Is it true that blondes have more fun? Nah, I don’t think so. Twice in the past three months, I took different groups of (over age 55) girls to Greensboro for Appreciation Day and we had a total blast each time. Listing the excursion members by hair color, we had strawberry-blonde, blonde, gray, black, and brown hair among us. We all laughed until we cackled. And why was this so much fun?

Well, it has to do with interests. We all love reading, clothing, eating, home furnishings, bargains and chatting, so I planned these appreciation trips around those things. I wanted to treat these women to a really fun day as an expression of appreciation for their friendship and support. It’s important to express appreciation before we’re dead, because after we die, it’s too late. (Some would argue that we can all appreciate each other when we meet again in heaven, but I believe at that point our minds will be on other things, so why not actively work to appreciate people when the mud of the earthly garden still clings to our heels as we kick them up?)

A fun stop on one trip was Tate Street Coffee House near the UNC campus. There’s nothing like a chocolate croissant with cappuccino to divert one’s mind and the music in the corner made the experience better yet. Next, because we’re all readers, what better place to visit than a used bookstore, especially two of my faves: the Friends of the Library bookstore at the front of the Greensboro public library and Ed McKay’s Used Books. The girls who rely on e-readers sat and had more coffee and talked while the rest of us pored over the books on sale. Of course, we couldn’t stay there forever because I had a schedule and the cool TSR sweater outlet was waiting—great deals on travel fabric and lots of end-of-season sales. As we wore out from shopping, we enjoyed more great conversation in the chairs by the door. Then it was on to high tea.

One of the regrets I have from two summers ago was not having high tea in the Prince of Wales Hotel in Waterton, Canada. What held me back was the price. However, I have discovered a lovely and reasonably priced high tea in Greensboro’s princely O’Henry hotel. This is where I took the girls for this next phase of Appreciation Day. As we sat on leather couches in the beautiful lobby, the savories were served on a three-level plate set and each person received a teapot full of beverage. I wore my delightful, outlandish, and completely inappropriate red-and-purple straw hat with the waist length red netting. How can it get any better than that?

After we stuffed ourselves, we went on to the Red Collection, a consignment store. (I want to spend a full day just browsing their furnishings!) Then we chatted and appreciated each other all the way home, stopping only for low tea– dollar hamburgers and senior drinks.

Sure, there are other fun things I do: reading books by my favorite novelist and laughing until the couch shakes, going to local junque stores and yard sales, writing this column, zip lining at Dan Daniel Park or anywhere else, doing nice things for people, having lunch, walking, and playing card games with friends (even when I lose). But did you notice the “doing things with friends” theme during the day trips? We ladies enjoyed ourselves immensely, doing things we enjoyed and reconnecting with each other, irrespective of hair color. We just had fun. Many thanks to these ladies for a couple of great days and especially for their friendship.

Biographical sketch: Linda Lemery also has fun working with students at Averett University’s Mary B. Blount Library in Danville. She welcomes your comments.

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