Audrey Davis is one of those people who just never seems to slow down.
She politely declines to give her age. She walks with energy and purpose through the Tukwila Community Center. Maybe a hint of her age is that a daughter graduated from Foster High School in Tukwila in the late ’60s.
One outlet for all that energy is the Duwamish Divas of the Red Hat Society, a national organization for women roughly 50 and older who are easily described as full of life. Age is really something that doesn’t matter.
The Divas, like their sisters across the world, have one purpose.
“We just like to have fun,” Davis said.
Davis likes the group, too, because it doesn’t have officers or meetings or any real rules.
“I like to have guidelines,” she said.
Davis is one of the original members of the Duwamish Divas, who came together about 10 years ago. They gather at the Tukwila Community Center before heading out for their new adventure.
So what constitutes fun for the Divas?
High tea in Port Orchard, glass blowing in Renton, chocolates in Issaquah and mansion-touring in Seattle, to name just a few.
“We got samples, of course,” at Boehms Candies in Issaquah, Davis said, again smiling.
All the trips are “things you didn’t have time to do when you were working,” said Davis, who lives not far from the Tukwila Community Center on the Green River.
Davis, it seems, never really stopped working or helping others or enjoying the outdoors.
She’s now doing cross-country skiing, having hung up her downhill skies a year or so ago. A Master Gardener for more than three decades, she’s regularly giving gardening advice at McLendon Hardware in Renton. She has sat down at the home of gardener-extraordinaire, Ciscoe Morris, who talks gardens on radio and TV.
She’s an avid gardener herself, although this year has been a bit rough.
“We had such cold nights in the spring,” she said.
She helps others with their income taxes.
For about a dozen years, she owned a beauty shop on Beacon Hill.
She has watched out for her neighborhood on Foster Point and was active in the Duwamish Improvement Club.
It’s a wonder she has time for the Red Hats. But, she does.
“I like being around people,” she said.
On a recent day, she was modeling her favorite red hat. Made of felt, the hat was purchased in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Davis’ husband died about 20 years ago. Others in her group of about 15 members have lost husbands, too.
With the Red Hat Society they have found camaraderie and a never-ending chance to learn something new.
Sue Ellen Cooper, the Red Hat Society’s queen mother, puts it best.
“The Red Hat Society began as a result of a few women deciding to greet middle age with verve, humor and elan. We believe silliness is the comedy relief of life, and since we are all in it together, we might as well join red-gloved hands and go for the gusto together. Underneath the frivolity, we share a bond of affection, forged by common life experiences and a genuine enthusiasm for wherever life takes us next.”
The Duwamish Divas chapter of the Red Hat Society meet monthly at the Tukwila Community Center 12424 42nd Ave. S., Tukwila. For more information about the group call 206-767-2323.