It’s All In The Head

It’s all in the head . . . well, maybe some of it is in the heart.

I was trying to get some help with a little dog I found who was in the street without even enough street smarts to dodge cars. I stepped out in the street with her and waved my arms and got the cars to wait a damned minute! and got the dog safely to my yard. I ended up coaxing her into my house. She didn’t have on a collar, but it was clear to me that she was very loved. She was a fat, senior dog whose keen awareness of what I was doing was evident.

I went on the neighborhood listserve to try and find her owners. No one had reported her missing. I took her for a long walk up and down the whole street I live on. I had made a make shift collar by pulling the leash through the handle of a leash I had. I could not find an old collar, although I felt sure I had one. But on that long walk, at every path to a house, she’d charge in that direction, tail wagging, and I’d be sure that was her home. She did this at every house, but when I’d knock, the persons answering the doors said she wasn’t theirs and they had never seen her before. By the time I got back to my house, I was having to use my cane to walk.

But I digress. I went on the neighborhood listserve. Since no one had reported her missing, I tried to report her found. I saw one missing dog’s photo and I posted a reply that I had just found a dog that looked similar, but her legs were shorter. Had anyone lost her? That brought a deluge of “replies” and private messages from the woman who had posted that dog picture. Why was I posting that if I didn’t have that dog? Besides, that dog had been found and it was rehomed and doing fine, yak, yak, yak.

I replied that I was a Senior and just trying to help the dog I’d found. I was hoping someone would be looking for her. That comment brought even more abuse from the former poster. It seems that telling some people you’re a “senior” (senior citizen) drives them into a rage. I had hoped whoever lost the dog I had would go on the listserve and scroll through the lost and found section just as I did. Maybe they’d see my post?

I’ve also had people on the phone act angry when I have to have them repeat things and I mention “I’m a Senior”. They act like I’m trying to get special treatment when I’m actually trying to explain why I need it repeated. One of my pet peeves is people who say “Huh?”, no matter what you’ve just said. They have to have everything repeated and it appears to me that they’re just not listening . . . or perhaps they’re exhibiting signs of what they perceive as superiority as they force you to say everything twice. I read that explanation in a magazine once.

But I digress again. That’s part of being a senior. Some people like the little side stories I tell and I can tell by their eyes that others wish I’d just get to the point.

I tended to that dog overnight. We had a terrible storm and I put her in my bathroom. I have two dogs and they were not happy with the intruding lost dog, so I kept her separate from them.

The next morning I called Animal Control. (Did I mention I found her on a Sunday and Animal Control was closed?) Animal Control personnel said they could transport her to the county shelter in the next town, or I could take her myself. No, I could not take her myself. It was too far away for me to drive there and back after getting her out of the street, walking her, and comforting my big younger dog, who becomes a lap dog during thunderstorms, the night before. I asked if she’d be put to sleep if taken to the shelter. The Animal Control woman said she’d take her for me . . . I asked was that a death sentence? Hopefully not was the answer. They would hold her for 72 hours at least. If she was a friendly dog, she might get taken by a rescue group. It depended on how full the rescue was. I told her I’d keep the dog one more day at least and hung up. That bought the creature an extra 24 hours, in case I had to send her to the Shelter. I’m a Senior and I’m disabled and I could not keep her forever myself with my two other dogs. I know my limits.

I contacted a local rescue group and they were full, plus the dog had to have been lost ten days and kept elsewhere before they’d take it, and then they’d take it only if they had room for it.

I don’t always walk my own dogs because of my limitations. Some days are better than others. I was so tired the day after I found the little dog from walking all up and down my street, which is three blocks long . . . that I had trouble walking her. Still, I did and I walked my other dogs and then I had an afternoon four hour shift at my part-time job. Before I went to work, I took the lost dog to my vet, who places “Lost Dog” ads on his website and got him to scan for a microchip (none) and to take her picture for an ad. With no collar and no microchip. the animal control woman had told me it might be a “dumped” dog. After all, the animal shelter used to be just around the corner from my house. I felt like someone lost this dog and was looking for her. I was going to decide the next morning if I had to send her to a shelter, or if I could keep her 24 more hours?

I don’t tell people “I’m a Senior” to get special treatment like the ones who become enraged think I do. Why all the hostility towards older folks? No, I can’t play softball like I used to, and yes, I miss it. I can’t go on long walks. The traveling I’d hoped to do when I retired cannot be done. I shuffle through my life taking pleasure in feeding the birds who live in my yard and taking care of my pets . . . I enjoy writing and emailing. I’m not a big fan of the phone because it actually gives me a headache to talk on one. I think it comes from straining so hard to hear so I don’t have to ask the person to repeat what they said.

