How about this – last week I quoted John Lennon and this week it’s Bob Dylan! And, believe me, that’s as close as I come to that era of music – it’s totally out of my age group.
Change – now there’s a word we’ve been hearing over and over for the last 2 or 3 years. Some say it’s for the better, some say the worse. I guess it’s sort of like the cup being half full or half empty. But the one constant we have in life is change.
At this time of the year, we tend to look back and forward and ponder what we need to do different to improve our lives. New Year’s resolutions are so easy to make. How many of our good intentioned resolutions carry forward for very long? Probably not too many. It’s so much easier to list our needs for change than to actually stick to it.
It has been a very hard year for our seniors in this country – many changes have occurred and many more are rumored. We can only hope the rumors are just that and our seniors will be given the respect and assistance they deserve.
If you’re an ardent reader of the Arcadian, you’ve also been asked to help change the newspaper for the better. The staff has been asking for suggestions from the community. I hope you took advantage of this opportunity to make our Arcadian even better and reflect the wishes of the readers.
I have been so privileged to have had the opportunity to write a column for nearly sixteen and a half years now. Writing is one of my joys. Over the years, it’s such a pleasure to have readers stop me when I’m out and about to tell me they enjoy reading it. And, what a compliment it is when the conversation usually starts with “Hi, Karen. You don’t know me, but I know you because I always read your column.” So much for being a hermit!
I cherish two really cute stories regarding my column. One was the time a 92 year old gentlemen came to my office to meet me – he’d been reading my column for years & asked me to marry him – he thought we had so much in common with our opinions. Unfortunately, he passed away soon thereafter, and thus ended the marriage plans!
The other story is a visit to a local store where a young teenage girl was at the checkout. She looked up and saw me and said “Oh, I know you. I see your picture in the paper. You’re the senior citizen lady.” My reply was “in more ways than one.” It went right over her youthful head, but the senior couple behind me got quite a chuckle.
Over the years, the readers have learned of my childhood years, my parents, my grandparents, my knack for saving everything, my chocoholic habit, and my views on many subjects. I’ve been on my soap box many times and related some pretty strong opinions. These are the types of columns that have brought the most comments – thankfully, mostly good. I’ve been asked many times why I don’t write about these things more often.
Originally, when I was asked if I’d like to write a column, that was the intention. It was also in my early years of building the senior center and promoting the work we were doing for the elderly in DeSoto. I started adding bits and pieces here and there for the center and my passion for advocating for the elderly. Somewhere along the way it became more so that.
With “change, out with the old, in with the new, and status quo must go” all being the keywords nowadays, I actually took a minute to breathe and reflect on what I enjoy doing and want to do more of, and at the same time answer the wishes of the readers and the Arcadian in their quest to please all.
Thus enters “The Times They Are A-Changin’.” There’s a line that says “Keep your eyes wide, the chances won’t come again.” In other words, it’s now or never.
With the new year will come a new Karen with a new column – answering your wishes for what you want to see – a little less serious, a little more fun, some reminiscing, and, undoubtedly, from time to time tidbits keeping up with senior issues. Watch for the new look, new reading, new column title, and even a new sign-off.
So, for one last time – remember, thanks to all the wonderful help from the community, together we have and will continue to make DeSoto County a caring place to grow old.
Karen Blanchette is Director of Senior Friendship Centers of DeSoto County and can be reached at 494-5965.