New Senior July 15

The New Senior for July 15th

By Teri Myers

We made it through the 4th of July and the hot temperatures and now we are settling into summer.

Just as I do in winter, I take a little time to consider life as I am experiencing it. For those of you who know me, I have shared how life changes when you add a little baby to your life. Grandma is not a title I have ever thought about very seriously, but, now, with a seven month old crawling through my life, it has taken on a new meaning.

It is like when you have your own children and hold them in your arms and dream about their future, for a time, after they grow up, you forget about these things that are important to a little child because you are so far removed from things like dirty diapers and covering the plugins for safety and as you see what is developing into a person right in front of you, it gives you pause. There are so many things that are crucially important to helping an infant and with those things comes the delight of watching a little guy learn to clap hands, or babble out a phrase that is perfectly intelligible to him, but completely out of the realm of human understanding to the rest of us.

I sat with my little grandson for a little time last evening to quiet him and put him to sleep for his mom.

Between the two of us, there is an opera of sorts that happens when I am with him. I sing to him quietly if it is sleepy-time. Everything I say- especially when he is really active and cranky- becomes the song and it settles him somehow. I watch him as he listens to the words I sing and sometimes he just sits on my lap or if I am singing a quick verse, he bobs his head in time. I never remember the lyrics from the time before, so he is always hearing new words and phrases and like every little child he is soaking in all that is new on a daily basis. It is a wonder.

After a few minutes of time, even when he is wound up, he nestles close and I see him start to blink long blinks until he falls asleep. I sing until he is asleep.

Last night, he was pretty upset and it took a couple of minutes to get going. I felt him start to melt into me and we looked at each other a couple of times and he was out like a light!

Now, when he is awake and this week since he figured out how to move through the room by the beginning of his crawling phase, it is all about scooping him up and away from the No Nos of his new active life and putting him into a safer interactive place.

My arms are getting stronger and I am wearing out by the end of my day from work and the time I get to spend with our little miracle!

I speak occasionally about our responsibility as seniors to reach out to the younger generations to teach what we know and share what is important (You know, the things you don’t find on an IPhone or android?). Is there any more important time in a child’s life than infancy to teach about trust than now? All kids learn that they can trust the parent figures if they feel taken care of. If not, we begin to lose them between the cracks.

So, Grandma and Grandpa, Great Aunt or Uncle: take on the idea of teaching one thing to a child this month. Sign up to greet kids coming back to school. Help a child by reading him a book or helping with a chore or a tool. One thing! What you will discover is a miracle of your own and a new friend who likes people of all ages- something we seniors often forget to remember! It takes all of us!


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New senior July 1

The New Senior for July 1

By T. Myers

Well, folks, it is time for the 4th of July! We are lucky because we have the Frontier Days and the Rodeo and a wonderful small town parade that celebrates the 4th with aplomb. And it should be a reminder that it is our job as New and Old Seniors to teach our own children the importance of the meaning of the 4th of July.

Just having a three day weekend or watching the fireworks is not enough. We need to understand that when the Flag goes by at the parade that we stand with our hands over our hearts and when possible, join in with the national anthem. Men who have served in the armed forces are the only ones who do not have to remove their hats in reverence to the flag. The 4th of July was the beginning of a long war to gain independence and have the freedoms we enjoy today- so treat your celebration respectfully. Do not let a flag touch the ground- even when held by a small child, they can know that it is an important part of flag waving.

Thank members of the armed services for their work to protect our country- especially on the 4th of July.

It is not about doing the right thing, either. Nowadays, with changes in the American educational system and parents who are busy working all of the time and not able to reinforce what our country stands for, our kids do not always have the opportunity to learn what they need to learn about patriotism and being American. Older folks remember and can share the reasons it is so important to consider where we have come from.

So wave a flag and enjoy a few minutes with your family and friends remembering why we have the 4th of July and keep the sharing tradition going every year until your kids start teaching their own children!

Being an American is a real gift. When you travel outside the USA, you really get it- if you didn’t understand before. In these times when media has such an immediate impact on our lives, it is just as important to do things a little slower- with a little thought about how your words and love of country will impact your own family!

