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Mary Jo Brown

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Senior Spotlight: Still writing amid changes

Like the well-mentioned bad penny, this penny called Mary Jo is back to say hi, and I hope all is going well for all of you.

Senior Spotlight: Saying goodbye to my column

Having the position of Moffat County Seniors Activity Director gave me opportunity to meet people and know what was happening in Craig and surrounding areas. My columns were mainly about what was going on and who was participating in the events, also local family events and notices, just a basic who’s doing what or who is going where. Since the town was smaller it seemed like everyone knew everyone or had heard of them and local news held a distinct interest to the readers.

Senior Spotlight: Small trips, warm days

A couple weekends ago, the weather was perfect for a drive, so my daughter and I went to Meeker. I wanted to check out the Wallbridge Memorial Wing at Pioneer Medical Center and have a look at the new facility being built. We had a nice tour of the existing nursing home and while there I found out that an old friend of mine was a resident there.

Senior Spotlight: A kind heart

Once again I had to opportunity to spend some time at my sister’s home visiting with her and her family.

Senior Spotlight: The people of our lives

The grey and gloomy weather seemed to match the way I was feeling. This past two weeks had seen the loss of a very close friend and two others whose loss also meant a lot to me. Lately I had been questioning my own place in this world and how I had lived my life so far. The passing of these friends brought those thoughts even more in to focus.

Senior Spotlight: Missing the ‘old’ Craig

Easter Sunday dawned clear and cold but what a beautiful day for the Easter service outside, even though all those attending felt the full force of the wind and blankets and wraps were handed out to keep out the cold.

Senior Spotlight: Loved ones and old friends

Easter is a symbol of new beginnings and that is something we can do every day, no matter what the day before brought us. Each new day is a chance to start over with a better attitude; after all your attitude sets you tone for the whole day.

Senior Spotlight: Enjoying spring’s gifts

The wind that issued the month of March is doing a good job of reminding us that winter is barely behind us. Lately there have been a few cold, windy days.

Senior Spotlight: Enjoying holidays with loved ones

In my new room the bed is next to a window that faces east which, much to my delight, resulted in my waking up to a beautiful sunrise. The sky presented a panorama of various shades of peach and pink, which mixed with cloudy white and blue thrown in to hold it all together. The blue of the sky changed color, deepening as the day became more apparent, resulting in a glorious day.

Senior Spotlight: As I grow older

The day started out lazy for some reason, leaving me feeling like the night went by too fast. After going to breakfast I found a copy of the Daily Press and went back to my room so I could relax and read the events happening around me. With great sadness I read of Mary Bea Neu passing and immediately sent a prayer and thoughts of condolences to her family, especially Beth, whom I’ve known for years.

Senior Spotlight: Be patient with others

The weather that greeted us as March made an entrance had several people remembering the saying “in like a lion and out like a lamb.” Those not happy about the amount of snow we got could not argue with two points, one that we needed the moisture, the other; what we had to put up with was nothing at all compared to the folks back east and in the southern states. It is almost as if the country has reversed its climate with cold where the warm should be and the other way around.

Senior Spotlight: Enjoy life's colors

I'm moving to Hayden

February seemed shorter to me this year maybe because I have been on the go more than usual. Whatever the reason the month is gone and it appears that March is going to come “in like a lion” blown in by the cold winds, so hopefully it will go out like a lamb.

Senior Spotlight: Generational love in 20 year increments

As I mentioned in the last Spotlight, I have just gotten back from a trip to New Mexico to see my grandson and great-grandchildren. It was interesting to see that part of the country and learn more about where everyone lived and what it looked like. I really enjoyed catching up on what was happening in the lives of those I visited. It is so much more interesting when you hear in person and can see the expressions on their faces and interact with them, especially the little kids. My great-grandson Airoughn (pronounced Aaron) and his sister, Maddisyn, showed us the dances they were doing in dance class.

