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Saturday, Apr. 19, 2014
I'm out of style (03/07/14)
I remember that when I was little I argued with my mother about what I was wearing. The first thing we fought about was bloomers. You know, those underpants with elastic at the end of the legs. My mother made mine and she made them roomy enough to have another child in there with me. The idea was, I was supposed to pull the legs down closer to my knees. This was not just for modesty, but also for warmth when I got too big to wear leggings or snow pants...
Evolution of highways (02/28/14)
This week we rode up to Kansas City. The weather was good and we didn't have to go at the crack of dawn and all the doctor reports were positive. Since I was sitting in the back seat I could look outside from a different angle than my usual driver seat. We have lived around Highway 71, (It still is 71 in addition to the Interstate number) most of our married lives and know all the towns along the way fairly well...
What's In a Name? (02/14/14)
A young child starting in pre-school or kindergarten will often have a cute name tag pinned on his/her shirt and the student's name in big letters printed on the inside of any outerwear so that the child soon learns to identify his name on sight. And the teacher has a handy aid to recognize which child is called Madison and which one is Agnes. ...
Naps are for all ages (01/31/14)
I have heard many people who are middle age plus professing such things as: "I never sleep in the day time." Or, "I never sleep in the car." I always wonder why they are so intent on making these claims. Do they think that sleeping when there is a possibility to do so is being lazy? Or do they think it shows a weakness that they might be a little sleepy sometimes other than nighttime? Usually the reason given is that they have too much they need to be doing, or that they would miss some of the scenery if they fell asleep.. ...
Cherished things we will never use (01/24/14)
One of the drawers in my kitchen is so full that I cannot get another dish towel in it. I pushed and pushed but nothing more would fit if the drawer was closed. Reluctantly I took everything out to see what could be discarded or stored elsewhere. I discovered that what I actually use was only a small part of what was clogging up the drawer...
Changes come faster the older we become (01/17/14)
It's the New Year. And along with the New Year I am experiencing changes, good and bad, that seem to be here too early. Today (Jan. 13) I am the great-great-grandmother of our second great-great-granddaughter. I am rejoicing with all the others in her families that she is here, perfectly healthy, exceptionally pretty and undoubtedly very smart. ...
Birdie on my window sill (01/10/14)
When I was small my mother often read poems to me as I was taking my nap. There was one that started the same way I titled this essay. But since my bedroom was on the second floor of a house that had a full basement, I never got to see a birdie on my window sill. ...
Who decides (12/27/13)
The more pluses I put on my middle age plus, the more I am aware of how many times, some little incident has changed my life. And then I try to remember why I chose to be where the incident happened, or wonder why any of the other people involved happened to be there. Somebody had to have made a decision...
Don't litter our roads (12/20/13)
All along the highways there are signs warning against littering the roads. There is a fine if you are caught, but I have never noticed anyone being pulled over for tossing a paper cup out the window. On the county roads there are not even any signs against littering, and on parts of the roads where there are no houses, there is much evidence that no one worries about the messes they make. ...
Relatively speaking (12/06/13)
Now that Thanksgiving's gatherings are over, many of us are looking forward to other gatherings of friends and relatives in the Christmas season. As the family spreads to two, three, four and even five generations it is sometimes hard to remember which generation a certain child belongs in. Sometimes the youngest of one generation is only a few years older, or maybe even younger than the first of the next generation...
When things don't work (11/28/13)
When I started writing these columns, I had a large tablet with lined yellow pages. I wrote with a pencil so I could erase mistakes. When I finished the column, I would go back and decide if I wanted a certain paragraph to be later in the essay. If so, I would draw brackets around that part with an arrow to indicate where I wanted to replace it. Sometimes I would use the eraser so often that the paper developed a hole under the word and I had to rewrite the word in tiny letters above the hole...
Perks of being a caregiver (11/22/13)
By Carolyn Gray Thornton Probably many of you readers at some time in your life have been a caregiver to a relative or a friend. Maybe it was even your profession. I know it is a never ending job and having a little relief now and then can be a big help...
