Tag Archive | seniors

All in the Family

My house has been taken over by my family. And cats.  It’s like a whirlwind/tornado when my family comes to visit. It’s not like in the movies, where you open the doors and there are calm, sweet hugs and kisses. There are hugs and kisses yes, but then there is the unloading. The unloading of the van is like a race, it must be fun fast and furious, before anyone sits down or catches up. While this may not seem like anything substantial, it is quite the event because my parents pack for just in case – of a nuclear war, of a famine, of a mass communication outage or power failure.

There will be many coolers worth of food (they feel bad for making me cook and provide sustenance, so they bring a lot of their own). Meats, breads, cheeses, wine, filtered water, fruits, vegetables and a whole smorgasbord of home made, home cooked yummy goodness. Even fresh canned treasures from their own garden. There is more food than can possibly be imagined, and my mother immediately starts organize the treasure on the cupboard, refrigerator and freezer with such precision, talent and concentration, one can only stand back in awe and watch the master at work.

Next will be all of Dad’s electronics. My father is a professional engineer, and truly believes that having every gadget known to man-kind is a must. And so he travels with the Garmin, his laptop and several things I have no clue as to their purpose, but they have a lot of chords. And parts. And little lights. And sometimes they make noise. I try not to go near where ever his treasure of electronics are, as I am a clumsy disaster waiting to happen, especially after a few glasses of wine.

All the bedding is next. Blankets, sheets and more pillows than anyone should be legally allowed to own. There is no shortage of pillows at my house, however, they like their own and want to make sure they are comfortable sleeping. Don’t you hate it when you sleep at someone else’s house, and it’s not YOUR pillow? And you can’t get comfortable. And it smells different. And then you wake up the next day with a sore neck? Smart people travel with their own pillows.

My wonderful parents also always bring lots of things for me . And the house, or garden, the laundry, the garage, or just because you might find a way to use it, stuff. It’s like Christmas, but better because you didn’t have to spend any money on gifts. Or wondering what to get people who already have everything. (Monogrammed golf shirt? Dad doesn’t play golf. That new fangled, gotta have it, only available for a limited time, can’t find in stores, so call now and get free steak knives too, kitchen gadget? Mom already has it.  A nose hair trimmer? Now, that’s just tacky).

After all of this, two very small, almost dainty, overnight bags are unloaded, containing toiletries on clothes. NO matter how long they are gone, a weekend or a month, somehow everything they will use, wear or need fits in those little bags. I swear they have no bottom, like going to see David Copperfield and he pulls a 10 foot pole out of a two-inch hat? Yes, just like that. It really is amazing to see everything they fit into those bags.

After everything is unloaded, organized and put in the proper place, everyone sits down and starts to catch up. Coffee is poured (unless it’s after 5, then it’s wine). There is laughter and smiles, teasing and oh so much love. we talk, tell of our latest adventures, whether in the garden or across the world and have good family time. Yes, it’s good to have family come visit.

I Think I’ve Got This

Funny how life throws you curve balls. And just when you think you can’t do it, you can and you do. Just when you are not sure you can, you reach deep down within, and pull thge strength up to come through.

So my sister and nephew are moving in for a while. My sister is already settled, so to speak, by nephew won’t move in for a couple of weeks. Mom and Dad were up all loast week for Dad’s chemo treatment. He went in Wednesday and this one was really rough on him. The doctors are optimistic, but the chemo gets worse on him with each dose. So it’s tough to see him in pain and in such bad shape.

But I have managed to take care of everyone, all four of them, and make sure they have everything that they need. Mom has her own space, smoking area, bathroom and comfort things. Dad has his own room, both up and downstairs, and his own diet food and he feels wewll cared for. My sister has her own space and comfort things, food and such, Allan has everythig he needs for school, My sister has a new waredrobe, hairstyle and resume, along with interview suits.

And still there have been good food for good meals, wine, warm blankets, hot tea, cool water and plenty of space. There has been worry, laughter, hugs, memories, thoughts and time together.

So far I have been able to provide everything they have needed and wanted, right down for new books for Mom to read. Oh, there have been freak out moments, such as this past Monday. I can I do this? Can I do this? Will I be good at it? The answer is yes. Because this is family and failure is not an option. 

