Crones Counsel News January 2021

Hopeful New Year!
By Maggie Fenton

Hopeful New Year! A friend of mine used this term and I thought it was more appropriate than the normal greeting for a new year. We need to remain hopeful in spite of the events whirling around us. Some days it’s easier than others. What keeps me hopeful is focusing on the simple blessings around me – my mate, Mike, who makes me laugh, my four-legged in-house family, nature including a snowy owl who is wintering nearby and all of you, my dear Crones.

As we look forward to the year ahead, we’ve already planned quarterly zooms. We will be honoring the four stages of a woman’s life – Maiden, Mother, Matriarch and Crone. The first, scheduled for March 20th, will honor the Maiden. Before then, please find a picture of you as a Maiden (or young girl) that you can show during the Zoom. If you have a favorite memento from your Maiden years, have it available too. These should make for interesting Wisdom Circle discussions. Registration for the first zoom will open on February 1st on our website.

Think about how hopeful most of us were as Maidens and tap into some of that. Hope to carry you through these rocky times.
Stay safe and stay well.

2020 Report on CC 28 Electronically
By: Kay Marie Bouma, Treasurer and Registrar

Although this was definitely a strange year, Crones Counsel adapted. It became clear to the Board in March that we would have to cancel our scheduled gathering in Portland. That necessitated negotiations with the hotel to get out of our contract. It took awhile because the work force in the hotel was virtually not there. With true Crone persistence we prevailed.

As a Board, we decided that we still needed to gather our Crones together any way we could. Zoom! We started planning our virtual gathering and had a practice one in June. The response was overwhelming. We had 123 gals register – over 40 the very first day we announced it. They came from all over the world. Out of those registered, 60 showed up and enjoyed seeing and hearing from their Crone friends. We had storytellers and wisdom circles. A safe place to share in these troubled times.
The June Zoom encouraged us to continue and we planned 2 more Zooms for the year. Our September Zoom brought 77 Crones together. And our December Zoom we had 89! And one of the most encouraging facts were the new gals that registered and came. This year our CC28 had a total of 141 attend. AND 45 of those were new to Crones Counsel. 9 of the new gals attended more than one Zoom.

This said, we consider CC 28 a success. With the generous donations and the Zoom registrations we were able to break even. That was a wonderful surprise. I continue to be so proud to be a part of this generous tribe of Crones. With some tightening of the belt, we will move forward with our Zooms in 2021, hoping to keep the loyalty and support our Crones have always given.

Prepared by Carol Friedrich

How wonderful it has been to have had three virtual gatherings this past year. They have kept us connected as a group and as individuals. Many crones were involved in the intensive planning for each zoom gathering to prepare for unique opening and closing rituals, wisdom circles topics, music from various sources, pictures and photos from past Crones Counsels, and storytellers.

In June our first zoom Gathering took place on Saturday, June 20th on the summer solstice. We participated in the Opening and Closing, heard five Storytellers, and shared in one Wisdom Circle. We heard stories from Ruth Cohen, Andrea Hartwig, Gayle Petrillo, Marta Quest, and Marsha Scarborough.

The second CC 28 zoom Gathering on September 19th, just before the fall equinox, focused on Balance. Included in the two-hour gathering were the Opening ritual, Storytelling, two Wisdom Circles, and our Closing. Our storytellers were: Shawna Barlette, Camille Chitolie, Susan Horst, Rosemary Lucier, and Alice Yee, our oldest elder.

Finally, our winter solstice 2020 Gathering took place on December 19th with the theme, Darkness and Creation. In addition to a special Honoring of the Elders, we shared in the Opening ritual, Stories by Tricia Layden, Annie Lehto, and Anne Richardson-Smith, a Wisdom Circle, and our Closing. In a special ceremony including honoring those crones of each Decade, we recognized the following five crones who turned 80 years old in 2020: d’Estree Dockter, Sandy Eno, Rosemary Lucier, Janet Osborne, and Barbara Test. Note: Look for the honorees’ talks in the 2021 January and February newsletters.

About 75 women have participated in each of the three virtual gatherings. These will continue in 2021 on the following Saturdays: March 20, June 19, September 18, and December 18. We will again have an Honoring of the Elders and include those born in 1941 who will receive special recognition at our December zoom gathering. We are fortunate that zoom gatherings are available during this time when in-person Crones Counsels are not possible.

Honoring Talks from the December 2020 Solstice Zoom

“Thoughts on Turning 80
By Sandy Eno

I was born Sandra Joan Frisch on July 28, 1940 in Brainerd, Minnesota. I am daughter of Glenna, granddaughter of Muriel and Zoladie, great granddaughter of Mabel, Mary Ann and Lucinda. Mother of Rusty, Vicki, Karl, Jay and Michelle. Grandmother of 9 and Great-grandmother of 13.