Then go to the parade, eat some watermelon and fried chicken, visit the Frontier Days event, spend some time at the La Pine Rodeo and enjoy the company of those people whom you most love!

Good luck and God Bless America!


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New senior

The New Senior for June 15-30th

By T. Myers

How long has it been since you took a float on an inner tube? What about dancing under the stars with that special someone? Do you still run through the sprinkler on a hot afternoon? Walk barefooted through the mud puddles after a summer storm? How long has it been since you chased a garter snake through the grass to show a child you are not afraid of snakes? Can you remember the reason why you loved the songs that are still in your brain like you just heard them yesterday for the first time?

During the longer, warmer days of summer, there seems like there are a few more hours of the day to look around and think about what we see. That always spurs memories for me and I enjoy remembering. (I always said I would not live in the past when I got to be a senior, but the fact of the matter is this: I have lived a longer past than there is time for a future, so I might as well enjoy a few thoughts from my memories as opposed to losing touch with everything that made me who I am!)

So here I am- I have just made the pass from New Senior (AARP age 50 with parents at home to care for) to Old Senior, having reached the tender age of 66 in June. Social security, Medicare and all of the crazy insurance mailings are coming in droves and I am still writing my bucket list of things I want to do before I die and the list gets longer every day!

Do I feel different? Some, I guess, but mostly I avoid the reality of my older age and hope to continue- like everyone else in a state of bliss in living life every day- at least when I can. The one thing that keeps me going is coming up with the things I still need to think about- things I still want to write, because those lists spur me on to other thoughts and I use every one of them on paper whenever possible.

Do you write? Journal? It is so important not to lose the things you want to share about yourself, your opinions and why you have them and why you think they are valid enough to share with others. We live in an age where we send pictures to the Cloud and we all write emails instead of letters- and lord knows those are deleted! So what happens to those little bits we bother to share in the emails and posts? I cannot imagine that we are so worth-less that our thoughts are being deleted as fast as we write them. Do you think that way?

I propose that we write a little letter one time a month. Send it to yourself and put them in a drawer to be read later. That way you have saved those thoughts and every time you add to your pile of letters, you will be creating your written history. I used to teach creative writing and life story writing and we would start this way. If you have an even- like a birthday party, I would have the class write about their favorite birthday and put it in the letter telling why they shared the story and it was a beginning of a lifetime full of stories to share. Give it a try. A New Senior and an Old Senior have lived many things in a lifetime and some of those things are the stories we all want to hear and remember. Good Luck with the idea and let me know how you do. One little letter is a start of something bigger than you ever imagined. See you later. No- write to you later!

 


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The New Senior for February 2015: The Last PUP

The New Senior for Feb 1 2015

 

My young cousin, Tom Pulliam, came out today and I had him dig a grave for my Baby Blaze.

As long as she was still in the little coffin box on the front porch, she was still here with me. And I just had to wait to bury her. Here is why.

 

When my company finally left, I waited for a while and then I went out to put little Blaze in the hole and cover her up. Today is Sunday. It was an important day to bury her. Fifteen years after her birth.

 

It has been cold enough to store her body. When I finally looked, I gently lifted the lid and there she was.  It was like she was sleeping- on her side and just waiting for me to wake her up for a tickle or a love. I looked at her laying there for a few minutes and knew it was time to make the final move. I picked her up and laid her in the bottom of the hole. I glanced at her sister’s grave. She would be just a few feet away from her younger sister Bonnie and I made sure that they were both looking East to see the sun come up. I patted her for the last time and began to cover her up.

 

What had taken over a month to accomplish, took all of about fifteen more minutes after I started to shovel the pile of dirt back into her grave, being careful to say the right words and think the right thoughts about the little pup that I had birthed on January 24th, 2000 along with her seven brothers and sisters. She was the first girl born after three brothers and she was the tiniest of all of the pups and  stayed small through her fourteen years, ten months and twenty some days of life.

