the holiday season requires little additional effort here, since my decorating doesn’t
necessitate preparing for guests this year.
I have set out some of my miniatures, including my pre-decorated tree, also
candles, and vibrantly bright red live flowers.
Packages have been mailed, followed by receipt of subsequent messages notifying
me some have already been received. Greeting cards are all in the mail – yes, I
still send them though the numbers decrease every year since recipients keep
departing this earth – one of the less pleasant aspects of aging.
reminded of that loss difficulty with aging this week when I received a phone
message the 92 year old husband of a friend of my husband’s had passed away earlier this year. I especially recall my husband’s fascination
with flying, beginning as a military pilot, his wife reminisced.
She was one
of the female vocalists with one of my husband’s vocal groups many years ago that
sang in the style of the Hi Lo’s and Manhattan Transfer before I met him. She dovetailed her music career with her “real
job” -- as the musician’s describe work taken to support daily living needs –
was an airline stewardess in the days commercial flying was a pleasure for
passengers. I had met her and major
airline pilot husband only once but enjoyed sharing their friendship.
her call the next evening and we talked for hours. She had experienced such challenges, becoming
a caregiver as his health declined and he ultimately required hospice. She talked of the current fires which prompted
her to relate accounts of past evacuations the two of them had to undertake
years ago, since asthma caused him to be sensitive to smoke. They went
in whatever direction the wind wasn’t blowing the smoke, to Palm Springs,
sometimes Yuma, Arizona and occasionally even further east as others in their
area did. Now that she’s alone, fires
this year have required evacuation to a community center, neighbors assisting
her, she reports, as those folks also seek refuge elsewhere and for their horses.
conversation included discussing the inevitable living spouse’s task of
resolving myriad business matters following our loved one’s death. Sorting through possessions she came across
some discs bearing my name she had intended, but never got around to sending to
me. I recalled after my husband died she
had mentioned having recordings of their group she would copy for me if I
wanted them, which I had written her I did, of course.
that time her husband’s health altered, necessitating she provide him ever-increasing
care. Those who’ve experienced the
challenges of caregiving are familiar with all that entails -- how many good
intentions must be temporarily, or even permanently set aside, some escaping
our memory. This first Christmas or seasonal holiday without
the loved one can be especially difficult, but can also arouse many happy
holiday preparations, much work required for my house has been completed. I’ve been very pleased with the primary wood
and stucco workers following the electrician.
They’ve gone above and beyond expectations. I’ve especially appreciated their pointing
out and sealing screw applications in a small but significant roof area the
electrician neglected to do which is necessary to prevent leakage, to describe
just one of their extra efforts.
As might be
expected a glitch or two interrupts the efficient scheduled flow of further work
toward completion. A temperamental workman
cancelled after jumping to an erroneous conclusion, so now I must hire another.
Perhaps he simply did so because he had
the opportunity for a more lucrative job, since he previously told me how busy he was.
In any event I won’t attempt to clarify matters with him due to the
manner in which he ended our association.
I had even been considering him for additional work if this job was
instance, so much for words of a handyman carpenter when I first hired him, who
said he would be available for whatever I might need. Perhaps he’s getting more work to his taste
as he has become more particular – rejecting painting now. I can’t
fault that because isn’t that what most of us seek when we choose to work
independently – to be able to focus our efforts just on those tasks we enjoy
ten years old laptop my tech guru son has resuscitated for me more than once, is
now exhibiting a previous problem again, but struggles along – for how much
longer, I don’t know. My little old
netbook backup computer also died early this year. Now, I’ve reached a point I can have little
confidence in this device with which I really don’t want to part, but…….this
condition is close to terminal.
My tech supporter
son has converted to a Mac so it seems I best do the same to ease any troubleshooting
I might need across the miles that separate us. My daughter is also a convert and will benefit
from my granddaughter’s assistance if she has adaptation problems, so guess I’d wisely best join the
crowd. I’m not sure I’ll welcome having to learn the
new system. On the other hand, learning something
new is recommended for stimulating our brain to help deter stagnation and other
The 3rd largest
California wildfire ever, referred to as the Thomas Fire, is only 40% contained
as I write this – continuing, are designated red flag areas, as very low
humidity prevails. Sundowner winds with gusts to
over 40 miles per hour, sometimes up to 60 mph, are wickedly whipping the
flames licking around the Santa Barbara area and Ventura. A life, many
homes, other structures, animals including numerous horses, vegetation have all been lost since this fire, raging from Los
Angles to San Francisco, has roared through thousands of acres leaving
devastation in its wake.