But my heart and my head are just fine. I have a lot of love to give and I have a lot of experiences to draw from.

I hope the next time I say, “I’m a Senior”, it lets the person I’m speaking with know I have limitations and I have a lot to offer. When they become hostile and act angry with my senior status . . . that’s one thing I don’t understand. Are they mad at me for still being alive? Some millennials post on facebook that they wish all the baby boomers would go ahead and die! Such hostility. What did we do to them? According to them, we ruined the country. Well, the country wasn’t in that great a shape when we inherited it. Each generation changes what they can to better serve them and each tries to leave it a little better for the next generation. Millennials don’t have to inhale others’ cigarette smoke as they try to enjoy an expensive restaurant meal. (You’re welcome.) And the air is cleaner than it was when I was young and no one cared how much exhaust fumes cars put out. (You’re welcome.) There is no more draft. You only serve in the military, if you choose to. (You’re welcome.)

We’re all on this planet together. Let’s give with our strengths and enjoy our time here.

The strengths of us seniors is our heads and our hearts.

The little dog’s owner saw the ad on my vet’s website and came by late yesterday to pick up “Molly”. That was her name. I was glad to see her go because I was exhausted, but I was also glad I hadn’t asked the Animal Control person to take her to the shelter. I used my head and my heart to help that dog. I used my legs to get her out of the street and to walk her while trying to find her owner.

Today I’m having to use my cane because of all the walking I did, but my head and my heart are still fine.


Unlined Faces

People with no lines on their faces don’t know much about the world. They look at me and think I’d give anything to be young like them. I wouldn’t want to go back to that level of ignorance for anything in the world.

I spent the day on a campus today and really appreciate my age.

Some Things I Have Learned This Week

If you go to a place where Senior Citizens gather, you will meet new friends. Those new friends will eventually introduce you to their friends in other places and you will have more peers to interact with than you know what to do!

Seniors are cheerful. When you go to a Senior Citizen event, there will be smiles and laughter.

Seniors cheer each other on. If you face a medical problem, you know who to ask for a referral to a good medical doctor. You know where to go to get certain services. You know how to handle certain situations at your age.  Everyone is pulling for everyone else to succeed at life and to enjoy it.

Senior Activities abound! What are you interested in? If you go to a Senior gathering, you will likely find something pertaining to that to participate in.

Seniors use the language you’re accustomed to. You know exactly what they mean when they use idioms  such as “My eyes were bigger than my stomach”. There is no explaining to have to do when you converse with another Senior.

If you’re a Senior Citizen now, or become one, get out there and make the rest of your life happen!



Getting Older

My son lives in Asia. He has told me several times to come live over there. He says I can get an apartment for $300 to $500 a month. He says restaurant meals can be had – good meals – from $2 to $5. The cost of living is lower, he says.

I kidded him that if I really showed up, he would change his mind and then I’d be in a mess!

No! He insists. Over there adult children are not allowed to change their minds about caring for their parents. They will be “shamed”. Even as a non-Asian, he would not want to suffer the consequences of being shamed.

How different it is from over here.

During this year so far, I have witnessed a senior citizen die at Bingo. When the paramedics arrived, they did not rush to her as I have always seen done before .They stood across the room looking at her and asking questions about what medicines she was taking and what conditions she had. No one checked for a blood pressure. No one listened for a heart beat. They actled like if she wasn’t dead, it was fine for her to die while they waited.

Then there’s been another person I know whose father decided to refuse all care and be put into “hospice care”. He was gone within 72 hours. Would they have allowed a younger person to make that decision?

Even I, when I was in the hospital last year, was given a “Do Not Resuscitate” Order and asked to sign it. What? I refused. They came back with it three different times. I had to tear it up in front of them before they understood the word “NO”. My son came to see me daily. I said if it came to that decision . . . if I could not tell them not to resuscitate me when all hope was gone . . . to ask him. They said they’d need a consensus from all three of my children. Well, then, pick up the phone and call the other two. For all I knew, one of them might even show up. (How fast did that hospital want to be done with me?)