Senior Spotlight: A family vacation with a surprise

I had the pleasure of taking a short vacation with my daughter, Jane, great-granddaughter, Haley, and great-great grandson, Caemden, last week. My oldest grandson, Jaceson, was going to celebrate his birthday and it seemed like a good time to surprise him with a visit. There was an added surprise because his daughter, Sarah, also was flying in from Alabama.

Senior Spotlight: The meaning of Presidents Day

The new month arrived in true February style with a little snow, sunshine and some wind thrown in.

Senior Spotlight: Memories of my hometown

As I sat in my recliner watching the weather channel, I thought about the nice weather we are having and how different it was from the storms in the eastern United States. States like New York are going through a rough time causing a real hardship for those living there. I can relate to those storms, remembering how it was back in the good old days when Colorado lived up to its reputation for cold and snow.

Senior Spotlight: Small acts of kindness

These are changing times we live in and many ways more challenging than days gone by. We have resources available allowing us to live more comfortably and helping to see what is ahead.

Senior Spotlight: Understanding all sides

My older brother used to tell me that I had a memory like an elephant because an elephant never forgets. Yet this month it seems like I have a problem getting things done on time. For some reason I’m just not as organized as usual and have to write down reminders to make sure I’m on top of things. I get things done thanks to the reminders but not always by the time they should have been completed.

Senior Spotlight: Warm winter days

The first of the year is a time when I try to pay my bills and get other business taken care of as early as possible so that I have time to double check what I have done in case I mess up and put the wrong date on the checks or correspondence. Getting used to putting 2015 instead of 2014 has made some days a little more aggravating at times, but I think by the end of the month I should be alright. Until then, I will continue to double check things before I mail them out.

Senior Spotlight: 2015 offers a blank slate

Last year went out like a lion in some places with strong winds, snow storms and extra cold weather. The New Year has been welcomed in, and we are on our way into another year of smiles, tears, trials and triumphs.

Senior Spotlight: Gray days and sad news

When I got up Dec. 19 and opened my bedroom drapes, I thought, "What a gray-looking day." Little did I know how gray it would get. My daughter usually comes by to visit after work, but on this day, she called me to say that she wouldn’t be over because my great-granddaughter's boyfriend had died in an accident that afternoon.

Senior Spotlight: Christmas is here!

“Just hear those sleigh bells ringing...” is being sung on the radio, Christmas decorations galore, snow falling — it's Christmas time.

Senior Spotlight: Keep a merry mindset this Christmas

My holiday celebrating has included a visit from my brother Joe, during which we had a good time getting caught up on family news and views. The visit prompted me to call and visit with other family members I haven’t seen in quite a while, which in turn got me to thinking about sending out Christmas cards.

Mary Jo Brown: Don’t ‘X’ Christ out

Thoughts of Christmas, the preparations, buying presents, parties, sending cards and family visits are uppermost on our minds. Part of the season’s excitement is the hustle and bustle in preparation for Christmas day.

Mary Jo Brown: Thanksgiving meaning

Christmas is getting closer, and the signs are spreading in various forms. The hype of Christmas over shadows Thanksgiving making it almost an afterthought. In reality, Thanksgiving should be every bit as special a day as Christmas and celebrated in its own special way.

Mary Jo Brown: Believing compliments

Have you ever noticed how many times a compliment is shrugged off with a remark like, “this old thing,” “do you really think so?” or some other trite remark that depletes the meaning? If you keep sending the compliments away or make light of them, after a while you may stop getting any because it will appear you are ungrateful. It seems that we are afraid to admit that we are worth a compliment, we discount the marvelousness about ourselves.

Mary Jo Brown: Don’t cast verbal stones

We shouldn’t go around talking negatively about someone else. We need to look at our own behaviors, habits and the way we live before we speak of others. No one is perfect.

