Sun Lakes Writers’ Group

The group meets every Tuesday at 12:30pm in Room A8 in Cottonwood.


Bernice Kantrowitz

Behoove is an old Middle English word that means a duty or responsibility for someone to do something. It was first used in about the 12th century but it has gone out of style. Too bad that it is no longer in use because if it were we might be overusing it. Except, the younger generation who doesn’t know, or care, the word exists. I learned about the word when I was about 10 years old. That was when I became aware of it but I thought it was something you do to horses. Now even my generation rarely uses the word that means it is a duty or responsibility for someone to do something. Behoove was a good word when it was commonly used, especially in England during the days of Chaucer and it may still be used in the U.K.

One way the word was used is when a person makes a mistake and wants to apologize for it. We all make mistakes but we each carry our own experience and baggage and we have different ways to try to correct them. Although I confess, I like the old fashioned word and I have been behooved many times in the past. Sometimes I know that I am in a behooved stated and I act accordingly. Other times I may get into trouble because I think I may be behooved but I’m not certain. Then I become a nonfunctional behoover. When I am a behoovee I patiently wait for a behoover’s response and sometimes I receive it but other times I have been disappointed In spite of all of this experience I have never considered myself involved in the behooving game but that all changed last week when I was super behooved. Allow me to explain why I think that even though it is rarely used, it is still a good word and it is still relevant.

After my walk on Friday morning, I must have fallen asleep and when I walked over to pick up a paper that was on the desk, I noticed that the Panic Alert Button was blinking. “It shouldn’t be doing that,” I thought. I knew I had to act fast but I didn’t know what to do first. I checked the alert button I wear around my neck but nothing happened. I thought I should call my daughter, Molly, and tell her to call me but when I picked up the telephone there was no dial tone.

My first thought was that the electricity had been turned off. When I checked the other phones in the house and none responded I didn’t know what to think. How could I call Molly if the phones were dead? And how could Molly call me? At that moment I knew I was behooved to do something. What should I do? Everything was happening so fast. Finally I got my thoughts together and called Molly on my cell phone. She said Alert people had called her and since she couldn’t get me on the phone, she thought something was wrong. “The paramedics are on their way to save you,” she said. Molly was relieved that I was OK and she tried calling the Alert people to tell them I didn’t need them.

Now the fire truck was parked in front of my door and several of the firemen were heading toward me. It was the behoovingest moment I’ve ever experienced. I felt guilty and embarrassed as I thanked them and said it was a mistake and I didn’t need them since I was OK. One of them stayed behind and asked if he could help me with the telephone that wasn’t working. It didn’t take him long to discover that the electric cord that connects the telephone was not working and he immediately fixed it. I was really sorry that I had caused so much confusion for the courteous fireman and I kept apologizing but the paramedic was very pleasant and even told me to “Have a good day.” (I did feel foolish apologizing for being OK but the fireman understood).

After the fireman departed I felt better about being behooved earlier. However I have to tell you that although I think “behoove” is still a good word and relevant, since it is rarely used today in our fast moving culture, I think I will forget about it and move on.

It was an awesome spontaneous golden event

Don Stevens

Someone once said when you are in your golden years, I thought they meant it would be a fun time in life. I would have lots of time to do the things I always wanted to do, like sit and read, take long walks around Sun Lakes with the love of my life beside me, her hand in mine. I would react spontaneously to the suggestion, “Let’s go…wherever,” and know that the freedom at retirement age would be awesome to drive up to Payson’s (Muggyin Rim) “Mogollon Rim.” I would stand like Leonardo Dicaprio did on the bow of the Titanic with his arms spread out in the breeze on the escarpment shouting, “Here I am,” for everyone to hear out over those two hundred miles in front of me. Well, after looking down, maybe I said a weak, “Geez, that’s a long way down,” instead.

What a surprise I found out now that I’m in my fall years. If anyone means Golden, that means, it’s gold you have come up with to pay for doctor bills, it’s spontaneous when nature calls and it’s awesome when it’s time for a nap a couple times a day, and you can do it.

Did I mention I am under attack by my water exercise instructor? A bigger person than I with blond hair in a ponytail, about 5-10 feet tall, weighing about ‘mmmm’ lobs or so, yelling commands and whipping me with a noodle while standing directly over me demonstrating the butt kick, oh year, she’s about 23.

I’m enjoying that punishment, the attention I get while I flounder like a whale, I know I look good while in the pool with the ladies, shoulder muscles bulging until I pull the rest of this 400 lb. hulk out of the water to go home. The knees strain, the back is bent over and I walk like a toddler taking its first steps on the slippery floor. I smile a lot hoping they see me as I once was, 10 feet tall and bulletproof, a real stud!

Well folks, so much for my Golden years, and my spontaneous snappy instant encyclopedia intellectual prowess. I’m not sure I know what I just said, or why, but life is awesome when you can look at the opposite sex with a little swagger at my age and you get excited when she says, I take 5 mg of GlipiZide also. Be still my heart.


Barbara Schwartz

There are many milestones in a person’s life. I suppose that getting born is the first achievement that a person can make. Getting born is the same experience for the newborn child in any walk of life; it doesn’t matter if the parents are the poorest person on welfare or the future kind of England, the process is the same. So is the joy of family and friends – or at least it should be!

Getting through a preschool and learning the required curriculum is another achievement. At the age of 5, the child goes through the first “graduation” in his or her young life. The fact that they have no clue what it means is unimportant to them: the parents are proud; and that does matter.

Off to kindergarten they go – probably unaware that this sane procedure will continue for the next 12 or 13 years. They go on and on – learning this and that and all the requirements for…wait for it…another milestone! High School graduation is really a high mark in the life of the 18 year old, but when you think about it, is really a minor event. One would anticipate this achievement in probably 99% of the students. While an exciting and happy event, it is truly minor in the scheme of things.

For those students who decide to further their education by going to college or the university of choice, the next milestone is their graduation. Now, here is a major event. They are now probably in their early ‘20s and have the world by the tail. They can get their own job (if they can find one) and move out on their own. They can get married. They seem to forget that now they have major debts to pay back for their student loans. Woo-Hoo!

If not going to college, some join the military. A HUGE milestone for them because they could come home totally different from the way they left – or not come home at all. Or come home in one piece physically, but suffer from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

Some milestones that we really don’t think about are not quite so grand and glorious. Consider the kid who does not graduate high school and somehow manages to find a minimum wage job. This is a milestone for this young kid because his other choice would be to get into trouble by stealing or dealing drugs or something like that and could end up in jail. Which brings us to the actual people in jail. Is their milestone to get out of jail or to stay in?

So you can see, not all milestones are great, glorious and fabulous to us; but they must be to the eyes of the beholder. Do not be too quick to put down what you think are unimportant just because they are unimportant to YOU.