Hello, everyone. I’ve been away from this blog for a while now, but today I tried logging back into the dashboard, and I found a way to post again using the familiar Classic format. Hooray!  When I tried posting earlier in the summer, this WordPress site had updated its format, and I never could see how to submit a post, but today I’m back in business. : )

I hope all of you readers are having a good summer. Robin and I moved into assisted living here at The Fountains of Franklin on May 27. We had a busy month of May getting ready for our move—lots of cleaning out, sorting through, and donating items we couldn’t take with us. Unfortunately, all of that activity did a number on my back, so in June, after our move, I spent much of the month dealing with back pain. I took steroid pills and went to physical therapy. Finally, on July 9, I went by ambulance to the ER at Williamson Medical Center to get relief from the painful back spasms and to get an MRI to find out what was going on.

The scan showed I had a compressed fracture of the T-12 vertebra plus five bulging discs in the lumbar region of my spine. My doctor told me it would take six weeks to two months for the fractured vertebra to heal. Since then, I’ve been on pain medications, muscle relaxers, and wearing a wrap-around body brace, but I’m feeling much better now. I no longer need the narcotics or the muscle relaxers, and Extra-strength Tylenol seems to be working well. However, I’m definitely looking forward to the end of the summer when I should be well again.

Also in June, Robin was going through several pretests and procedures to see if he could qualify for a new way to have a faulty aortic valve replaced in his heart. On June 25, his cardiologists performed a TAVR procedure—Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement—where his new heart valve was slipped into place without opening his chest. The valve team at St. Thomas West in Nashville used a catheter going up through his groin. He spent one night in the hospital, came home the next morning, and was feeling back to normal within three days. Amazing! A recent follow-up visit showed Robin’s heart is now in great shape. : )

This coming Sunday, August 8, Robin and I will celebrate our 63rd anniversary. I’m still in my back brace, but we plan to go out to one of our favorite restaurants later this week. We do have much to celebrate—our new life here in our comfortable apartment, Robin’s brand new heart valve, my continuing recovery from back pain, and all of you dear friends and family who care for us. We love all of you very much.

Happy summer to all of you!

Last month Robin and I made a big decision. This month we’ll be moving into an apartment in the assisted living facility across the street.

When we moved here to The Fountains of Franklin almost four years ago, we knew this day would come, but it’s still hard for me to think of downsizing once again and adjusting from living independently. To be sure, we’ve already been involved in many activities across the street, so the move will not be as dramatic as it might have been, but it’s still a big step.

So why did we decide to move? Robin was the first to suggest it. He’d been feeling more insecure, he said, knowing how much he was relying on me now for almost everything. His memory loss was becoming more pronounced, and he wanted us to make the move while he could still help me with the transition.

I wasn’t sure I was ready yet, but I agreed we could at least begin to learn about the availability of apartments and what the cost would be. Then maybe we could move “sometime this year.”

We met with Laurie Ross, the community relations director, who gave us all the information, and we toured a variety of apartments. The Fountains offers a two-bedroom floor plan and three different one-bedroom plans. Robin and I liked the largest one-bedroom plan, called the Cameron, and we also thought the two-bedroom plan, the Franklin, was very nice. There were no apartments currently unoccupied, but we asked Laurie to put our names on the list. Since we were already villa residents here at The Fountains, we would be given top priority, if something became available.

Well, you guessed it! A few weeks later, Laurie called. A Cameron had suddenly become available. Now what would we do?

We took a look at the apartment, talked with our kids, took another look, and finally, we decided to take it. There are not many Camerons at The Fountains, and we might not have another chance for one anytime soon. The apartment looked quite spacious, and The Fountains would let us select new paint colors for the rooms and would clean the carpet and do any other refurbishing we’d like for them to do. So last week, we signed the contract to move in by June 1.

This Wednesday, we’ll meet with Robin Crowell, the executive director, who will help us file a claim with Robin’s long-term-care insurance. That will help with the cost, although I will not yet be able to use my insurance. However, we should be able to handle everything okay. All our meals and utilities, even including cable, will be paid for. Now I’m going through possessions once again, deciding what to keep and what to sell, donate, or trash.

These big transitions are always unsettling, but I’m getting excited now about the possibilities. We’ll still be in a place we love, close to friends and family, and we do know how very fortunate we are.


