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Posts Tagged ‘elders’

Amurin over at Stop & Wander tagged me with an Honest Scrap award. I am honored. Of course, maybe I fooled her. Maybe I am really a deranged young man living in a cabin in the north woods, accumulating fertilizer and poetry, and bumping into Bigfoot every once in a while. Ah well. Here goes.honest_scrap_award

When you get the Honest Scrap award for your honest crap, you are meant to grace your readers with 10 honest things about yourself, and then pass on the award to other blog friends who write honestly and truly about themselves and events in their life.

At this point the blank white screen is imprinting itself on my brain, but I’ll try.

  1. In my family honesty was the Holy Grail. Lies were not permitted and the word “liar” hurled at anyone or even spoken quietly evoked a stern look or smack. There was nothing worse you could say of a person.
  2. It is unbelievably freeing to no longer be a sex symbol.  Just a hint to the C.I.A.: In my invisible woman phase I could be unfailingly helpful to you. Just sayin.
  3. I’m not a one-friend person, always ran in groups (not cliques, we weren’t that important) in school.
  4. When a child, I hoarded all my nickels and pennies and counted them over and over, loving the sound of them flowing back and forth from one hand to the other. I still try to keep most in my hands.
  5. In school avoided reading and science. As an adult read constantly and am fascinated by science. What happened to “as the twig is bent, so grows the tree?”
  6. My grands are the most amazing four people on the planet, followed closely by their parents plus two, my daughter and her husband.
  7. I can live without a lot of things, but not cats. (Well maybe this one blocking the computer screen.)
  8. I love, love, love guns. So shoot me.
  9. My motto is: Old is not a four-letter word. Senior is what I was in high school.
  10. But I refuse to wear “granny panties.” If bikinis were good enough for my pregnant body, they are good enough now.

Now watch out! I’m getting ready to tag someone, and it’s: Corina @Wasted Days and Wasted Nights, C\hele, OmbudsBen, & anyone else who would like to join in.

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MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics writer says Social Security checks are going up $63 a month for the typical retiree — the largest increase in more than a quarter century but likely to seem puny to the millions who have been watching in horror as Wall Street lays waste to their retirement nest eggs.

 

He goes on to say the Senior Citizens League said (doesn’t he believe them?) it did a study that indicated people 65 and over have lost 51 percent of their buying power since 2000, with the price of home heating oil and gasoline more than doubling since the beginning of the decade and such food staples as eggs and potatoes showing big increases as well.

 

Well, I guess seniors were the only consumers to face these increases for eggs and potatoes, heating oil and gasoline. How does that work? You’re under 65, you get a discount? Oh, I forgot. You get a discount all over the place if you are AARP age. Don’t forget 10% off Mondays at TJ Maxx, Tuesdays at Marshalls (or vice versa).

 

If Crutsinger has really taken the pulse of seniors, what a bunch of whiny, ungrateful, wrinkled old buzzards there are out there. We are talking 5.8% increase. How many younger workers do you know who got that kind of raise this year? (Excluding CEO’s of failed, bankrupt and bankrupting companies)

 

Yes, those felonious Wall Street crooks laid waste to retirement eggs, including ours, but who are we to expect hard working, young wage-earners to make up the difference? Their 401-K’s got battered, too.

 

So if you are a senior, stop your sissy, pathetic whining and enjoy your 5.8% raise by spending it where young workers who are contributing to the Social Security fund every working day will get a little benefit back. Maybe with the new money circulating around next year a few of their tedious, grinding jobs will be saved. It’s the least you can do.

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Ellen Goodman’s article (Self-serve and Slave) in the Orlando Sentinel this morning had my head nodding all the way through. She drew the line at a dinner invitation to a restaurant where they hand you a platter of raw foods and a hot pot. She decided if she wanted to cook her own food she would eat at home. Ellen, we are sisters under the skin.

 

Perhaps I carry it too far. It annoys me to choose what goes on my hamburger. It’s a hamburger! Put everything on it like they do in Texas. I understand the concept of personalized sandwiches, but still don’t like to have to decide on each ingredient in a sub sandwich. I have to make those decisions in my kitchen every night.

 

But forgetting about food, Goodman recalls all the jobs we have to do for free now that stores once paid workers to do. We’ve been distracted by jobs sent overseas and don’t see how many jobs have stayed right here—but shifted to us – the ultimate free labor.  Ramming that first nozzle into our gas tank was the “gateway drug to self-help.”  Before we knew it, we were conducting our bank business with an automated phone or the Internet, storing our own medical records, copying and delivering reports, picking up scripts because our doctor stopped calling them in, analyzing our own prescription drug plan needs, weighing and slapping a price tag on produce, even checking out our own goods at Home Depot if we were so sappy, etc. etc.

 

Now I am picturing our parents or grandparents, poor as church mice by our standards, some living through the Depression, yet in many ways they were treated like royalty. Grocers kept a running tab for them, bankers knew and looked out for their finances, mechanics knew their car as well as their own, milk was delivered while they slept, clothes  brought to the fitting  room, doctors came to their home, long-time insurance agents advised on every aspect, and on and on. Sure they had to make many of their clothes, grow and can much of their food, share a family car, but the niggling little “unpaid jobs” that add up to a whopping weight on our shoulders were not present. They used that energy to help neighbors—and got help the same way.

 

You hear so many older people say they never knew they were poor. Maybe it’s because they weren’t. Maybe they were our rich ancestors.

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Distance

mothersmemorial-015.jpgI have an “elder” aunt who is. Aunt Fayrene has her finger on the pulse of our “tribe.” We don’t seem so far removed from the ancients when I look at it that way.  Our modern tribe’s feminine head creates family connections and archives not by chiseling stone, but on Hotmail. The result is the same. She is the glue that binds our family and records our progressions.

When the two of us were young a few years age difference seemed as vast as the distance from the street to our house. Now I drive by the old homestead and my front porch is almost sitting in the street. It’s not such a big step to relate this to the winnowing of family members. The top layer of the family has been peeling off over the years until now only a few aunts remain above me. Aunt Fayrene is the hub of the family, the go-to person, the “exalted elder.” At some point I came to realize our age difference is not as vast as it seemed when we were younger. She is only eight years older than I. Eight! All of a sudden I see myself sitting much closer to the street.

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