What a wonderful fall (11/15/13)
The more pluses I need to put on "Middle Age Plus" the more I appreciate each season. This fall was remarkable for us here in Vernon County. I heard a remark from one who had taken a trip throughout Missouri to see the leaves' coloring who said that when she returned home she saw as many pretty trees as she had seen in other parts of our colorful state...
Do you need a hug? (11/08/13)
By Carolyn Thornton I have been given two little books called "Hugs." These books explain the value of giving and receiving hugs. It also has illustrations about different types of hugs. These go from bear hugs to group hugs, from side hugs to from-the-back hugs. The premise is that any hug is helpful for both the hugger and the hugee. I have used these books often and find them very useful since I seem to do a lot of hugging...
Swan song or last hurrah? (11/01/13)
Last week I ended two decades of being an instructor at Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel) programs. Most of these had been at the YMCA of the Ozarks near Potosi. I had enjoyed doing these in this resort setting by a lake, in the woods, and having my bed made every day. Oh yes, I also got paid...
Don't air your dirty linen in public (10/25/13)
When I was growing up I remember hearing two phrases quite often from my mother and some of her friends. The first was, "Don't air your dirty linen in public." Of course that referred to the age where almost all homes had a clothesline in the backyard and the housewife was very careful to have the wash look nice, to hide the personal items in between the lines with the sheets or some other large materials so that the neighbors wouldn't know what your unmentionables looked like. ...
Lassie come home, please (10/18/13)
After having a 9 year old in our home for a week I find myself really longing for the old-style movies for children. Every TV show, every borrowed film, tape and many of the advertisements on TV had cartoon-like characters that were either grotesque, frightening or unattractive portrayals of humans. ...
Neatness has its problems (10/11/13)
Have you noticed the scarcity of my favorite wild flower, the Spanish Blossom, this year? Every year I look forward to seeing fields of the little yellow blossoms before the winter wheat preparations plow up the growths from the summer. If there were no actual fields with the blooms, there were plenty in the road ditches and right-of ways. I considered the treat of all that cheerful yellow as my "fix" for the winter which will be without much color...
Buy now! (10/04/13)
I have not liked what I am hearing on the news these days so I have switched channels to other programs. That has given me a new problem. There are different commercials on these channels than the ones I had been watching. The problem isn't that I am tempted to buy more things. The problem is that I can't understand the commercials...
Facing Facebook (09/20/13)
I recognize the fact that I am an old fogey in some aspects. I like to see people sit down together to eat a meal. I prefer that four letter words are restricted to ones like love, read, work, and play. I resisted using the computer years ago but now I spend half my time on one. So I decided maybe I should quit resisting getting on Facebook...
Finding your place (09/13/13)
With school just started again for the new year I can imagine that there have been several students of all ages who were a little anxious on the first day about finding their place. The teachers probably assigned seats in some of the public school class rooms, but during lunch periods I am sure that there was some concern felt by any new students about where they should sit. Will anyone sit by me? Will I choose to sit by someone who wouldn't want me to sit there?...
Wisdom from the funny papers (09/06/13)
We remember the quotation by Will Rogers, "Well, all I know is what I read in the papers." I have a friend who claims that all we need to know we can learn from the funny papers. Some of you may be too young to realize that the comic page used to be called the funny papers, or the funnies. ...
I majored in English but ... (08/16/13)
I will soon be an instructor at a Road Scholar program over at the YMCA of the Ozarks, near Potosi. While I am there I will be leading five sessions on Humor and Games. Because of family responsibilities, it has been several months since I have been an instructor, so I have been trying to bone up on the type of things we participate in at these Road Scholars. ...
My wish happened (08/09/13)
Yes, it happened. Some of my faithful readers might remember that sometime near Mother's Day I wrote a column stating that the greatest gift I could receive instead of clothes or pretty things for the house would be for all our kids to come spend a day helping out around the house. It was read by at least one of our children. This weekend it happened...
If only I had known (08/02/13)
Unfortunately I have gone to quite a few funerals lately. Quite often when I have heard the obituary read, or seen it printed, I will say, "I didn't know that about her or him." Often I learned of an interest the deceased had enjoyed that I would have liked to share. Sometimes I discovered a relative that I didn't realize was in that family. Maybe it was the age the person had reached, or the number of years married that surprised me...
