A Trip Down Memory Lane

The exchanges below recently arrived by forwarded email and reminded me of a “performance” long-time Granger Laura Pratt and I did over a decade ago. We used a shorter version of this. I delivered the “My mother taught me…” and she replied with the quote. Those who knew Laura can probably hear her intonation and attest that her replies were very believable! So here’s to her memory and to your entertainment!

My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE.

“If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning.”

 My mother taught me RELIGION.

 “You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”

 My father taught me about TIME TRAVEL.

“If you don’t straighten up, I’m going to knock you into the middle of next week!”

 My father taught me LOGIC.

“Because I said so, that’s why.”

 My mother taught me MORE LOGIC.

“If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you’re not going to the store with me.”

 My mother taught me FORESIGHT.

“Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident.”

 My father taught me IRONY.

“Keep crying and I’ll give you something to cry about.”

 My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS.

“Shut your mouth and eat your supper.”

 My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM.

Just you look at that dirt on the back of your neck?”

 My mother taught me about STAMINA.

“You’ll sit there until all that spinach is gone.”

 My mother taught me about WEATHER.

“This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it.”

 My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.

“If I told you once, I’ve told you a million times. Don’t exaggerate!”

 My father taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE.

“I brought you into this world, and I can take you out…”

 My mother taught me about BEHAVIOUR MODIFICATION.

“Stop acting like your father!”

 My mother taught me about ENVY.

“There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don’t have wonderful parents like you do.”

 My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.

“Just wait until we get home.”

 My mother taught me about RECEIVING.

“You are going to get it from your father when you get home!”

 My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.

“If you don’t stop crossing your eyes, they are going to get stuck that way.”

 My mother taught me ESP.

“Put your sweater on; don’t you think I know when you are cold?”

 My father taught me HUMOR.

“When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me.”

My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT.

“If you don’t eat your vegetables, you’ll never grow up.”

My mother taught me GENETICS.

“You’re just like your father.”

 My mother taught me about my ROOTS.

“Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?”

My mother taught me WISDOM.

“When you get to be my age, you’ll understand.

 My father taught me about JUSTICE.

 “One day you’ll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you!”

Health Beat – September 2014

HeartDr. Lesley Fernow writes a column called “Senior Matters” for the Piscataquis Observer in Dover Foxcroft. Valley Grange is privileged to have permission to use her past columns for our  “Health Beat” Feature and for the information to be reposted to the Maine State Grange website. Address your questions or comments  to lmf@fernowmedicalhousecalls.com, 207-992-6822. Please note that information is general in nature and specific questions should be addressed to your health care professional.

Not everyone sees that retirement party the same way.  For some, retirement is a well-earned time for rest, for others it can represent a loss of purpose and can cause stress and depression.  Preparing for the next stage in life where your job is not what defines how you spend your time or who you are is important.

Most advice about retirement planning focuses on financial planning.  This is essential if the aging years are to be stress free, and is best started early in life.  Women, who generally earn less in their lifetime than men and live longer, are particularly vulnerable to financial problems as they age.  There are many excellent resources on financial planning, including columns in newspapers and books.

Retirement planning is about more than economics, however.  Many people feel a sense of loss of purpose, loneliness and depression after they stop work.  Since there are often more than twenty years of living left to do after stopping work, it is essential to reframe this phase of your life as an opportunity for continued growth, activity and development in new directions.   The following are tips to help you age well, remain vibrant, healthy and happy after the job years are over.

  1. Set a schedule. Avoid the temptation to sleep in or just see what comes to you as the day goes on.
  2. Identify new hobbies or interests: painting, learning an instrument or new language, reading, gardening.
  3. Consider taking a class to learn new skills or just to learn. This keeps the mind engaged.
  4. Exercise regularly. Try different things: yoga, dancing, swimming.  Mix it up, but do it daily if you can.
  5. Meet people. Maintain a social life.  Find new friends.  Join a club, a church.  Have coffee or go out to eat with people.  It’s important for mind and spirit.
  6. Travel to new places. Try travel and learn programs, or programs where you can travel and give back to a community by building a school or other community service.
  7. Volunteer your time. This not only is great for the community but it gives you a sense of value and purpose.
  8. Don’t feel you need to spend every minute with your spouse (or kids). They will thank you for it.
  9. Don’t count on your body working forever. Find activities that you will enjoy even if the body parts wear out.
  10. Turn off the TV! Monitor your habit of TV watching.  It can be addicting and contributes to boredom and depression.

