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Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Losses and gains sometimes equal progress (05/01/15)
A recent experience helped me to renew my life-long thoughts that most things do work out for the good, even if we have to wait a long time before we see the good. My recent example happened fairly soon and it was spelled out to me so I couldn't have missed the point...
When is too much, too much? (04/24/15)
The first time I ate in a cafeteria without one of my siblings or my mother supervising my choices was in the employee cafeteria at the Woodward and Lothrop Department Store in Washington, D.C., on F Street. My sister Kathryn, a recent graduate of Georgetown University's Home Economics Department was the "boss" of the cafeteria. One Saturday she had invited my sister Ellen and me to come eat our lunch there before some other activity later in the day...
Advice is good when it is followed correctly (04/17/15)
I am getting along pretty good these days. I have two specialists caring for me, another doctor in between those two and lots of family members and friends who give me all sorts of good advice. I don't resent this at all because many of these people have had similar ailments, or have read an article, or looked it up in the Internet so they are well informed. ...
It's someone else's responsibility now (04/10/15)
On Easter Sunday I had the pleasure of going to church with several generations of my family. They ranged in age from 18 month old Aubrie, all prettied up in her pink dress, to 90-year-old Lester who was not so prettied up since he decided against shirt and tie. ...
Spring has sprung, the grass has riz (03/27/15)
After the winter we have had, this spring has really been welcomed with open arms. Each age has activities looked forward to doing when it gets actually warm in the spring. One of the first things people think of is their clothing. "Is this jacket going to be warm enough without an additional wrap?" Of course that question comes from an adult...
A long delayed letter (03/20/15)
One of the lucky things about my place at the end of eight children was to have siblings of every age to provide a role model for me when I reached that age. With Ellen, it was to show me how to make the most of the experiences just around the corner for me. She knew. She was in the midst of it...
More than 100 years of memories to share (03/13/15)
Not many people have the privilege of knowing and visiting with a woman who lived 105 years and had memories so clear that a visit with her was like a short version of the history textbook. Mary Ellen Liter, who was married to W.H. (Bill) on July 19, 1928, worked with her husband on the farm, at the Nevada State Hospital No. 3, and in his barbering business. This was in addition to the usual responsibilities of raising Joyce and Wilson and keeping a nice home for them all...
Neighbors you can depend on (03/06/15)
At the memorial services for Bill Hensley last Friday I could see almost every family that lives on South 1000 Rd, the section between U.S. 54 and Moundville. One young man had obviously returned home in order to attend; other families had more than one generation attending. But they all represented the respect and appreciation we neighbors felt for one who represented the best that neighbors could do...
Hard boiled eggs can be essential (02/27/15)
I have always loved eating hard boiled eggs. Actually I like eggs in any form, but some recipes call specifically for hard boiled eggs. Can you imagine trying to make deviled eggs if the eggs were not hard boiled in the first place? My children liked them in their school lunches and I like to take one or two at the Chinese buffets in town. But there is one bad thing about them. The chickens don't lay them hard boiled. You have some work to do before you can eat a hard boiled egg...
Our diet is changing each decade (02/20/15)
Recently I have been a little awkward when cooking due to tremors and being unsteady on my feet. To help us out with this situation, many of our church family, club members, neighbors, and relatives have helped out by bringing food occasionally. Often the dish brought to us was some type of casserole. They are so good, easy to transport, and usually have meat, potatoes or rice, and some vegetables so very little more is needed for a balanced meal. We appreciated them very much...
Technology provides companionship even when alone (02/13/15)
My friends have noticed that lately I haven't been going out as often as I formerly did. Even trips to the grocery store or to refill the gasoline in the car haven't happened as often anymore. I really haven't minded very much because I have various ways to increase my partnership in a mature conversation even when I am alone, at home...
Open here as directed (02/06/15)
Remember the old saying, "He's so weak he couldn't fight his way out of a paper bag?' That now needs to be changed to a plastic bag. Even though the packagers try very hard to make the bags easy to open, they need to try harder. Some of them want us to tear across a certain line. Maybe you could if you had strong wrists and can grasp the bag tightly where you are directed. Older hands seem to have slippery fingers and trying to hold tight to a slick piece of plastic is quite a challenge...