Wheat stubble (07/26/13)
What's happening in all that wheat stubble? This year the weather has made many changes in what farmers tried to plant -- or replant. One time the fields were too wet to plant anything. Then when they were able to plant, it rained and rained and in some fields the little plants got drowned. When it dried up a bit, the seeds that hadn't yet come up when the rains came, couldn't break through the now crusted soil. What a mess! But not to worry, the wheat did great...
When in-law means in love (07/19/13)
One of the best things about living a long life is that you will have met and known and loved many people through the years. One of the worst things about living a long life is that you experience the loss of many friends and loved ones through the years. Last week, we lost our sister-in-law, Doris Ledbetter Thornton, from Theodosia. Doris and I became soulmates, even before she was officially my sister-in-law...
Concern for another can cure ills (07/12/13)
Did you ever try to throw a pity party and no one would come? You were feeling so tired and worn out that you'd think that everyone who saw you would rush to give you support. But no long sighs brought any relief from the other people nearby. Wiping your brow didn't make anyone take notice. You wanted nothing more than a pat on the arm or a sympathetic word or two, but none were coming...
Try it, you might like a different show (07/04/13)
I often hear other middle age plus folk complaining that there is nothing good on TV anymore. I often say it myself. I get tired of seeing actresses portraying lawyers or other professional people while wearing dresses with plunging necklines and skin tight skirts. But I know I have reached the stage where whatever I wear must be clean (at least when I put it on) and doesn't bind, pinch or sag. Everything else is OK...
Write that down (06/21/13)
When I first started having book signing appointments and was giving talks about having some books published I was often asked a question. "When did you start writing?" My smart alecky answer usually was, "Well, I printed until I was in the third grade and then I began writing." That answer will not make sense to younger generations very soon. Because according to the "Reader's Digest" current issue, 46 states have eliminated cursive writing in their public schools...
Courtesies (06/14/13)
I was very proud of our town last week. We had top notch stars come for Bushwhacker Days. We had a great performance on the stage at the Fox Theater. We had enactments on and off the Square, and of course the Bushwhacker Quilt Show at the community center, the antique cars and tractors on the streets around the Square, and the story teller, carnival, kids rides etc., etc., etc. ...
It'll be all right (06/07/13)
How many times in our life have we either consoled another person, or been consoled ourselves by someone saying to us, "It'll be all right." When plans don't go the way we envisioned them, or something disappoints us, it may be reassuring to hear the familiar words. Because when we become middle age plus, we have discovered often enough that things probably do turn out better than we thought they would...
Turtle crossings (05/31/13)
I have found a new job for the highway departments. I think they should put up signs along the highway at different spots warning drivers of turtle's crossing. There are many signs warning us about deer crossing, but I haven't seen any about the turtles. And on every road trip I see dozens of turtles of all sizes crossing the highways. However it is very unusual to see a deer, especially in the middle of the day...
Co-grandparent loss (05/24/13)
For more than 40 years Jean Bedwell had been a friend. She was not just a friend; she shared with Lester and me two wonderful grandsons and six special grandchildren because her daughter, Jenny, married our son, Michael. This marriage brought the two families together for many occasions. Birthdays and holidays were not complete unless there were Bedwells mixing with the Thorntons. Sometimes we would almost forget which was which, but Jean and I shared some thoughtful times together also...
The cleaning lady (05/17/13)
Today I am experiencing something new for me; I am having a cleaning lady come to clean my house before company arrives this afternoon. Except for some voluntary help from daughters, daughters-in-law and granddaughter-in-law I have done all my own housework since we returned to Vernon County in 1989. But with my middle age plus years adding a few more pluses lately and with trips for Lester's treatments, etc., things had gotten out of hand here at home...
People we honor (05/10/13)
Every year when Mother's Day rolls around I think of some way to vary the celebration. When my own mother was alive I am sure we made an effort to come visit her, or go visit Lester's mother in Branson. However I can't remember any special way we observed the day. Actually it probably meant that they had to cook a big meal because of us coming to visit...