Mary Jo Brown: Family generations, gatherings

With October gone our thoughts now turn to November, the coming of Thanksgiving and perhaps a family get together. Of all the holidays, Thanksgiving is probably one that calls for gathering together with family to enjoy a hearty meal and getting caught up on how everyone is doing. These days getting families together is not easy for a lot of reasons, which makes it even more special when it does happen.

Senior Spotlight: Enjoy 1 season before the next

"Today is the first day of the rest of my life" was my thought as I got up last Friday. I like to start each day with a fresh outlook on life and all the possibilities the day holds.

Senior Spotlight: Adjust your outlook and stay positive

When I got up, I was feeling every bit of the restless night I had just had. I just couldn’t seem to get to sleep: turn on one side, on my back, on my other side — nothing seemed to work. Finally I got up, went and sat in my recliner, leaned back, turned on the TV, missed most of the program and had a good, short nap.

Senior Spotlight: Signs of the season

The signs of a new season have been showing up all over with the colors of the trees and all the fall foliage. Along with that come the temperature changes that make it difficult to decide just exactly what to wear for the day.

Mary Jo Brown: Turn off your stresses

I had one of those days when my mind kept wandering and my thoughts kept going to other things to the point that it was hard for me to get into my regular routine. I kept dwelling on things that were not really worth the time I was putting into thinking about.

Mary Jo Brown: Appreciating pros and cons

Last month, I had a slight set back heath wise and spent some time away from home in rehab. Due to a change in my ability to get around,I was told I needed to use a wheelchair on my bad days, which resulted in my moving to a wheelchair accessible apartment in my building. In the process of moving some of the projects that I had put on hold reappeared, one of which was my embroidering.

Senior spotlight: Different perspectives

My days are usually full of writing, reading or doing something that has to do with words, such as puzzles, surveys, books and so on. I enjoy working and using words in different ways. Listening to others' use of words is interesting in the way they express themselves and discuss subjects — the different way they see the same picture of life as they experience it.

Mary Jo Brown: Spend time with your elders

Whether you’re a writer, poet, performer, artist or a parent there are mornings when you get up, make the coffee, but can’t find the drive needed for the day. The will is not there and creativity is at a stalled, which is just part of life. Ideas for articles are hard to come by at times — like this one — but fortunately while listening to music or talking to someone the ideas start flowing again.

Mary Brown: What the rain leaves behind

One thing about rainy is that it brings out a lethargic feeling in some people, that feeling where it would be a good time to sleep or curl up with a good book. To some, the body is a barometer and decides that the aches and pains that are usually warnings of the weather to come are not going to let any resting be done in comfort.

Senior Spotlight: Autumn approaches

The signs of autumn become more apparent every day. There are more rainy days and cooler evenings, and children are starting school. Soon, there will be a community coat drive, and hunting seasons are about to begin.

Senior Spotlight: Look outside your own world

As I was looking out the window after the refreshing rain we had recently, I noticed the crows came in to take advantage of the easy access to the angle worms that had come up to avoid the water-soaked ground. First one crow, then another, and it seems all were after the same worm, as they scurried around fussing with one another. A large green lawn with lots of worms, and yet they were all in one spot focused on getting the best of one another.

Senior Spotlight: Being your own mystery

Mysteries are part of our everyday life, though we may not recognize them as such when faced with them. Most people probably don’t even think of events in their daily lives as mysteries because of the way they occur.

Mary Jo Brown: The power of a hug

Life likes to hand us surprises, and my surprise for the week was that due to my health. My legs are giving me problems, and I am once again in rehab at Sandrock Ridge. Again, I am looking at life through a different window, and I’m finding that it really isn’t all that different. The experience makes me feel like saying to myself, “Yeah, I’m back to square one,” which, at times, is not such a good feeling.

Mary Jo Brown: Memories of my childhood home

When I was growing up, the kitchen was where the family and sometimes friends usually got together. It seemed that the rest of the house had limited space for gathering. Later, when we moved to bigger houses, the kitchen was still where we gathered, because it seemed like the living rooms were needed for other things — sometimes even used as a bedroom.

