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The Way I’ve Scene ItBY DENISE POYERIt was a bright, Sunday morning in early spring, but the wind still car- ried the sharp bite of winter, so when we got back from our trip to break-fast, I was cold. I flopped down onto the floor to bask in the sunspot in front of our sliding glass door for a few min- utes, and I noticed three things. First, that sun spot looked warmer than it was. Second, The Husband and our three dogs all had softer, more com- fortable spots on the furniture, and it is no wonder none of them mind me, because I put myself in the lowest po- sition in the room, and third, my face is looking old. I know this is true, be- cause as I lay there scrolling through stuff on my phone, I could plainly see my reflection in the ginormous iPhone 8 Plus screen, which is only slight- ly smaller than the one on my laptop computer. I wanted to see real me a lit- tle better, so I snapped a selfie.Since I have no plans or desire to live to be 114, I think it is safe to say that I have passed middle age. I studied the face in the selfie and was caught a little off guard. For the first time ever, I did not sidestep the fact that I look older. My parents were kind enough to pass on their dark hair to me, and like theirs, mine has grayed but slowly and only slightly, so it has been easy to forget how many decades have stacked up behind me already. In the pic, the silver hairs shine boldly and demand attention. I don’t know the difference between knitted and furrowed brows, but I do believe that the ruts carved into mine are now deep enough to ri- val a Michigan pothole. That brow is courtesy of too many hours of worry and not enough hours of sleep, and I maintain it with the squint of declin- ing vision. I counted the lines around my disappearing lips... there were at least 23 of them. Together, they create kind of a drawstring effect. It’s real- ly quite enchanting. The laugh linesFacing the Truthdecorating the corners of my eyes and mouth are deep and plentiful. I have groomed them over the years with lots of silly antics and a quick-witted sense of humor. I think most of those can be attributed to laughing at myself, but there is nothing in the world better than laughing so hard you can barely breathe, and that always involves at least two people. I ride the wave of that kind of joy every chance I get. I cherish every single laugh line. Every- thing between the bottom of my lower lip and my collarbone screams in an outside voice, “Get out of the junior’s department... you are too old for that style even if it fits!” That soft, fleshy, crepe-skin does not lie, and that’s fine, but I do wish it would shut up.I looked right at my real face, not theoneIhopeyouseeortheonein the morning mirror that is preoccupiedCUSTOM PICTURE FRAMINGwith those stupid bangs that refuse to cooperate, but at one that bears the lights and shadows of a good life. It felt weird to swallow the humbling truth that my inside self is now forev- er to be younger than my outside self. The Husband and I made an agreement when we entered our 50’s granting us full permission to just look our ages. I am a full 16 months and four days younger than he is, so you know he practically robbed the cradle. Surely he must have known that I meant that HE could look older! It didn’t really occur to me that it was going to happen to the both of us. I do hope that woman look- ing back at me from the selfie has the decency to age gracefully, but I’m not banking on it. She doesn’t do much of anything gracefully, so I imagine she will enjoy the next couple of decades working on her laugh lines instead.BY APPOINTMENT... 269-781-2564WOMEN IN BUSINESS I SCENE 4304 9

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