'Where everybody knows your name' (05/03/13)
I remember the theme song from "Cheers" on television fondly. I used it as the basis for a talk I gave once explaining that we all respond better if the person talking to us, or teaching us, called us by name. This morning when I called "Time and Temperature" to see if we were going to be warm or cold today I was asked if I didn't like to go where people knew my name. ...
What do you say? (04/26/13)
When you were young and were given a gift, often one of your parents would immediately ask, "What do you say?" of course your response was to thank the person for the gift that was received. I think I am grown up enough now that I don't need this type of prodding for me to express thanks. But sometimes it is hard to really express thanks properly...
Tracing my thoughts (04/19/13)
Last night I was lying awake in bed and for some reason was thinking about an unusual experience in my childhood. My memories were reliving a time when my mother's club (The Ellis Domestic Science Club) was having a picnic over at the El Dorado Springs Park. ...
Obeying signs (04/12/13)
One of the first things educators teach their students is to read signs. It can be a matter of life or death. If a child does not know that S T O P means to stop they may be seriously injured or even killed. When going to a foreign country one of the things travelers must know is how to read the signs that tell them where to go, and that keeps them safe. ...
Let's celebrate (04/05/13)
During this season we can experience many reasons to celebrate. First in our mind is Easter, which can bring much joy. Some sports enthusiasts can celebrate their team winning a special game, or even the championship. Soon some students will be experiencing graduation from some phase of their schooling. ...
Send me a wire (03/22/13)
We have had several trips to Kansas City lately for medical treatments. The night before we go I always try to remember to get my cell phone charged so that I can keep in touch with the folks at home while we are gone. Usually we call someone soon after our appointments to report on any new information. We also tell when we plan to return home and even talk about any dining opportunities we will take advantage of either before or after we return home...
My legacy of Ts (03/08/13)
I have spent quite a few hours this week looking at things that should be done, but aren't getting done. A stomach bug had us down for most of the week, first one, then another of us became ill, so not much work got done. It's surprising how much difference that little things like putting things away where they belong, or actually hitting the wastebasket with the trash, can make in a few days. ...
The sandwich generation changes (02/22/13)
When I was growing up I had never heard of such a thing as the sandwich generation. I knew that some of our neighbors had their older parents living in the home with them. Or maybe they were living in the home of the older parents. At that time I wasn't interested in the finances or responsibility arrangements. I just knew that they lived together...
History retold (02/14/13)
When I was very young I loved the Shirley Temple movies. I think we were about the same age, and each of her movies became real to me. I have purchased several of her tapes and have been pleased to see that my great grandchildren enjoy her movies as much as I did many decades ago...
Sharing my sister's moments (02/05/13)
Those of you who have been blessed with an older sister probably understand some of my experiences. All my life I followed my older sister as she became involved in various activities. When she wanted to build a bookcase for her room, I was drafted as a helper to sand the boards before she applied the varnish. When she decided to create some marionettes, I made one too under her direction. All her life she has been a writer. So naturally I also started a writing schedule of my own...
Fringe benefits from middle age plus (02/01/13)
For nearly 20 years I have been writing a column called Middle Age Plus each week. I chose this name because I was a little beyond the halfway mark of my life (I thought) when I began these weekly visits. But the main thing was I wanted to point out all the pluses that this age brings to those of us fortunate enough to reach it. ...
Dress for the occasion (01/23/13)
I have said at times that one of the benefits of being middle age plus is that you no longer feel strongly about being in style. Our favorite cartoon, "Maxine," states that she thinks the perfect bra is a sweatshirt. Maybe that is going a little too far. But there are certain occasions when it is very important to think carefully about what you should wear...
Memories of a gifted friend (01/18/13)
Many people in Nevada are feeling the loss of a friend following the death of Charles Nash. The Cottey staff and faculty have their special memories and words of appreciation for the professor emeritus of English who had been with the college since 1973. But for many he was more than a popular professor, he was a friend...
Games, game shows and re-runs (01/12/13)
Games are great to play with other people. They help you get to know each other. You have fun. You learn things about each other when you are having fun together and laughing. Some games don't cause laughter. Lester can play a game of chess and not even crack a smile. That is, he won't smile until he can triumphantly say, "Check mate!" But he was still having fun. When I am his opponent I probably am not having as much fun. But it is fun to keep trying to win sometimes...