 

I remembered a lot about her brothers and sisters. It rushed into my head with every shovel full of the loose dirt. I thought about the day the litter of eight was born. I helped my little doggy mother deliver each of them. My thoughts were jumping around. I remembered the day I gave the first two pups away. I reluctantly sent them on their way with my boss who had pressured me to get them. Within a couple of weeks, they were both dead and I decided I would keep the rest until they died. I considered the fact that the mom and dad and six litter mates were going to part of my life until their lives were over.

 

The first pup to have a difficult time was Billy. He was only three and he developed a bladder stone that blocked his ureter and he had to have a serious operation with months of continued palliative care that evolved into diet and even to distilled water. But, the first to actually die was the gentle boy pup, Wally Pepper. He looked more like a Schnauzer than a Bichon cross and his grey and tan and white coloring showed him to have a perpetual smile. He took a swift turn for the worst in the late fall of his eighth year and within a couple of weeks he became weaker and weaker. It was the day after Christmas and he died in the night after I held him in my arms to comfort him in his last hours. (He had a liver that was half sized and a heart that was congested- more to do with the high calcium in our local water and the genetics that would take more of his family to follow.)

 

Within eleven months his dad died of congestive heart failure and his mother went three months after that. A year later his sister Beverly died the day after my mother Beverly’s birthday in the heat of July. The heart again. She was only ten and a half. Everything went along smoothly with the two boys and two remaining girls until we had to move to a new house after my mother died. I had to put Benny to sleep when I saw him going through the same painful breathing that his poor sister endured. It was only two years ago that Bonnie- the Black and white pup grew weaker and it was time to help her with a last trip to the vet’s. That left Blaze and, remarkably, Billy.

 

After I was through with the burdensome task of burying my sweet little dog, I went back inside and hugged the brother- the last pup, Billy. He turned fifteen yesterday and it seemed fitting that his sister wait for him to have that big birthday before she went away for good. Billy can no longer hear and with the help of the hearing Baby Blaze, he would use his good eyes to lead her around and she would use her good hearing to warn him and bring him in when they were called. Now Billy is the last of the Sunday Pups (the day they were born and fittingly, the day Blaze was laid to rest) and he has been quieter and only goes outside for a few minutes and he comes back in to lay down where the last two would sleep together for the few years they were alone together.

 

I realize that giving human attributes to a dog- to dogs- is not really acceptable, but, these little dogs have been part of my family and it is sad to see them die. They have been funny and loyal- even singing for a treat in a circle like baby wolves howling at the moon!, leaving me now with the last pup born, Billy, who is all alone after having such a big pack of dogs to interact with.

 

I am sitting by Old Billy and looking over, I see that he is sleeping- on his side, legs extended- like his little sister that we just buried. He is white and curly and gentle and loving. He looks like a bigger version of his father.

 

All of the pups looked just like the Bichon dad, Jean Luc. They were small, with curly hair and they did not shed, they liked to be clean so they loved to have a bath and even more, they loved to do a jailbreak- to break out of their kennel and race away from home in different directions like mad dogs escaping the pound. Each of them also slept in the same way-flat out, on their sides with their legs straight and ready to run! How they all have loved to run.

 

Through the years, neighbors, friends and family helped round them up and return them to home and instead of losing them to being runaways, each of them died with me, as they were born, with me helping their tiny mother, (a stray named Sprite that daddy Jean Luc loved when she was dragged home by my daughter), deliver them and me helping them in their last hours or making the decision to have them put down when the time came.

 

I have one pup left. He is this old guy who is as sweet as he ever has been and he makes for good company. I will go about my days with him and treasure his company for the good dog that he is and we will spend his last days together as human and pet thinking of those happier days when the whole family would run and play together in the Central Oregon sun, snow and seasons in between. What a great experience it has been for me to see them born into my home where they have always been loved from the day I first met them. God bless the dogs I’ve loved. They taught me how to be human.


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The New Senior for January 2015

The New Senior Rounds the decade bend!

