My Week: Getting Old

Sunday was busy enough for me to feel decent about it. I wasn’t totally lazy. There was much to be done and I did much of it. Plus, DD and I had a conversation that added up to about an hour and a half. There’s a redesign in the works for this site and the forum so we had lots to talk about.

I’d called the Medicare line but it wasn’t during the hours of operation. I called back on Monday and, after a lengthy wait, I was able to talk to a real person. I’d thought I’d be able to sign up for Part B online but that wasn’t the case. I would have to go to the Social Security office (about a million miles away and hard to find) armed with a photo ID, my terminated insurance card and a letter from my former employer stating the last worked day. Appointments were available for any day that week so I chose one for Thursday at 10. Friday, I was to go to Grandparents Day so I’d just go down a day early and spend the night.

Monday and Tuesday went about as usual. Get up, take care of my routine then work on one or the other web site OR the house. Wednesday came and that’s where the routine stopped. I wasn’t going to prayer meeting because I’d have to get up before the crack of dawn to get to my appointment on time. Then the pastor called and left voice mail. I called him back.

“You will be at prayer meeting tonight?” No. I was planning to skip because of my early appointment in Chattanooga. “Well, you’ll want to reconsider and come anyway.” I don’t think so. I need to go to bed early. Was there something I needed to be aware of? He reluctantly told me he’d gotten with the elders and they were going to take a tidy sum out of the emergency fund and there would be a check waiting for me there. I was floored! While I’m not rich, Twinkle and I won’t starve, either. He said that I’d been hit so hard lately with one financial miscue after another that the church wanted to help me out. I told him if I took it, I felt it would be under false pretenses. It should go to someone who needed it worse than I did. Finally, I convinced him. I thanked him from the bottom of my heart for the thoughtfulness but…

I chatted on gmail with DD and merm. They both thought I should have taken it. Then I went to see my neighbor and told her what had happened. She said, “I told ’em you wouldn’t take it.” She was right. We talked a little longer and I came home.

Thinking about what had happened made me feel humble and proud all at the same time. It also made me thankful that I’m not in a position where I needed to take it. I had assured the pastor I’d let him know if I needed help down the road. Now I know it will be there if I need it.

It’s been getting progressively colder this week. One evening, I went out and took some pictures of my Malabar/Ceylon spinach (aka mong toi). I picked some of the leaves to eat later, too. It’s still surviving.

Leaves at the base

Maybe 3.5' tall

It really does have a flavor similar to spinach but without the bitterness. I’ve read that, if it’s cooked too long, it will get bitter but I haven’t been there, done that yet. Next year, I’ll plant it where it gets more sun. I think that’s why it’s doing better now. Since the sun is moving south, the “spinach” gets more of what it needs.

Well, Thursday morning came. I had my alarm set for 5 a.m. Waking before that, I went to the bathroom, squinted at the clock and saw it was 4:30. I figured I might as well get up so I reached to turn the alarm off. THAT clock had 3:39. I looked at the one across the room and it said 3:39, too. I must’ve been dreaming before. I turned over and went back to sleep.

When I DID get up, I juned around like it was a work day. I was gone within minutes of my goal-leaving-time and went to top off the tank. I was all the way to the bottom of the mountain when it hit me I’d left my camera. Oh, well, there would be others at Grandparents Day. I continued on. I had An Appointment.

I’d printed off directions to the destination and referred to them now and then. I thought, “This would be a good time to have that GPS working” but it would take longer than I had to orient myself to it. It stayed in the box in the sack.

It was only 9:30 when I pulled up to the building. There’s an electronic check-in. I took care of that and got my confirmation slip. I’d taken the book merm sent me. I settled down toward the back of the rows of chairs and opened it. When someone was called, I realized I should probably be closer to the doors so I could hear my name so I moved. No sooner had I opened the book again, a man boomed out my name.

On the way to his desk, I told him I’d not even gotten to start reading. He commented that it was supposed to rain to which I replied I’d left my umbrella in the car. “Well, we’ll try to get you out of here before it starts.” We took our respective places on either side of the desk and I knew it was the same man who had helped me with my Part A more than two years ago. I guess it isn’t surprising he didn’t remember me.

I gave him the letter from the hospital and he figured he could use that in place of the form the employer is supposed to fill out and sign. In no time flat, he said, “I have you enrolled for Part B effective November 1.” When I got in the car, the clock on the dash read 10 o’clock. I was in and out before my appointment time had rolled around.

Leaving, I had little idea of which direction I should go to get to the university. I prayed and followed my instincts. Soon, I realized where I was and decided I would go to Earth Fare. It’s kind of off the beaten path for me. Getting there was easy enough and I walked out with two things—a container of olives from the olive bar and a bottle of discontinued Seventh Generation detergent.

