Category Archives: Aging

Giants they were

Watching a Bob Hope-James Cagney dance routine (yes, Hope could dance) I was reminded of this recent essay by historian Victor Davis Hanson:

“Our ancestors were builders and pioneers and mostly fearless. We are regulators, auditors, bureaucrats, adjudicators, censors, critics, plaintiffs, defendants, social media junkies and thin-skinned scolds. A distant generation created; we mostly delay, idle and gripe.”

Via PJMedia

Hospice II

Hospice volunteer training ends tomorrow with a six-hour marathon of listening to older volunteers relating their experiences with dying patients. The evening training got better than my previous report and ended last night.

Most exciting thing was when my car battery died late Tuesday after class and I had to call Triple A. After tomorrow begins our criminal background checks and if that goes well, in a month or two, issuance of ID badges and joining the roster.

UPDATE: Wrongo, the checks are underway, some done, some not, and I got the badge and joined the roster. Assignments to come. A bit daunting but I think I can do it.


Hospice volunteer training is pretty redundant, excessively bureaucratic, and unnecessarily long. Six hours so far on two nights. Six hours on Saturday tomorrow alone. Rinse. Repeat next week.

Includes a TB test and a Hep B vaccine. Then a long hiatus while they do our criminal background checks, to see if we have any criminals in our backgrounds. Or are one. A month or two.

Bottom line could be easily found if not for all the cooks spoiling the broth. How’s that for mixing metaphors? I’ve taken away two things: We don’t have to say much of anything to the patient or family.

Just showing up, being present, helping out, is enough. And listening. You can’t say much of anything when you’re listening.

The angry postal worker

I had to do this morning what I try to avoid: go to the post office. Long lines, irritable employees. But I had to pick up a new mezuzah Mr. Goon was kind enough to send to replace our stolen one. His was small enough that it could have fit in my mailbox but the postman held it back for pickup anyway at the P.O. which is miles away from the mini-rancho.

Not that I’m paranoid or anything but ISRAEL in big bold letters on the front of the mailer makes some people peevish these days. The clerk at the P.O. certainly was. Short-tempered when I had a momentary lapse in thinking (common to we seventy-five-year-olds) while trying to decipher their credit card machine to buy some stamps. While I was there, you know. Figures a fed machine would be different from all commercial ones I have seen.

But the postal fellow? He was black, middle-aged and irritable, especially after he retrieved the package (from ISRAEL) for me. Looked downright angry. Some people forget, if they ever knew, how hard the Jews worked to get African Americans their civil rights. Some even died for it.

Got another one in you?

So at age 75 I was approved for a 20-year mortgage on a condo. And the guy said “Is this your last one? Do you have another one in you?”

Me: “I don’t know. We’ll have to wait and see.” It is my fifth mortgage with this company in 32 years.


Downsizing at 75.

Moving on

Been skipping blogging in this hectic week with much less and much more to come. We’re downsizing, buying a condo and selling the rancho. So lots of repairs  here and there, and painting here, and so forth to get ready to move in and sell out.

And, meanwhile, there’s the culmination of the drama of getting my step-daughter an apartment in a very crowded (and getting more crowded) and very expensive (and getting more so) town, which finally seems solved. She picks up the keys tomorrow. No washer/dryer but beggars and choosers.

Pretty exhausting for a 75-year-old. I’m pacing myself. Napping afternoons. So, now, all my (3+) commenters should not worry about why I’m not keeping up hereabouts. But thanks for asking.