Author: Paulette Camnetar Meeks
Publisher: Xulon Press
Genre: Memoirs/ Short Stories/ Christian Living/ Large Print
Length: 496 pages
Paulette Meeks stood at the table of books at the bookstore after her signing, “Pick one you think you’ll like.” She is in her seventies, has several titles out, and has recently become a writing machine though she’ll tell you, “I never thought I’d be a writer, but God gave me these stories.”
I looked over the books. One is fit for a Sunday School class, one looks fun and spunky featuring a nun zooming by on a motorcycle. I picked Been There, Done That, Really! It has an elderly couple, the sort you imagine have grown old together, looking off into the distance over what I presume is a cup of coffee (could be tea, but I’m partial to coffee drinkers). Obviously, this appeals to me.
I always thought there were two kinds of people in the world – those that prefer the very young and those who prefer the very old. I’m of the old variety. I love my child, but I’ve never been a natural nurturer to children. To me they are just little people who haven’t learned how to function well in society. They don’t yet look beyond their own noses, they are selfish and self-serving. Thanks to hormones and motherhood that view has changed a bit – my daughter is indeed a little person, but I can see the wise woman she will one day be. And the cute, snuggly factor helps.
The elderly, though, have always intrigued me. Even as a very small child, I preferred white hair and wrinkles to the company of my peers. I learned to count by playing SkipBo with a woman who was born at the turn of the century – the 1899 to 1900 one, I realize I have to specify these days. In high school when I did community service projects, I always opted for cleaning homes for assisted living homes in low income neighborhoods over playground session with tiny people. I enjoyed the conversations. Then and now, I like hearing the stories.
If you’re one of those people too, the kind who likes to hear about a lifetime of adventures from someone interested in sharing them, Paulette Meeks’ collection of stories are for you. They are sweet, simple tales from people who just want to talk about their lives a little bit. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
My favorite story was Paulette’s own: Never Too Old to Be Smitten. There is a picture at the start of the story of Paulette and her husband Bill on their wedding day June 29th in 2001. I found the idea of finding love in your sixties so wonderfully sweet. Bill was a widower before Paulette, and I hope that if I die first, my husband finds someone to keep him company before he leaves this world. (We wives like to believe our men can’t live without us. ) More than anything, the word ‘smitten’ is a magical word and it is easy to get caught up in the romance of the meaning while you read the story of their first meeting and first date.
Reading through these stories reminded me of another book I’ve reviewed here before, Rich Fabric, a series of stories about quilting. The proceeds of Rich Fabric go to the Twilight Wish Foundation, and if you’ve read it I think Been There, Done That, Really! will appeal to you.