Do you have special plans for the holidays?
Is your residence’s
physical condition in need of repair?
successful are you in having good reliable workmen/handyman help?
average citizen being snowed by touts of how much more money they’ll have if
this budget passes?
Why are the people’s
tax cuts for only ten years but corporations are permanent?
Will most of the corporations use their financial gains to buy back their stock, pay investors dividends, as many indicated last summer when asked, rather than creating jobs?
How much will Donald Trump and his families companies profit from this tax bill?
When will Donald Trump reveal his tax return to dispel conflicts of interest concerns?
Will Donald Trump ever express concern a foreign nation, Russia, attempted to interfere in our elections and continues to do so?
Why does Donald Trump not want to protect our nation from this Russian elections invasion our national security agencies have documented -- a threat violating our fundamental constitutional rights?
What will happen to all the people who will lose health care as this tax bill continues the collapse of the Affordable Health Care Act?
neutrality really prevail now that the FCC removed the safeguard?
What more do you have yet to do to be ready for this holiday season?
going on in the country and the world – pretty serious matters having bearing
on all our lives. I continue staying
abreast of much, especially issues from our government, but for now will refine
my focus here to my immediate concerns.
shorted out yet, but these household projects go on … and on … and on … or so
it seems. I’m awaiting another written
proposal for some needed work on the house in the area where the upgraded
electrical circuit box was installed.
same-size electric box trade-out there – the new box is bigger. So they whack away at the house exterior
which later requires hiring other workers to repair all that, then paint to
match as best they can – but we’re not there yet. I hardly expected as much shattered exterior
as I saw when they had installed the box.
I don’t recall that I was forewarned about this eventuality, but they encountered
more than they expected, too, I guess.
mention the electrician was here from before noon with first an estimate and
then about noon began a 4-5 hour job, they said, but didn’t finish until after
midnight? I was exhausted, and I hadn’t done anything
and am even, usually, a night owl. They encountered unexpected complications –
isn’t that always the case!
difficultly had to do with the power line from the pole to the house – I’m still
waiting for the power company to come raise and lengthen that line – hoping strong
Santa Ana winds blowing now don’t come through here breaking my connection. The city official to clear the electrical work meets code must check yet, also.
electricians managed to get me connected so all systems go -- I finally had
light, other than my emergency lantern.
At least the
much needed servicing of my furnace and air conditioner could now be finished, so I called him back to complete that service. This is what started all this as our crazy weather has bounced back and forth from Southern
California’s summer warm to fall’s cool,
when, coincidentally, suddenly the blower didn’t work.
Then, I had
my previously planned service from the plumber who simply replaced one commode’s
entire innards and handle. No more water
running briefly into the bowl for a short while after each flushing due to slow
leakage from the tank.
No need to
replace the whole commode contrary to what a handyman said who’d put in a new part of the
unit’s “guts” last spring, but offering only I needed a new commode for this latest issue which he likely was prepared to install. I may not use him again.
So, I now await
a final service proposal, then I’ll make a selection for the next steps --
repairing, culminating in allowing the stucco to dry, then painting. What
is it that all of this exhausts me thinking about it and seems more draining of
my energies than when I was younger?
And I’m not doing the physical labor!
forward to slightly decreased electric and water bills – every little bit
helps. I think of all this as
contributing to the economy – that I’m helping the young businessmen coming to
work – who need money for the holidays. Where are all the old timers -- blogging about aging? Can’t
help noticing these service guys are all much younger than me, but then who isn’t!
My goal is
to have all of this completed before Christmas – maybe even within this week or
surely by next week at the latest; absolutely before New Year's Day!
I trust all
had a happy Thanksgiving as did I. Kind
young neighbors surprised me with a dinner plate plus pie and some creative miniature
turkey treats from holiday food they had prepared for their several day visit
to family. This was so generous and appreciated as I had
not planned to cook, but had some deli items I had purchased.
been a bit complicated the preceding week and is only partially resolved
now. I do have electrical power from an upgraded
system, but there’s more to address.
ever noticed that house issues usually occur at the end of a week, on a weekend
and/or around a holiday – that what may appear to be a relatively simple problem
has an uncanny way of morphing into more matters requiring attention? Or, at least that’s what’s happened here. So, I
am, and continue to be busy with all this.
