My dear niece Cheari and her hubby pulled away in their jazzy motor home yesterday morning after another wonderful visit in which Cheari pampered her old auntie and her husband fixed various broken appliances around Rancho Lebon. I wrote recently about Rachel Maddow and how much her contributions to information and honesty mean to me. On a more personal level, so many older living women inspire my daily routine and outlook. Another International Women’s Day passed yesterday without me saluting just a few of them who continue to help me in my life, especially since Lee died five years ago. Another day I’ll plan to salute the men! Meanwhile, here’s a tribute to a few of the women each of whom inspire me in a unique way: Andrea Charvet, once my waterfront assistant at a YWCA camp, whose friendship spans nearly fifty years and who survived an aneurism five years ago with such courage and humor and is now writing a book; Arlene Frederickson whose friendship goes back to my college days when I often visited her folks’ dairy farm, and whose whole family more or less adopted me. She lives in Bothell, Washington and is cussedly independent and funny as a crutch; Beth Bourland, my younger painting friend who recently survived lymphoma and a career change and who unfailingly encourages my artistic efforts, no matter how lame; Catherine, the daughter of my deceased best friend, Eva, who has been in my life since she was a child and who calls me every day of her work-packed life, no matter where in the world she is; Cheari Westling, my niece who cherishes and nurtures me long distance and is the emotional and genetic link to my dear departed sister; Jan Hagan, my photography/computer friend who helps me not only technically but with physical and emotional glitches in my life. I could go on and on, but I would probably jam the internet. Thank you, powerful, loving women of the world. Top to bottom: Cheari, Andrea, Beth, Arlene (and Ilsa), Catherine (and Teddy), Jan (and camera).