Flowers And A Red Hat

Hello Dear Readers!

Happy Monday and hope you had a

beautiful weekend.

It’s the third Monday of the month

which means it is another fabulous

Monday Morning Blooms Day

when I share great flower and

garden inspiration along

 with my blooms loving friends,

Lidy, Mary, and Pam.

You will find the links to

their posts under their gorgeous

images at the end of this post.

We are continuing with our


Today, I am going down

memory lane with

Flowers and a Red Hat



Okay….so you are probably wondering

why is there a red hat next

to the flower arrangement

of purple and red (and white)

Well, you know there’s going

to be a story.



One day, (many,  years ago)

I was reading my new issue

of Romantic Homes magazine.

I read an article about

a person who wanted to

celebrate her friend’s

birthday in a special way.



Her name was Sue Ellen Cooper.

She had read a poem by Jenny Joseph

about women aging and thought

how great it would be to host a

birthday party celebrating it in a manner

that Jenny Joseph had written

in her poem,

“When I am Old”

Sue Ellen’s friend was turning 50.



Sue Ellen called her friend

and invited her to a

birthday lunch with one catch,

she must come wearing a

purple outfit with a red hat.

That birthday party led to the

creation of The Red Hat Society.



My friend Linda called me

and said, “did you read that

cute article about the 50th

Birthday party in Romantic Homes?

We need to form our own Chapter.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Oh, by the way. . .

The Flowers I used today are:

 ~Purple and White Mums

~ Lavender Tulips

~ White Hydrangeas

~ Red Stock Roses

~ Calla Lily

~ Eryngo (the purple thistle type flower)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~


Linda and I set out to form

a group and apply for our

very own Chapter.

I cannot remember what

Chapter number we were;

however, if memory serves me right,

we were among the first

25 Chapters in the country.

We were the “Scarlet Starlets” 🙂



The only criteria to joining

our group was that you must

be at least 50 years old,

adhere to the red hat and purple

outfit dress code …. know

how to have fun and enjoy

“the sobriety of your youth”



For those of you

who have never read

the poem by Jenny Joseph . . .

here it is:



When I Am Old

“When I am an old woman

I shall wear purple

With a red hat that doesn’t go.

And I shall spend my pension

on brandy and summer gloves

And satin sandals,

and say we’ve no money for butter.



I shall sit down on the pavement when I am tired,

And gobble up samples in shops

and press alarm bells,

And run my stick along public railings,

And make up for the sobriety of my youth.



I shall go out in my slippers in the rain

And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens,

And learn to spit.



You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat,

And eat three pounds of sausages at a go,

Or only bread and pickle for a week,

And hoard pens and pencils and beer mats

and things in boxes.



But now we must have clothes that keep us dry,

And pay our rent and not swear in the street,

And set a good example for the children.



We will have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?



So people who know me

are not too shocked and surprised,

When suddenly I am old

and start to wear purple!

~ Jenny Joseph ~


It’s been years and years,

since we had our last

Red Hat Society gathering.

Most of us have moved

from the area where we had lived.

While unpacking, I found

my notebook on our Chapter.

I was the “Vice-Mother and Secretary.

a.k.a. the “Hysterian”

We took turns at hosting an event.

Here is one of my “invitations”



Can you tell I had lots of

time on my hands back then?!!

I sure hope you enjoyed going

down “memory lane” with me today

and I had so much fun creating

my “purple and red”

flower arrangement in my

faux marble vase.

Now it’s time to visit my

amazingly talented

Monday Morning Blooms friends!!!


Pam ~ Everyday Living


Lidy ~ FrenchGardenHouse


Mary ~ Home Is Where The Boat Is


And Me! ~ Housepitality Designs


As written in  Jenny Joseph’s poem,

I definitely would wear  purple

with a red hat, celebrate the

“sobriety of my youth”,

 pluck flowers from friends’ gardens;

however, don’t think I could get into

the “spitting” thing!

Were you a member of the

Red Hat Society?

I wish you all a fun

 “Red Hat” kind of day!!!

Red Hat day? That means

dance as if no one is looking,

do what you love

and wear what you love.

Even if it doesn’t match!!!

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  1. I love your trip down memory lane and your beautiful arrangement in honor of your Red Hat Society days! Your invitation is darling! I’ve always thought purple and red together is so striking. You find the most gorgeous flowers at Trader Joe’s, I wish there was one close to me…*sigh*. I know you must be enjoying putting all the finishing touches on your new home. I’d love to see some photos! So happy to be joining you for some flower therapy today. It looks like it’s going to be a damp and dreary week in NC, but cooler which I’m thankful for. ♥
    Mary’s recent post…At the Table: Hydrangeas, Butterflies, Bunnies and BirdsMy Profile

  2. Betsy Crittenden says

    I just love that poem by Jenny Joseph – hadn’t read it in a while. I didn’t realize you were a Red Hatter. I love your red and purple flower combos. I was just at Trader Joe’s on Saturday. I was there at 7:45 waiting for the “senior” hour and got in and out in 15 minutes. Sad to say I skipped the flowers but now wished I hadn’t. It would have been nice to have some flowers for this upcoming dreary NC week. But now I can look back to yours to cheer me up. Thanks for that! Hope you’re doing well!