As often happens beginning
when I first encountered Ronni Bennett’s
writing at her blog “Time Goes By” eleven or so years ago, her words often
prompt me to think about the topic or associated matters introduced. Her subject (11/13/17) discussing hearing loss and
using hearing aids prompted me to make this comment though edited which I’m sharing here in
case readers didn’t see it there.
I’ve long believed aids to sensory system losses should be
regarded as a fundamental health care need. We are the information our
brain receives through our senses -- just as the ability to communicate in some
form or another is vital to our well-being, whatever our physical state.
Our priorities seem not to recognize these facts until we begin to lose these abilities at
any age, though the older we become the more prone to their functional decline we are.
What that means is — eye care, including glasses ..... ear
care and hearing ..... are two senses of critical importance to our
retaining a healthy mental — cognitive status. Maintaining
this state holds special significance as we age -- our bodies start to reflect the wear
and tear of living -- and the ability to communicate — hearing and speaking to
express our needs, wants and feelings — becomes increasingly vital.
For many years, at least in earlier generations, people
disdained wearing glasses and were often the butt of disparaging jokes i.e.
called “four eyes” and other terms, just as many others with various
disabilities were subjected to put-downs. We seem to have become
more accepting of glasses use, but many people are still too proud to use
hearing aids, or are in denial they have hearing loss — often blaming others
for not speaking clearly or loudly enough.
Also, many with hearing loss, or those who communicate with
them, don’t use the techniques needed to best enable their hearing with what
residual hearing they have. As a Speech-Language-Hearing Pathologist
(retired now) I have additionally provided services for individuals with
hearing loss, some with their family members, and others — to best maximize
hearing aid use and benefits.
The first thing to understand is that not all hearing loss is
amenable to correction simply by amplification. Purchasing
amplifying hearing aids would obviously be of little benefit for some in that
case. Having hearing evaluated by a licensed and certified American
Speech-Language-Hearing (ASHA) Audiologist who is trained to identify not only
hearing loss types, but also possible medical issues requiring further medical
assessment is recommended, as opposed to hearing assessments provided by
some businesses simply testing and selling hearing aids.
My experience has been that too many people expect hearing
aid(s) will return their hearing to be exactly as it was before the loss.
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Numerous factors come into play, and
the brain processing of information that the ear mechanism receives with the
help of the aid(s) must be relearned in the brain.
(Darlene’s description in her TGB blog comment describing the challenge she’s had appreciating music again is an example of that
process, though speech sounds are processed in different brain areas and are more
amenable to intelligible adaptation.)
For the brain to best adapt to the hearing aided sounds --
the individual needs to wear the hearing aids over time. All too
often when my services were requested the hearing aid(s) had been spending most
of their time in the drawer as others report in their TGB comments. Also, the individual with hearing loss did not know how to compensate for
the aid(s) short-comings, or what they needed to educate their friends and
family to understand about how to best communicate with them. Or,
those same caring family didn’t pay attention to what was needed and my
patient’s hope was they might listen if they had a professional explain it to
Attenuation issues are a common complaint with hearing
aids. Our brain has the ability to selectively focus on one speaker
in a crowd while somewhat tuning out some of the crowd noise, for example.
Amplification simply turns up the volume on all sounds. Aid
users must learn through use and practice how to accommodate and adapt to
making their aid(s) work best for them in all situations.
Considering our individual unique perceiving skills, doing so will vary
to some extent for users depending on how they respond to the differing hearing
situations they’re in, their hearing loss and possibly the type aid they
I note from what users have written in comments at TGB that the
hearing aids promoted as having attenuation capabilities leave much to be
desired. This should be a cautionary tale to explore their
limitations with a competent professional before purchasing.
All that said, using hearing aids can be a godsend for those
with hearing loss and those with whom they interact. Given the
technological knowledge and skills in this nation, high quality inexpensive
hearing aids should be available to everyone with hearing loss who needs them.
Me too! That exclamation
supports what far too many individuals around the world experience. Here in the U.S., the courageous outpouring of
individuals revealing the pain and mental suffering they’ve experienced -- afraid
to protest against those who have harassed, molested or physically assaulted
them at some time during their life time.
Nothing angers me more
than those whose ignorance causes them to condemn individuals finally feeling
able to safely identify their perpetrators, sometimes from decades earlier in their
life. I hear the condemners of those who
have been violated disparage them by saying, “Why didn’t they come forward to
report it immediately after it happened?” – therefore, they make the erroneous
assumption the act, whatever it was, did not occur.