'Come, stay the night with us' (01/30/15)
One of our great-granddaughters went to a birthday party on Saturday night. It wasn't just a party with ice cream and cake and a few games. This party was to be an overnight party, a sleep over. I'm sure the little girls had a good time. I hope the parents of the birthday girls also had fun...
Preacher's wives should know how to move easily (01/23/15)
It's true, many United Methodist minister's wives know to expect a move about every five or six years. It often was heartbreaking, even though the next place had better facilities and more members. But that didn't make up for the good friends we'd made in the past few years. But I didn't think that after Lester retired we would have to move anymore. I thought that now that we were on my family's home place and had our own house that I was through with moving...
When does your personal 'way back then' start? (01/16/15)
I enjoy sharing memories from my childhood. You readers have probably already realized that. I enjoy telling about some incident, then realize that most of my readers weren't even born yet. I had that experience in reverse once when I was visiting with a wonderful older lady who sang in the choir at the Mt. ...
When did you start recycling your trash? (01/09/15)
I asked my retired son when he first remembered any talk about recycling. He replied that he thought it was called "hand me downs." Since he was the oldest son in our family he only received the best hand me downs from cousins. But he saw his own clothes being used on his younger brother a few years later. He then added with the wisdom of a great grandparent that it was only when we became a throw-away society that he ever heard it called recycling...
When young cousins get together -- then and now (01/02/15)
How many conversations started this holiday season with, "When I was a child?" I know I heard it at least once and I probably said it myself sometime recently. I have an excuse, however. I am the only one left in our big family that remembers any of the things about our family life when I was a child. I feel it is my duty to keep the stories going. So, here I go again.....
We just had one and that was all we expected to have (12/26/14)
We are still in the midst of Christmas giving. Many families postponed their family day to the weekend so that they could go to the "other" family on the actual date. Others chose to stay home with their immediate family to enjoy a quiet Christmas before the one shared by many aunts, uncles and cousins. ...
There are only six more days (12/19/14)
When someone announces that there are only six more days, we can be filled with anxiety, or we can be impatient with anticipation. I haven't said what will happen on the sixth day, but right now we are thinking about Christmas. Hearing this proclamation we immediately think about Christmas gifts, programs, church services, cards to be written and decorations to be finished. ...
Making choices becomes harder with age (12/05/14)
As a person gets older it would seem that every choice made would be very important. Time may be running out sooner than expected, or abilities to participate in some activities might become more limited as age passes. Therefore it seems logical that each choice would be very important and undertaken with much thought and deliberation...
Football, basketball, figure skating, golf, car racing, or public television? (11/28/14)
The magazine that gives all the offerings on television for the month of December has arrived. I glanced through the complex printing and decided it was easier to wait until the day and then scan the different stations to take my pick. If you are a sports fan there are many possibilities...
Friends and memories remain through the years (11/21/14)
Last week I heard about the death of our friend, neighbor and my editor of the Butler newspaper, C.A. Moore. During the years that Lester was minister of the Ohio Street and Mt. Zion United Methodist Churches, C.A. and his wife, Ann, were neighbors across the street. His mother, Bea Moore, was a member of our church, but C.A. and his wife were good Presbyterians where he sang in the choir among other responsibilities...
Does age affect your taste in food? (11/14/14)
I have a favorite meal I put together when I have unexpected guests. Since unexpected guests at meal time are always family members, I sometimes even make them cook their own meal. I ask them to choose a favorite pizza from my freezer and bake it when they are ready to eat. The younger guests enjoy it more than some of my more time consuming recipes, and I don't have to spend all my time cooking or cleaning up when we have company here...
Procrastinate now -- don't put it off (11/07/14)
When I was not even middle age plus I would look at some older person and wonder why they didn't hurry up and finish something they really wanted to get done. I reasoned that they knew that their time was limited and their abilities might lessen. So why didn't they go ahead and just do it. ...
