Crones Counsel Newsletter – February 2021

What’s Love Got to Do With It?
By Maggie Fenton

Perhaps one form of love is a “second hand emotion” but as Crones, we realize that Love takes on many forms and is the underlying emotion that sustains humanity and moves us to our better selves. It shows up in a multitude of ways. Look around and you will find it from heroic efforts to simple acts of kindness.

At one time in my life, I was a single mother, college student, broke, living in married student housing with my two kids, wondering how I was going to pay the January rent, my tuition AND buy my kids something for Christmas. I had one afternoon to do my Santa shopping with kids in tow because their father was, once again, a no show. I set out in my beat-up car with bald tires on this mission impossible. Of course, it started to snow. With the help of some understanding and stealthy clerks (angels in disguise really) at the discount stores, I was able to pack everything in the trunk of my car without the kids knowing what was in those packages. Somewhere between the last store and home, I had a flat tire.

Pulling off to the side of the road, I was close to losing it and collapsing in a pile of weeping woman. To my son and daughter, this was just the beginning of another wonderful adventure so I kept my act together. I looked in the (packed) trunk; there was an equally bald tire but no wrench. Just as I was bundling them up for a walk to the nearest pay phone, a tow truck pulled up behind me. “Great,” I thought, “someone who wants to save me and charge me an arm and a leg.” An older man got out of the cab of the truck and asked me if I had a spare. I told him I did but no tire wrench. He took a look at the tire, understanding my signal to keep the packages hidden and said, “well that’s not very good. I’m going to have to get you something else.” I told him that I couldn’t afford new tires right now so we had best find a way to make the old one work. He told me to wait for him to return and drove away. In twenty minutes or so, he came back and put two new tires on my car. I got out my last $10 to give him and told him I would pay him a little at a time. He finished up the job and looked at me, smiled and said “No need. Merry Christmas.” I lost it. Still do when I remember this not-so-simple act of kindness. Love.

Introducing Elsie Flowers

Elsie is a Crone of indeterminate age … suffice it to say she’s been around the block a few times. Right now, she lives up on Pixler Hill in West Virginia but traveled around the world before she settled there. You’ll learn more about Elsie in the coming issues. She is gracing our newsletter to give us advice and occasionally make commentary. So, ask away… send your questions to Elsie.

These are a couple that she is pulling from her notes:

Dear Elsie,

What can I do about losing the hair on my head and gaining it on my chin?

Crone from Wisconsin

Dear Crone,
Well, Crone… it’s like this. You can pluck your chin hair… that means you have to see well enough to get a tweezer on one of those little buggers… or get one of those magnifying mirrors … mine’s about a 25x. Yes, it hurts a little but if you want it gone, it’s either that or start shaving. As far as the hair on your head goes, I guess you could try one of those pricey new-fangled light hats (results may vary) or just buy a few nice hats or turbans. Or just shave it all and go bald… you might start a trend. Just remember, when you lose something in one place, it most likely will show up in another.
All the best,

Dear Elsie,

I am told I act like I have a bad case of Crone-itis. What is that?

Crone from Oregon

Dear Crone,
Well, dear, I suspect it’s not YOU who have the “crone-itis.” An “itis” is an inflammation or an irritation of some sort and dollars to donuts, if someone is telling you that you have it, he (or she) is the one that’s irritated. You’re not being quiet and behaving like the sweet old lady they think you should be. You might have just spoken your mind and given them a much-needed verbal spanking. You likely don’t suffer fools. Maybe you’ve been seen drumming or dancing or howling at the moon with some of your crone friends. When some fool tells you that you’re too old to do something, you ignore them and do it anyway. They never know what you might be up to next and it irritates the hell out of them!
All the best,

Honoring Talks from the Elders
From the December 2020 Solstice Zoom Gathering

I, Barbara Louise Test, born 9/8/40, am the daughter of Lois Geise Test, and the granddaughter of Edna Benjamin Geise and Mary Monroe Caffee Test, all strong, compassionate and resilient women.

