Tag Archives: baby boomers

Remains To Be Seen

Adrienne Crowther
Adrienne Crowther

Let’s face it – no one likes to talk about death. Whether it’s our own, our parents, a spouse, or a friend, it hasn’t been a conversation topic of choice…..until now. Not surprisingly, we baby boomers are re-inventing our end of life practices and attitudes around death.

Here are the facts:

  • Cremation rates have soared to more than 40% of all deaths (close to 90% in some states)
  • Burial costs have reached high, sometimes unaffordable levels
  • Families are transient, and family members no longer live in close proximity to each other, nor to a family burial site
  • Religious tenets are more flexible regarding cremation as an option for disposition

Many recent articles, books, and other media point toward the growing number of cremations, both in the US and worldwide. Baby boomers especially, are breaking tradition in their spiritual beliefs, environmental convictions, and affinity toward individuality in all aspects of life. The funeral industry concedes to this rapid conversion to cremation, yet products for containment of cremation remains are limited, and are often mass-produced and outsourced.

Shine on Brightly
Shine on Brightly

Shine On Brightly is an online company that was launched in 2008 – the result of a lifelong passion for art, love for people and their stories, and lots of research on the changing trends around life and death rituals (especially among baby boomers). Fifteen months later, Founder and Owner, Adrienne Crowther lost her husband of 30 years. Nine months after that, his sister, who had been one of her dearest childhood friends, also died.  Adrienne’s work and business is truly unique and I thought it appropriate to address this subject for our oops50.blog.

Annice and dad
Annice and dad

What are your plans? When my own father died in 2011, I was grateful that he had taken care of all his burial plans.  Everything carefully outlined and paid for- in advance.  What a gift that was to all of us.  And what an alternative Adrienne has to offer to both the living  who want to plan their end of life rituals, or for those who will be making arrangement for their  loved ones.

VOTE

Annice
Annice

I remember the first time I voted. The year was 1972, and thanks to The Twenty-sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, 18 year olds were granted the right to vote (July 1, 1971), and it was the quickest amendment ever to be ratified.  I remember the national debates over lowering the voting age because it focused on all our friends being drafted to fight in Vietnam when they had absolutely no say about the war, who was sending them, and why.  draftHaving participated in the anti-war movement with hundreds of thousands of other young students across the country, I’d like to think our protests made a difference and forced the government to lower the voting age.  So, when the time came in 1972 to vote in the presidential election, I cast my ballot for George McGovern.

George McGovern
George McGovern

 

Shortly before the election, McGovern came to the University of Cincinnati where I was studying.   After his campaign speech, he thanked all the volunteers back stage, and I was thrilled to shake the hand of the next President of the United States of America. I just knew he would win.  And, trust me, to this day, I still can’t believe that Nixon won (by a landslide) despite the fact that 52% of 18-24 year-olds showed up at the polls, the highest ever voter turnout of young adults including the 2008 Obama-McCain election.

votepinSo, I write this post the day before the elections as a reminder that anything can happen, and every vote matters.  Here in North Carolina, we have a very important Senate race.  I know who I’ll be voting for?  You?

Oops50 Gets a Makeover

Annice
Annice

Oops50 is getting a makeover.  And, why not?  She’s almost five years old and we’d like to give her a lift.  So, if you’ve noticed the blog looking odd, things out of place, colors not yet perfect, it’s because we’re at the back end making changes. The changes are thanks to my brother, Max.

Max
Max

His company in DC (well, one of his companies) is giving us the makeover.  His creative team at Bravery Corporation is helping us re-energize our brand by designing a new logo and giving us a cleaner site.  It’s not that we didn’t like our old one, we loved it, (thank you Diane), it’s just that when we created our blog we didn’t know what the hell we were doing despite the fact that the WordPress founder claimed he designed his template with his mother in mind.  Well, he should’ve talked to us baby boomer women because we didn’t find it so simple.  We forced too many balloons in the template, and couldn’t take them out because we paid someone too much $$$ to put them in and had no more money $$$ to get them out.  So, that screwed us up every time we wanted to load images, videos, etc.  I’ll just end there as that story is way too boring to explain further.

Bravery Corp.Superteam
Bravery Corp.Superteam

Now we have Bravery’s super team, and specifically Marcus (from the prestigious Savannah College of Art & Design), who truly embodies their corporate identity in a way that was probably never intended.  Bravely and patiently, Marcus answers our tech questions about what we want our blog to look like and what functions we want which seem to change by the hour.  We have to keep reminding him we are older than his mother and not yet as old as his grandmother– subtext — somewhere between menopause and post-menopause so we don’t make decisions quickly.  So to you Marcus, we’d like to say, “Be brave, young man.  It’s almost over.”