I can personally vouch for
the fact that revealing having been harassed, been aware of others harassed,
molested or groomed for assault and naming the perpetrator is as authentic in
reporting whether doing so occurs immediately afterward, 77 years later, or on
any given day in between! That does
allow that some effort can be made to authenticate the report.
In my case, I only
recently learned the perpetrator of one of my unsolicited events was convicted
twenty years later following other persons experience. He had ascended to a high position in a
trusted life-saving caregiving position by that time. I have wondered how many unrevealed others
there were in the interim following me and before them?
Thought to be a first time offender and such
a credit to society in his work position, I think he may have been released. That has led me to wonder how many more since
then? I’ve concluded given what his age must be now,
he must surely have expired or is physically harmless.
Lest you ask, he has lived across country from
me and I don’t intend to invest my time or money into tracking him down
now. Had I known about all this years ago I most
certainly would have contacted authorities there then.
I won't describe a number of my additional experiences, or that of others I know to be fact, but a startling though minor one to me at the time was the occasion years ago I was waiting at a crowded crosswalk on a famed street in San Francisco,
California and received an unsolicited buttocks grope – supposedly to be
interpreted by the groper as a compliment, I gather, much as I’m told routinely occurs in Italy, possibly other select European cities and cultures. Knowing what is harmless and what is not isn't always easily determined and can be learned by some too late.
Our Offender-in-Chief has
hardly modeled morally desired behavior for persons in power based on
documented reports of numerous instances in his adult life as he self-described.. Though this was known before his election, a
minority of this nation’s electorate still voted for him – some, reported to be
of strict but hypocritical religious moral beliefs, ironically, continue to support him.
There may be hope that his
supporters are decreasing in numbers. Desperation,
due to increasing threats to his credibility and legitimacy, has motivated him
to resort to his standard playbook of instigating distraction, deflection and
attack, as usual, in such circumstances.
He has enlisted his partisan appointee Attorney General (shades of Nixon/Mitchell)
to pursue questionable accusations involving a foundation associated with the
candidate who opposed him in last year’s election. I’m left to wonder if the Russians are coming
and/or the kitchen is beginning to get a mite too warm for him given investigations of him and his family. .
BUGS …. Germs
….. of some unknown variety, do play
havoc with our lives sometimes. Who
knows where they come from, or even what they are. They just do their nasty little thing
disrupting daily life for however long -- sometimes causing us to wonder if
they’re serious enough to call 911 for emergency transport to the hospital, or
if this is one more situation we can just tough out.
clearly I’m here, so guess I made the right decision remaining at home. Only a couple or so of those days had
instances of my pondering where it was best for me to be. I did
always keep my phone with me, just in case.
I managed to stay on my feet long
enough to get around for needed nourishment, to take care of business, to drink
plenty of water, and sleep as I could. The microwave and prepared soups I try to keep
on hand were real convenient.
I have to confess to not being as dedicated during
this time I’ve not posted as others who write.
I just laid around in bed some of those days this past week, didn’t
always dress, sometimes lounged in the recliner with eyes closed while allowing
the TV to babble on, and at least daily texted my children as they had long ago
requested I do in any such circumstance.
Then, I tested my endurance for a
few days with increasingly longer trips out on errands.
I could have
resumed writing here sooner, but I just couldn’t enthusiastically center my
thoughts on any one of a never-ending number of topics continuing to emerge in
our unsettled U.S. and world news – much less explore in writing some of life’s
other fascinations. However,
there are some matters which have caught my attention that are worth following
in future news as they could portend troublesome influences in the quality and
truthfulness of our news dissemination -- what is true and what is fake.
social networks are finally being revealed to be of concern as we’re officially
learning in Congressional Committee testimony given from Facebook, Twitter and
Google corporate representatives. Users of those free services are the product
being sold, in case anyone doesn’t recognize that fact. And purchasing their attention is what was done....by Russian bots…..who gifted them
with content designed to create division, foment violence with controversy and
lies, spread fake news -- the intent being to influence their readers, our elections and undermine the integrity of
our system of government.
citizen should ask:
-- why has our current President been so willing
to accept a foreign nation’s interference in our election – that nation being
Russia, recognized by national security forces as an adversary at best?
has our current President been so reticent, even resistant, to investigating
Russia’s interference in our election –
he certainly hasn’t pressed that matter?
