Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


February 18, 2013

IN ALL CANDOR: Life — it’s always changing

CROSSVILLE — Well, goodness. I’ve been working in Cumberland County a few days more than 11 years now, the bulk of that time spent serving the journalistic needs of Fairfield Glade and Lake Tansi communities.

I had always wondered what people did in retirement, maybe because I had never seen it in my future . . . . But working with these two communities has given me the answer. Frankly, I have never seen a population so dedicated to helping their fellow man.

Early on, I realized that most of the people in these two retirement/resort communities have lived their lives very carefully, preparing all along the way for the future. In retirement, I see them approaching their health and philanthropic work the same way they approached their working years — with dedication and planning, and making work into fun where possible. Seriously, why be an old goat if you can laugh, have fun, and raise $3,500 for a worthy cause all at the same time. Kudos, golfers, quilters, artists, actors/actresses, top chefs, and musicians! Kudos! And wait, I failed to mention walkers of the Appalachian Trail, the Relay for Life, and March of Dimes, etc. Walkers — kudos indeed!

All this has certainly given me ideas about activities for my own retirement, and that is a time that has suddenly arrived. As of mid-February, I’m retiring from the Chronicle. It’s due to my mother needing immediate 24-hour-a-day care. While turning this corner is a sudden thing, it’s not like I didn’t know it was coming… someday.

Being near the “magical age,” I have done some limited thinking about what else I could do in retirement along with the home care duties. There’s that start to a book that’s been laying over there on the shelf for three or four months now. I could focus on my plot and characters and figure out the things I still don’t know. Surely it will just write itself after I figure that stuff out. I need a chalkboard and a big diagram.

I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved in a class at church for girls ages 6-12, and is that ever fun and are those little girls ever precious.

For now, I am thankful for several 1,000-piece puzzles I can spread out all over the dining room table, one after another, and consider whether this piece is blue sky or blue water; well, you get the idea, and how long will this hold my attention, I ask myself.

There are thoughts about how I can involve more people in Mom’s daily life — she’s such a social butterfly and misses all those folks who used to call and/or come by. I’m thinking about instigating “Lunch with Lenora” one day a week — I’m a pretty good cook when I put my mind to it, so they might come.

And later, after my book is on the New York Times Best Seller List, I’ll take Mom on the book tour . . . and she’ll enjoy meeting everyone.

Seriously, thank you Cumberland County for helping me understand that “retirement” doesn’t mean you have ceased to exist, but are entering what could possibly be your most productive, valuable and meaningful years, and thank you to the Chronicle for giving me this opportunity.

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  • LION AND THE LAMB: Four ways to demonstrate opposition

    Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan mention in their book, “The Last Week,” that Roman-occupied Palestine during the first century was under the control of Pontius Pilate who lived in the coastal city of Caesarea. Each year at the beginning of the Passover observance when Jews celebrated their liberation from Egypt, Pilate feared that they might be getting ideas about revolting from Rome, so he would come with additional soldiers on horses to beef up the Roman garrison in Jerusalem. 

    April 15, 2014

  • WE THE PEOPLE: Is it (new) party time?

    The Democratic and Republican parties are toast, according to Joe Trippi. The Republican Party is coming apart at its Tea Party seam. Democratic candidates struggle to celebrate President Obama’s health care successes, while responding to criticism of his failed promises, e.g., government transparency.

    April 15, 2014

  • TIDBITS: I found it at the library

    I have such fond memories of going to my local library as a child, searching through shelf after shelf and finding a book that would make me a Little Princess in World War II England, or bring me along as Nancy Drew solved the Secret in the Old Attic.

    April 14, 2014

  • STUMPTALK: The reason words have meaning

    If words did not have accepted meanings we would not be able to communicate effectively and civilized society would not exist.

    April 14, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Do we really believe in democracy?

    The recent Supreme Court decision, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, is in a long line of debates about power in a democracy. Should power be in the hands of all the citizens or should it be in hands of those who have greater wealth and social position?

    April 8, 2014

  • We the People: Public education or business opportunity?

    A month ago, we followed the money trail left by a ‘think tank’ to the major sources funding an attack on our traditional, locally controlled public schools. We saw that a handful of billionaires provide major support to many organizations lobbying for change.

    April 8, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Just another government lie?

    There is a vault located in Fort Knox, Kentucky. It was built in 1936 and encased in 16 cubic feet of granite and 4200 feet of cement. The door is made of 20-inch thick material that is immune to drills, torches and explosives.

    April 7, 2014

  • GARY'S WORLD: The chance to speak your mind

    Are you tired of hearing people complain about the way things are run in Cumberland County? Or, do you like the way the county government is run and operated in our beautiful county?
    Are you happy with the way things are, or would you like some change?

    April 3, 2014

  • LION AND THE LAMB: Digging beneath the headlines

    Our media have been focusing on two important events that have taken place overseas during the last several weeks.

    April 1, 2014

  • WE THE PEOPLE: SNAP, health and work

    A recent letter from Representative Diane Black to me states that she voted for the farm bill (with $8 million in Food Stamp (SNAP) benefit cuts) because she, like me, is a supporter of food stamp benefits for Tennessee families who qualify. That’s a lot of families, as most recipients are families with children and the elderly. Now, recall that there was already a major cut to the food stamp program back in the fall. But for some Republicans, that was not enough.

    April 1, 2014

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