Page 2 - Summer 2020 Lincoln 55 Plus
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Blog Spot - 5 Women Mayhem - Find them at https://5womenmayhem.blogspot.com/
                   A few choice words            he taught me how to water ski on    the speaker and, as importantly, the  from a vantage point we can’t possi-
                  from five plain-spoken         lazy summer days. And nobody has    listener.  It was days and nights and  bly know.  But we can shape that
                  women of the prairies:         a clue about all those strangers lurk-  days of hearings, information over-  story, through our actions as citizens
                                                 ing in fuzzy, black and white photo-  load, and still seeming to miss just  and voters, and in that way, we tell
                                                 graphs so carefully culled and col-  one critical fact…and what that fact  our own story.
                                                 lected.                             was, depended on the listener….  It
                                                    The jolt of losing a mom and dad  was everywhere, it permeated the
                                                 does eventually calm, yet at the    airwaves, the front pages, the late
                                                 same time it continues to deliver   night talk shows, conversations with
                                                 unexpected wallops – thankfully not  friends and colleagues, Twitter, Face
                                                 a constant ache but more like       Book, and every other communica-
                                                 unseen explosives unexpectedly      tion channel we know.  And then,
                                                 tripped by ordinary, hum-drum       with two roll call votes in the Senate,
                                                 events. Boxes of Russell Stover’s,  it was over.
                                                 poised innocently on store shelves,    It’s not over, of course.  The ram-
                                                 can knock the stuffing out of me, oh  ifications and consequences will be
                                                 how Dad loved that candy. Yep,      seen and felt for
                                                 you’re pretty much ok, then sudden-  weeks/months/years to come.  New
                                                 ly out of the blue you catch a      information drops daily.  In the
                                                 glimpse of something, the scent of  immediate aftermath, federal
                                                 something, sneaking up sideways,    employees are punished for comply-
                                                 and you’re done.                    ing with lawfully-issued subpoenas.
                                                    Society tells us to keep busy and  A book will be published soon, and
                                                 keep going, as we’re pretty much a  others will follow.  References to the
              SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2020 -         quick-fix culture.  I’m admittedly  hearings will play out in ever-
                   One old gray t-shirt:         something of a slow learner.  So,   increasing volume in the next ten
                      Recalibrating              while I believe self-examination is  months as we nominate and elect a     SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2020
               after mom and dad are gone        good for the soul, there is a moment  president.  The characters in this       'How and Why' I Read
                    By Mary Kay Roth             to recalibrate. Three years and my  real life, at-this-very-moment drama,        By Mary Reiman
               Tucked away in the far back of    sadness feels as threadbare as      will be praised and condemned, glo-     So why do I love to read? For me
            one of my bedroom dresser drawers,   dad’s shirt.                        rified and vilified, as the story is told  it’s about finding that one phrase
            I keep an old gray t-shirt, fairly non-  At some point you put away self-  over and over and over….by thou-   that speaks to me. Yes, sometimes
            descript, faded and frayed.  But     help books and tally up your collec-  sands of story tellers, including  it is simply one phrase, one sen-
            every now and then I take it out, hug  tion of sacred blessings.  As years  those running for office, those who  tence, or even just one word. Isn’t
            it close and simply breathe in.      pass, memories and loss weave       support those running for office,    that amazing? One phrase that
               I have hesitated telling people   their way into the fabric of your life.  those who write and broadcast the  makes me say I LOVED that book. It
            about this ritual, because frankly it  You adjust, gracefully or not, on the  news, and, in their heart of hearts,  inspired me. It helped make me
            sounds a bit weird. The shirt smells  far side of the divide. You stake your  every single person who steps into  think differently. It gave me courage.
            musty and musky, no intrusion of     claim: Your parents lived, loved and,  the polling place next November.     I did not grow up in a house filled
            store-bought fragrance, just a time-  if you’re lucky, hugged. And in the  It’s a story that hasn’t ended, and  with the classics. However, we had
            worn and familiar scent of mascu-    end, you still have dad’s goofy mes-  won’t end.                         the “How and Why Library” set a
            line. It’s my dad’s shirt, and the   sages stashed on a cellphone –         And whose story is it?  Is it     salesman sold to my mom in the
            moment I inhale I can feel his       mom’s final grocery list, left unfin-  Donald Trump’s story?  Nancy      '50s. (Yes, she also purchased
            famous bear hug wrapping around      ished on the kitchen counter – and a  Pelosi’s?  Adam Schiff’s?  Mitch   Encyclopedia Britannica in the '60s).
            me.                                  treasure trove filled with family sto-  McConnell’s?  What about Colonel  That set of ‘How and Why’ books
               They say memory and smell are     ries of love and resilience that will  Vindman, or Marie Yovanovitch?  Is  opened up a new world to me. One
            intertwined, the sense that most like-  generally get you through the night.  it their story?  Well, obviously, yes,  volume was mythology, one was sci-
            ly triggers remembrance. A whisper      After the loss of our parents,   this story belongs to all of them.  But  ence and my favorite was literature,
            of marigolds takes me back to my     there will always be unanswered     it’s a bigger story than any one per-  which included the poem my sister
            grandma’s garden – a whiff of oil    questions.  Unexpectedly and peri-  son, or even all of the named per-   and I memorized, ‘The Swing’ by
            and gasoline transports me into the  odically, the finality of their departure  sons.  At its heart, this is our story,  Robert Louis Stevenson. (“How do
            driver’s seat of my leaky, rusty first  will still smack us in the gut. And I’m  the story of all of us who claim the  you like to go up in the swing? Up in
            car. Out of nowhere, a random odor   guessing, here and there, we will   United States of America as our      the air so blue. Oh, I do think it the
            can send you hurtling back to a      need to readjust our settings –     country.  It’s the story of our      pleasantest thing Ever a child can
            childhood memory and that t-shirt    something like when our GPS gets    Constitution, our form of govern-    do!...")