-- why doesn’t our current President regard
interference in our election process a threat to our nation’s security – this fundamental
basis for our form of government?
-- why doesn’t our current President who wants
to build a wall, restrict entry into our country by select peoples, and
increase our military might for protection not care enough to protect our form
of government from this “invasion”?
did our current President swear allegiance to the U.S. Constitution if he isn’t
dedicated to protecting the validity of our voting system?
The Presidential oath to which our current
President swore includes these words:
“…will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution
of the United States.”
The 2017 World Series of Baseball final game will be played later tonight.
This has been an exciting series -- lots of action -- bases stolen -- base runners thrown out -- the most home runs in a World Series -- some great pitching and some less so -- an instance of bad behavior -- some players with hair to spare (think redhead) -- and what would baseball be without lots of chewing and spitting! (at least they've given up tobacco and snuff)
Emotional cords are pulling on fans heart strings for both the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
I can't be unhappy whoever wins, but will root for our California team.
Don't tell anyone, but I've been stuck with a soft spot in my heart for the Cleveland Indians ever since they last won a pennant in 1948.
ago this week this blog was unintentionally launched onto the Internet. Frantically searching into the wee morning hours, I was unable to find Blogger directions for
removing that content I had been writing experimentally. I couldn’t phone friend or family at that
hour either for help. I understood so
little about digital technology then as I was still teaching myself how to use a
computer which I had acquired for the first time earlier that year. I
panicked at the thought my words were irretrievably “out there”, which I’ve
long since realized hardly mattered at all.
But, given my Internet naivety I reconciled myself there was nothing I
could do but continue with the blog to save face, so to speak.
my blog, coincided with a major life change following my husband’s sudden death
earlier that year. Natural reminiscences
prompted by his loss, my gradual aging-related recollections with the increasing passing of family
and friends, has often stimulated my thoughts to reflecting on my feelings and
life experiences. Often when I’ve sat down
to write a blog post I’ve gotten side-tracked with some of those tangential
So, I began writing
those stories as they emerged, but in no particular sequence. I’ve recounted a few, or portions of them,
here, but the rest I consider personal, to be more appropriately appreciated for
sharing with my adult children and, likely their children one day. One fond
memory, in abbreviated form here, often comes to mind when I think of fall -- and
especially Indian Summer.
October, or autumn,
has also happened to be my favorite time of year. Living many years in a Great Lakes State we
were treated to fall’s magnificent leaves colors of golden yellow, shades of
flaming reds to rust and rich browns embracing the trees before gently falling
to the ground in preparation for winter’s snows. I looked forward to those years when late in
the season we’d experience a period of cold temperatures or frost, then
unexpectedly a brief episode of unseasonably warm, dry and calm weather would
suddenly intrude ….. Indian Summer arrived…..as has this memory in subsequent
I had ended
a relationship the previous year and a lengthy period followed before I began
to notice in the Spring the presence of a nearby resident to whom I had
previously never paid any attention, when he and his parents had moved there
from out of state many months earlier. I now became aware of this
handsome young man who had a light olive complexion, short dark hair slightly
receding at the temples, that said to me he was older, possibly close in age to
my 23 years.
He had a
physical build one would expect to see today on someone who regularly did body
building, though his 5' 11" trim muscular stature was just natural. Few
men engaged in exercise workouts then that I knew, as many do today, nor had he,
I later learned. I didn’t
really date that much and didn’t really think of him as the type I expected to
I was quite
pleased though when almost simultaneously with my awareness of him, he phoned
me for the first time. That spring and summer we enjoyed each others
company in as many fun activities as were available in the small town
environment where I was living then. I remember the increased rush of feelings I
felt on those occasions when he began periodically coming to transact business
where I worked instead of where he previously had gone, though we had no direct
contact in the business place.
