, I was at home for a summer as there was much justifiable fear in the community where grew up. I personally knew people who contacted the disease and were disabled for life following their recovery.

May we who have risk factors remember those most vulnerable. I am aware of those who must choose between preserving their health and paying their rent. Many people have no options to care for their children when the schools are closed. Some people have no safe place to be or have no economic margin. I realize that I have many privileges and as fear grips the world, let’s choose love, compassion, kindness, empathy, and generosity. My thoughts are with those across the planet who are suffering as I write this post.

Photos by Daniel

What are your concerns and thoughts on the virus that is changing every facet of our lives and the unpredictability of the foreseeable future?

34 Comments

  1. How lovely to choose today of all days to drop in to see you Judith and find that you’re the birthday girl! Congratulations on 77 wonderful years. You look as immaculate as ever, stylish and sleek and a shining example of what we in our 60’s can aspire to.

    Thank you too, for tackling the tricky subject of the Coronavirus. Your advice is sound and much appreciated. I had considered writing something on my blog today, but felt terribly inadequate to give any practical advice. Your words are thoughtful and kind.

    Happy birthday!

  2. Happy Birthday to a classy and gorgeous lady who looks good in absolutely everything she wears! Hope it’s a wonderful birthday!

  3. Happy Birthday Judith. You are a beautiful Spirit and your beauty shines from the inside out. Hope your day is filled with Blessings and Love. Stay well and safe. xox

  4. Happy Birthday! You look beautiful as usual.

    Yes, perhaps this horrible virus situation will humble us all and remind us what is really important in life. ❤️

  5. Like you, I benefit from many privileges in my life. Stocking up on food essentials and quarantining myself at home for an extended period of time is a small inconvenience and will not cause me any financial hardship. My concern is for the poor and hungry who do not have this luxury. I volunteer regularly at a local food pantry and drive patrons home with their groceries. Hundreds of the elderly, the disabled and families with children would suffer greatly if the pantry closed. During these unusual times I will continue my work at the pantry as long as I am able. Thank you for your suggestion to choose love, compassion, kindness, empathy, and generosity.

  6. Have a wonderful and very happy birthday! The outfit rocks!

    It is indeed a difficult time. I am in a high risk category, as an older person with underlying issues, and a propensity to catch upper respiratory viruses easily. I am very thankful for a helpful husband, modern delivery services, the internet, audible books, and my knitting, as well as other craft interests. There is never a shortage of things to do. Also beneficial is the fact I was a only child and have spent a great deal of time with myself over the subsequent years, with a husband who travelled frequently. I do know how to keep myself entertained.

    I feel for those whose lives are already difficult, things like this never help and are often disastrous. May we all get the help we need if we need it and I hope we all remember to help where we can.

    I do see neighbors reaching out to help neighbors on Nextdoor (an online network for community building) and I am heartened by that. Often the worst times can bring out the best in people. I hope we hear more of the good stories than the bad, Sadly in the world of tenets media “if it bleeds it leads” to a story and a headline.

    Stay well, good luck to us all!

  7. Happy Birthday Dear Judith. As alway you look marvelous and strong.

    Thank you for your post so that we may see, feel, if only for a minute, a moment of escape of what used to be “normal”, everyday beauty. Thank you for reminding us that there is beauty all around us that we can still cherish during these challenging times. Thank you also for putting so many of our thoughts into words. I too am trying to dwell on any and all positive gestures from our fellow beings in hopes that kindness, thoughtfulness, respect and love will prevail.

    To everyone, take the best of care of yourselves, loved ones and strangers alike. Namaste

  8. You are gorgeous! And my role model. Take care – we need you around for at least 20 more years

  9. What a wonderful birthday outfit – Happy Birthday, dear Judith! I love every piece of your amazing outfit.

    It’s dead on the streets here, and there are only a few cases of Covid-19 in my city. The grocery and drug stores are bustling as people prepare to hunker down. I’ll be going to work; I can’t work from home due to the nature of my job, so I’ll be self-isolating there – I walk to and from work so no contact with people there. I’m a solitary person by nature, but even I need some people around. I’m sure that this will be one of those things that we look back on in 10 years – maybe we’ll say, “Remember when we used to gather in huge crowds??” or maybe we’ll say, “Can you believe how much we panicked?” We live in interesting times, for sure!

  10. Happy birthday Judith. Looking fabulous as always.

    A timely reference to the polio epidemic and its dire life changing consequences for those who survived.

    Unfortunately some people here in Oz have been panic buying without any regard for those who either cannot afford to do a big grocery shop and stockpile or who can only shop in small amounts at a time due to physical and/or financial considerations. Others seek to profit financially by buying up huge amounts of toilet paper and selling it at vastly inflated prices to those who are vulnerable. Why toilet paper is a mystery. Either way, it’s appalling behaviour exhibited by a minority.