            rockets me into my dad’s arms.       all messed up – to follow our own   ment, our understanding of the pow-     Since I was reading long before
               My parents died three years ago   true north.                         ers of the president and the limits on  technology ever allowed me to keep
            now, only a couple months apart,        Meanwhile, I still have that old  that power, our sense of right and  my favorite quotes on my phone, I
            just shy of celebrating their 72nd   gray t-shirt, tucked in my dresser  wrong and honor and truth.  And      would often write those phrases in
            wedding anniversary. Of course,      drawer.                             right now, in the middle of all of it,  blank books or journals. Of all the
            there’s fairly solid consensus that                                      we’re a people of shouting and       things I did not keep when I moved
            losing your parents – becoming an                                        clamoring voices.  Sometimes I want  from house to house, I did keep
            orphan of sorts – is one of the most                                     to be part of the shouting, some-    those partially filled journals. Many
            emotional and universal human                                            times I want to hear a single, clear,  years would go by without reading
            experiences. The grief of losing both                                    definitive voice of truth and justice,  them, but I knew they were there.
            mom and dad is a complicated beast                                       and sometimes, I just want to shut      One of the happiest moments of
            that often presents a seismic shift.                                     out the noise for a moment, just a   retirement is that I now take the time
               So, after those god-awful first                                       moment….                             to go back and read those thoughts,
            weeks of loss, I did the hard work. I                                       This is a story that was pretty   those reflections, those phrases.
            read a stack of self-help books,                                         much destined to be exactly where it  And they conjure up the memory of
            clocked valuable hours in counseling                                     is at this moment.  From the begin-  where I was when I was loving those
            and spent meaningful time under the                                      ning of the House investigations, it  sentences - where I was physically,
            covers. I followed sage advice: No                                       seemed likely that the House would   where I was mentally and where I
            shortcuts, I plunged straight through                                    impeach, the Senate would not con-   was spiritually - the state of mind I
            grief. I accepted all the yin and yang                                   vict, and then we would be emotion-  was in that led me to have those ‘if I
            stuff about the depth of your sad-                                       ally exhausted, but with an election  could only write like that’ moments.
            ness balancing the depth of your                                         before us.  So why do it?  For many     Sometimes I read to learn about
            love.                                                                    reasons, which have been stated      the lives and thoughts and feelings
               Rest assured, adages are mostly                                       well and with conviction by those    of others. Sometimes I read to envi-
            true. This too shall pass, and time                                      who made decision along the way.     sion other lands and places, and
            does soothe.                                                             From my perspective, another rea-    sometimes to have my own world
               Then again. No matter how many        SAT., FEBRUARY 8, 2020          son is to put into the public record  reinforced (windows and mirrors). I
            books you read or hours you ponder        Who Will Tell the Story?       the events of the story, hundreds of  read to gather new ideas, or to take
            – the keepers of your family memo-           By Marilyn Moore            thousands of pages of documents,     solace when I cannot articulate
            ries, the custodians of your family     I’ve been thinking a lot in the past  thousands of hours of testimony, all  something at the moment but an
            history, are gone. I can never ask   two weeks of the final moments of   available for those who twenty years  author's words express what I am
            mom about the legacy of those mys-   the musical “Hamilton,” as all the  from now, or two hundred years       feeling. My favorite quotes change
            terious table linens buried at the bot-  characters of the play, Alexander  from now, will tell this story.  Those  over time, actually with every new
            tom of her cedar chest.  Dad can no  Hamilton’s family, his friends, his  historians, the story-tellers in the  book comes a new favorite! Does
            longer laugh through tales of when   colleagues and enemies of the politi-  coming decades, will be telling this  that happen to you?
                                                 cal time, gather round to sing the  story – our story – and they will do it  As I write my blogs, I’ll probably
                                                 lament of who lives, who dies, how                                       always include a sentence or two
                                                 much time does one have, and who                                         from the book I'm reading at the
                                                 it is who will tell your story.  A com-                                  moment. They have framed my
                                                 plex man, remembered in bits and                                         world, my story, and I hope in some
                                                 pieces for accomplishments and fail-                                     way they will speak to you. My
                                                 ures, by those who survived him, by                                      favorite one today is “People don’t
                                                 those who loved him and those who                                        come into our lives by accident.”
                                                 did not.  The final line of the full                                     from Before We Were Yours by Lisa
                                                 company, “Who tells your story?”                                         Wingate. More thoughts about that
                                                    That question, who tells the story,                                   sentence in another blog post!
                                                 rang through my mind as the                                                 I believe we’ve all found phrases
                                                 impeachment hearings were held,                                          that guide and sustain us. What are
                                                 first in the House and then in the                                       your favorites?
                                                 Senate.  Testimony was compelling,
                                                 at times, and at other times, not so                                        The 55+ will be watching
                                                 much.  Legal arguments were                                                  https://5womenmayhem.
                                                 engaging, solid, brilliant, and totally                                  blogspot.com for more articles.
                                                 without foundation – depending on                                        We hope you enjoy the ideas!


                        Lincoln 55+ Seniors Paper        Time and Temp - 402-476-9211       Spring 2020 - Page - 2
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