played penny ante poker with my parents. He was clearly gambling card
savvy, generally winning, and my strong suit of bluffing seemed not to work
with him. There were afternoons
and evenings swimming at a large spring fed lake nestled in the hills outside
of town.Sometimes, we just walked together,
talking or in silence, holding hands, sauntering past stores on the few short
blocks of the downtown main street, only a short distance from where we each
lived. Sometimes we visited the one popular darkened interior atmospheric
watering hole, or further up the street there was the attraction of the local
Isaly'sice cream store – which, coincidentally, has returned to the marketplace
(black and white only, as color came years later) was becoming accessible with
cable installations enabling more people to receive broadcast signals from the
distant stations. Their reception had
previously been unavailable due to topography interference. I don’t recall that we watched any TV,
did I know, though it had always been in the back of my mind, that before the
next year ended I would be employed at one of those commercial television
stations -- in spite of the fact Public Broadcasting was what initially interested
was being enhanced to stereophonic sound on our long playing (LP) vinyl records
for the music we enjoyed. Occasionally
we went to the local movie theater. Then
there was the annual County Fair with those colorful “Dancing Waters”, rides
including a Ferris Wheel, Tilt-O-Wheel, the fun wandering among the various
animal barns, treating ourselves to the fast food only available at traveling
fairs and carnivals.
experienced the always surreal to me Indian Summer that year after the summer
turned into fall. I remember those
occasions when we lost track of time as conversation and our friendship took a
more serious turn. I think this may have alarmed both of us, since we
each had quite different plans for our lives. Just as suddenly as we had
started dating, we stopped. I had mixed feelings, but neither of us reached out to the other.
Summer inexplicably signaled the finality of more than just the season after a
very special spring and summer. There have been times over the years when I've
wondered what became of my bronzed young friend. I do know that though we
would not have been a good long term match, fall seasons that have an Indian
Summer are very special to me.
Vaughn’s rendition of a favorite “Indian Summer” jazz melody:
Open letter to whom it may concern . . . . .
if you receive any reports I was seen behaving rather strangely last
Friday afternoon, I just want you to know . . . . . I have not slipped a mental cog . . . . .
-yes, that woman sitting in a lawn chair at the end
of the sidewalk outside her dentist’s office next to a small American flag planted in the ground was
me . . . . .
-yes, I was overlooking
Route 66 with the boulevard’s usual busy
auto trafficin all lanes . . . . .
-yes, I did attract a few curious gazes from passersby and
the young boy skateboarding on the sidewalk . . . . .
-yes, I did sit there for ten or fifteen minutes before
seeing a vehicle with a sign across the front that said, “Convoy Follows” . . .
-yes, there was a jeep-like vehicle behind it, but I didn't notice any other military vehicles, plus I wasn’t
sure if the other ordinary cars and SUVs were part of the convoy or just the usual
traffic . . . . .
-yes, I waited ten minutes or so more but saw no more
recognizable military vehicles . . . . .
-yes, I finally gathered my belongings into my car’s trunk,
then parked overlooking the boulevard just in case more vehicles should come .
. . . .
-yes, I waited about ten minutes longer, then as I was about to
leave a large military troop carrier type truck and a couple or so more
jeep-type vehicles passed by quickly . .
. . .
-yes, I noticed on the back of one of those vehicles a sign
that said, “Convoy Ahead” alerting me to
the fact the Convoy had come and gone . . . . .
-yes, I felt kinda foolish that the military vehicle convoy I
had expected to see apparently was much more disconnected and shorter than I expected . . . . .
-yes, I understood now why the local newspaper office and
police department when I phoned them several hours earlier knew nothing about a convoy coming through
our town as this turned out to be pretty
much traffic as usual . . . . .
-yes, I felt rather silly to have contacted our newspaper and local police asking for the convoy schedule here, plus I had even gone to the trouble earlier to phone the
convoy group’s national office to find out when they would be coming through
our town . . . . .
-yes, I was encouraged about seeing the convoy when the phone
person spoke enthusiastically about all the vehicles she had seen when they had
been in her Midwestern town . . . . .
-yes, when she gave me the convoy leader’s phone number I
even called and received a courteous call back giving me an accurately close approximation
of when the vehicles would pass through our city. . . . .
-yes, I did plan to take a photo or video to share here, but the
convoy was so short, came and went so disjointed and fast, I have nothing to
share except this tale of unrealized expectations.
Refer to “Route 66 Convoy” segment in my previous post for specifics about MVPA if unfamiliar.
I am left to share with you one of my favorite versions of the following tune.
performance by The Manhattan Transfer of "Route 66", one of their
classic signature tunes.”
We have so many expectations in life – of ourselves and of
others -- as I did of the Convoy above. What is reasonable and
realistic? I think of this in relation
to all the needs that are arising in view of the disasters sweeping our nation –
the current destructive life-taking fires raging in Northern California, our
own fires here in Southern California, the hurricanes winds and flooding waters
affecting so many U.S. citizens and others elsewhere, as well as those
victimized by gun violence. Certainly the expectation for our good health is ranked high on our list, too, but when disease, accident, illness intrude, our lives are drastically affected, but that's a whole topic unto itself.