Marcus
Marcus

We’re aiming for April 1st to officially launch our new site, so be on the lookout for a new Oops50 logo, a cleaner and easier site to navigate, and an Pops50 store showcasing some of the favorite products you’ve shared with us over the years as well as some of our own. In our store you’ll find books, garden supplies, pet supplies, cooking supplies, shoes, bras, and anything else you bring to our attention or we think you’ll want to know about.

Finally, and most importantly, thank you Bravery Corporation for taking us on – and thank you to our readers for almost five years of reading, sharing, commentating, and sticking with us.

A Winter Storm, Oh No!

BEACH
.

 

Friends and loved ones have been calling all day, asking if we’re OK.  The weather is varying to say the least, and while we are getting snow, we aren’t getting the ice that is making a lot of the state and south of us treacherous, so yes, we are OK.

With the media making THE WEATHER one big, bad monster, I just want to say that I love the four seasons, and I love snow.

Especially the kind that makes it look like a New England postcard, the kind that it is coming down covering everything right now.  And the kind that will be gone in a day or so.

The only weather site I will look at is Ray’s Weather, since he is like a big brother (not Big Brother) telling me what to expect, without the fear factor.  Thank you Ray.

It’s quiet out.  No on is on the streets.  Everyone is going to be staying at home tonight, reading, watching movies, coloring, sitting next to a fire with a cat on their lap, and eating some warm and comforting food.  Oh, and we will all sleep in tomorrow morning.  The whole town.  Nice.

BEACH BELLO
.

 

Cleaning up some of my photos this afternoon, I came across the ones from the Beach taken this past October.  I loved looking at them, and remembering…

The feel of the water on my bare feet, and the quiet that I felt with the sound of the ocean around all the time.

Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall.

Yeah, I love it all.

(Hey, I think I just wrote a poem 🙂 )

 

Just Holler Bloody Murder by Dershie McDevitt

Jane

I don’t often get the chance to review a book–because I don’t often get the chance to read!  But today I am excited to write about Dershie McDevitt’s wonderful “cozy,” entitled Just Holler Bloody Murder.  A “cozy,” for those of you who, like me, have not heard that term before, is basically a beach read– in this case, a mystery with no graphic, horrible details but with a love story thrown in for fun! Before I get started, let me just tell you that this is Dershie’s first published novel, and Dershie is 70 years old, so, Dershie,  Oops50 salutes you!!!

Dershie McDevitt

This fun and suspenseful book, set on ‘Timicau Island (modeled on Dewees in South Carolina), begins with a woman’s return to the beach house where she was raised by her single mother.  Hoping  to find some peace and come to terms with her mother’s recent death, the protagonist, Callahan Banks, finds her vision of tranquility shattered by two murders, with the possibility of other murders looming on her beloved island.

Here is what I love about this book:

1) It is full of interesting, intelligent characters, especially Callahan, who has a wealth of knowledge about the natural world and a tough, take-no-prisoners approach to life, to the suave Southern-gentleman, Pepper Dade, who may or may not have played a part in the murders, to the brilliant child prodigy, Harry Applegate, who teaches her a thing or two about how to protect yourself in the face of danger.  I might even include the island itself in this list, since it plays such an important role, not just as a fascinating setting for the book but as an active participant in the story.  And, let’s not exclude  another captivating character,  Albert the alligator, who resides on the inland pond right below Callahan’s house.  The suspense will grip you right until the end, when the pieces fall into place, and you are not entirely sure that our main character is going to survive because you have no clear idea where the most danger lies.

2) It combines murder and romance, which is a fun combination for an enjoyable read.

3) The writing is excellent.  Lots of people can write a story that combines murder and romance.  Very few can carry it off with as much aplomb as Dersie McDevitt does.  Here’s an example:  “Still, she has the unnerving impression that she may be like a lab frog dumbly languishing in a pot of cool water over a low flame, while someone–she doesn’t know who–patiently waits for the water to heat up and begin to boil.”  Or this description by Callahan of Pepper Dade’s effect on her: “The man’s so all-consuming I lose the capacity to be the main character in my life every time he comes around.”

4) It is full of wonderful, interesting, new information about the natural world.  How’s this passage, for an example, where Callahan tells nine year old Harry that seagulls “have specialized glands called nasal glands over their eyes, with ducts that lead to their nostrils.  When they get too much salt in their bodies, they produce nasal fluid to drain it out.  So sometimes, their noses run, and sometimes, they simply sneeze it out.” Continue reading Just Holler Bloody Murder by Dershie McDevitt