Crones Counsel News, March 2021

Maiden

By Maggie Fenton
March, 2021
This year’s quarterly Crone Zooms are to celebrate the stages of a woman’s life. Maiden. Mother. Matriarch. Crone. On March 20th, we celebrated the Maiden. When we think of ‘Maiden,’ we often paint her with a rosy picture. Innocent. Care-free. Slender. Of course, beautiful. Perhaps she is dressed in a long, flowing dress preparing for the spring dance or surrounded by a cadre of her equally charming friends. Now, think back to YOUR maiden years. Did you match this picture? I didn’t. I wore blue jeans and was happier traipsing in the woods than in dressy clothes. I woke up very early on spring mornings to pick strawberries with my brother so they could be shipped to market. Most of my friends were equally busy and sometimes rowdy farm girls. Some had to work very hard and had very little time for play. There were sleep overs, jealousies, boyfriends and some drama. None of my sister maidens matched the romanticized version of ‘maiden’ that shows up on our social media feeds. These young women were experiencing what life had to offer and preparing for future years. The Maiden is still within each of us. Get in touch with yours and see what lessons she has for you.

Summer Solstice Zoom June 19, 2021

The theme for the June 19th Zoom will be Mother, the 2nd stage in the life of a woman. We mother in many ways not just biologically. Think of ways you have been “Mother.”

Our registration window is changing! It won’t open until May 17th and will close June 13th. We will keep reminding you of this window in our upcoming newsletters.

Dear Elsie,

What advice should I give to my teenage grandchild.
Signed,
Grammie

Dear Grammie, In a word. None. A very wise friend of mine told me years ago that after a child reached their teen years, they developed a condition known as “I know everything and you’re an old fool.” They suggested that you save your worry energy and your breath and wait until the world has kicked them about a little at which time they may … may … come to you and ASK for your advice. Even then, you don’t TELL them what to do. You ask them what they think they should do and LISTEN. Keep asking questions. “What do you think will happen then?” “How would that work for you?” “Can you see yourself as a ??? or in that situation?”

However, sharing your own story is a different matter and you may inadvertently be giving them advice by telling them about some of the bone-headed mistakes you made when you were their age.

Now, old Cletus, my S.O., can’t seem to resist giving advice and all the grands just smile benevolently at him and ignore everything he says. I’ve managed to keep my mouth shut for some time (following the advice of my wise friend) and the oldest of my grands sometimes shows up at my kitchen table for food, of course. The conversation will start sort of like this, “Gran, I’m thinking about ….” I don’t tell him what a rotten idea this is (even if it is) or anything of the sort. I just listen and ask him questions … make him paint the picture. Time will tell if this method works. At least we’re talking.

Thank You!

Just a little SHOUT OUT of THANKS to everyone who added a little donation to their registration for the March Zoom.  Those, along with a few “magic” little envelopes received with $$$ in them, we have collected almost $700 in donations this year so far.  We want you all to know how much we appreciate your support!

THANK YOU,

Kay Marie, Treasurer

Virtual Crone Circles

Interested in joining or leading a Virtual Crone Circle? We’ve learned we don’t have to be in the same place to gather — we can gather online with Zoom, Skype or a Facebook Chat room. We can put you in contact with others, help you get started (check out Resources on the Crones Counsel website) and encourage you along the way. If interested please contact: cronecircles@cronescounsel.org

On Turning Eighty: Some Early Memories

By Win Fiandaca
I come from a family of sharecroppers on a Michigan muck farm and a one-room schoolhouse where the teacher kicked me out because I was too small for the bigger kids that picked on me.
I come from gathering eggs each morning from the hen house with Mom waiting in the kitchen to cook them and picking potato bugs off the plants for which Dad gave me a penny. A penny for twenty. My first paying job.
I come from having a potty chair that sat next to my bed because the outhouse was too far and lightening bugs in a jar that served as my night light.
I come from standing on a stool and peering through grimy windows of the old tool shed at German prisoners of war who were delivered by bus and picked up the next day.
I come from playing anagrams till all hours of the night with Dad and Grampa while eating popcorn and drinking fresh buttermilk from the Cedar Springs Creamery.
I come from drop-fishing for bullhead at midnight with fat crawlers that Dad and I dug up after supper after watering down the yard.
I come from being naughty girl who threw her fried eggs down the floor register, which Mom found in early winter.
I come from marveling at the new Speed Queen washer and the Frigidaire that replaced the ice box.

I come from sitting on the front porch with my little brother Paul, eating watermelon and spitting the seeds into the street to see who could spit the farthest, while Dad communicated with deaf cousin Guy Cook using both hands.
I come from listening to “Whiz Kids,” “Fibber McGee,” “Buster Brown,” and “The Shadow.” And on Tuesday nights, we’d listen to One Man’s Family on the stand-up Philco during supper.
I come from playing paper dolls with my best friend Jackie Runnels and roller skating, wearing our skate keys on a string tied around our necks and Campfire Girls on Wednesdays.
I come from getting my first “Tonette.’
I come from getting lost in my dreams, eating library paste, and winning second place in Roosevelt Park, wearing the witch’s costume made from crepe paper that Mom sewed on her mother’s 1919 Singer.

Win lives in Peoria, Arizona with her husband Chip, three cats and a dog. She just celebrated her 80th birthday January 28th.

In Sedona

By Kimberly Thornton
Matriarchal mountains, terra-cotta kissed rock
Surround me. I am steady, my naked feet grounded.
My direct line of mothers has ended
with me. I see no reason to resume a tradition:
A line of daughters alone, standing on shoulders
Of mountain mothers.

Each neuron shimmers a slow lightning,
Memory of furrows and laughter
Once carefully placed, now eroded.
Only the creeping shadows
I do not want roll over mountaintops:
Body strapped into the gurney,
Carried to hospice like a gentle infant
Whose cry is quiet, and how wrong it felt
To let them take her.

I feel hallow as bird bones taken
Away by mellow winds;
I burn for the desire to die out as her echo;
To hold on like the last leaf of autumn before winter
Swirls in and plucks it off.

I see the eyes that look longer,
The eyes that know the fog at the door
Waiting every morning to be let in,
Eyes that speak more truth than any lips’ kiss.

What does an absence do
But what it is meant to: leaving a cave
Empty and dark. I’m at its mouth,
Waiting every morning to be swallowed.

Kimberly Thornton is a multiracial poet and artist. She graduated from ASU with a degree in sociology and continues her studies independently in art, psychology, symbolism, and wildlife. Her poetry has been published in Carve Magazine. She lives and works in Arizona and hopes to befriend more trees in her lifetime.