Seems we’re hearing increasing news accounts of older people
being especially adversely affected in these disasters. I think of the Florida nursing home where
residents should have been evacuated to a nearby hospital when their facility
was flooded. There have been numerous
reports of Puerto Rico older residents in dire need of food, water, medicine
and other health care long after the hurricane has passed, not to mention the continuing needs
of all other ages. Reports are still
emerging from Northern California fires for unaccounted lives -- but some known
older folks, who were unable to evacuate quickly enough to survive, have been
identified. What were their expectations?
The reality is, we may need to reassess our expectations of ourselves and others. Whether or not we like it, most older people
are not going to be as agile, fast, or as able to avoid dangerous
situations. Those with mobility limitations, in addition to being older, are
going to be slowed whatever their age, wherever they are, whether they are
subjected to a sudden disastrous occurrence, or even if they have warning. We’re
all wise to think about our situation now, or well in advance whenever -- in terms of our own personal status --
our physical condition, where we live, to plan in advance accordingly. We may need to “leave”, not “stay”, or act early -- long before others.
Often we’re given recommendations about creating an
environment inside our residences that will maximize our safety, or to move to
a one floor plan setting, to eliminate steps, avoid ladders indoors and
outdoors. There is more we need to do.
We need to inquire in each of our communities about what
systems are in place to provide us advance evacuation or shelter-seeking
warnings, if we live in a fire, flood, hurricane/tornado high winds area. Those
of us living in earthquake prone areas are looking forward to a possible
warning system in California, but that’s a few years away, if at all, though
Japan has had an effective one for several years.
We all will want to familiarize ourselves with what provisions
have been made by our community to come to our aid before the storm, if expected, and
after the disaster. Older couples need this information, but older single
people certainly do, too, and especially those who may not have family or friends
nearby to be checking on their welfare. Others may need to be occupied looking out for themselves. Certainly we would hope all of us would be looking out for each other -- that would be our expectation.
Expectations for most Americans, other than the most wealthy,
are not very promising based on this current Prez‘s continued betraying actions of the voting majority. Undermining the solvency of the Affordable
Care Act (ACA; aka Obamacare) is systematically being done by Executive Order. What
we will have now is basically Trump Care, as any resolution is left to his Congressional
political party whose solutions to date have been untenable with either party.
This administration also continues to dash
the expectations of citizens for safety -- environmentally -- as efforts to provide
clean air -- the very breath of life -- are undermined by the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) regulations reductions. One such, results in increasing polluting coal
burning (in an already fading industry whose decline has been due to a growing independent evolution to cleaner energy
Revelations of Russian propaganda efforts to interfere in our past election continue which demonstrates their government's lack of honorable values. This dishonest ethical failure leaves me with an expectation that, regrettably, Russia's government will continue to be untrustworthy.
Collecting monies we’re due often seems unduly complicated. For example, I sometimes wonder if there’s a legitimate
rationale behind some claim rejections, or if a denial is merely the first step of an automatic
process deliberately designed to wear down a claimant’s will. Often
with a denial the claimant is told they may appeal as a next step. Sometimes even that appeal may be denied and
a further appeal may be necessary. This requires even more action which some
claimants may tire of expending their time and effort on, so they just don’t
However, on general principle, I did appeal two denials when
I was awarded only a partial amount of a full claim I filed after a first
denial earlier this year as described in my June “Gift Card Saga” post.
UPDATED RECAP GIFT CARD SAGA RESOLUTION
1) I purchased $200
USPS insurance to cover several gift cards totaling $205; mailed to arrive
before Mother’s Day; never delivered, received, or redeemed by anyone.
2) I filed a claim in mid/late May for $55 – the
amount of two businesses that could not or would not void the balances on the
unredeemed cards and reissue replacements, unlike the other two businesses I had
contacted, so I didn’t file those amounts but did report what I had done.
3) June I received a
check for only $17.67 USPS claim settlement which I appealed.
4) July my appeal was
denied but was advised I could appeal further up chain of command which I did, asking for either the difference or an explanation of how only the partial amount I was
awarded had been determined.
5) Oct. I received a
check for the balance of my claim $37.33; no explanation.