Then it was on to the university and the supermarket. It was only about 11 then so I took my time. I sat in the car and ate my lunch after I shopped—three bananas and some carob covered raisins. Then I called my sister who was staying at her daughter’s house. After making sure I wasn’t interrupting more than her ironing, I went over and spent the rest of the afternoon visiting with her. It was so nice out (not raining and balmy) we went for a walk. Her grandchildren got home from school and we visited, too. At 6, I called and everyone was home at DS2’s house.

The time there was very pleasant. My granddaughter has signs on her bedroom door. I copied a lot of them but the one I remember right off says, “Knock first please. I will not answer if I’m not in the room.” Another says, “No hitting, kicking, and other stuff like that.” I really don’t think Stuff Like That goes on there but I guess it’s good to have a rule.

A couple of weeks ago, I got a Bounce Dryer Bar in the mail. It said to install it “between the fins”. Well, I have a top-loading dryer and it doesn’t have fins. It has one fin. I wasn’t sure I could use it without interfering with the mechanism so I took it to my DIL. She was thrilled to get it! She said she’d started using it months ago and that was the only way to go. First, she bought a 30 day one to make sure it lived up to the hype. Since then, she’s been buying the ones that last longer. Now, she has a FREE three month one.

DS2 was gone when I got up the next morning. My DIL and granddaughter were getting ready to go. I was the Lady of Leisure because I didn’t have to be at the school until 10 o’clock. Zoe, the dog, followed me wherever I went. She did have the decency not to come into the bathroom. Loading the car was a challenge because it had started to rain. Balancing my belongings, the umbrella and dodging Zoe was something else. I got everything in and was on my way.

Getting to the school, I parked in a reasonable spot because I was 15 minutes early. My sister had told me she would save me a seat but I couldn’t find her anywhere. I plunked myself and my purse onto two chairs and wondered where on earth she was. I’d been up and down and all around looking for her. It wasn’t like her to be late.

Just before the program was to start, I decided I would make one more round. I went toward the front and was gazing off into the distance when I heard someone say my name. I looked down and I was standing right beside her! I collected my belongings and sat in the seat she’d saved for me.

The program was the best so far. It wasn’t overly long and the performances seemed better, too. My sister’s grandson plays saxophone in the band. The words to the song were going through my head. “Tuna fish, tuna fish, sing a song of tuna fish! Tuna fish, tuna fish, it’s my favorite dish. (NOT) Ev’ry-bod-y likes it so from New York to Ko-ko-mo. Tuna fish, tuna fish. It’s my favorite dish. (Ditto)” My granddaughter played the recorder in the recorder band and they did well, too. I didn’t hear any real boo-boos from any of the performers.

When we were making our way at a snail’s pace through the hallway, I told my sister I’d hate for someone to yell “FIRE!” We got where she was going but I had to go back downstairs to my granddaughter’s room. I nabbed a sack lunch and went in to sit with her. I ate the little container of applesauce that was supposed to be the dessert and she shared some veggie sticks with me. I found out later the greenish ones had spinach. I could feel my lips tingling but I don’t know if the reaction was real or psychosomatic.

During the whole time, I saw exactly five people I knew (grownups).

We had our picture taken by the teacher and I asked her to email it to me. She said she would but she hasn’t gotten a round tuit yet. Then we went to have our picture made at the “photo booth”. After that, it was to the book fair. I gave my granddaughter a tad of money and she agonized over what to get and finally picked out a floppy pencil. We went back to the classroom where I took my leave.

I stopped by the university market on the way out and got into a conversation with a couple about gluten free options. Then it was on to the little Chinese restaurant where I got some eggplant in garlic sauce to bring home. A friend from church was there with her son and his family celebrating her birthday. A stop at Walmart and one at the produce place were the last ones before heading up the mountain.

My balance ball chair was on the deck. I brought it in and, after I’d eaten, I put the base together. I didn’t pump up the ball until this evening because it’s supposed to be room temperature. I’ve been needing a decent chair for sitting at the computer. The other day, I got an email from my credit card company saying my reward points could be used to pay for things on Amazon so, in a sense, it was free. I tithed the total but it was still 90% off. I’d thought sitting on it would be more of a feat than it’s proved to be. It’s very comfortable and it forces me to have better posture.

Today was church, then home to eat. I ate about all afternoon and got stuffed to the point of being miserable. I’d gone to bed before 8:30 last night and may just do that again tonight. Gadding about just isn’t in my blood any more.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.