Today, Robin and I ate lunch in person inside a local restaurant! This was a big milestone for us! Due to the rampant spread of Covid-19 and its particular danger to seniors, we have not felt safe enough to eat out in our community for one full year. Today, March 12, we were thrilled to finally celebrate our true independence from this deadly virus and the fear of becoming its victims.

Being in our 80’s and also residents of The Fountains of Franklin, we feel extremely fortunate to be among our nation’s earliest recipients of the new Moderna vaccine. We received our first shots from Walgreen’s personnel at The Fountains on Thursday, January 21, and we were scheduled for our booster shots four weeks later. Unfortunately, that date fell right in the middle of the week when that monster snow storm swooped down to paralyze Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, and much of Tennessee. However, our boosters were quickly rescheduled, and we received our final shots on Friday afternoon, February 26. Then we patiently waited the requisite two-week period following the boosters for full immunity to kick in. Today, we were declared good to go.

And so we did! Nine happy residents along with our driver, Activities Director Jane Bowden, boarded the Fountains’ bus to make our trip to Chop House today for lunch. We found the restaurant moderately busy, but a waiter led our group to a large table in the back, and we were seated socially distant from other diners. We wore our masks entering and leaving, but of course, we removed them as soon as we sat down. All wait staff still wore masks.

I’m thankful that most Franklin citizens continue to be careful out in public. We know that Covid variants are spreading now, and while we ourselves feel safely protected, we know many are not yet vaccinated. Thousands more will get sick, become hospitalized, and die before our nation can declare this pandemic behind us. Last night, our President announced that all adults in the United States, 18 and older, will be eligible for the vaccines after May 1. Millions more doses are on the way, with large numbers of sites ready to administer them.

Robin and I were absolutely thrilled to celebrate our individual independence from Covid today, but you younger folks are on your way now too. That’s exciting! If all goes well in the coming months, July 4, 2021, will likely become the happiest national Day of Independence that any of us will ever celebrate!

Senator Marsha Blackburn

357 Dirksen Senate Office

Washington, DC 20510


Dear Senator Blackburn:

I know you must be under great political pressure now to forget about our former President’s unconstitutional attempts to overthrow the election. Many of your fellow Republicans want to let “bygones be bygones” and let him go on his way.

However, we must never forget the severity of what he did! He directly pressured election officials in swing states to throw out legally certified votes! Failing at that, he invited, and then incited his followers, including extremist white supremacy and conspiracy groups, to come to the Capitol on January 6 to force all you senators and congressmen and women and even his own Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the Electoral College votes! The attack on you as you performed your Constitutional duties was horrifying! Many of you barely escaped injury and death! Sadly, others who tried desperately to protect you died in the melee. Meanwhile, the President did nothing to stop the mob!

I also know you and newly elected Senator Bill Haggerty had both planned to vote to postpone the acceptance of the Electoral College votes and not certify on January 6. However, after the insurrection, you both changed your minds, and I am so thankful you did! In this country, we believe in following the U.S. Constitution to ensure the peaceful transfer of power.

Now, I implore you once again to remember your Constitutional oath and listen with an open mind to all the evidence for impeachment which will be presented to you in early February. A former President who committed such acts must never escape accountability. Donald J. Trump must never hold office again!


Madelyn F. Young

Stop the Steal

For weeks now, we have heard Trump’s supporters cry, “Stop the Steal. Our election was stolen!”

Strong words! Did they have evidence? Did they present their evidence in court? What happened? Did the courts declare any votes to be illegal? Were any votes tampered with? Were any votes miscounted? The answer is no. No evidence was found to be valid in any court, and all allegations were proven to be false. Our election was not “stolen.”

However, something else was stolen! Something very valuable! THE TRUTH!

Millions of our citizens were lied to, over and over and over. In fact, Trump began his lies months ago. “The only way I can lose this election is if the election is rigged!” he declared to his roaring crowds last summer.

Last Wednesday, Trump and his cohorts doubled down on their lies. “Your country was stolen!” they shouted to thousands. “Now, stand up and fight!”

And so they did. Storming the United States Capitol! Intimidating our vice president, congressmen, and senators! Ransacking offices! Defiling the seat of our democracy!

After hours of chaos, order was restored, and our elected representatives carried out their Constitutional duty to ratify the Electoral College votes and declare Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris as our duly elected President and Vice President.

So what now? Will propaganda and conspiracy theories continue to stir up the passions of many of our citizens?  Perhaps. TRUTH is still being stolen! However, the time for deception and lies is over!  All who love democracy must make our voices heard.