Note my time and effort required because the full amount of my
claim wasn’t honored when first filed. I
might well have not pursued this due to the small amount when my life was so busy years
earlier before I retired because.....
-- I successfully had to make multiple phone calls, await call
backs over time, obtaining from two businesses transference of the full unused
card balances to new accounts; unsuccessfully doing so with other two cards due
to their systems.
-- Meanwhile, also unreimbursed was my time, energy, postage to
prepare the claim, copy required documentation.
costs also were incurred for employee(s) processing the claim whose salaries
are paid for from my insurance and postage monies – perhaps this contributes to
postage rate increases.
I wonder what sort of experiences others may have had
claiming monies due them that they have been denied?
TRIBUTES -- TRAGEDY
Fall is trying to make an appearance here in Southern
California inland where I live. What
that means is our daytime highs are in the 80’s now. Some dry winds, referred to as Santa Ana’s, will be
blowing in from the desert east of us. I’d surely welcome some rain, but perhaps
Lots of tributes in our Los Angeles area news to lives lost,
those injured, loved ones sorrow, stories
of ordinary people becoming heroes by exhibiting
extraordinary valor during the Las Vegas atrocity (see previous post.) So many folks attending the ill-fated Route
91 Harvest Festival were from Southern California.
I’m left to wonder
what measures, if any, will be taken by our Congress and this Administration to
address the stranglehold commercial gun interests have on our nation? Action is avoided under the guise of
protecting Second Amendment rights as the mindless killing continues in the U.S.
– which we experience in greater numbers than in most other nations whose
people also value life as well as freedom, but have addressed the gun issue, unlike the U.S.
Puerto Ricans continue to cope with life threatening
situations for so many without power, communications, water and food reportedly due to distribution problems inland on the island.
Our Prez’s visit there recently
and his behavior -- tossing token paper
towel rolls to residents which had a “let
them eat cake” quality – said and did little to cause me to think he had the slightest
bit of empathy, compassion,
understanding, or caring for these U.S. citizens dire situation. Island
residents are not eligible to vote there, so I couldn’t help wondering if this
had any bearing on what has seemed to be an attitude of not even a modicum of
concern for those in need ..... in addition to what some perceive as his disdain for those of some other cultures and people of little means?
ROUTE 66 CONVOY
Living near U.S. Route 66 which extends from Chicago, Illinois
to Los Angeles, California my attention was captured recently when I read a military
convoy (MVPA) would be travelling that “Mother Road” -- as author John
Steinbeck described this highway in his novel “The Grapes of Wrath” later made
into a movie.
"World War II caused a marked decline in civilian and
tourist traffic, but it stimulated new business along U.S. 66, when it acted as
a military transport corridor moving troops and supplies from one military
reservation to another. Motels saw an
increase in occupancy, as families of servicemen stationed at military bases
stayed for long stretches. But more
significantly, Route 66 facilitated perhaps the single greatest wartime
mobilization, as thousands of job seekers headed to California, Oregon and
Washington to work in defense plants.”
I recall my husband’s sometimes humorous stories about a
driving adventure he and a couple of his
buddies made from Ohio to Chicago to head west across the country on Route
66. Coincidentally, twenty plus years later he
and I would move to California to settle just north of that fabled highway (called
Foothill Blvd. here) and where I still live.
My husband said when they drove much
of the area into Los Angeles, citrus orchards abounded on both sides of the road
– primarily oranges, lemons – long since replaced with housing construction, strip
malls, businesses, burgeoning city populations, numerous nearby colleges and
This convoy description reports:
“Established in 1976,
the non-profit MVPA is dedicated to providing an international organization for
military vehicle enthusiasts, historians, preservationists and collectors
interested in the acquisition, restoration, preservation, safe operation and
public education of historic military transport.”
Among the key points of this 2,300 mile Convoy is this statement:
“No weapons (real or otherwise) will be allowed on Convoy
The military convoy travelling Route 66 through our city
likely will pass through here Friday, October 13 following a “Rest Day” in Barstow, CA east
of here Thursday, October 12. Their next
stop Friday is expected to be In Irwindale, CA west of here before continuing
Saturday to their final destination in Santa Monica. Apparently there is no planned stop in my
city. I haven’t even read about or heard any
mention of their passing through here, so I’m curious to see what develops.
Talented jazz musician Nat King Cole accompanies himself on piano as he sings "Route 66"