Mary Jo Brown: Support Relay for Life and Moffat County fair

The motto my daughter Jane likes to go by is, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” In this day and age where everything seems to be new and improved it seems that the improvement isn’t always better.

Senior Spotlight: Savoring the taste of memories

I was rummaging around in my closet looking for a way to make more room; space was not, as far as I could tell, available, and I needed to put some things away. As I looked through varies totes, boxes and such, I came across some recipe pages that I had taken out of magazines I was getting rid of sometime ago.

Mary Jo Brown: Water's beautiful lifecycle

In the good old summertime, one of the favorite places to be is at the pool. Living in the foothills by Breckenridge when I was younger, the only pool I knew of was at Summit County High School.

Mary Jo Brown: Ask and you shall receive

Nowadays I find that I don’t ask for things like I used to. When I think of something that I need to ask for, it seems that something else comes up that takes up my time and energy, so that by the time I think of it again, the moment has passed. Sometimes I forget completely what it was I needed or wanted to know until quite a while later. Whether it is advice, information, a request for something I need or help doing something, the thought will simply leave my mind.

Mary Jo Brown: The windows into our souls

Looking through my window to the yard across the street I see a picture of beautiful colors. The flowers there are in full bloom arranged in a very pleasing way and share the yard with trees, lilac bushes and the green of the lawn.

Mary Jo Brown: Make your house a home

There is a certain amount of fun going to a house and knowing when you arrive you’ll have a good time. The decor of a house goes a long way in determining whether it feels like a just a house or a home.

Senior Spotlight: Working through the snags and knots of life

Recently, I decided to use the leftover bits, pieces and odd skeins of yarn that are what remains from afghans made in the past. Later, I decided this hodgepodge of yarn kind of resembled my life pattern, with its bits and pieces, snags and knots.

Mary Jo Brown: Renew, revive and create with yard sales

Despite the weather being bad now and then, it is the time for yard sales, flea markets and garage sales. I used to have yard sales every year and eventually started going in with my neighbors to make them bigger.

Mary Jo Brown: Celebrating Mother's Day

My mother taught me by her example of selflessness and love all about the meaning of what it was to be a mother. Regardless of what she had to do, she would make sure we were all right in every possible way and in a manner that maintained her quiet dignity.

Mary Jo Brown: Appreciate smells of life

Do you often think of the senses we have and use daily? Smell is one of the stronger senses used in recognition of things around us.

Senior Spotlight for April 28, 2014

On Easter morning my daughter, Jane, and I headed to Grand Junction to pick up my great-granddaughter, who was returning from a trip to New Mexico. As we left the city limits of Craig the day grew warmer and the blue skies were in full view.

Senior spotlight for April 21

When I am getting started for the day I usually pause for a second to check my reflection in the mirror. Today I took a little longer look and it dawned on me that my hair was getting more white in it. That made me wonder if the texture of white hair was the reason why my hair seemed to be behaving the way it did when I was a lot younger.

Mary Jo Brown: Spring is nourishment for the soul

April is the month for Easter and is usually full of dazzling sunshine, greening of lawns and flowers blooming. All of those might be reasons that spirits soar and we continue our growth gracefully, joyously and creatively as we learn about ourselves and the beauty within us.

Mary Jo Brown: Styles for all seasons

With the changing weather we have been experiencing, it is hard to decide what to wear since a person doesn’t know if its going to rain, snow, be windy or sunny. I realize that I don’t really need as much to get ready for the day as I used to. Makeup, jewelry and fancy clothes are not a necessity for me now; it’s more of a matter of attitude.

Senior Spotlight: Dressing to impress

As a person gets older, they can see the way society dresses has changed, especially in the way people no longer dress up to go to town. It used to be the norm for a person to make sure they had the proper clean attire on before they left the house to go to town.

