The Three Nonagenarians

3 ladies drinking - woodcut

Three 92-year-old women walk into a bar – an artist, a nun, and a state legislator. The bartender asks what he can get them. The artist wants a cup of herbal tea; the nun wants half a glass of milk; and the legislator asks for one glass of red wine – specifically, Menage a Trois.

I don’t really know the rest of the story yet. These are the three women we are caring for right now at Country Comforts Assisted Living – and we’re all having a wonderful time learning to share our lives with each other. The experience is teaching me that God really does have a sense of humor.

colored pencils

The artist spends hours every day creating beautiful pictures with her colored pencils. She grew up on a farm in northern Wisconsin and cherishes her rural background, even though she lived most of her adult life in Milwaukee. I’ve written about her in this blog before. Her most dominant personality trait is being thankful for everything.


The “nun” really isn’t a nun. She’s a very devout Catholic who reminds me of my stereotype of a sweet, elderly nun. She spends much of her day reading, praying, and listening to sacred music. She is also very appreciative of any kindness shown to her, and she doesn’t want to be a bother to anyone.


The legislator is a well-read, politically active, former state assembly person. She is meticulous in her appearance, and expects people to treat her with the respect she deserves. She cares about what’s going on in the world, and reads extensively to keep herself well-informed. She reads two daily newspapers, a weekly paper, and several magazines. She also watches the news on TV.

All three women are widows who have lived alone for many years. For a variety of reasons, they can no longer live on their own, which is why the three of them and Mim and I have all become friends and companions.

The 92-year-olds make a most unlikely three-some. I’m sure there was some chuckling among the angels up in heaven when God decided to put these three women together in the same household when they were in their nineties. Despite their differences, they enjoy each other’s company. I’m feeling the urge to write a mystery novel about “The Three Nonagenarians.” The basic storyline would be that Mim and I take Abbey for a quick walk, but something happens to us and we don’t come back. The three women figure out how to live together without us as they solve the mystery of what happened to us and manage to get us back. I’ve never written a novel before, so I don’t know if this will ever happen. But it’s fun to think about.

It’s also fun to imagine what God must be thinking in bringing the five of us together – “The Three Nonagenarians” plus Mim and me. It’s delightful. The five of us sharing this stage in our lives is a continuing source of unexpected JOY, a special treat for the year when my “perfect word” is JOY.

JOY candles

4 responses to “The Three Nonagenarians”

  1. Betsy Bruce Henning Avatar
    Betsy Bruce Henning

    Must follow! On Ruthann’s recommendation, I know your writing will be something I enjoy.

  2. I can only imagine how joyful Country Comforts is right now! Warm and loving, interesting and diverse, what a wonderful place to be.

  3. What a “joyful” story and how fortunate these three ladies have found Mim and you! Sounds like a good plot for your next writing. Thanks again for sharing.

  4. I was drawing through the woodcut of the three ladies drinking to your blog and enjoyed the story very much. My parents have recently moved into assistant living, I am still dealing with the emotional impact it had on me. The cruelty to end their existence in containers and ask them to adapt into a new and very different way of live. Therefore, I enjoyed and chuckled some when reading your loving display of these wonderful elders. Thank you!

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