I have learned from my many years of living, a great deal about this world.  Just because I don’t get up and go to work every day doesn’t mean I have lost all value. Just because my hair has more silver now than brown doesn’t mean I have nothing to offer. I can actually watch events unfold and tell you what’s going to happen before it’s happened, because I have seen it before. I have wisdom I never had before. I have clearer vision in some ways than ever before.

But I am a senior citizen and as such, am not appreciated by the younger generations in America.

I now understand why so many folks dye their hair and get face lifts and are not proud of every wrinkle, as I am. I suppose I grew up valuing every person for who they were without judging their physical appearance. I don’t think it’s that way for most.


Corbett Picture

Senior Day in My Town

Today was a special day for Senior Citizens in my town. They treated us to lunch, an awesome Elvis impersonator, and door prizes. I almost didn’t go because I had to walk in alone, but I wasn’t alone, but a minute, before I found some nice people to sit with. Some I already knew from the Senior Center, where I go from time to time and a couple others were like old friends once I met them.

If you are a Senior Citizen, or know one or have one in your home, encourage them to get out and enjoy activities. It really brightens the mood and makes the world look so much better.

When I download/upload/whatever load the pictures from my phone, I will try to remember to post them here. Let me see if I can do that right now.

The Devaluation of the Senior Citizen

I cannot sleep tonight. My heart is heavy with many thoughts of how today’s senior citizens are viewed by younger generations. Heck, some senior citizens view themselves as valueless.

I’m there. I’m a senior citizen. All my immediate family relatives who were older than me have died. I’m next in line.

Sometimes I think today’s young – well, now they’re almost middle aged – generation would like nothing better than to see every baby boomer who was ever born dead. Dead and gone and out of their way.

I see posts on facebook about old people who refuse to retire (they can’t – fhey need the money) and get out of the way of those who want their jobs. I see quotes and jokes and other things that devalue today’s senior citizen. One young person who was fed up with the slowness of a senior hollered “GRANDMA!” at her. It wasn’t at me, but I wondered at the time if he thought that was an insult? I’d love to be someone’s grandma, but I don’t think it’s going to happen.

The whole country is changing. Technology has taken over and young people know far less about how to do things themselves than today’s baby boomer.

The time is coming. We will all be gone one day. I saw two obituaries for women who were younger than I am from my old hometown. I could not believe they’re gone.

Many people die shortly after turning 60. Look at Carrie Fisher. She died recently. (Star Wars Princess) Many post about Social Security and how they need to end it. The younger folks don’t like paying into that system. Neither did we, but what are we to do now? Lose the money we contributed? I worked for forty years. Every paycheck had part of it taken for social security. Now to hear young people talk, I don’t deserve the little bit of money Social Security doles out to me monthly. Well, I certainly deserve the money back that they took from me when I was working. And as I read about people who are 60 to 63 years old dying, I know they didn’t get all their money back.

We’ve recently elected a 70 year old President. I’ve never heard so many vile comments or grumbling after an election as I’ve heard this time. The main candidate he ran against was 66. She appeared to have health issues, but she was the Democrat’s choice. Both she and Donald Trump were disrespected during their campaigns. Now there are those boycotting or protesting Mr. Trump’s inauguration. It seems Democracy is only valuable if their candidate wins.

It seems us old folks no longer have value for the younger ones since we are not taking care of them any more. They covet what little possessions and money we do have. We don’t deserve it, in their minds.

I don’t understand how people can think that just because you’re old, you’ve lived an easy life and have never suffered like they’re suffering. Most of their complaints are about wages. I wasn’t able to afford my own place either when I was young. We often had roommates, or moved back home when things got tough, and they did get tough. We had the draft to worry about and being sent to fight in a war in Vietnam whether we wanted to go or not. I don’t think some of today’s young people could withstand some of the things we lived through. Suppose they couldn’t get gas for their cars like we couldn’t in the 1970’s? Suppose on top of that, they lived in fear of being drafted or seeing a loved one drafted and sent away to war? Suppose there were no computers and if you wanted to communicate, you had to find a phone to use? We had no cell phones.

The youth of today, in my opinion, have it far easier than we did, but they complain all the time about how older people have more than they have. They complain about us being in their way. Well, they’d better hope technology lasts and there’s never a crisis where they don’t have a cell phone in their pocket. I doubt they’d know what to do.

They think they don’t still need us, but one day they’re going to wake up and find out they do. We’ll probably be gone by then. They’ll have all the wonderful things they think we fill our lives with. They’ll just have to solve their problems all by themselves – like most of us have to do now.