So I can do this, be the head of the household and take care of everyone. I was nervous because I knew I would always be the one my family leaned on, but I always thought there would be someone with me, that I would not have to do it alone. But here I am. I can can do this. And still work, and still have a social life and friends. And still be me.

The Plight of the Elderly

Disclaimer – This post is meant to be funny and may cause uncontrollable laughter, smiling and induce a feeling of well being and happiness. Please be advised and read responsibly.

We have all heard it, how rough the elderly have it in this country. And no doubt getting older in this day and age is a lot harder than it used to be. The cost of living is much higher, pensions. medicaid and medicare assistance is lower, medicine and health care are sky rocketing, just to name a few.  But really, do the elderly have it that bad?

Honestly, I cannot wait to be in my 60′s and 70′s. Here’s why…

As I traveled with my mother this weekend, I noticed all the special treatment that was given to her. I might as well have been rotten chopped liver. But she was treated like royalty. There were discounts at the hotels for her, discounts for food for her, she did not have to put her own heavy suitcase in the above compartment on the airplane. There was none of that for me.  And speaking of airplanes, let’s just talk about the special treatment older people get in the security line.

Older people do not have to take their coats or shoes off. It even says so on a big sign in the security line. My mother accidentally left two (yes two!) cigarette lighters in her purse. The security people noticed it, smiled and put them back in her bags – on girl even smiling at her and telling my mother to just put it in her pocket. Do you know what would happen if I even thought about taking a lighter in my luggage at the airport? There would be 5 huge security people waiting to tackle me on the other side of the scanner, a strip search, an interrogation and possible jail time. For my mom? She got sweet approving smiles.

And have you noticed that older people can say whatever they want and it’s considered charming, funny, adorable or eccentric? I mean think about it…an 80 year old woman lets out a strong of obscenities and it’s funny, she could host Saturday Night Live. Just look at the wonderful, lovely, adorably and funny Betty White. Anyone under the age of 65? We are chastised, considered trashy and low class. If you see an elderly man wearing a t-shirt that has something dirty written on it? We think – good for them! Grandpa can still get it on!  Not so much for the younger set of men…

Have you ever been to church, I mean an old, large, well established Southern church? Especially on a special occasion like Easter? It must be a rule that the older you are, the bigger your hat must be. The size of a elderly woman’s hat in church is truly a status symbol, similar to how big a girls hair and shoulder pads could get back in the 80′s. The English have nothing on older Southern women when it comes to hats. The more colorful and outrageous those big hats are in church, the better. I think an elderly lady could wear a hat with naked hula dancers on it and it would be considered tasteful if over the age of 65.

There are two times in life that I plan to take full advantage and more of my situation. First, when I am pregnant and can blame everything on hormones – I plan to not hold back or be polite at all. That filter will be gone for a good 8 months. And I am going to eat everything I can get my teeth on. I am going to gain a lot of weight, because no one is going to take food away from a pregant woman, and I will be perfectly excused for attacking someone with my fork if they try. And me, and my big boobs and big thighs will be very happy. And then, when I am older, I am going to take full advantage of the fact that I will be able to get away with so much more than I ever could when younger.

If an older woman beats a man with a cane and she is praised as the feisty grandmother. If I did that today…well, it would not turn out so pretty. So, I am going to wait until I am in my 70′s, then visit all those people that made fun of me in school, laughed at me, cut me off in traffic or made me have a bad day…find them in the retirement home they are in and beat them with my feisty Grandmother cane. Then curse at them while wearing a completely in appropriate t-shirt and a huge tall colorful hat. Try doing that at 40 and they will commit you. At 70-something, they may throw you your own parade.

So these older whipper-snappers should stop complaining about how rough they have it. The world is their oyster. Maybe if they really wanted to do something constructive they would chase down congress and beat them their canes. Want the government to run right? Get a whole bunch of angry seniors armed with canes, Ben Gay, polygrip, and the like…the government would be on the right path in a day. McGiever has nothing on a whole bunch of scheming seniors who remember how to actually do math without a calculator. Run a budget? Those older people survived during several recessions and know how to make money stretch after retirement.

And maybe that is why seniors are given so much “social forgiveness”…because they have so much to teach us, if we will sit down long enough to learn from them.