Bringing Home the Blue

20140823_71SMValley Grange left the Piscataquis Valley Fair and brought home the Blue Ribbon for it’s “Then and Now” Grange booth.  The display also turned out to be a traffic stopper as some of the older folks remembered… and some of the younger folks said, “What is that?!” Telephones seemed to be of particular interest with children and grandchildren expressing disbelief that their parents and grandparents actually talked “into those things.”

The display also featured information about Valley’s many community service efforts ranging from Words for Thirds Dictionary Days to Coups for Troops. Examples of handcrafts and agriculture rounded out the display which remained in place throughout the fair.

The display was assembled by Mary and Jim Annis, Janice Boomsma, Linda Erwin, and Bob Carroll in the hopes fair-goers would enjoy the contrasts and learn more about the Grange.

20140823_72SM

Eat and Learn with Extension

Saturday, September 6 Valley Grange hosts the UMaine Extension Piscataquis County Annual Supper and Meeting and it looks like there’s going to be something for everyone!

logo-piscataquis-santaAnother yummy supper is prepared by Penquis Volunteers and all proceeds will benefit Piscataquis Santa. Supper will be served from 5 PM until 7 PM. The meal deal will feature locally grown produce… baked ham, carrots, turnip, squash, potatoes and gravy… apple crisp for desert! Minimum donation is $8 for adults, $4 for kids 3-12, under 3 eat free! Remember, 100% of the proceeds benefit the Piscataquis Santa Fund! (There will only be 110 days until Christmas from this event!)

A LOGOThe program parts include lots of exciting things! Prior to and during supper there will be Extension exhibits and demonstrations including a working bee hive and information on gardening, farming and nutrition. Bring your gardening, farming, nutrition, 4-H questions! There will also be lots of material available… The annual meeting starting at 7 PM will feature highlights of local programming and a feature presentation by John Jemison, UMaine Extension Agronomist, “Think Globally; Eat Locally.” All exhibits, demonstrations, and the program are free!

This is collaboration and cooperation at its best! You can come to one thing or you can come to everything!

Up, Up and Away at River Festival

Here are just a few random images from the 2014 Guilford River Festival… Valley Grange is a proud participant, passing out approximately 300 balloons this year–including some that got away–and having a great time! Thanks to those who came by to visit and a special thanks to those who bought 101 Raffle Tickets! Your support makes our programs possible!

Booth space was provided by Abbot Village Press–hard working volunteers included Bob Carroll, Linda Erwin, Jim and Mary Annis, Roger and Judy Ricker, and Janice and Walter Boomsma.

 

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Health Beat — August 2014

HeartDr. Lesley Fernow writes a column called “Senior Matters” for the Piscataquis Observer in Dover Foxcroft. Valley Grange is privileged to have permission to use her past columns for our  “Health Beat” Feature and for the information to be reposted to the Maine State Grange website. Address your questions or comments  to lmf@fernowmedicalhousecalls.com, 207-992-6822. Please note that information is general in nature and specific questions should be addressed to your health care professional.

This month’s column was a guest column written by Walter Boomsma for the June 2014 Senior Matters and as a follow up to least month’s “It’s time to live it up” Health beat.

Borrowing Kids Helps Hearts

Several years ago the Mrs. and I accidentally started what has become an annual tradition when we decided to go to the circus. Since it just didn’t feel right going by ourselves, we borrowed the children of some friends to take with us. We had a ball. The kids kept thanking us for months.

Fearing they will eventually decide they are “too old,” we still keep asking every year only to discover they’ve been anxiously waiting for our invitation. We don’t spend much money—they bring their own but are careful spenders. It’s become one of our favorite days of the year.

Educator Rita Pierson says, “Every kid deserves and needs a champion.” She’s right, of course, but what’s great about borrowing kids is that every adult deserves and needs at least one kid. In fact, the older we get, the more important it becomes to spend time with kids. Whether you take your own grandchildren or borrow some, everybody wins.

Studies have documented the benefits of mixing seniors and kids, but the statistics aren’t half as exciting as the experience itself. During our last foray, we learned (rather humorously) the disadvantage of being the youngest in the family. We also watched two young ladies make some very intelligent decisions that left us believing there is hope for the future.

Of course we acknowledge that borrowing kids is an awesome responsibility, but we’ve learned not to make things too complicated. The kids actually don’t expect much. It’s not about how much money you spend; it’s about respecting and being interested in them as little people.

There are plenty of free and low-cost opportunities to share with a kid. Talk to them; listen to them. Appreciate their energy and wonder. Your heart will feel younger.

You don’t have to speak Italian…

You don’t have to speak Italian to enjoy eating it! Family friendly pricing… note also area Granges will be participating in an officer installation program immediately following the supper… the public is invited!