It’s time to “Stop the Steal!”




Time to Sail On

It’s been over two weeks now since the U.S. Presidential Election, and our president is still searching frantically for any incidents of fraud or manipulation of the votes. Because of Trump’s ridiculous prediction—the only way I can lose this election will be if the Dems cheat— his minions believe they must scurry around now, looking for any way at all to substantiate his hollow claim. So far, there has been no credible evidence of any fraud presented in courtnone! Election officials in every state are extremely proud of the extra careful and safe way their workers have handled the overwhelming number of votes in this year’s momentous election.

Soon the votes will all be certified, and our ship of state will sail on. The past four years have seen the ship list slightly to the right. Now the ship will list slightly to the left, but the ship will not be destroyed. The vast majority of Americans want our leaders to work together to get things done for the working people of this country. It’s time to stop the extreme partisanship that has demonized the other party—time to stop the hateful rhetoric—time to move forward. I am convinced our sailing now will be calmer and smoother under the leadership of President-elect Joe Biden. Already, his patient and steady hand is preparing for the transition.

It’s time to sail on!

A fun holiday for many youngsters is only two weeks from today. Little ones, and older ones, too, will don their costumes. Then what? With the Covid virus still rampant here in Tennessee and in many other states, communities are planning careful, safe ways for children to celebrate Halloween.

Last year at The Fountains, families came between 3:30 and 4:30 in the afternoon. We seniors all congregated in a large circle in the dining room where more than a hundred cute and scary visitors promenaded from person to person and gathered candy from our plastic pumpkin baskets.

This year, groups of outside visitors are prohibited from entering the facility, but we will still enjoy Halloween. Individual goody bags will be prepared by the residents ahead of time, and on Halloween afternoon, families will drive by. Children in their costumes will hop out of their vehicles, greet the residents who will be seated on the long front porch, and pick up their bags of treats from a table. We won’t be able to interact quite as much as last year, but it should still be fun. We always love to see these little goblins in their creative get-ups, and it brings back many happy memories of when our own youngsters enjoyed the holiday too.

Sadly, Covid is the scariest monster in our midst this year, so all of us must continue to slow the spread of this highly contagious virus by wearing our masks in public, washing our hands frequently, and not gathering too closely together, especially indoors. We must heed the guidance of our medical professionals and think of new ways now to celebrate the upcoming holidays—ways that are safe and healthful for everyone within our families and within our communities. If we Americans act safely now, our nation should have this deadly virus well under control by this time next year, and we will be able to celebrate many more happy holidays in the future.

What plans are you making for the holidays this year? I’d love to hear from you.

Today, I will mail the following letter to our Republican senator’s Washington, DC office:

Dear Senator Blackburn:

In your Sept. 25 Blackburn Report, you talked about how the Senate must now “fulfill its Constitutional duty” to vote on President Trump’s latest nominee for the Supreme Court. You wrote: “Twenty-nine times in American history there has been a vacancy in a Presidential election year, and all twenty-nine times the President has made a nomination.” Untrue!

Early in election year 2016, the Senate refused to allow President Obama to nominate his choice to fill the vacant seat of Justice Scalia. They insisted that in an election year, the people should vote first, and then the “new President” should be able to nominate a person to fill the vacancy.

Now, in election year 2020, we the people are already voting for President, and Republicans in the Senate are pushing ahead anyway to confirm President Trump’s third nominee to SCOTUS. How hypocritical is that!

When Abraham Lincoln was President, he waited to fill a vacancy on SCOTUS that occurred late in his term. He knew that such a move right before an election would have been viewed as a power grab. He was right!

Today, there is only one reason the Republicans are afraid to wait. They fear that Trump will not be our “new President.” The people now know he has not been a man worthy of the position.

Madelyn Young, Franklin, TN


Many of you who know me know I am what pollsters would call “a moderate Democrat.” I want our country to live up to what we’ve always called The American Dream—a place where each person is judged on his character and actions and not on the color of his skin or who he loves or where he worships. I believe in freedom and justice for all, with equal opportunity for each American to realize his full potential. I believe we need to work together to help our brothers and sisters all across our country to have that opportunity.

Most Americans, whether they are Republicans, Democrats, or independents, believe in The American Dream. However, this year, I do believe there is a marked difference in what that actually means for each presidential candidate.