Now, at 80, I hope I have learned a little about “just being”. At 74, illness and subsequent recovery made me stop doing so much. I began to interact a lot more with wise women of all ages, and to be quieter and reflective. I am letting myself be vulnerable now. I no longer have goals to achieve and destinations I must reach. Instead, I am more open to just being with what’s here, and savoring the moments. Right now, because of COVID-19, we can’t be with our sisters to give physical touch and presence, but there is an unexpected gift — through technology we get to fully experience each other individually when each of our faces show up to communicate. The bonus is that while we are featured singularly, we are surrounded by the loving faces of our sisters.

I don’t intend to “do” much at all. It’s time to just be here. I hope to give up comparisons, shoulds, and judgments of myself, others, and events. I don’t want to deny or analyze my emotions but just accept and forgive myself for my earlier patterns that hinder me from showing up now. I’d like to relish the unknown uncertainty and just marvel at what is. I imagine my 80’s will be vibrant. I will continue virtually dancing as well as Face-Timing with my young and old friends to share what we danced and how it reflects who we are. I will do other sharing activities, like being silly or whatever pops into our heads in the same way. And I am continuing to enjoy my friends of all ages and genders, nature, my spiritual community, meditations and events in this same virtual way until we can do these things in person.

So, what’s different now? I intend to be aware in the present instead of interpreting the past and predicting the future. I don’t want top miss the moments. And I will even forgive myself when I fall short of my intentions. I want to be mindful, move forward and feel the wonder.

I am Rosemary Lucier, daughter of Lucy, granddaughter of Mary and Elizabeth, great granddaughter of Josephine and Maria, mother of Joseph and Annie, grandmother of Jackie, Joe, and Griffin, step grandmother of Elizabeth and Ryan.

I was born in Portland, Oregon March 4, 1940. My year of turning 80 has been filled with surprises and unexpected events. The day after my 80th birthday, I was surprised with an honoring ceremony by the members of my Wise Women crones group. I shared the details of that beautiful ceremony in our crones zoom on Sep 27th.

A few days later I was surprised by Covid and the resulting quarantine which kept me home bound instead of traveling. As a result, I began spending most of my time with my husband of 53 years. We created some new rituals and a deepening of our relationship, another surprise and gift.

I was introduced to Zoom which allowed me to meet twice monthly with my Wise Women circle, monthly with the Women at the well, and participate in numerous webinars and talks. At one of these zoom meetings hosted by the Diversity Coalition I was challenged by a woman of color “to do the work” instead of putting it on her and other people of color. I accepted her challenge and began educating myself about systemic racism. That led to forming a group of four women meeting every 3 weeks to follow a program titled Being Mindful of Race. We concluded that program last Tuesday but are continuing to meet monthly because we know our work is just beginning. What started out as an intellectual learning situation became a spiritual journey of opening to compassion and loving kindness.

COVID-19 and its restrictions also enabled me to participate in a Year to Live developed by Stephen Levine. This experience has helped me and made me aware of the necessity to clean up any unfinished business.

I started thinking about what I want to do with the next decade and what do I envision? I decided that I would give myself permission to:

• Say No
• Make time for stillness
• Rest when I need to
• Be brave even when I’m not
• Stay connected
• Keep writing my story
• Lead when it’s necessary
• Listen

The cougar, my animal totem, came to me after a vision quest a few years ago. I hope I can live up to his approach which is an indication that I have come into my own power. Now is the time to be strong, the time to leap into all the opportunities made available to me.

Every day in my remaining years I will look for ways to live that vision. Thank you.

Virtual Crone Circles
By Anne Richardson

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 the CC webpage Resources) and encourage you along the way.  Contact if you are interested.

By Suzanne Gruba

Mask, masks everywhere!
On the floor, on the door
In my purse, on the nurse
On my nose, on the rose?

Who knows where the mask goes?

In my car, on the bar
On the walk when we talk
On my skirt, in the dirt
In my pocket, on a rocket?

On the breeze making me sneeze!
Blue, black, yellow
Some very mellow
Some hot, some not
Masks, masks everywhere.

Who knows where the mask really goes?

Suzanne Gruba lives in Denver with her furry son named Carlos and Richard, her husband of 38 years. This picture was taken in the summer of 2020 when Suzanne did not have “masks, masks everywhere” and ended up at Home Depot without a mask! An old pillow case used for cleaning was found in the car and worked for a mask!

If you would like to submit a poem for the next newsletter, please send it to Kaya Kotzen.