When I was asked to talk about what makes entering my 8th decade significant, I was at a loss until I thought back to how my life seems to take a turn about every 10 years. When I was 10, my family moved from the lush north woods to an arid western desert and that set the pattern. I moved again at around 20, 30, 40 and so on. Always a big life change with each milestone birthday. Shortly before my 80th birthday my life changed-for better or worse-in ways I never imagined could happen to me.

I always looked forward to reaching the next decade. I didn’t even mind 70 and thought 80 might provide some life answers. Right now, I can’t imagine being 90 although does 100 hold some appeal.
One of my biggest changes is finding myself looking backward more than forward. When my Grandmother was 80, I asked her how it felt. She said,” I wake up and think I’m 24…then I try to get out of bed.” Now I understand! My body doesn’t perform in the same way it did only a few years ago. Of course, I don’t always realize that until too late.

Accepting my limitations and coming up with creative solutions to just about everything I once took for granted is an on-going challenge. Sometimes I find it especially hard to hold my tongue. For example, when a man gives me one of those condescending looks and calls me ‘Young Lady’ as if speaking to a child. My response is often, “I’m neither young nor a lady and you may call me Ma’am”!
The past couple of years my life has been turned upside down and I’ve been faced with obstacles I thought were impossible for me to overcome. Through it all, and with a lot of help from unlikely sources, I discovered that I am still strong and more resilient than I thought.

I find it easier to be patient, to pay attention to my thoughts and needs. An unexpected reward is that I no longer feel I need to do everything correctly in order to hold life together. It feels good to give myself permission to make mistakes and enjoy not being responsible for everything and everyone.

To the younger women I would like to say this; ask us questions. What better use for our experiences and hard-earned wisdom than to pass on the knowledge we have acquired, and in doing so perhaps ease someone else’s way as she goes through her transitions. Many women of my generation did not have anyone to ask for advice about things like menopause, ageing relationships or our changing minds and bodies, so I am grateful when my experiences can help someone else navigate the ageing process.

By Janet Osborne

“My Name is Janet Osborne.

I have been 80 for 15 days. Born on December 5, 1940 in Rensselaer, Indiana.
I am the Daughter of Virginia. Granddaughter of Elizabeth and Lona.
Mother of Lisa, and Stephanie who is deceased.

Turning 80 cannot be separated from Crones and Crones cannot be separated from the WOW factor in my 80 years of life. My World of Women. Looking back my WOW actually began ever so unassumingly, starting in college and grew over time through my maiden, mother, matriarch and Crone times. I was always involved with women’s groups and women’s causes and organizations on a local, state and national level.

I was simply in the right place and time, as Director of the Utah State University Women’s Center, involved with women across Utah and thus connected to Shauna. It was Crones that prepared me for arriving at this marker in my life. Crones and the Women’s Center enabled me to connect with women who were doing drumming circles and goddess circles. I learned about ceremony and rituals and aging.
It was Crones that enabled me to connect with my sister, Kay Marie Bouma and my mother in a new kind of relationship. We attended a few Crones gatherings together and we had a great time. Kay Marie is now a contributing member of the Mother Board. She’s a special part of my WOW factor.

So here are snippets from arriving and being in my 80 years, in no particular order or really inclusiveness.

Before my 81st birthday I want to complete the Utah Commission on Aging Tool Kit for Advance Health Care Planning. It’s a great resource.
Listening is not a passive skill; you actually can learn a lot and contribute more.
Low maintenance friends are helpful because it’s a mutual ebb and flow relationship.
Grief is the price of love and Grief dares us to love again.

Laughter is necessary and healthy. Doing Laughter Yoga expanded my play time.
The guy who backpacked the Grand Canyon many decades ago, said, you need to take care of the ounces first, then the pounds will take care of themselves. The concept has been applicable along my life’s journey. It’s not about Weight Watchers and I gave up backpacking a long time ago.

I have to take responsibility for the kind of person I am – darn it.
Having a Magnifying Mirror with a Light sitting on my bathroom counter with an excellent pair of tweezers continues to serve me well. If you don’t get it, you don’t need it.

Healthy is good. Life is messy. Transitions are hard. You do the best you can.
Maybe there is something to the idea that first to be wise is to be young and stupid.
I’m good with 80. It’s just what it is. I’ll give it my best shot.

I leave you with a book recommendation of my current personal favorite book. You may know it. The name is: The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse. By Charlie Mackesy. Its message is important. It’s one I’m taking to heart more than ever. It’s gloriously written and exquisitely illustrated. And as the Horse says, “Always remember you’re important and you are loved, and you bring to this world things no one else can.”

Thank you, dear Crones, for being a part of my WOW factor as I enter this 80th decade.”

By M. Morgan, St. George, Utah

Free to roam
I am the wispy fog before morning light
touching everything.
but always known.

I am
Life-blood of all.
Fly with the eagle,
swim with the salmon,
sway with the juniper.

Lie on the red mesas,
of spirit-land,
with all that is
above and below.

Heritage calls to me,
like ancestors from the grave,
I must answer
or die.

Faithful to the call,
I answer with mournful acceptance.
As the moon,
my legacy,
welcomes me