Crones Counsel News, January 2022

By Maggie Fenton

I lost a dear friend in December to Covid. She had serious underlying conditions (terminal cancer) and had a DNR order when she entered the hospital. It was very quick. Diagnosed on Friday, died on Saturday. We had talked a few days before and I was stunned when I heard.
We had been friends for decades and even after her cancer diagnosis ten years ago, she continued to be an adventurer, a traveler and full of life and light. Those who didn’t know she was sick would have never guessed. She taught me so much.

As many (most) of you know, grief is strange country and we all travel through it in our own way. For me, after the initial shock that she really was gone, I’ve been remembering all our adventures and trying to write about them. We hiked, camped, sailed, traveled abroad multiple times, sang, laughed and shared a very rare camaraderie. She was my soul sister. She had an infectious smile and it was impossible to be sad around her. She wouldn’t allow it.

From a long time ago when I still went to church, a poignant sermon preached by a gentle, retired minister has stuck with me and guided me from time to time. The title was “Come Before Winter” and it was taken from Paul’s letter to Timothy, urging him to cross the Mediterranean before the winter storms. The minister spoke of understanding urgency – those times in life when we would like to put off trips, visits, obligations but know, deep in our heart of hearts, that we need to go “before winter.” I remembered it again in September when my friend asked me to come on vacation with her at the beach. I had all sorts of excuses – reasons I couldn’t do it – Covid, I didn’t want to fly, other obligations, no dog sitter so I’d have to make the twelve-hour drive alone while Mike managed the four-leggeds.

“Come before winter” overwhelmed my flimsy excuses. I went. I’m so glad I did. One last adventure for the two of us.

Change on the Board

After going through a whirlwind of changes in her life over the past several years, Anne Richardson-Smith has decided to leave the Crones Counsel Board. She and husband, Kelvin, are letting go of some of their commitments so they can travel and pursue other interests. She has assured us that she will be available for special projects. We will miss her humor, her hard work and commitment to Crones Counsel.

Dear Elsie

Welcome to 2022 Dear Crones! Here on Pixler Hill we are entering the new year with a combination of hopefulness and caution, eager to see what this symbolic new beginning will bring. The weather is topsy-turvy and sometimes it feels as if our whole world is following suit.
We look to the future; make resolutions, set intentions, put them out into the Universe and expect (or at least hope and pray for) the best. Some may be looking to learn a new skill. How to speak another language, play an instrument, build a log cabin or even just a fire. I believe we all yearn to master something and, more often than not, it is the small accomplishments that are the most satisfying.

This month’s question targets our desire to learn.

“Dear Elsie,
How can I get my husband to teach me to run the remote control for the TV?
Need help!”

Dear Need help,

The short answer is you probably can’t. You aren’t the only one in this dilemma so perhaps some men don’t know any way to operate a remote except to push buttons and pretend they know what they’re doing.

However, there are a few things you can try. Do you have children, or better yet, grandchildren that would help you? You could borrow a teenager. Bribe a random kid in the neighborhood. Well, maybe not that extreme…

Depending on how comfortable you are with online instruction there are Google and YouTube. The store where you purchased the TV and remote might have someone you could talk to. If you have a cable provider it may own the remote. Sometimes they will even send a technician out to teach you. If you are lucky enough to have a voice activated remote all you need to know is how to turn the darn thing on and off correctly. Not always as simple as it sounds.

If all else fails, grab the remote first and sit there like your husband does, pushing buttons, until you have the TV really messed up and just maybe he will offer to show you how to operate it. Keep a tight hold on the device and ask him to tell, not show, you what to do. WARNING! This will not work with every husband. Know yours and proceed with caution.


By Barb Test

Beneath my skin are mysteries
where blood flows
to and from my heart
and touches parts within.
Our unspoken truths
feed each other.
Let’s sit together and let our hearts speak in unison.

By Barb Test

If you tell me who you are
it will never be as true as when you show me who you are.

Spring Equinox Virtual Gathering via Zoom
Saturday, March 19, 2022

Theme: Humor

Interested in sharing a brief, humorous story as a storyteller?
Email Carol at to indicate interest
right away as space on the program is limited to five.

10:00 a.m. Pacific Time
11:00 a.m. Mountain Time
12:00 noon Central Time
1:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Other countries, please determine your time.


Registration opens on February 1st and closes on March 12th.

The Gathering will last approximately two hours.