New is a relative word. This old thing? It’s about 24 hours.

Sandy, on her outfit

Sandy has been sighted walking to the market in one pair of shoes, walking to lunch in another pair, and walking home in yet another. She’s notorious about hitting the stalls, the market, the shops and the boutiques. She’s already overrun her suitcase and has had to buy more luggage to fit all of her purchases. And her room is packed with bags and boots and her bed covered in outfits.  As the girls have come to say, “Sandy is the market.”

Sandy began her interview with these answers: Age? ageless. Marriage status? emancipated. She’s presently going through a divorce and they just sold their home. She moved to a much smaller place near Elida where they still run together often.

Sandy used to have a career in retail. She got paid for her good eye and her people skills. Coming from a family of writers, perhaps Sandy’s next venture will be writing a book called Shoppers’ Guide Through Italy, or Eat, Drink, Shop.

After rooming with her all over Italy and even in New York, Sandy is a forever friend. I love being with her. She’s fun, she’s colorful, she’s surprising and predictable all at once. To use one of her quotes, “She’s a 10, she’s a 10, she’s a 10!”

And I’ve only mentioned one small aspect of Sandy’s personality. I didn’t mention her loyalty as a friend, her generosity in compliments, her quickness to say yes, her easiness, her flexibility, her humor, willingness to laugh at herself, and her great taste. She’s a people’s princess without being a pain.

Sandy was one of the original Art-Women-Wine participants. After being diagnosed with breast cancer, she told Elida she wanted to learn to paint. This contributed to Elida launching Art-Women-Wine. Later, Sandy was a part of the original toast that the next year they’d all go to Italy.

Sandy’s positive attitude sometimes hides her share of hardships. After going through several surgeries this past year to repair the scars in fighting breast cancer, she’s facing several more this coming year. Refreshingly frank about her zeal for and pleasure in getting what she wants, I think, is her appeal. Sandy’s likely to use breast cancer as her justification for all the pretty things she wants, then just as likely to say it’s a justification, and then add that she doesn’t care.

“You can’t waste a year, a day, a minute, or a second of your life. I’m just celebrating because you never know what you’ll be faced with.”

Some might mutter that it’s shallow to worry about clothes and things but nobody’s really listening because they’re all with Sandy at the market exclaiming over the new purchases she got. Or they’re in her room asking to borrow something or asking her opinion on which blouse to wear. Or they’re sitting with her at lunch chit-chatting over a glass of wine.

Sandy is just doing what she loves and loving what she does. It’s contagious. She’s already planning on Italy in the spring for her summer wardrobe. As I was chatting with her over another cappucino, I overheard her say,

“The next time I come to Italy, I’m coming naked.”

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