    • Hi Betsy….I am no longer a member; however, loved every minute of my days as a Red Hatter…It was being with such a wonderful group of friends who loved the eating, drinking, and being merry that was the best. I was there at TJ’s Saturday too..but much later…Have a great week!
      Shirley’s recent post…Bunnies, Jelly Beans, and Easter JoyMy Profile

  3. It was a fun time with good friends…just being silly. We got a lot of attention wherever we travelled as a group. And attending the convention in Chicago was a blast, even wearing purple pajamas and red slippers in the hotel elevator. Good memories.

  4. Shirley, I can always count on you for a fabulous story as you journey down memory lane Your arrangement is so striking with the white, red, and purple flowers sitting next to the red hat. I haven’t been to TJ’s since early March, after all it is 60 miles away. I had never read the poem, it sure gave me a laugh. There were several Red Hatter chapters here, and I was invited to join, but never did. At that time, I was working and there just wasn’t time. The invitation was adorable, and I know your group had tons of fun. It is always a pleasure to join you my friend for flower therapy and Monday Morning Blooms ♥️

  5. Sweet story and memories, Shirley. Your arrangement is pretty, and also fitting for Flag Day or 4th of July! My mother embodied the color purple, some grandkids said she WAS the color purple, lol. Among my mother’s things after she passed was that framed poem. Sweet memories, indeed.

  6. Oh Shirley, how delightful is this post!! I have heard of the Red Hat Society of course, but have never read the poem or knew the thoughts behind it…how hilarious!! Yes, as we get older we definitely could care less about the trivia we used to worry over…I love that you and your friends started your own chapter and called it the Scarlet Starlets, so CUTE! Oh what fun I know you had. Your arrangement is beautiful, and perfect for pairing with your red hat!!

  7. Penny at Enjoying The Simple Things says

    As soon as I saw the red hat I knew what your story would be! I was never in the Red Hat Society, but saw them in groups dining at restaurants and they looked like they were having so much fun. Beautiful arrangement!

  8. Great information on how the red hat society started. Your blooms are gorgeous as always sweet friend. So happy to see your post pop up and see you are doing so great. Think about you often. Loving summer is finally here. With all the crazy in this world it is good to go outside in the garden areas and enjoy the flowers. Have a great new week ahead.

  9. Rebecca Turner, says

    Oh, how fun! My mother and I used to make the rounds of the tearooms in the greater Houston area, on Fridays, and we would occasionally see a group of Red Hat Ladies there. We weren’t sure what it was all about, but since we both like hats, it looked fun, even if the colors were garish, lol! Now we’re mostly stuck at home, looking after my father. I miss those fun times! Thanks, for sharing the poem, and your beautiful arrangement! You brighten our days!

  10. So, so cute!! I never did join a Red Hat Society, though there were many around here. I did go on an outing with a Society my friend began for her Mom…I was “un-official” and didn’t wear a red hat but a red scarf. 🙂 Your invitation is so adorable!!

    Flowers are so bright and cheery, a happy arrangement for June. Thanks so much for sharing your talents and memories with all of us today. Love being part of our special Mondays, Shirley. xo Lidy
    FrenchGardenHouse’s recent post…Collecting Antique and Vintage Madeira LinensMy Profile

  11. Alice genzlinger says

    It’s been years since our Red Hat Society met and I’d forgotten it. Thanks for printing the poem because I’m old and need to spit and steal flowers from my neighbor just so I’ll know I’m able to giggle still.

  12. Linda Hic says

    Beautiful flower arrangements.

  13. Oh I do love the arrangement you made and the story about the Red Hat Society! Sounds like you had a lot of fun during that period of time!
    Liz’s recent post…Outside Gardens and PlantersMy Profile

  14. Bobbie T says

    Loved this post. Brought back so many precious memories of the group I belonged to, The Red Hat Ramblers. We traveled all over eastern NC eating, shopping and touring. Miss those outings and the fellowship. Always enjoy your posts. Have a blessed week.

  15. I so enjoyed your post and reading about the history of the Red Hat Society! Your flowers are gorgeous! I hope you have a beautiful week!!!

  16. Your flowers are lovely and you rooms in the background are too.

    I haven’t thought about the Red Hat Society in ages. I’ve never heard the poem. Interesting.

  17. Pat stansel says

    50 is so young —but it’s all a matter of where you are in life !!! Love your posts !

    • 100% agree! I had an eight year old when I was 50! My sons kept me young and on my toes! Now I chase after grandsons. So many of us in our sixties are still active in our professions, working with or mentoring younger colleagues, enjoying our friends and maybe new romantic relationships too. Aging is a personal perspective. I am glad Shirley had fun with her group, a supportive community is so important for all women to have but sort of happy too that pro aging female boomers have moved on from that outdated image of an older woman. As a daughter and grand daughter of women who were active and involved into their 90’s well, 50 is a teenager!

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