Italian Buffet Postcard

Health Beat — July 2014

HeartDr. Lesley Fernow writes a column called “Senior Matters” for the Piscataquis Observer in Dover Foxcroft. Valley Grange is privileged to have permission to use her past columns for our  “Health Beat” Feature and for the information to be reposted to the Maine State Grange website. Address your questions or comments  to lmf@fernowmedicalhousecalls.com, 207-992-6822. Please note that information is general in nature and specific questions should be addressed to your health care professional.

It’s summer time and it is time for people of all ages to Live It Up.  There are wonderful ways to start the month and to get out.  We recommend for maximum health benefit, seniors should do it with a kid.   What can be better for the spirit than fishing?  Teaching a “young-un” to fish.

This is a special opportunity for seniors who want to spend some “quality time” with grandchildren (your own or someone else’s!) and share your wisdom, patience and love of the outdoors.  It is also a time for children to remind us of how it was when everything was new and wonderful, to remind us how to really experience life as if it were the first time.   Sharing such moments with children gives meaning to our lives and allows us to pass on our dreams, skills and passions to the next generation.  It sometimes stretches us to answer questions we forgot kids ask, and reminds us to keep open to the joy of discovery which young children always have.  Our young children need the mentorship of older people to grow into healthy, responsible adults.  It is an opportunity for them to learn simple life skills from someone with time to spare who isn’t “measuring” their success.   Their parents may also thank you for spending the time with their child.

If fishing is not for you, or you are looking for more “entertainment,” invite a child to go to a fair or any on the many summer events in your area.  Whatever you do, call up a kid and grab an opportunity to “live it up”.

Whatever you are planning with young children, a few tips to make the trip easier:   pack a few easy, healthful snacks like granola bars, fruit, raisins.  Plan for short outings.  An hour or two may be enough for a vey young child.  Don’t plan on driving a long way to the destination-the child will get bored and may get cranky before you get there.  Most of all, have fun!

Backpack Registration Open

Valley Grange is a big supporter of this program–in fact we have a benefit dinner scheduled for August 16 at the hall. Parents, note the deadline to sign up for a backpack for your child(ren) is August 11th and can be done by clicking the link at the bottom. 


Registration is now open for parents to get help providing backpacks for their children. Please share with friends or on pages where families in Piscataquis, Penobscot and Knox counties will see it.

The Penquis Backpack Registration is now open for those families living in Penobscot, Piscataquis and Knox counties. The Penquis, "We've Got Your Back" program provides a backpacks to school-age children. Registration closes August 11th. Click the following link to register. http://www.penquis.org/index.php?id=2&sub_id=1686

The Penquis Backpack Registration is now open for those families living in Penobscot, Piscataquis and Knox counties. The Penquis “We’ve Got Your Back” program provides a backpacks to school-age children. Registration closes August 11th. Click the following link to register:

http://www.penquis.org/index.php?id=2&sub_id=1686

Happy Birthday, Betty!

Betty VanDyke continues to be a big supporter of Valley Grange in as many ways as possible. Betty recently celebrated her 9oth Birthday with a party attended by many friends and Grangers. Those couldn’t attend sent cards and messages. This is Betty’s appreciation and some thoughts about her Grange career.


A Happy Betty is flanked by her daughters Lois (left) and Ginny at her 90th birthday celebration.

I don’t think anyone will ever know how I feel about the Grange and how badly I felt the day I wrote for a demit that I knew I would never use.  Those 28 years were the best years of my life and I miss those days a lot.  The work I did being Lecturer of Valley Grange for oh so many years were growing years for me and grow I did using my brain to prepare the programs that I hoped would be satisfactory for the night.  Being on the CWA committee where my husband had to bring me to Augusta and “cart women  around” was a highlight of my belonging.  Then being asked to be Community Service Director of the Maine State Grange, how proud I was for that, receiving  a Plaque of Achievement for work well done was over the top. I tell you all this not to brag but to let you how much the Grange meant to me.

I was “from away,” you see, and people told me then that I would never be accepted.   But I tell you here and now I have been accepted and you can be too.  The friends I have made through this journey are precious to me because they don’t forget. I have seen this recently on the occasion of my 90th birthday with the cards and Facebook messages from Grangers near and far.

I do hope with all my heart that Valley Grange grows with the community as I try to help out in whatever manner I can.  If you are from away, please don’t try to change these good people, they have a lot to offer to you and you will be happier if you listen  to them. Join what ever Grange is closest to you.  Join to help them, your community and yourself.  And as the Girl Scouts sing, “Make new friends, keep the old, one is silver the other is gold.”  As a member of the Grange you can accomplish a lot.

Best of luck to all Granges everywhere.

I remain your friend,

Betty VanDyke

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