Origins of the Gnome and Crone

Once upon a time in a land far away, I was the youngest. Almost always. (Except at home, where as the oldest I was gleefully “bossy”—though if I’d been a boy, I might instead have been dubbed a leader.) In elementary school most of my classmates celebrated their birthdays during the school year. They advanced in age before my eyes while I had to wait until summer to age one more eagerly anticipated year. Then came the sixth grade.

In October of that fateful year, the Soviet Union launched its Sputnik satellite. The cold war was in its heyday, and the rush to beat the Russians was on. Across the state, we sixth-graders were given a test. The goal: to identify students who could successfully accelerate our learning by scrunching our seventh and eighth grade studies into one year. If we graduated a year early, maybe we’d be more likely to go on to college and then to graduate school where we’d discover the next great thing to make our country the greatest, to beat our worst global enemies.

Overnight I became even younger than my peers, sometimes close to two years younger. All through high school, all through college, and in the early years of my adult working life, I was the baby. I got used to it.

As time went on, I began to notice something: my colleagues were getting younger and younger. So were my doctors, my dentists, my elected officials—and just about everyone else. Meanwhile, I was getting older. Old enough to be their mother.

And so it went. As I neared the end of a nearly thirty-five-year career in the field of workforce development, I was part of what, in the world of technology, is called a legacy system. My colleagues across the state looked around and realized I was now one of the few who held the vast array of institutional knowledge about our field. I knew its history, its various iterations, and the virtually forgotten rationale for various decisions and regulations that had been implemented over the years. I knew the whos,  the whats, the whens, wheres, whys, and hows. When I was gone,  a whole lot of knowledge would go with  me. Some of my professional friends gave me a new moniker. I became the crone. In its best tradition, a crone is a Wise Woman. I embraced my new persona.

In the last weeks of my career, I was surprised by those same people with a retirement celebration. Ron (he’s my guy) was there, too. In the course of conversation, he mentioned that he thought he looked like a gnome. Height has never been his strong suit, and degenerative discs along with the effects of spinal stenosis have shortened his vertical dimension by several additional inches. And his eyes do crink with a twinkle that matches his ever present mischievous smile.

So there you have it. It was a tiny leap to brand ourselves as the gnome and crone.  We think it fits us. What do you think?

40 thoughts on “Origins of the Gnome and Crone

  1. Pingback: Lost Keys – Living on the Diagonal

  2. Pingback: That Feel Good Moment (Another Kind of Love Story) – Living on the Diagonal

  3. Pingback: Why I Use Airbnb—Sometimes – Living on the Diagonal

  4. Pingback: Nova Scotia: Land of Kindness and Humor – Living on the Diagonal

  5. Pingback: Traveling with Airbnb – Living on the Diagonal

  6. Pingback: Canadian Road Signs – Living on the Diagonal

  7. Pingback: Joggins and Home – Living on the Diagonal

  8. Pingback: Cabot Trail, Part II – Living on the Diagonal

  9. Pingback: Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore and More – Living on the Diagonal

  10. Pingback: A Couple of Nova Scotia’s Historical Sites – Living on the Diagonal

  11. Pingback: Annapolis Valley – Living on the Diagonal

  12. Pingback: Yarmouth and the Acadian Shores – Living on the Diagonal

  13. Pingback: Surprises on the South Shore – Living on the Diagonal

  14. Pingback: Along Nova Scotia’s South Shore – Living on the Diagonal

  15. Pingback: Return to Nova Scotia – Living on the Diagonal

  16. Pingback: On Their Own—Sort of – Living on the Diagonal

  17. Pingback: The Tyranny of the Garden – Living on the Diagonal

  18. Pingback: Soul Food – Living on the Diagonal

  19. Pingback: So Beautiful It Changed My Life – Living on the Diagonal

  20. Pingback: Grandparents’ Camp, Part II: Lessons Learned – Living on the Diagonal

  21. Pingback: Grandparents’ Camp, Part I – Living on the Diagonal

  22. Pingback: Best Laid Plans – Living on the Diagonal

  23. Pingback: Everybody Has a Story – Living on the Diagonal

  24. Pingback: A Thing of Beauty Is a Joy Forever – Living on the Diagonal

  25. Pingback: The Gift that Wouldn’t Die – Living on the Diagonal

  26. Pingback: Deep Freeze – Living on the Diagonal

  27. Pingback: Family Values – Living on the Diagonal

  28. Pingback: A New Year’s Treat For You – Living on the Diagonal

  29. Pingback: The List, Part II: Priorities – Living on the Diagonal

  30. Pingback: Blowing on Embers: Postscript – Living on the Diagonal

  31. Pingback: The Grand Road Trip, Part I: Kentucky to South Dakota – Living on the Diagonal

  32. Pingback: Skillet Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake – Living on the Diagonal

  33. Pingback: California Dreamin’ – Continued – Living on the Diagonal

  34. Pingback: California Dreamin’ – Living on the Diagonal

  35. Pingback: Electricity and Wind: Early Days on the Diagonal, Part 6 – Living on the Diagonal

  36. Pingback: Getting to the Nitty Gritty: Early Days on the Diagonal, Part 4 – Living on the Diagonal

  37. Pingback: Confessions of a Groupie – Living on the Diagonal

  38. Pingback: Early Days on the Diagonal: Prologue – Living on the Diagonal

  39. Pingback: Trees – Living on the Diagonal

  40. Pingback: Found Art – Living on the Diagonal

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s