About Illinois Representative Stover:
In 1996 my mother, Hazel Jones, and I began publishing
a regional magazine for Senior Citizens. To guide us, we
formulated a "Purpose and Intent" for our publication's
content and direction. It read as follows: "Welcome to The
Senior Review - an area magazine dedicated to celebrating
and enhancing today's Senior life-styles. At the heart of
our magazine is the desire to entertain, inform and honor
Senior Citizens from all walks of life - blending life's
ups and downs, passions and pitfalls, opportunities and
obstacles onto our pages - discussing life in all its dimensions.
We plan to bring a sense of life's continuity to our writing
as well - combining past, present and future.... all for
your reviewing in The Senior Review." We loved the many
opportunities the publication provided us and were sorry
to sell the magazine in 1999 due to the difficulties I was
experiencing after being diagnosed with viral meningitis.
As my health returned, my mother and I began writing again
and for a time had a radio talk show called "Round the Table
with Hazel and Jan" which eventually evolved into our current
website (www.roundthetable.net) as well as a book entitled
"Potpourri of Memories" - all of which featured the importance
of enjoying family and preserving family memories.
Recently I received my instructor's certification through
the Arthritis Foundation to teach both Aquatic and Land
Exercise Programs. I teach the classes 3 days a week at
Francis Physical Therapy in Vandalia and plan to continue
my training in the Fall with the Foundation's Tai Chi Exercise
Program. I also lead a monthly Arthritis Support Group Meeting.
The classes are wonderful not only for the physical aspects
of health, but the friendship and emotional support they
offer are a genuine benefit to those attending!
Now on a more personal note, I have been married to my
husband, Don, for 24 years this October and we have two
sons - Zac, age 21, and Gabe, age 17. We have lived in Greenville,
IL for the past 16 years and during 9 of those years, I
was a Homeschooling Mom. I loved sharing those special years
with my boys in such a unique way. My brother, Jeff, and
his wife, Deb, own The Sunshine House Health Food Store
in Vandalia, IL and both Zac and Gabe worked one day a week
in the business as part of their homeschooling experience.
Many valuable lessons are learned serving the public in
such a fashion.
I look forward to my upcoming experiences as the Illinois
State Representative for Grandparents Day and invite you
to read the following short story I have included about
my own wonderful Grandparents.
A Granddaughter's Memories ... My Grandmothers
I have my Grandma Jones' name, high hips, bad knees and
her ability (so I've been told) to stretch a meal for as
many unexpected guests that just happen to walk through
the door right at dinner time. She died when I was three,
but the house she left behind - the house she made a home
- taught me much about the woman she was and the life she
lived and loved. Yes, things have come to me from her by
way of stories and genetics ... real and substantial nonetheless.
I have my Grandma Crawford's strong will, determination
and taste - much of which I acquired from actually knowing
her. I was fortunate to have her in my life until I was
thirty. She painted my fingernails, made clothes for me
and my dolls, wrote me letters while I was at camp, made
tiny pumpkin pies just for us kids on Thanksgiving, danced
at my wedding and called my first born son "her little man".
She saw me grow up. I saw her grow old. And we loved each
other throughout the many stages of our lives.
These were my Grandmothers ... talented, wise women ...
keepers of the family flame. I give thanks for their good
genes, their loving hearts and these unforgettable memories.
A Granddaughter's Memories ... My Grandfathers
I got my dimple, the family legacy of publishing and a
"pinching bug" from my Grandpa Jones. You see, Grandpa was
co-owner and co-publisher of the Vandalia Union, a Vandalia,
Illinois newspaper, for many years He was also friends with
a pinching bug ... actually they were one and the same.
You see, every time I sat on his lap, that darn "bug" would
pinch me. I could even catch Grandpa in the act, see his
fingers set to pinch, and he'd still deny that it was him.
"No sir," he'd say smiling, "That was the pinching bug!"
He could make a mean batch of home made ice cream, had an
oscillating fan that forever oscillated, and was never quite
the same after Grandma died.
Grandpa Crawford was a tall, thin man. (No, I unfortunately
did not get the "tall-thin" gene in my genetic make up)
He loved westerns, politics and all of his many grandkids.
He could debate "with the best of them"- sharp, quick and
opinionated. I remember many a family holiday dinner ending
with some lively political debate. I love discussing politics
to this day! He worried about the safety of my eyes when
I got contact lenses, was proud of me when I was elected
cheerleader and washed dishes long before Women's Lib told
him it was the thing to do.
These were my grandfathers ... honorable men in a time
when honor meant so much; capable men in their chosen careers,
and loving men who have left me with a collection of memories
I will always cherish.
-- Jan Stover