Resolution for 2013 (01/05/13)
New Year's Resolutions belong to the younger people. Since I am middle age plus I haven't been making that annual promise to myself. I figure that if I have made it to this age without changing my life-style, eating less, etc., or whatever a resolution might ask of me, there is no real reason to fret about it. If I had been only 70 or so, that would be different. There would have been lots of time to be a better person...
Are you eating a good diet? (12/27/12)
When I was growing up a typical meal always had some meat, potatoes or occasionally rice and gravy, two vegetables, salad, bread, butter, jelly, milk to drink except in the summer and then it was iced tea for some meals, and a dessert. This would be varied about once a weak with a meal of beans and cornbread with slaw as a salad, but there would still be a dessert. ...
You can't get there from here (12/20/12)
I have been up and down our new Interstate 49 several times this week. It makes me feel like we are really in the big time now. But I got to worrying about those people and businesses that have their access to the highway traffic hampered. Even before US 71 was changed into I-49 I discovered something I didn't like. ...
Gifts that are remembered (12/13/12)
I am pouring over gift catalogs to choose Christmas gifts for our 13 great-grandchildren. I strive always to have the gifts be somewhat equal in value. But this year I am trying to decide if I could make some of the gifts be for the whole family instead of a gift for each child. It is easier and maybe less expensive, but I worry that it may cause problems at the other end of the giving when the siblings have to share or decide what to play...
Do you hear what I hear? (12/07/12)
When you go shopping during the next few weeks, you will probably hear a little bell tinkling. Attached to that little bell is a volunteer bell ringer for the Salvation Army. These volunteers are your neighbors, your church members, your professional resource people and your helpers. They are your helpers because the money that their bell ringing brings into the little kettles is money that will show that our community is generous and cares for its citizens...
Senior Trip (11/21/12)
When I was a senior in high school in Washington, D.C., I did not have anything like a Senior Trip. The best we got was the permission to eat our lunch outside the building. But my friends here in Vernon County sometimes actually went somewhere together. They had a Senior Trip, maybe even for an overnight stay somewhere. Last week I finally was able to take my Senior Trip...
Was my face red? (11/15/12)
One of the benefits of being Middle Age Plus is that you can laugh at your embarrassing moments instead of getting all upset over them. I'll have to admit this took some doing before I reached this stage, but now, almost as soon as I make a faux pas, I can start thinking about the fun I will have telling about it...
Great-grandson shoots nine point antlered doe on family farm (11/08/12)
Many things can get exciting when your have a large family. Just a couple of weeks after adding to our family with another generation, our teen-aged great grandson went out on the morning after his 14th birthday party to go deer hunting on the family farm. He had a .270 rifle and left the house after an early breakfast to take advantage of the Youth Hunting Weekend provision. At 7:15 a.m. he saw this deer with the wonderful antlers and shot it...
Where is my rocker? (11/01/12)
OK. Now I am a great-great-grandmother. I have passed several decades of age. I can remember when Radio Springs brought many people to Nevada for recreation and relaxation. I can even remember when Farm and Home Savings and Loan had a beautiful lawn/garden at the corner of South Ash and Austin. I have voted for or against presidents in more than 10 elections. So it seems that I should have reached the age where I could just sit and rock for a spell...
The responsibilities of greatness (10/25/12)
The word great has many meanings. In the dictionary one definition is big or large. Another meaning implies more than usual. Other synonyms are: important, remarkable, famous, most important and favorite. And then there is the one meaning that applies to me. That meaning is; divided by a generation...
Waiting (10/18/12)
Almost everyone feels impatient when there is a long waiting period before some action. We all feel frustrated when we are "put on hold" when doing business over the phone. The little messages that come on to tell us how much we are appreciated don't ease our pain. Sometimes the music that is supposed to soothe us does the opposite, but at least it lets us know that we are still connected to some phone somewhere...
