Welcome to the October 2021 Crones Counsel Newsletter. We celebrate the season of Autumn and prepare for Winter, the season of the Crone.
Football field
Something New
By Maggie Fenton

I try, every year, to do something that I’ve never done before. Of course, some of that has come by necessity when I reached some magic number in years…a colonoscopy, for instance ... who knew? But I mean, something, I WANT to do. 

So, a few days ago, I went to my first ever professional football game. The Bengals vs. the Greenbay Packers. Not that professional football is a passion of mine; as a native Kentuckian, basketball is in my DNA. Some of my dear friends, Connie Dawson, for one, followed the Seattle Seahawks religiously and I understood her passion. When I was a young thing, I thought Joe Namath was the bomb although in short order, he lost his appeal. 

Anyway, some of my Kentucky family and my daughter have been avid Green Bay fans for years and decided to have a family outing to this game. I had never been to one before and decided I could count this as my new thing.
It’s October in Ohio; normally, the temperatures are in in the 60s during the day. Not this year. Try 80s. Water, sunscreen and hats packed, my son, Scott, Mike and I headed south to Cincinnati to the game. Crowd watching was fun. The system for getting the crowd in and out of the stadium was efficient and didn’t tweak my crowd anxiety. We climbed and climbed to our seats in the end zone and had a wonderful view of the field. Then the blasting speakers started. Thinking ahead, I had brought ear plugs but they barely made a dent in the very loud announcement and music system which seemed to blare on incessantly. (My age showing yet?) The family arrived and we were all within a few seats of each other so got to see and wave but talking, even shouting, was impossible.
Sometime during the 1st quarter, I’d had enough of the noise and the sun and decided to go below, get some water and see if I could watch the game on the monitors. I found a nice table in the shade; there was a great breeze. One by one, the family came below to get water, a beer, a hot dog or go to the head. I got to sit and talk with all of them without an amplified speaker blaring in my ears. It was great. I kept up with the score on the monitors. 

Since we were only second tier fans, we left before the end of the game. We listened to the very exciting overtime ending on the radio on the way out of town. 

So ... it was my new thing. Would I do it again? No. Too much noise, too hot, too many people. I was, however, very happy to have a day with extended family which I would not have had if I had been unwilling to try something new. 
What’s new for you?
Kay Marie Bouma
Crone Counsel Support

The board of Crones Counsel wants to express our appreciation for all the support you have shown, especially throughout this past year.

No matter how you support Crones Counsel, through a direct donation or registering for our Zoom events, we appreciate it all. If you participate in a Zoom or contribute to our newsletter – it is all appreciated.

I have always been impressed with the generosity of the women of our tribe. And you never disappoint.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Kay Marie Bouma - treasurer
Ria Coesel
Cherishing Those Friendships
by Ria Coesel

It's such an amazing feel­ing to feel free and safe enough to share anything with a close friend. Not to be judged and not to have to walk on eggshells.

I have friendships like that - no need to see each other often but just picking up where you left when you see each other again. I have a few friends from the time I attended elementary school in The Netherlands and obviously we don't see each other on a weekly basis.

While I'm grateful for email, phone calls and/ or face-time - which I do with those living fara­way - it certainly is not the same. No heart-to­ heart hugs, you know the kind of hug where you embrace so long, that, when you finally let go of each other, you immediately hug again. Read more on page 3 of the Crone Times, July 2021 edition.
Winter Solstice Virtual Gathering Via Zoom
Saturday, December 18, 2021

Our next Crones Counsel zoom gathering is scheduled for December 18, 2021 Registration for that gathering will open November 1, 2021. If you will have turned 80 years old in 2021 (born in 1941) and after you have registered, you will be contacted to participate in the Honoring of the Elders ceremony, focusing in particular on the Crones who are “new elders”
Dear Elsie
Dear Elsie

Dear Elsie,

Hello Crones! Pixel Hill is an explosion of color as Mother Nature waves her brush and drenches the hills with enough warmth to last the winter.

Changing seasons bring extra activity into our lives. Yards and gardens beg for attention, even the clothes closet calls us. If that’s not enough there are the approaching holidays to think about. Add in the demands of day-to-day life and it’s not surprising if the mind feels like it’s on the spin cycle.

The following questions address the fact that we grow older we may start to doubt our mental abilities. Two crones ask:

“What are the best ways to handle our “senior moments”-our “brain farts”-our “lost trains?”

“How can I keep from panicking when I can’t remember if I have done something?”

Dear Sisters,

Some forgetfulness is a normal part of aging and life in general. Stress, even if positive, increases the load on the mind.

There are several things you can do to help your memory. Exercise is #1. Move about, stretch, get outdoors if you can. Take time each day for something that calms you and doesn’t require much thought like reading a novel, listening to music, even simple housework. Make a To Do list and check it twice a day. Follow a routine, have a certain spot for wallet, glasses, phone, etc.