Questions I keep asking in October (10/31/14)
From early spring until October many people are focused on baseball. Kids play it on Little League teams or on their school teams. Adults sometimes play it at company picnics and neighborhood gatherings, but many of us hear the results over the 10 o'clock news and haven't paid much attention to the game during the summer...
Going a step beyond middle age plus (10/24/14)
For years I have been telling my readers about all the good things about being Middle Age Plus. I have insisted that it wasn't being old, just becoming a little past middle age. Using middle as a synonym for half, I figured that if you were 50 or older you were past the middle. Not too many people survive past 100, so I felt safe in using that guideline...
2014 has become a memorable year (10/17/14)
This calendar year will always be remembered in my family. First, it was the year that we had a most memorable family reunion. We had almost as many young people under 25 as we had of the older group. All 84 of us had a great time. Second, sadly it was the year that my last, and nearest sister died. ...
Old time games for road trips (10/10/14)
If you look in any modern gift catalog and see a heading similar to my headline, you will find opportunities to buy many types of handheld devices where children or adults can become immersed in a game or puzzle all by themselves. The scenery passes by quickly as the miles pass and there are no disruptive noises in the car to bother the driver. In fact, the driver may well have on earphones and be listening to his special station or tapes playing in the car...
What are the best and worst things that were introduced in your lifetime? (10/03/14)
How do you answer a question like that? In some cases the same thing would fit both categories. Some people who had problems or troubles with new things would think they were certainly not on the good side. Yet others who caught on quickly felt there had never been anything better. I am interested in what you as an individual would chose for each category. To be fair about it, I, must make some choices...
Eleanor and Me (09/19/14)
Many of us spent Sunday night watching the documentary about the Roosevelts. I believe there will be another section that will dwell more on the couple some of us actually remember. I began wondering how much I had shared with my readers about my association with Mrs. ...
Leftovers define me (09/11/14)
I've been thinking about changing my profile on Facebook. I know probably at least half of my readers are not on Facebook so you may not want to read about my problems there. But for you two who are on Facebook, do you have trouble making your profile sound like you think you should sound?...
How I spent the Labor Day weekend holiday (09/04/14)
I remember various Labor Day weekends in my life. It was never a biggie in our family, and I don't remember doing anything really special when I was a child. But in adulthood, I remember trying to get in one more trip to the river, or hosting some family members who were en route back to their jobs or schools in the East...
Are the Dog Days of 2014 completed yet? (08/28/14)
Rural children grew up being warned about the Dog Days of summer. Adults didn't want the children to go swimming in the creeks or ponds. Some insisted that the children wear shoes during these days. Others tried to keep the children indoors as much as possible...
Anatomy lesson (08/22/14)
What do you do to pass the time when you are seated on the examining table in a doctor's office waiting for the doctor or nurse to appear? There are magazines that you could read, but they are usually out of reach without leaving the table. I would feel awkward if one of the professionals came in and found me somewhere different than they had left me. In fact, sometimes you might not be suitably clothed to go wandering around...
Is Facebook taking the place of listening in on the party line? (08/14/14)
I fondly remember two old women who spent their later days listening in to the party line phone calls. When we received a telegram that was phoned out to our home from the Nevada Western Union Office telling us when and where we were to meet our father who was traveling as part of his job, we often didn't get all the details straight...
I had a privileged childhood (08/08/14)
We've all heard about the baby that was born with a silver spoon in her mouth. Well, that was not me. But I did have a very privileged childhood. I was privileged to have had nine parents. Two of them were called Mama and Papa. The other seven were my seven older brothers and sisters who guided me, bossed me, included me, taught me, played with me, shared with me, maybe very rarely argued with me, and were proud of me...
Do not be late (07/31/14)
When I was a child my mother was always cautioning me to leave early so that I wouldn't be late. That influenced me so that I was never tardy to school, work, or social events. She was particularly urgent about being early for a train connection. When she took my sister Ellen and me to the Union Station in Washington to spend our Easter holiday visiting our sister, Kathryn in suburban New York City, we usually had at least a half hour wait on the shiny wooden benches before we were even allowed to go down the stairs to get on the train. ...