    Charities are gearing up to aid the vulnerable but they cannot carry the whole burden brought about by panic and selfishness. The situation is not helped by inconsistent announcements from state and federal officials. Social media and rumour exacerbates the problem.

    We all need to step back, follow Health Department guidelines, and have consideration for others. Just keeping an eye out for those less fortunate and a little restraint in our shopping habits would go a long way.

    There are some who are dismissive of the gravity of Covid-19, and others who are acting as if Armageddon has arrived.

    We all need to stay up to date from reliable sources and behave responsibly.

    I applaud the measures you are taking, and your moral stance.

    Happy birthday Judith and keep those blogs going.

    Janet in Oz

  11. Happy Birthday Judith, you are an inspiration as always and particularly so with your concern for others. Your smile lights up your blog and I am sure any room you enter. Thank you for blogging.

  12. Happy Birthday Judith! You are loved by so many of us, you are an inspiration and give us hope that we can be as stylish and glamorous as you! All the best to you in the year ahead from one of your many fans!

  13. Happy birthday to a lovely elegant lady – there aren’t that many left of them!

    I love reading your blog here in New Zealand – I’m about to be 70 myself – its rather a large number! but I’m very grateful to be alive – so many friends have gone already.

    We’re holding our breath here in Aotearoa to see how things “pan out” . My partner and I are blessed to have our home, many good books and plenty of music also a lovely garden with plenty of room to sit outside and yet be sequestered away from other people. We’ll continue taking our dog out twice a day for a walk but its along open streets and in a park so we won’t be a danger to anyone,

    Its going to be an interesting experience in a very crowded and busy world.

    If we’re all lucky enough to stay healthy and well we might develop a lot of valuable new insights into what really matters don’t you think?

  14. Wishing you a very Happy Birthday. I too fall into the “age high risk category” and will sortly have to self isolate. I remember the fear of polio as a child. I was not allowed to go to the public swimming pool. Fear is also a virus and very contageous. Keep safe. Josephine

  15. Happy,happy Birthday Judith! Thank you for your inspirational blog posts-here’s to many more!

  16. Happy birthday! I am worried about all the small businesses and employees of those. On the one hand we need to social distance but this will bring great economic hardship to others. It is a very challenging time. May you stay well 🙂

  17. You are full on Style Crone in that spectacular outfit! Can’t believe I have “known” you for almost 10 years. I’m sending you a virtual hug and wishes for a wonderful Birthday. A number of my friends are older (you know who they are) and I think about them often these days. I suppose that my susceptibility to lung infections places me in a high risk group as well, and I am staying home as much as possible, but I still have to go to work, which means taking public transit, so there’s only so much I can do. We will get through this, but I worry about the effect on my friends who are small business owners and are suffering economic hardshp.

  18. Happy Birthday Judith, you look wonderful – that outfit is just like your elegant Style Crone logo !
    I am in England, C19 seems to be bringing out the best and the worst in people – unnecessary panic buying, mass cancelations but also kindness and compassion. My 68 year old neighbour has offered to do shopping for us if the over70’s are to be confined at home -I am 71!

  19. You have got to be the classiest, sassiest eco warrior I’ve ever seen. Congratulations on turning 77 judith. We await the next version of your classy aging style and actions with great interest. You inspire us to age the very best within us! Deanna, in Canada

  20. Dear beautiful Judith, I’ve read your blog for about 8 years and have never commented. Happy Birthday to you! You look beautiful and confident. I want to thank you for the years of hope and encouragement you have given me through your blog. I am 64, disabled, and have been the sole caregiver for my disabled husband for 20 years. His physical challenges seem to be more debilitating than mine. During moments of exhaustion and discouragement, I have received much comfort and strength from reading your blogs from the past years. I cannot say that the current times, with this virus, are not frightening. I have no help, no family support, no close friends nearby. I feel very alone and some days the future feels uncertain. It’s sometimes difficult to talk with a husband who has beginning dementia symptoms, but he still has good days of mental clarity, so we are still able to laugh and tell stories. I am thankful for the love we share. Thank you for listening to one of your readers. Thank you for being you, for the light you put out there in the world, your love of people, the way you care. Wishing you many more wonderful birthdays, awesome hats, and sharing your style crone wisdom.!

  21. Happy belated birthday. Your style is impeccable and will live on. I am going to be 80 in October and while I can hardly believe I have reached it – I am very happy to be able to say I’m entering my 8th decade! I am not as trim as you are (GO you!) but I try to dress with grace and ease. Comfort is my aim, these days!

    I try not to envy your hats….but as a former hat model….as have loved them for years and I hate that few wear them anymore. I try to as often as possible.

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