Today I took my mother to a luncheon which she has been going to for years. It was the opening event of the Washington Studies Group. A lovely group of ladies who are pretty much “old school”. Everyone was dressed up but no one more than my mother. She was a vision in hot pink silk jacket with a pale pink cashmere stole trimmed with matching pink fox fur.

Mother at lunch October 1, 2019 age 101.


Her jewelry matched the many pastel colors in her blouse and the jacket. She is a pretty little blond thing with sparkling blue eyes. She smiles a lot. At least one woman said to me “I spoke to her and told her how much I enjoyed the luncheon at her house last April. She smiled at me and nodded so I know she remembers me.”
I hated to tell the lady that Mother is the widow of a diplomat. She can make anyone feel at home and recognized. It is part of her charm. And it was a trick she learned well as the wife of an Ambassador. When someone approached whom she did not know or whose name she had forgotten she simply smiled her welcome. It was such a warm smile and the welcome completely sincere. So most people never realized that she was “winging it”

Mother age 37 in 1955


I have learned a lot from her over the years about how to make people comfortable. She loved entertaining and going out to parties. She understood the trouble it was for other hostesses to have seated dinners with place cards for the guests. I have seen her rise up out of a sickbed with a fever well over 100 degrees. She put on her jewels, dressed in an evening gown, along with my father in black tie, off they went to dinner. When I asked her why she was doing that, she said, “Well it is a seated dinner party and I simply cannot disappoint my hostess at this late hour.”
That was her code. And she still lives by it.

Besides she loves going out and never wants to miss a party.

Copyright©. 2019 Bonnie B. Matheson

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