In Memoriam

On Sunday, March 13, 2016, June Key, the Raving Pundit, passed away.

She wanted to vote one more time, but that was not in the cards. This site will be left as it is, as a tribute to a mother, activist and writer who never lost her thirst for learning, never wavered in her quest to ensure fairness and respect for those less fortunate in life, and never turned her back on a damn good discussion, making her points with more honey than vinegar, but MAKING HER POINTS.

I hope the writings she has left can help mothers and daughters, Democrats and Republicans, and Cards fans and Cats fans overcome what may divide them to see the beauty in life and the things that truly unite us all.

The Junior Pundit, signing off for June Key

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Boomerang

The pundit here.

I have been twisted and turned, rolled and churned in every direction. And in every direction turned left and right and up and down. And merry-go-round and round?

The pills keep coming. Doctors-1-2-3-4, nurses-5-6-7.

Kidneys shot. Heart not much better. Lungs in the big sleep. Brain trying to find out who will be the woman on the $10 bill. Darn, I may not get to spend any.

People coming and going. Questions, questions from each one. They all ask the same questions. I give them all the same answers.

Pigs selling for 5, corn for 10. My blood pressure is high, my oxygen is low. If ever the two get it right, this place I shall blow!

Take a nap so a needle can wake you up. It’s a game we play. I go to sleep, the needle wakes. Oh what the hell – the bottom’s up, the dollar’s down.

The bottom line is, I survived all the anxieties of “crossing over.” My mama didn’t raise no fool. I ain’t getting in no boat if I don’t know where it’s going. Guess I will hang out a little longer, celebrate my 91st birthday Sunday, and wait to see what thirteen Republican candidates are going to use for their stump speeches. Can’t be Obamacare. Way to go Barack!!!

Has It Been Five Years?!?

A little over five years ago I wrote my blog about moving into my new home, Oxmoor Lodge, a retirement home.

It was not a decision I made without serious reservations. I am sure the concerns I had are the same questions some of you are wrestling with as the years began to take their toll. I want to share my honest assessment about those concerns.

Giving up my independence, taking directions from those in charge, boredom, and losing contact with my friends were a few of my concerns before making the move. I am sure there were other downers that I imagined but they were so unimportant I can’t remember what they were. Besides, not one of those fears materialized.

I still own my independence, those in charge have more to do than to give me directions – other than those that insure my peace, safety and contentment. Our activities director, Marissa Morrison, provides us with a zillion things to do or enjoy every day, most all day. She is the eighth wonder of the world. Our housekeepers, Linda Churchill, Eska Tapp and Sarah Fuller, are so much more then their title reads; they are caring angels. Our kitchen crew are magicians. When you can please one-hundred wonderful, would-be Betty Crockers and Emeril Lagasses most of the time, you must be a magician.

If you are thinking about a retirement home, please give Oxmoor Lodge consideration. You will not be sorry. At this time our managers are the best we have ever had. Our home office should definitely clone them. They are the most loving two people you will ever meet. Just ask for Tim and Sharon Hensley, stay and chat a moment, and you won’t want to leave.

Balancing the Good New Days and the Good Old Days

I was just watching a little girl eating a ice cream cone and realized how quickly it was melting as she walked in the sun. Then, for no good reason I started thinking about other things that go poof and they are gone, probably not to be seen again. For example, the block of ice the iceman used to carry into our kitchen with his ice tongs, or the letters the postman brought with the three cent stamp attached. The list could go on and on but the one item on the list that is the saddest is the more than 291 newspapers that are defunct, MIA in the past few years. And the list increases every day.

It is not only the printed word, it is the written word also. Teaching penmanship is no longer fashionable in our schools; consequently, we are not teaching the beauty of the English language. The theme paper and number 2 pencils we coveted have seemingly been relegated to the dust heap, and in their places we have a keyboard, a return, back space and alphabet button on a computer. I believe in progress and I love my IPad and computer, but I wish we did not exile one for the other. Personally, I am glad I had to make all those circles learning to keep the numbers and letters between those two lines, and glad I had to write all of those thank you notes because it was the proper thing to do.

Teachers have so much that is required of them for testing purposes that I am sure something had to be eliminated. And I understand we are living in an electronic age and students have to embrace that; their future depends on it. However, I think they have missed out on some important things also.

I grieve the most about our newspapers but I have to accept that family owned newspapers are almost a thing of the past. It is more about advertising that brings in the money, not the news. I don’t think we will see the likes of the newspapers I grew up enjoying: the four or five sections of 10 or 12 pages in each section, every day.

