Tag Archives: transitions

Lady Boomer Transitions

20 Aug

As Lady Boomers it’s inevitable we will be facing transitions as we venture into this next chapter of our lives.  Last Sunday was one of those transition points as my church bid farewell to our Associate minister, Karen Barker Duncan, who is retiring to the west coast of Florida.  Karen joined our ministerial team on September 15, 2001.  Maybe because we were in need of hope in the aftermath of 9/11, we launched a program called The Jeremiah Project, an after school and summer arts enrichment program for at risk middle school aged students in our community.  Karen was the grant writer extraordinaire, I was the art director, and her husband Roger, the director of our computer center.  In the ensuing years, we have served well over 2,000 kids.  These were and are kids who don’t have computers in their homes or access to art programming in schools or art centers.

Karen Duncan speaking at her retirement party

Karen Duncan speaking at her retirement party

One of Karen’s gifts is helping people identify their own gifts.  She did that for me.  She encouraged me (ok, maybe nagged) to seek commission status in the UCC (our denomination) as a minister of the arts.  She was at my side throughout the commissioning process.  My story is by no means an isolated one.  There are countless others of Karen quietly urging, supporting and encouraging her parishioners.  The thing about Karen is that she doesn’t possess the kind of ego that often gets other clergy in trouble. She didn’t feel the calling to stand up and sermonize, preferring instead to develop programming to enrich our faith community.  She’s funny, self effacing and loving.

I have a lump in my throat as I write this post.  I realize this is Karen’s transition as she ventures off into her new life, but it feels like one for me as well.  I gave Karen and Roger a sculpture I created entitled “Beauty and the Beach”.  The sentiment behind the piece is that the beach (where she will be living) is a place of acceptance and equality regardless of age, income level, color, or species.  Just like the sense of place I felt with my Karen friend.

Beauty and the Beach Sculpture

Beauty and the Beach Sculpture

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A Baby Boomer’s Haven on Boomer Cafe

26 Nov

I’m delighted Boomer Cafe published my story entitled, “Our House is a Very Very Very Fine House….”.  Check it out.

“Our House Is a Very Very Fine House”

19 Nov

My husband and I have been running like crazy people the past two weeks.  Aside from work and family activities, we have been moving our office into our home.  I underestimated what a transition this would be.  My husband confessed to some anxiety about this transition, since for the past 40 years he has arisen each morning, dressed and headed to an office.  Now, considering Jim is 63, its apparent “going to the office” has been the thing he has done more of in his life than literally anything else.

While my husband and I are under going this transition in our lives, a thought popped into my head-  So is my house!  I have lived in my house for 30 years this fall.  I say this with a tad bit of chagrin as I fear being regarded as “old lady” on my street, much as I viewed a few of my neighbors the day I moved on to Choctaw Trail.  I was pregnant with my son, who is now in his final year of a Ph.D. program and engaged to be married.

Perhaps I’m feeling a bit nostalgic, even sentimental as I ponder my home and all it has housed in the last 30 years.  It has…

-Welcomed home a new baby

-Cared for my dying mother

-Welcomed my husband and his son, absorbing their belongings and all the emotions accompanying the blending of families

-Endured the joys and tribulations of teenagers transitioning into adults

-Transformed into a kind of commune last year during a sabbatical taken my grad student son, his fiancé, and Labradoodle

And now it is absorbing the relics of yet another transition (desks, awards, office supplies…) as we move toward working “virtually” in our new home offices.  As I approach this Thanksgiving, I’m realizing one of the things I feel grateful for is my home.  My home, its roof and walls, has provided shelter and sanctuary to my family and me.  People often tell me my house looks like a folk art museum with all the color and funky art adorning its walls.  But a quality I think I value the most is my home’s elasticity, as it has expanded and contracted welcoming and saying farewell to the various stages of our lives.