Giving thanks to my older relatives (10/11/12)
We have often said that our family make-up has provided good experiences for each family member. For example, I learned much about taking care of babies before I had my own little ones to care for. I had the privilege of having several nieces and nephews who visited their grandparents, (my parents, of course) while I was still a student at home. ...
Outliving our parents (10/04/12)
I have been without one of my hearing aids for about three weeks. If you noticed me having a more confused look than usual it was because of the malfunction of my ears without their helpers. One was still working but somehow that didn't help very much...
Memories come to life (09/27/12)
One of the earliest pictures ever made of me shows me in a baby carriage with a cat beside me. Since that day I have never been without a cat, and sometimes two or three cats, and sometimes cats and dogs both. House pets were common, but even more common were inside/outside pets that could come and go as they wished...
Knowing the facts (09/20/12)
I have spent a big part of my adult years as a social worker. This took several different forms, usually it was connected with the activities of our church or a community agency trying to support charitable activities and bring solutions to both local and global problems. However, during three of those years, I was in active case work...
Joyful moments (09/13/12)
Everyone needs to have some moments to remember that are especially meaningful. I certainly have had my share in recent days. I have been able to experience love and concern in a very tangible way through acts of kindness and support. The best part of it all is that I could feel love through all the events that happened...
Would you swear to that? (09/06/12)
I guess I have led a sheltered life. In over eight decades of living, I don't remember ever being sworn at. Sure, sometimes my name spoken in a certain tone of voice is almost the same as a swear word. I have received dirty looks at times when someone thought I had overstepped some boundary of politeness or diplomacy. And I certainly have been a partner in a serious argument. But I don't remember ever having a definite swear word directed at me, to my face. That is, until last Sunday...
Getting ready for the sale (08/30/12)
I looked at my date book and realized that our church's basement sale is only a week away. Sure, I have known this for over a year, since we regularly have a basement sale early in September for the benefit of Habitat for Humanity. I am very proud of that sale since I have been involved in various ways with Habitat for Humanity even before it became an active program here in Vernon County. ...
I'm having a bad hair year (08/23/12)
I hear many people talking about not wanting to attend a certain function because they are having a "bad hair day." I always had trouble accepting that as a legitimate excuse. One bad hair day is easily fixed with a quick wash or set. But what do you do about a bad hair year?...
Comparing towns (08/16/12)
I was out of town last week when Dr. Mendenhall died and didn't have a chance to read the praises about his civic work here until the weekend. It was very fitting however that in my recent journeys I had been constantly searching for what was the difference between Nevada and many of the other county-seat towns I was passing through...
Is a smidgen bigger than a dab? (08/09/12)
A very important question keeps coming up at our dinner table. When someone asks for a beverage refill often the word smidgen is used. "Please give me just a smidgen more of that lemonade, would you?" Then the questions start. How much is a smidgen?...
Are you on camera? (08/02/12)
We're in the middle of the summer Olympics. Many of us are glued to our television sets. We are interested in certain sports, or we want to support our national teams in unusual sports. I learn a lot about sports by watching and listening to the commentators. But I also get interested in watching the people who are shown on television who are not the athletes or the media people...
All roads lead to home (07/26/12)
My life has had personal contact with several highways. Some of them are almost part of my daily existence. Others are part of my history. But today I am going to visit with you about U.S. 71 and U.S. 54 and a little bit about Highway 43. I have traveled U.S. ...
Here's your hat! (07/19/12)
Last Sunday a gentleman came through the front doors of our church wearing a hat. He looked very spiffy and since it was an extremely hot day and he had a fair complexion, it was a good idea to be wearing a hat. But when he took it off as he was ready to enter the sanctuary, as any well-bred man would do, he looked for a place to put his hat. ...
I was treated like a dog! (07/12/12)
We were out of town this last week attending a special event. We went to my sister's home in Lebanon and met other family members there for a nice meal and an overnight visit before most of us left the next morning to go to a nearby park where the entertainment was to be held. Our nephew was performing in this outdoor venue and we were preparing for a long, hot, but enjoyable, day...