Mary Jo Brown: Love who you are

I believe everyone has at one time or another gathered a collection of what I call my special things. Those odds and ends that you hang on to because of the memories they hold. The things I have are varied and are scattered in various places like in my dresser, jewelry box, closet and so on. The feeling that I need to sort through my possessions has resulted in finding items I have gotten from friends, relatives and souvenirs from trips. It is simply a collection of items that give me a sense of pleasure and takes away, for a few moments anyway, that weary or unhappy feeling.

Mary Jo Brown: Weather playing tricks on us

The weather is playing peek-a-boo with us as the sun peeks around clouds and the temperature goes up and down. A friend of mine used to say, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes and it will change.” The song “The Breeze and I” goes along with what the weather is doing now as the wind seems to come up regularly in the afternoons. I like the briskness of it when it starts, but it seems to get cold suddenly — or maybe it’s me, as I seem to have started to notice the changes in temperature more as I get older.

Mary Jo Brown: Colorful days

We are in what I like to call the “hump" in March. It is the time of Mari Gras and St. Patrick’s’ Day, which although not a main holiday, has its place on the calendar.

Mary Jo Brown: Marching forward

March is here, it’s springtime in the Rockies. Yes, there will be snow now and then, but in between are green sprouts peeking out at us. Crocus, daffodils and shoots of grass are trying hard to make their presence known. In the first mild days of March each minute is sweeter than before, like waking up from a long winter slumber. Thoughts turn to planting, renewing perhaps a stirring of hope and all things new and refreshed. I liken it to the turning of the earth in our inner gardens and a stirring of hope in better things to come.

Mary Jo Brown: Walking through the past

I ask myself if I made the right choices and tell myself that I need to look deeper inside for the answers. Taking a walk through the past, I reflect upon who I am now asking myself if I have out grown some of the choices I’ve made.

Mary Jo Brown: Never too old to learn

I have been watching the weather during the news, and the storms are an awesome sight to behold. This spring will be another thing altogether with this heavy snow base melting, but hopefully, there won’t be any floods.

Mary Jo Brown: Use words carefully, spread kindness

Use your words wisely, in kindness and with consideration for the person to whom you are speaking and don’t be afraid to let them know you care. Have a great Valentine’s Day and spread the kindness and goodwill it stands for.

Mary Jo Brown: We must look for goodness

February, cold, grey and wet but with some gifts in disguise. Look at the whole picture, try to look at the beauty of what you see for the gift is there, don’t take it for granted.

Senior Spotlight for Jan. 27, 2014

This morning, I was pondering the physical differences I have adapted to in the years past. I realized how, just as I can’t always see much around me because of vision problems, sometimes in our lives, we can’t or don’t want to see the problems, situation or conditions that are right in front of us.

Senior Spotlight: Enjoying sounds

When I was young the moment came when I realized how beautiful the sound of silence was. The surrounding beauty of the trees and the birds flying in a cloudless sky added to the serenity of that peaceful moment as I sat on a boulder sized rock and enjoyed the sunshine.

Mary Jo Brown: Savor good memories

I welcomed the first week of this year in with a visit to the hospital that ended up lasting four days. Upon awakening, on my first morning there, I looked out the window and saw what appeared to be a wall of white. It was a white out in progress.

Mary Jo Brown: Spread kindness

Strive to make the most of your days, live life as if each day may be your last day on earth, make those calls to those you love, spread kindness, help others and go for your dreams.

Mary Jo Brown: Writing is a gift of its own

A present came to me in a very unusual way. I had a call from a woman who wanted to know why I wrote. How is this a present you may ask, well, it caused me to think back to when I started to write and the people most responsible for it happening. The present was in the form of treasured memories of people whom had touched my life in such a positive way.

Mary Jo Brown: Bringing ‘jolly’ into Christmas

’Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la la, and so goes the song. What is it to “be jolly?” The mind brings up images of joyful, festive, merry or even plump and agreeable in appearance. Can I be in the jolly mood right now? I don’t think so.