One of our candidates has been described as “tough.” He lashes out at those who disagree with him. He uses his rhetoric to divide us. He is called the “law and order” president and seeks to use force to establish peace. However, he also disobeys the law when it doesn’t serve his purpose. He promotes rugged individualism.

The other candidate has been described as “empathetic.” For many years, he has worked with those who disagree with him so opposite sides can find common ground to move forward. He believes in law and order, but he supports peaceful protesters and also supports our police in ways that will help them deescalate volatile situations. He believes in common sense gun laws. He promotes cooperation and community spirit to solve problems.

Now we each have an important choice to make. Do we want to make America stronger through rugged individualism, or do we want to make America stronger through cooperation and community spirit?

Which vision of The American Dream do you support? Our future depends on that answer.

The other day, Robin and I were reminiscing about what we were doing during another important “election summer” sixty years ago. We had been married in Shreveport, Louisiana, two summers before, and after Robin’s second year of teaching and my first year of teaching in Shreveport, we decided to venture out of our comfort zone. Why not move to another state somewhere out of the South to see what life was like in another region of the country? Robin could begin working on his master’s degree in Educational Administration, and we could both get teaching jobs for the coming school year. We were still young with no children, and it would be fun to expand our horizons.

We settled on Greeley, Colorado, where Robin could attend Colorado State College— now the University of Northern Colorado— and we could both apply for teaching jobs in a suburb of Denver for the 1960-1961 school year.

In early June, we packed our meager belongings in a U-Haul trailer, attached it to the back of our faithful 1954 Chevy, waved goodbye to my parents there in Shreveport, and headed for the land of snowy winters and new adventures.

Robin had pre-enrolled in his program of classes at CSC, but we had not applied for student housing. Instead, we hoped to find a furnished apartment somewhere in town. It took several days for us to get there, and after we arrived, we began searching for a place to live. We had a rude awakening. Every apartment in the area had already been leased!

I remember we were driving down a quiet, tree-lined street, desperately looking for any signs of rooms to rent, when a car, coming from the other direction, slowed down. A young fellow stuck out his arm and waved us down. “Hi, there. Are you folks looking for a place to rent?”

We peered out at the couple seated in the other car. They were about our age and looked friendly. “Yes, we haven’t been able to find a thing,” Robin said.

“Well, we’ve found a house for rent, but it’s too big just for us. Would you like to check it out with us? Maybe we could both live there this summer.”

Robin looked at me, and I nodded. We really didn’t have much choice.

“Sure,” he said.” We’ll follow you.”

That was the beginning of a truly interesting summer. Neal and Sharon Nelson were also young teachers, and Neal was also beginning work on his master’s degree. They were from Hampton, Iowa, and it was fun to get to know them.

The house was ideal for two couples, with a bedroom and bathroom on each side of the large living room and dining room in the center. We shared the kitchen, of course, and Sharon and I worked out a plan where each of us would take turns every other day buying groceries and preparing meals, and cleaning the kitchen afterwards. Robin and Neal attended their classes during the daytime, but we four would often go site-seeing up in the mountains or do other things together on the weekends.

The owner of the house was a young single guy, a rather “hippie-looking” fellow who had recently inherited the house. He was small and skinny with a scruffy beard and long hair, and he lived in the basement. He shared the refrigerator with us in the kitchen, but apparently, he didn’t need to use our stove. We wondered about his diet because we often found weird-smelling cheeses in the fridge. He would also invite his friends over to his pad, and the odor of marijuana would drift up the stairs. However, he never bothered us or frightened us, and we all lived our separate lives. I’m sure he was happy to have both of us couples paying him our rent every month.

At the end of the summer, Neal and Sharon returned to Iowa, and Robin and I moved to Arvada, Colorado, a suburb of Denver, where both of us taught classes in Jefferson County Schools. The next summer, Robin commuted back and forth to Greeley to work on his degree, so we never lived with the Nelsons again, although we did see them and visit together several times.

At the end of that summer, Robin and I moved back to Shreveport. However, we enjoyed keeping in touch with the Nelsons, and we stopped by to see them in their home in Hampton on a trip to Minnesota a number of years later.

As I mentioned at the beginning, the summer of 1960 was an election summer, too, and that political contest must have been just as intense as this year’s election. John F. Kennedy and Vice-President Richard M. Nixon were battling it out, and J.F.K. came out on top in November. However, with no social media and no cable news, the political fray seemed much less intrusive, and that unusual summer with our new friends from Iowa is one we will always remember.