By T. Myers

As the clock strikes midnight on the close of another year, the Newberry Eagle is turning another corner on keeping columns and special stories in the news for yet another year. Sandra Jones, Dan Varcoe, John Huddle, volunteer writers and Teri Myers have been working in one capacity or another since the beginning of the paper. Christy Otteni started the paper to give the community a way to tell its own story. Kim Feer moved to Oregon from the East Coast and she brought her brand of news top the forefront during the City referendums and then Sandra Jones from Eagle Lady Media bought the paper from Kim Feer and began her changes to the way we get news in La Pine. For the less than fifteen years the Newberry Eagle has been published, there has always been news worthy of publication  Once a month changed to two times a month and then to the Newberry Eagle Hi way magazine and the local La Pine Newberry Eagle just over a year ago.

Now the staff is charged with representing the readership in a large area between Sisters, Bend, Sunriver, Oak Ridge and our own town here in La Pine. We have a number of contributing writers who represent their own factions and the staff writers who pick up the main news stories and columns for your enjoyment. For about seven years, Teri Myers has been writing a three part Christmas Story that starts with the Thanksgiving issue and goes through the Christmas issue. There have been special stories about local heroes, sports events, ROTC events, City happenings, and the special events that make La Pine unique in the area.

A reader can always count on the fact that there will be updates on the big organizations and agencies, calendars of activities, interviews and great coverage for the events that make La Pine la Pine! (Frontier Days, the La Pine Rodeo, the Trunk or Treat event.

The Eagle has made a point of keeping up with business and has given space for Chamber of Commerce happenings so that the community knows what local businesses are doing to “Grow” out little town. During the past two years the Chamber has been making their offices and visitor’s center a place that is open to all and ready to let visitor know how great La Pine is!

As a New Senior, (Opposite an Old Senior) people in our age group (55 and older and busy volunteering at the almost 100 different charities and organizations/churches in the area to help our neighbors. Kudos to the New Seniors who are out there making a difference and to the Old Seniors who are here to guide us in our efforts.

Let the paper know what you are thinking for 2015. There is always a place for energetic people to write and discuss the local issues in the Eagle. Let us know online at newberryeagle.com and we will contact you about potential stories. Happy New year and see you in a couple of weeks.


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The New Seniors December 2014-Merry Christmas

The New Senior for December 1, 2014

By T. Myers

I have a feeling that music is not on your list of things to think about- and at the same time, this is one of the most important times of the year to appreciate the seasonal music of Christmas. There is nothing like putting a record on the turntable, plugging in your I pod, inserting a CD or tape into the deck and cranking up the volume to listen to an array of Christmas tunes and familiar verses. I just went through my old CDs and tapes and set a box aside to go to when I am in the mood. I play the songs all the time to keep my heart happy and my spirit ready for the different tasks I undertake and the people preparations I make for company. I love the songs, and no, I do not get tired of hearing these wonderful musical offerings because it happens only one time a year. After all, I love the 24 hour a day Hallmark Christmas movies that start as early as Halloween day and I never get tired of them, either!

What traditions do you enjoy at your own home? I decorate and build on the decorations every week until my house looks like a Christmas store, because it makes my heart happy. I bake cookies and other goodies all year round, but there are a few that we always have at Christmas- because it makes my heart happy!

I am sure to ask a few friends to stop by the house during the holidays and I make soup or bread or a casserole that is easy to serve and we talk and enjoy the evening- because it makes my heart happy!

I hang special ornaments on the tree from when I was a child and I add a few that are gifts from friends or family and I put up more lights than I have to, because it makes my heart happy!