Name tags in heaven? (07/04/12)
We have a new minister at the Nevada United Methodist Church. Lester and I know some of the things she must be feeling since we have been the new people in a church several times when Lester was the new minister on his first day. The Reverend Linda Pagel wore a name tag her first day so that the congregation would know who she was. ...
Power of little things (06/28/12)
Remember when we were little? All of our siblings were bigger than we were. The furniture was made for people larger than us. We even had to crawl up to sit in most of the chairs in the house. Our dream was to get big. Our parents would praise us by saying, "What a big girl you are!" when we had done something well. Being big was very important to us...
What's in your attic? (06/21/12)
Two of my childhood homes had attics. Attics were my favorite place to play. Maybe it isn't too exact to use the word "play" because often I was snooping, dreaming, exploring or creating. Those were some of my favorite pastimes, and I guess you could say that they were my method of playing...
A moment of silence (06/14/12)
At a recent family meal where there were several young adults and older teenaged relatives, I noticed that right before the meal began several of them had their heads bowed and their hands in their laps. I was impressed that they had taken this opportunity to give thanks for the meal even though no one had yet called for anyone to share Grace with the group...
Carnival rides (06/07/12)
Are you going to ride one of the carnival rides at the Bushwhacker Festival this weekend? I seriously doubt that I will, but there are a couple that tempt me. One of my favorites has always been the Ferris wheel, but they are more fun if you have a special person with you...
Travel is educational (05/31/12)
There is an early morning news show that ends with all of the newscasters/commentators telling what they have learned during the morning broadcast. I kept thinking about that as I rode with my son and some of his family to Florida and back to attend a mid-term family reunion at my niece's house, which is near the beach on the eastern side of Florida. ...
Do you have a hankie? (05/24/12)
Many people drive with a box of Kleenex in their car. They want to be prepared for a case of the sniffles. Or maybe they have allergies and need a frequent nose wipe. At our home we have a box of Kleenex sitting by every easy chair, on both sides of the bed, and one in the dining area. Well, maybe they aren't Kleenexes. Sometimes they may be Puffs or even some Best Choice brand. But they are all disposable tissues...
Decisions, decisions! (06/10/10)
Do you ever think that we have too many choices today? Tonight I had a new book I wanted to read. But I was also tired from doing some deep housecleaning that I am not used to doing. I decided that it would be more relaxing to just get in the lounge chair and watch TV. I wouldn't have to think about much of anything, and could maybe even doze off a little...
It's a good life (06/03/10)
Several years ago I named this column "Middle Age Plus" to emphasize all the good things (the pluses) about getting older. This week has demonstrated that fact to me so many ways that I am afraid I might forget some of them. Last Saturday, I had the fun of accompanying my sister, Ellen Gray Massey, to the Bates County Historical Society, where she was giving a talk about two of her civil war novels. ...
Is a memorial highway for you? (05/27/10)
I've been on the road quite a bit recently. Every time I pass a sign saying that this road is in memory of a certain person I start wondering how this happens. Today, in honor of Memorial Day, I decided to investigate. I called MoDot (Missouri Department of Transportation) and after punching a bunch of numbers on my phone I finally got to a very nice lady who gave me much information and also told me about the Web page that had more details...
Beauty rest in your own bed (05/06/10)
There is a saying that travel broadens a person. That is probably true, especially in the physical sense. But I have found that travel also wears out a person. It is not so much the activities that sightseeing or visiting can cause. It is the variety of sleeping arrangements...
Sharing with house wrens (04/08/10)
I read in the Missouri Conservationist Special Events Calendar that today is the day that house wrens will begin to arrive in Missouri. That brought back many memories. In our rented home in Washington, D.C., we had a wonderful back porch that was high enough to need a long flight of steps (around 15 I would guess) to reach the ground in the backyard. ...
Ten mistakes (04/01/10)
You have probably already heard that this is April Fool's Day. In honor of that event my column today will have ten mistakes either in spelling, punctuation, or false information. I don't have a prize for the person who finds all ten errors, but I have a word of warning for anyone who finds more than ten. If you find more than ten I want you to know that the computer acted up somehow and caused the mistakes. It couldn't have been my fault...
