Crones Counsel News, November 2021

By Maggie Fenton

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how grateful I am for the Crones in my life, both past and present. I have learned many lessons from these wise women. The list is too long to list them all but a few who were dear to me who have passed are Connie, Gay, Jackie, Betty, Ramona, Enid, each gifting their own version of wisdom, humor and grace. I remember feeling humbled at Betty, ten years my senior, having already completed 10 laps in the early morning when I was feeling so smug about just getting in the pool! I remember so many of Ramona’s words delivered in such a quiet, graceful way both one-on-one and in small groups. And her wonderful humor! My heart fills with laughter and joy as I remember Connie leading the whole crowd in “How Much is that Doggie in the Window” in Estes Park. Gay’s humor, wisdom and willingness to pitch in when asked were all gift. Can’t you see Jackie in her tux and bright blue cummerbund emceeing the follies and leading the Crone Chorus with lyrics she helped us write? And Enid .. oh my, she taught me about letting go of inhibitions, about courage and speaking my truth.

Crones are still teaching me. I’m grateful to all the Board Members and the “adjunct” members who spend their energy and time keeping CC going. I think of Mahtowin’s wise and gentle guidance as Crones Counsel president as I fulfill my role on the Board. She sometimes whispers in my ear! I’m grateful for Rita’s encouraging words and her books and her perseverance. Both of these Crones and many others are teaching me how to let go and find joy.

In spite of … (you fill in the blanks!), there is so much to be grateful for. Thank you.

Note: If you would like to send Mahtowin or Rita a note, please check our FB page or email me and I will give you the address.

Mother Board Vice-President, Carol Friedrich

Carol, an active, vibrant Crone is one of the few Crones who have attended most of the Crones Counsel gatherings. She has been committed to the preservation of the organization since her first Crones Counsel in Scottsdale, AZ, in 1995 when she found what she was looking for – a group with whom to spend her time in her retirement years. Carol is the heart and backbone of Crones Counsel.

Her enthusiasm and tenacity has enabled her to take on the task of helping plan several gatherings as well as co-writing, with Annie Lehto, the booklets, How to Start a Crones Circle, and Crones Counsel Planning Process – A Guide to a Planning on a Crones Counsel National Gathering. Carol has also co-led workshops during some of these gatherings

She has been on the Mother Board twice, encouraging as much tradition as is still relevant. She keeps our Standard Operating Procedures up to date and gently keeps the Board on track and true to our original Mission. Lately, she has been coordinating the start of several virtual circles. She is an active member of her local crones circle, one which was started just after the first Crones Counsel held in Jackson Hole.

She was an honored elder in Tucson at Crones Counsel 27 as she turned 80 that year.

Carol grew up in Oregon, moved to California for a few years, and, for the past 50 years (!), has lived in Colorado. She and her husband used to travel throughout the west by RV, but are now adjusting to a life less active. She is the stepmother of four, grandmother of six, and great grandmother of six. She is also the matriarch of her own large extended family.

She is interested in photography, genealogy, reading English mystery novels, and enjoying her three furry kids.

Correction to October’s Newsletter:  the article, Glamping, should have been credited to Mary Evit, an active member of the Bellingham, WA, crones group.

Talisman for my granddaughter!
By Reda Rackley

I pass onto her the luck of the Irish!
I give to her my mother’s sewing scissors that made beauty from the scrapes of life!
I give to her hollow bone woman to allow the old stories to come through!
I wrap secrets in leather pouches that one day she will open to find the strength of all women through all times waiting for her to pick up her piece of remembering.
I give to her my favorite sea glass I found after the biggest storm of the year, to remind her there is always beauty after the storm.
I give to her eternity for where she comes one day she shall return.
I give to her the wisdom of her ancestors, the witches, the wise women, the curanderos of Mexico!
I give to her a silver knife to cut away illusions that will hinder her soul path.
I give to her pheasant feathers to sweep away the sorrows that do not belong to her!
I give to her an African bronze bell to call in and call out her genie, her genius, her magnificence.
I give to her a box of rusty nails that she can hammer shut the voices in her head that tell her she is not enough, she doesn’t belong.
I give to her the ability to weave and unweave.
I give to her a necklace from my grandmother.
I give to her the utter joy of being alive to be a part of the great mystery of all creation!

Dear Elsie,

Greetings Sisters, welcome to the season of the Crone! Our time, when darkness gives us space to reflect and dream. Bears are fattened for their long sleep. Wolves run the ridge lines in search of food and freedom. Northern whales are continuing the journey toward warm birthing waters.

While some will happily snuggle up by the fire with blanket and tea, others may take a different approach. The thoughts of another confined Winter can prompt a restless soul to hit the road (skies, tracks, waterways) in search of adventure or time with loved ones. You may be ready and raring to go but your practical skills might be a little rusty.

An adventurous Crone poses this question:
“I recently traveled with my 54-year-old daughter by plane, train and automobile. I’m 80. We thought one suitcase and one backpack, that’s one backpack and a small suitcase, would suffice for our 2-week trip. It was just too much to lug around. How can we lighten the load for our next trip?”

Dear Traveler with a heavy load,

Is there anything as awe inspiring as the perfectly dressed mature traveler blithely wheeling her single piece of luggage, which is about the size of a large purse, down a long corridor? Not to me and many of you, I suspect. So, what do when two women have 2 weeks of absolute necessities covering the bed waiting to be stuffed into two tiny cases?

There are lots of articles, websites and videos on packing light. You can get some very helpful information but unless you can survive with 2 bottoms, 3 tops and a nightgown its not going to work for everyone. They never seem to include underwear, extra shoes, sweater, meds, supplements or unmentionables.

You could try being less minimalist and each take one small suitcase that can fit into the overhead on a plane if necessary and share a good carry on for electronics, meds and such. 360-degree wheels are a plus! So is having a strong daughter. You can take enough clothes for 3 or 4 days and do laundry often. Or buy new things as you need them and ship some items home when your bags overflow.

I’m sure many of you know some good tricks. I’d be happy if you’d share them with me for a follow up.

Hint: NEVER check your airplane carry on- yes, the one containing that change of clothing- when you are going straight home. Anyone, even Elsie, can encounter a bad fish dinner with embarrassing results.

Happy travels,