At the same time, I still progress is wonderful. I will gladly accept ice cubes over the old ice pick and the block of ice.

Seeking New Challenges

My book Blue Streak is finished, the official book signing was held and I have responded to all the many kind remarks I received.

I began bouncing ideas around, thinking, “What next?” After all, being 89 years old is not a reason to accept finality about anything. I still have this blog, but my brain was seeking something more.

For some time I have bounced around the idea of a book or set of books for children. I am currently working on a book of fables, Unique Island.

While I was looking through several pages of activities for and with the residents here at Oxmoor Retirement Lodge I found some I would love to participate in, but I knew my lack of hearing would be much too stressful for both those I would be working with and myself.

I read the list and, lo and behold, it almost jumped off the paper and into my arms: HISTORIAN!!! I love history, I love researching, and I love sharing history with others.

I talked with our Oxmoor Activities Director, Marissa Morrison, she gave me the green light, and I was off to the races. So, now I shall search for interesting events to write about and research. It is a win-win opportunity. I learn by doing and I share by learning.

So far I have shared information about the Chinese New Year, the Olympics, the Oxmoor Estate, part of which our home, Oxmoor Lodge, was built on, St. Valentine’s Day and the Beatles’ arrival in the United States.

Never say there is nothing more I can do; that age has finally caught up with me. Age is no reason, age is just an excuse.

New challenges keep you involved, motivated, productive, and happy. Try it – you may like it!

The Sounds of Silence

Well I am back in business. My TV, iPad, and phone captioning are operating again after a tech outage of a day. I felt like I was living next to the Flintstones and Wilma was knocking on my door to borrow my platypus to take her grocery list to the local store.

I hope all Pundit fans had a great Christmas. My kids gave me a sinfully huge television. My electric world just got bigger.

Then the cruel hand of “gotcha” entered my small apartment at Oxmoor Lodge.

In one fell swoop of unbelievable misfortune, my new television screen decided it would show me nothing but SNOW. No button I pushed (my first mistake) would bring it back. Shortly after this fatality, my trusted iPad decided it would join the television to inflict more pain and suffering. I really thought it was a bit of overkill.

What next, you ask? Here it is: I have a caption phone. When I get a call, the conversation is displayed on a small screen and I can read it – it is great for deaf people. My hearing went south over the last year; I think it went so fast it skipped over Key West and headed for Cuba.

Now my captioning got on the same plane south.

So there I sat. I thought, “Ain’t this electronic world amazing?!?” When I was growing up I had to pay ten cents on Saturday afternoon to see a moving picture, I had to actually write with paper and pen, put it in a stamped envelope and send it on its way. When you were deaf if you even had a phone you could not hear the conversation.

Well, friends, life is pretty good with all its glitches. The list of my worries during quarantine were:

1. Will my TV get fixed before Victor and Nikki split up again, or, who really shot Carmine; Fen, or his mom or dad?

2. Will my iPad get fixed in time to play “Words” with my opponents?

3. That I won’t be able to hear when Publishers’ Clearing House calls to tell me I won $5,000 a week for life.

That’s OK, I told myself. I have already experienced more wonderful events then I ever expected: most of them without television, my iPad or a caption phone.

But here’s one final thought that tells the truth. When the kids are driving you bonkers, yelling and running through the house, your spouse is yelling, “Where are my socks?” and your mother-in-law reminds you that she always laid his clothes out for him, don’t scream, “I want some peace and quiet, quiet, quiet!” Believe me you don’t. I sat here in “quiet” for about eighteen hours until the television man came and the snow went away, my iPad started pinging to let me know someone had sent me a message, and the telephone started ringing. They were all beautiful sounds. Remember – be sure of what you wish for because you just might get it!

My Book Signing

I have had a few days to reflect on one of the most memorable days of my life.

I had a book signing for Blue Streak, a memoir of my 89 years. It took a little over a year; from writing the first words on my IPad, then sending my essays to my wonderful editors, then on to Amazon to be published, to, finally, my book release event at my home, Oxmoor Retirement Lodge. What an amazing journey it was. From 4 years old to 89 and just like that song,  “I’m still flowing, I’m still glowing, I’m still going strong, Dolly.”

Many friends and my family, over 75 people strong, shared the afternoon with me. It was truly a love-in; I was so grateful to each of those who attended, and it was a wonderful day, even though the beautiful snow keep many others of my friends at home, out of harms way.

To each of you, never accept that age makes it that you no longer can achieve the impossible – you can! Just put your faith in whatever you want to accomplish and make it happen.