Laughs of the week (03/25/10)
I've been having a week that has given me many laughs. And the funniest thing is, what I am laughing at is myself. I had the privilege of attending the March meeting of the Nevada Athenas as their guest speaker. Since I was given the choice of anything I wanted to talk about, I chose to talk about my books and how they had led me to a new career as an Elderhostel (Exploritas) instructor. ...
Don't forget to write! (03/04/10)
Many of our western stories laud the bravery of our ancestors who went west to seek their fortune or to establish their new homes. Those of us who enjoy living in Vernon County are possibly descendants of a person, or a couple, who left their families and security "back east" to find new land. I am grateful to them for settling here eventually and have no desire to push further west...
Visits to the past (02/25/10)
I was recovering from a bad cold for several days last week. I didn't have too many responsibilities and the weather wasn't inviting to be outside, so I decided to really take good care of myself and stay inside and rest. I was disappointed that I didn't have any good books to read as I had neglected to pick up some from the library, so I turned to the TV for entertainment...
Memories of Bob Warren (02/18/10)
A recent notice from the Star-Telegram announced that Robert Carroll "Bob" Warren had died on Thursday, Feb. 4. Many people from Nevada will remember Bob as the son of the late Huell Warren Sr., a former minister of the Nevada Christian Church, the brother of the late Huell Warren Jr. ...
What do you do when you drive alone? (02/11/10)
The recent laws against using cell phones while driving your car are getting a lot of publicity. The laws vary in different localities, but generally they state that while you are driving you should not be doing anything but driving. Some places even prohibit the use of cell phones that are mounted and don't require the use of either of your hands. The idea is that if you are talking to someone on the phone you are not putting all your concentration on driving the car...
I'm on a national register for geese (02/04/10)
I know it is no surprise for those of you who know me, to find out that I am on a goose register. But I'll bet even you didn't think I would go national For some reason, in this cold season, our farm pond or lawn side lake (the same place, it depends on who I am trying to impress what I call it!) has become a haven for many geese. ...
Generational opinions change (01/28/10)
When I was a student at Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, D.C., war was declared. (Not the Civil War, but World War II). Student life changed quickly. All extra curricular activities were held immediately after school since no lights could show after dark. The football games began shortly before the 3:00 p.m. school day ended and the last quarter was played in dimming light...
Hold it! (01/14/10)
There is a song with words saying something about knowing when to hold and when to fold. I'm not a poker player so I probably wouldn't know which to do if I played a game. But I have certainly been told many times lately to "please hold." These telephone moments when we are waiting for action are bad enough if we are just sitting there quietly by ourselves. ...
We are past the poetry side of snow (01/07/10)
There are many beautiful poems written about the beauty of snow. As a child I always loved to read John Greenleaf Whittier's "Snowbound." It sounded so exciting to be shut in by the snow and having to huddle around a fire. Then there is an earlier poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley whose words are, "If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?" We just finished the season where we sing about "Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let It Snow" and "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas." I think I have had enough of that for awhile -- maybe a year from now I will appreciate it again, but right now I don't burst into song or wax poetically when I look outside at our plentiful snow.. ...
Good friends and neighbors are a blessing (12/31/09)
As the year 2009 ends I am constantly reminded of the blessings we have from our friends and neighbors. I could write a year's worth of columns about the kind acts of our friends, but I will concentrate on several recent events. On a recent Saturday morning we discovered that one tire on our car was low. ...
Memories that leaked out (12/24/09)
The week before Christmas when you are getting ready for family coming in is not the best time to discover a leaking pipe. It is especially bad to discover one that has been leaking for several days before it was discovered. To make matters worse, the leak was in tubing running to the icemaker in the refrigerator, but the tubing ran through the extra closet in our great-granddaughter's room...
Friends and dinosaurs (12/10/09)
Friends are important at each stage of our life. As children we have a "best friend," which may change daily. As teenagers we usually have an "in-group" of friends we can count on. Again, that group can change with circumstances, and love affairs that complicate the grouping. But as we enter the middle age plus years, friendships become stable and especially important to us. As we lose our parents and some of our siblings, we find that having a wide group of friends is more essential than ever...
Carolyn Gray Thornton
Middle Age Plus