Family and friends are very important (07/18/14)
This last week has been one of the most exciting, sad, fun, emotional, extraordinary, meaningful, devastating, historic, confusing, appreciative, and unforgettable weeks of my life. I had more fun and felt more grief than can be imagined within minutes of each other. But through it all, I felt both physically and emotionally supported by my family and friends...
Company's coming! (07/11/14)
For several weeks each of our local families has been measuring time by "until the reunion" or "after the reunion" when making any plans or appointments. This year, our quadrennial reunion will be different in many ways. One of the best things is that the younger generation is taking over...
George Graham, a true hero (07/02/14)
It is very appropriate that during this holiday celebrating our country's independence that we are also celebrating the life of our friend, George Wallis Graham. Although most of us have associations with him that are more about farming, cows, fairs, hunting, dogs, fishing, church, families and even motorcycles, a big part of this man was his love of his country...
The healthy initiative (06/27/14)
The big emphasis in Nevada now is to do healthy things. We are supposed to eat better, lose our bad habits and get more exercise. Even in church we are being urged to get into this movement. About the same time as health was filling all the headlines, I became a friend to more people than I thought I knew by making friends on Facebook. The two things went together nicely because I read many helpful hints from my friends about how to be healthy...
Baby Ray has a dog (06/20/14)
My headline sounds odd, doesn't it? Who is Baby Ray and why do you need to know anything about him? My answer is, he was very important to me in my preschool years. My mother taught me to read before I went to kindergarten. She used "The Child's World Primer" published by the Johnson Publishing Company in 1917. ...
What's the weather like? (06/13/14)
Each night when I go to bed, I try to stay awake until the weather person gives the report. I don't always make it, but I always try. Why should I care so much about what the weather is going to be like? Sometimes, it is to think about what clothes I should wear the next day. Sure, it's June, so I want to wear summery clothes. But will the weather be too cold for that tomorrow?...
Remembering Doradee Kelso (06/04/14)
Last week when friends and relatives joined for a celebration of the life of Doradee Kelso, there were not many tears. Doradee didn't want tears. She wanted joy, so as the minister retold some of the family stories each member of the congregation that had come to honor her had individual memories of this tiny lady who brought laughter and love to the whole community...
Three letter words are what scare me (05/30/14)
When I am looking at Facebook on the Internet I get dismayed at the number of four letter words that very nice people use in their messages. I'm not just talking about the misused religious words, but words that to me were considered "not nice in polite company." But lately I have been dismayed at some three letter words...
It seems to me I've heard that song before (05/23/14)
Lately I have been listening to two different television shows that feature young people singing and trying for the big prize. The prize includes money, but the best thing is that it helps them get ahead in the musical world. I try my best to like the songs they are singing but it's hard for me to even distinguish the words of most of the songs. ...
Doctors come and go (05/16/14)
Just as the news has come that Dr. Thompson is retiring, we are welcoming a new doctor into our family. Our grandson, Jonathan Thornton, today will officially become a doctor as he graduates from medical school. He has been selected to do his residency at Mayo Clinic at Rochester, Minn., so we won't be able to use his skills personally very often, but he has already kept abreast of medical situations in both of his paternal grandparents...
Shopping pleasures (05/02/14)
I used to like to shop when Papa was paying the bill. I would have permission to buy maybe one dress, or one pair of shoes for example. I couldn't buy shoes in Nevada because my feet were too big for the styles I wanted. This was when I was a little girl. Little girl shoes didn't come in my long narrow sizes here, so I had to wait until we returned to Washington, D.C., for the school year to get what I liked...
A relatively good Easter weekend (04/25/14)
From Friday through Sunday we enjoyed seeing, eating and visiting with 17 relatives to celebrate the birthday of one grandson, Easter and spring. Some came from a short distance, some from farther away and some live nearby all of the time. We weren't with each other all of that time, but we saw most of them several times and a few for the entire weekend. I kept remembering similar weekends several generations back where we were the visiting family to our parents at the Wayside...
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...
Carolyn Gray Thornton
Middle Age Plus