Don’t be so hard on yourself. Everyone leaves their phone in odd places occasionally or can’t remember if they latched the gate or turned off the burner under the soup.
Young persons may laugh it off, but forgetfulness becomes more unsettling with age.
When a memory lapse happens try to step back by taking a few deep breaths to clear your mind. The escaped name of a song, or your neighbor’s dog, will usually come to you later. If you lose your train of thought you can say to yourself “derailed” and move on.

If you start to panic when you can’t remember doing something-like locking the front door or putting down your phone-try closing your eyes and letting your thoughts retrace your movements when leaving the house. This often works if you can keep from second guessing yourself. Once I found my missing phone by picturing myself leaving the café, picking it up, slipping it in my sweatshirt pocket then taking off the jacket before getting in the car. It had fallen out in the parking lot.

Long ago I learned an exercise that can be helpful in finding a misplaced object. Place a quarter in front of you, concentrate on the object you’re searching for until you see it in place of the coin. Relax, close your eyes and often it appears in your mind’s eye. Right where you left it.

Now if I could remember what I was going to say next…


Elsie welcomes your questions. Send her an email.
By Anne Richardson-Smith
Bellingham WA Crones

Glamping was a new adventure for fourteen Washington state Crones who spent a weekend in August, 2021, exploring inspiring ideas, storytelling and enjoying fabulous food. As this was “glamorous” camping, no tents were required. Instead, the women moved into spacious cabins at the Lions Club campgrounds in Blaine, near the Canadian border in Washington.

Workshops highlighted the retreat from daily pressures. Nan Hamilton led the group on a mindful interior journey. She asked them to evaluate what they are doing with their lives and determine if they loved it? Then she outlined a seven-point plan for making change, setting a goal and creating steps toward achieving it. Karol Stiegman gave a presentation on herbal medicine. She showed samples of plants used to alleviate a range of common maladies. For instance, Oregon grape will serve as an antibiotic after it is processed. She showcased the tinctures, pastes and capsules she creates for various herbal remedies. Karol also is a culinary whiz. She cooked delicious meals for the glampers, who gratefully pitched in with meal setup and cleanup.

Wisdom circles in the evenings were followed by singing, drumming and dancing. And one evening, cards depicting goddesses were randomly distributed around the Crones Circle. The cards prompted each woman to tell how traits a goddess symbolized connected with her own life. When the women formed wisdom circles before the closing Directions, many remarked about the benefits of sharing a weekend away from home with like-minded wise women.
Maggie Fenton
Here is Our Mother Board President, Maggie Fenton
By Carol Friedrich

Maggie is Chair of the Crones Counsel Board, although as a consensus board, each member puts on the “Chair” hat during our discussions at our monthly meetings.
Her first Crones Counsel gathering was CC VI in Salt Lake City in 1998 where, at age 49, she was the youngest one in her wisdom circle -- a cronette! The people she met and the wisdom she heard had such an impact on her that she has attended most gatherings since then. She had found her Tribe.
She will be 73 in November, claiming then the Matriarch role in her family. At several Crones Counsel gatherings, Maggie has conducted workshops, participated in Follies, assisted with registration and filled in where needed. She was an editor on the short-lived reiteration of Crones Chronicles.
Maggie was the one with the vision behind the launch of the quarterly zoom Crones Counsel Gatherings in 2020 in which she utilized not only her management but creative skills to further Crones Counsel, our organization, among our participants. Her leadership has really strengthened CC, and kept it vibrant and healthy throughout this global pandemic.

Her ‘retirement’ years have been spent on a small farm in north central Ohio where she and partner Mike have planted enough trees to become a “Certified Tree Farm” by planting native trees to support the environment and wildlife habitation.
With lots of four-legged companions, both domestic and wild, they have a very active retirement.
Poetry Corner
Kaya Kotzen
My North Star
By Kaya Kotzen

Words are my North star.
Written ones, spoken ones, anyway I can express them.
Seen in the murkiness of the dark city sky, unclear til
the moon reaches near its peak,
and the smoke and fog lift, then

How I need my words to say how I feel,
to ooh and ah at what I see and how I'm feeling.
Without them, I am a drift, scared, confused,
anxious, and unsettled.
Words seem to ground me and dissipate
the fear, negativity and doubt.
Like the North star, I reach for them
and grab hold, though they often slip between my
fingers like a greased pig,
but I grab hold again and again
as best I can.

Written words are my saving grace.
They soothe my soul, comfort me in lonely and tired
moments when I can't think what to reach out for.
Words save me.

Like the North star, they are a beacon of light,
a sign or symbol that takes me on a path
I did not know I was wandering onto.
They lead the way and never steer me wrong,
no matter what others think,

Words are the icing on the cake, the sweetness that feeds.
The blessing that comforts.
Where oh where would I be without them
and how would I ever live without the net of safety they
let me fall into again and again?

If you would like to submit a poem for the next newsletter, please send it to Kaya Kotzen.
Crones Counsel
Annual gatherings about women of age, for women of all ages, sharing stories, enriching connections to ourselves, each other, and the world.

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