What am I getting to? The holidays can be stress filled, crazy with responsible and challenging things to do, activities can jam you up, the party schedule can make you feel used and abused, but when it comes right down to it, when we slow down enough to think about everything:

  1. We get to spend time with family and friends during the season.
  2. It is the one time of the year when we can eat things we love and not worry about the calories or the waistline.
  3. We get to see the wonder in a child’s face when Santa pays a visit and they see the reality and hope of giving and getting coming true right in front of them. A real live bearded Santa that holds a child on his knee and listens to the child is also a gift that we can receive when we watch it happening.
  4. We get to see the way that stores decorate for the holidays.
  5. We can watch all kinds of holiday oriented TV shows to get ideas about our own family activities.
  6. We can mail out Christmas cards with those annual letters to our friends this time of year and no one tells us we cannot.
  7. We can get all snug in our beds early in the evening when it gets dark and cold and no one cares.
  8. We can choose to reject invitation or accept invites to other events because we can and since it is busy we have license to decide for ourselves.
  9. We can take a walk in the deep of night and look at the stars or admire how the snow is building up because we can.
  10. We can sit by a fire and drink a cup of tea or a hot spiced drink and enjoy a couple of minutes because it is Christmas.
  11. We can thank our friends and family for being part of the rest of our year and remember them for all of the ways they make our lives better.
  12. We can appreciate- truly appreciate what we have and be grateful for the little and big things we have to do and be part of during the holidays once a year.
  13. Be kind.
  14. Enjoy a few minutes when you can take them
  15. Love yourself.

Merry Christmas!

The Christmas New Senior

By T. Myers

It is that time of year to celebrate the birth of Jesus and be part of the joy of the season. But, sometimes this time of year is not easy for a new or old senior and we need to be sure that we have people to talk to, places to spend time and avoid the pitfalls that come with spending too much time alone. The holidays can be full of the blues if we let loneliness and sadness into our days and nights.

I am recently put in the position of being a new grandmother. The new grandson symbolizes so much in my family. It is the beginning of life anew, the hope for the future, a chance to start again with good parenting and grand-parenting and just the fact that we get a second chance to do better is very important. With the chance comes the thrill of seeing a new baby develop and recognize all of what life has to offer as he winds through discovering things like Christmas trees, Santa Clause, colored lights, presents, family gatherings and the love of his family and friends.

I can get tired of the commercialization of Christmas, but the songs and decorations and cold nights, snow, winter sunrises and sunsets, icy roads- everything about the short days and long nights lit by strings of lights is a wonder. Sitting and looking out the window while I drink a cup of coffee, baking cookies or hanging up my ornaments on the Christmas tree makes me feel lifted and I enjoy doing these things.

When it comes to friends, many of us are very busy. I just hope that you do not lose sight of the reason for the season and that you take a few minutes to appreciate the time of year for what it can give to you. Try not to let the parties and events overtake the common sense aspect of your life with so much activity that you get tired and worn out. Make sure that you are giving yourself time to travel safely in bad weather. Plan your time away from home with a calendar that gives the whole picture of everything you need to do during the holidays.

What can you do to make things richer and more fun? Try to plan small gatherings of four or so people, who will come over and eat a cookie and have a cup of coffee or sing a few carols with you. Keep events small and manageable so you don’t get stressed having company. Make sure that you are ready to travel for the big holidays and if you don’t feel like you cannot drive to the valley safely, let the kids know it is not safe and go later for the New Year instead.

Churches here in the area have good Christmas programs and if you are alone you can go to Sunday services to check out what you can attend. You can also go to the American Legion for Christmas dinner and spend time with others at their potluck. Make sure that your closest neighbors know if you want to say hello and need some face time. No one needs to be alone at Christmas. This time of the year can be miraculous or sad. The choice is yours and I hope that each of you has a safe and Happy Christmas!


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The New Senior November 2014: The Bucket List

The New Senior for November 15 2014

By T. Myers

I can never pass up an opportunity to remind people to vote, and I hope you all took to the polls so to speak, and exercised your right to make a difference in our country.

The cold in today’s air is making me ache- so I want also, to remind all of you it is time to get a winter buddy who will work with you to check on how things are going from whether you are warm and comfortable to eeks! I need help cleaning those gutters so I don’t have ice dams when it snows! Usually it is a close neighbor or a friend you talk with anyway, but no one should go through a La Pine winter alone, so grab the phone and talk to a few friends to form a group that will reach out and help each other.