Mary Jo Brown: Heartfelt holidays

The holiday season seems to be going by faster this year. Christmas is right around two corners and a lamppost. Thanksgiving Day gives me pause to think back of other gatherings and the legacy and traditions followed and of the abundance of an authentic contentment that was complete and good.

Mary Jo Brown: Live your life to the fullest

Go onward and live your life to the fullest and don’t worry about the past it is over, tomorrow is yet to come, and each day is a present use it well.

Mary Jo Brown: Colors help with moods

One thing some of us tend to take for granted is our ability to see the many colors of the world. I am particularly fond of pastel colors, however, I tend to associate different colors with different feelings. Light blue represents serenity, light green is peaceful, soft yellow is warmth and tan is a warm homey feeling.

Mary Jo Brown: Holding on to charms of life

While I was sorting through more of my papers and rough drafts of my Senior Spotlight articles, I came across an article I had written several years ag

Mary Jo Brown: Food can be such a comfort

This past week, I was having a problem with food. Usually food and I get along real well, but my stomach was not cooperating and I had to think differently about food for most of the week. Food to me represents comfort, a basic need and represents a form of security while also being a token of love.

Mary Jo Brown: Small spaces hold a lot of love

A living room can be just a room with no signs of life, happiness or joy expressed anywhere. If you add a picture, dress up the couch with a few pillows to highlight the subtle colors of the upholstery, add some pizzazz, you can make it more cozy and comfortable and it doesn’t need to be cluttered.

Mary Jo Brown: Slow down to enjoy life

The fast track tends to shackle us to that pace and standards which prevent us form leading a truly successful, happy life doing our work in our own authentic way.

Mary Jo Brown: For the people, by the people

When did it become all right to let the service men and women, the elderly, the sick and children suffer because there is a disagreement going on in the government?

Mary Jo Brown: Enjoy your own backyard

Now and then when I am watching television a program comes on about landscapes. I was fortunate enough to find one about “America the Beautiful” last week. The program began by showing a part of the plains in the Midwest then moved on to the Rocky Mountains.

Mary Jo Brown: Cold sets in fast, stay warm

October is well on its way, with the temperature going up and down and giving us surprises daily. Hopefully this type of weather will settle down soon and we can go forward with what we recognize as fall. This year has been quite an experience weather wise not only for Craig but all over the world.

Mary Jo Brown: Trips bring back memories of Dillon

While looking through things in my living room, I came across a small photo album that I had forgotten I had. Curiosity, one of the things that sometimes gets me into trouble, kicked in and I thought I would take the time to see what was in the album. To my delight, I found pictures of a trip my granddaughter Haley, daughter Jane and I had taken to Montana and Yellowstone National Park.

Mary Jo Brown: Keep your mind sharp with puzzles, reading

I enjoy watching games shows where the contestants can make a lot of money. The show that is on television while I am writing this has a contestant that won a million dollars. It has always been my thought that it would be fun to be part of a game show like Family Feud or Truth or Consequences, although with my luck I would probably end up with all the consequences. It’s the excitement of the game I like although the money wouldn’t exactly hurt my feelings either. Games that deal with words or trivia are usually my favorite types.

Mary Jo Brown: We need to choose carefully what we speak, write

We all need to listen to our words, not only what we say but the manner in which we say it. In this day and age of texting there are many misunderstandings because you can’t put sound into a text message. Often the meaning of the text is taken completely wrong and feelings are hurt. The written word although expressive often cannot get across the feeling of the situation unless you are writing a book and put in what the character is feeling or the mood in which they spoke.

Seize the moment, contact those you love

As I continued to sort through the never ending piles of papers that have accumulated over the years, I came across a paper I had received from a teacher of a class I took here at Sunset Meadows.

Senior Spotlight for Aug. 19, 2013

The start of school, football games on television and cooler nights are all indications that fall is on its way.

Cherish your loved ones, let them know they're appreciated

Don’t be afraid to let someone you care about know you are thinking of them, after all today will be tomorrow soon and for some tomorrow may never come.

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