I’m revisiting this post from 2010 because I think it’s timely. Again.


My mother-in-law, who is 82 88 years old, says that getting old isn’t for wimps. The first time I heard her make this statement, it was probably ten years ago, and, hard as it is for me to admit this, it irritated me.

I wanted her, and really me, to focus on aging gracefully, without complaint or malady. Well, ten years down the road, I can say with 100% conviction, that I get it. Aging challenges people in ways I couldn’t even imagine a decade ago.

And that brings me to the topic of hipbones.

Pepper and I are in very different places when it comes to our hipbones.

Hers jut out, barely covered with flesh. Her bones would make runway models in Paris jealous. If she were wearing jeans, it would be the low-rider style. You know, the ones that jauntily sit on the hips. In my day, the 60’s, we called them hip-huggers. Okay, now I’ve carbon-dated myself. Oops!

It’s been years since I even considered pulling on a pair of hip hugging jeans. Where all we can see on Pepper is bony hips, I have the opposite dilemma. I know I have hips because I can still stand and walk. And when I put my hands on my hips, in a stance familiar to most of the women in my family, I can feel my hipbones. But I assure you, there are no Paris models envying my body.

Hormones and aging and not enough exercise conspire against middle-aged women. The result is that our hipbones go under cover. Way under cover. It doesn’t seem fair, and yet, baby, it happens.

Old mares, on the other hand, have a different struggle. It’s often hard to keep weight on them. They lose muscle mass and fat. The result is the ribby, bony look that my dear, sweet Pepper has.

We work to get more calories in her, while I work to get fewer into me.

And to my mother-in-law, I say, “You’re right. This aging business takes a gritty kind of courage that thirty-year-olds can’t begin to fathom.” As long as your body is working, you never even consider that it’s going to be any different.

Until it is.