In my own preparation for fall, I have been raking pine needles, putting on the snow tires, cleaning the gutters with the help of my friend, Trisha, baking a few items for the freezer that I can thaw and heat up, I have drained the mower, pulled the hoses off the bibs and I will be working to cover the air holes under the foundation while I work in the garage to clear away the stuff I have been jamming into the garage. With the abundant rain, I also noticed that there were some holes in the driveway so I shoveled gravel into those, too.

When I finally sat down inside over the weekend, my mind was full of all kinds of thoughts about how important friends are when you live alone. We have become a culture that no longer has our family centered in one area. As soon as they are old enough to go off to college, the kids take off and end up working in cities far away from La Pine. (I always think that if there were more jobs here for them they would move back to work here- but, oh, well!)

I set out some colorful candles and lit them during the early dark afternoons over this past weekend, and I was wondering how many more days until we fall back into regular pacific time and then I realized the fact that we are two months from New Year’s eve and the dark days of winter hit us at 5 PM- or 4:30 on a cloudy day. I lit the candles and enjoyed the warm candlelight that illuminated the room and it made me feel ‘seasonally appropriate’ while I watched the new Hallmark movie of the weekend, ate some warm bread and put a kettle of spices in water on the stove to fill the air with fall fragrance. It is amazing that when you slow down a little and let yourself enjoy some of the simple things that can boost your spirits- that it results in you feeling better- even for a short time- and it is a real gift.

So let me recommend a little rose-smelling- if you know what I mean. There is nothing better than taking your time and enjoying a long leisurely breakfast with a second cup of coffee and reading the Sunday paper for an hour or two. There is nothing better than clipping a few pine branches off a low hanging branch and putting them in a vase of sugared water inside to give the room a Christmasy scent. There is nothing better than sitting by your dog and stroking his head while you watch a favorite TV show, just because it makes both of you feel closer. And there is nothing better than the time where you stop the insanity of jobs and errands and running from here to there in order to take a half hour for that bubble bath you have been promising yourself, or tying that fly you saw in the magazine, or shining the shoes for Sunday, or- or-or….

You all know what I am saying- now, using the adage from Nike: Just do it! Change it up a little and just do it so it means something!

Next New senior: The new Bucket List!

 

 


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The New Senior October 2014 Domestic Violence

The New Senior for October 1 2014

Domestic Violence Prevention Month

By T. Myers

A serious look at a serious subject this month friends: October is Domestic Violence Month. Since it is a real problem for families in South County and it affects all generations. I would like to address the problem in this column.

I have been following a local woman, Teresa Garner, for the past two years. She was the victim of physical and emotional abuse from her longtime domestic partner- to the point of suffering a brain injury and physical injuries that were compounded with years of emotional abuse. We saw that she was trying to get help and after it was discovered that her ex had sabotaged the police response calls to give her help, she not only lost the battle in the courts to keep her long-time home, but now she lives on her property, afraid to leave for fear of losing the only home she has known for close to thirty years.

Like so many women and families that live in an abusive cycle of constant hurt and lack of safety, Deschutes County continues to have high numbers of women, children and even some of the men who are subject to devastating experiences on a regular basis.

The news has been filled with the cases of domestic violence with the NFL players who either beat their fiancé, or hit their small four year-old child with tree branches. People are talking about it.

Unfortunately, we have many situations right here in our neighborhoods that are actively violent on a daily basis. Children come to school with circles under their eyes for lack of sleep- because they are put in the middle of the fighting between their own parents. Sometimes they are hurt by a violent parent and they say nothing because they are so afraid. Women often stay in these relationships- especially in our area, because there is no place they can go. We have no women’s shelter- or children’s shelter or shelter of any kind in the La Pine area…

The psychology of the abuse cycle is so ingrained in the behaviors of a family in crisis, that breaking the abuse cycle is difficult. It is difficult for a woman who only has known how her life has gone to see that there are other possibilities. For a child who does not want his family to break apart, there is fear that disclosure will lead to even more loss- this time a parent or both parents. For a man in an abusive relationship as the victim, there is often embarrassment about the abuse and denial that he will not be able to stand alone. Not one of the victims believes at first, anyway, that there is life after abuse. When it comes to the perpetrator, there might be some guilt feelings or remorse about their actions, but not ability to control the behaviors that lead to abuse of a spouse or child. And abuse escalates. The violence grows and becomes more venomous and destructive as time goes by and soon there is no feeling of trust left and the relationships are usually unsalvageable.

When the victim fights back- usually in hopes of finding a way to stop the victimizer- it rarely works because the physical turns to a mental and emotional powder keg that blows up and causes more harm than good. Point: A wife that hits back makes the partner angrier and he hits her even harder to control her and the beatings intensify. No one wins.

Domestic violence is a game played to win. Domestic Violence- like rape- is all about control of the other person. It is about dominance. It is about destruction. And the destruction can be accomplished by hurting a person physically, emotionally or mentally until a real break occurs.

Two years later, I watch this lady friend in Sunriver going through the process of how her own relationship ‘broke’ and her realization that many of the fights and “problems” were carefully instigated and manipulated by her former partner- in front of his friends in order to make her out to be unstable. Her partner actually succeeded in making other outsiders believe that she was, indeed, unable to hold it together in a stressful situation. Gaining the upper hand, he withdrew the funds from their joint accounts, hired his attorney and sued for the holdings they had accumulated over many years of living together. Leaving her high and dry, she had no funds for legal representation and lost her battle in court to stay in her own home.

Now, after months of separation and time to consider what happened to her, Teresa Garner is aware of how her injuries have affected her thinking and she is building up her ‘interior’ life so she can see a future for herself. Garner has a hard time living on a small disability pension and holding her ground in her long-time home. As hard as it is- she is still there. She still has hope that the courts will see that she was the victim of years of abuse and should be awarded the property she lives on. Garner still has hope that someone will be able to assist her in her desire to remain at home. If you can help her or other victims of local domestic violence situations contact the hotline below. You can also contact the Newberry Eagle. 541-536-3972

Domestic violence as defined by ORS 135.230 (also known as domestic abuse, spousal abuse, battering, family violence, and intimate partner violence) is a pattern of abusive behaviors by one partner against another in an intimate relationship such as marriage, dating, family, or cohabitation. Call the National Domestic Violence hotline 1-800-799-7233 for help for yourself or for a friend!

 

 


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The New Senior September 2014

The New Senior for September 1, 2014

By T. Myers

I have been thinking about experiences that I have had with others during the summer months. Some of those experiences have not made sense to me. Now that September is here, and it is time to go back to school, my brain keeps pushing me to find out if most people actually are taking a break from cognitive thinking during the summers like children that stop going to classes during that time! There seems to be more and more unexplained behaviors and more reliance on social media than on common sense.

I raise questions through the year- you know, things to think about. Apparently, most of what I ask about is not relevant to most readers, so- as a New Senior, do I stop asking those questions? Do I let pets that are left in the car on a sunny day fry? Do I stop worrying about kids going back to school and not paying attention to traffic? Do I stop worrying about kids running through a restaurant when I am out to eat? Do I knock heads with people who are unaware of what is going on in the community because they do not read the local papers- and rely on GPS and Apps to find out about events? Do I support the old ways of getting out information (Books, Magazines and Papers) instead of working to get the info on Social media, myself? Whatever……!

I know that there is no sense in questioning the fact that parents let their kids have cell phones at earlier and earlier ages- so they can keep in touch in case of emergencies- and then they proceed to text and call their kids through the school day to find out the most mundane things, even though they may be calling in the middle of one of their classes!

Cell phones for children will not go away, because the parents of these children cannot live without them.

Then, we come to behaviors. I am now so old that I actually was graded on deportment back in grammar school. How I interacted with others was a big part of learning and was certainly something that teachers paid attention to way back when. Now teachers can try to modify behavior, but there are so many youngsters, some of them with diagnosed conditions that explain behavior, and daily medications to help the children with their diagnoses, that managing a classroom full of children is more like solving a daily puzzle- added to the fact that a teacher is planning lessons for the majority, planning lessons for the back-up plan and more lessons for the Individual Educational Plans (IEPs) for those students who need modifications in their learning styles or assistance in learning, period.

Safety is the main concern in a public school. (Yes, folks! Learning is secondary.) We want our kids to be safe during the day. Honestly, no teacher corrects behavior much, they divert, deescalate and direct attention elsewhere whenever possible and at the same time, they cannot leave anyone behind, they cannot let kids fall through the cracks and they have to stay on top of assessments for each child so they know how to teach them to pass the tests that are benchmarks of success.  (And the test results happen to be the way that a school is judged in terms of their success)

What are parents teaching children when it comes to behavior? Do they know what to do when they are in public so they can teach their children? (I remember a concert at LPHS when people [adults and children] were moving around and coming and going in the middle of a performance and I was really taken aback…)

What are they teaching them as far as responsibility for learning their school lessons?

What is the responsibility of a school in teaching proper behavior to our children?

What is the responsibility of New and Old Seniors when it comes to being the “watchers of the younger generation” and the old curmudgeons who correct behavior?

More than anything- do we need to redefine the present day culture’s acceptable behavior? There’s the rub! Who knows?


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The New Senior August 2014: Rant anyone?

The New Senior for August 1, 2014

By T. Myers

It has been a few months since I did a random thoughts column for the New Senior and my mind is full of things to get out there- (move them off the shelf so I have room for more later-so to speak) and I hope you will take each thought and think about it- a regular thought spot, as it were!

Too bad plans are not blueprints!

Why do lesbians dress in men’s clothes if they do not like men and want to be with women when there are plenty of comfortable clothes in the women’s department?

Shakespeare  understood exactly what it was like to be a human all the way down to the human heartbeat- which is what inspired his Iambic Pentameter verse (dah-dum, dah-dum, dah-dum, dah-dum, dah-dum= 5 heartbeats per line.) It fits in for any time period- like the verse I created about the Jewish victims of the holocaust being rescued by the kindness of strangers during WWII:

            The cost of life became a threat for all

Without more gold the Jews would not survive.

The Germans gathered up each precious ounce

But, it was not enough to save them all.

The quiet Rabbi went to seek some help.

Hitler would not win against the power

Of the Pope who chose to join the struggle.

Catholics and Jews alike took a chance

That led to many Jews being rescued.                         Etc., etc., etc. Human heartbeats.

 

What does a senior need to be comfortable when they travel? Anything more or less?

I have really been pondering the novel 1984 by George Orwell. During the sixties, when we read it in High School it was a scary idea to be watched and monitored. None of the New Senior generation thought it anything that could ever happen in our lifetime- we were too careful, too conscious of our freedoms. It is our children and their children who have become Big Brother. They are watching everyone with their cell phones and instant tweets and texts-communications and pictures of what happens everywhere. They are Big Brother and it has come to pass- and they do not even know that they have broken the rules of privacy or common sense to satisfy their own selfish needs to communicate instantly!

Do you think about what you are doing when you eat a delicious apple from the first of the fall crops? How it tastes, how its juices cover your tongue with sweet and sour notes? How the texture is so crisp and so different from the apples you are eating a month or two later? It is one of life’s simple joys.

Instead of drinking the first cup of coffee in the morning by throwing it down as fast as you can to speed up your day, try taking a moment to sit and savor the flavor and appreciate the little thrill your body gets from it!

How important is it for you to keep in contact with your family members like first cousins and their children? My sister and I have been going to annual Cousin Events every summer and it seems like lots of effort and at the same time, it is the only real time we find out what has happened to the family members through the year. This year we first cousins from the west coast decided that we want to try to get the 89 members of my Grandfather’s immediate family together for a big reunion and it should be interesting to see how it goes. (In the past 150 or so members would meet from my grandpa’s side of the family and after everyone in his generation passed away, we dropped the notion and it has been years since any effort has been made.) Now it is up to the group of us who are children of the three remaining children of Grandpa, to take on the project- or lose it all together! What should we do? What would you do?

Enjoy the warm summer sun and do not complain about the heat- we have so few of these wonderful summer days to enjoy and we should not waste them!

 


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