Wintery Weather At The Old Folk’s Home

While some of this has been covered, it merits repeating now that winter’s over to a great extent.  One sad fact of life among people who live in “snow-prone” areas is that there’s an inattention to difficult conditions when it comes to some people.  To put that in plainer English, some people don’t shovel the snow. Most any community that is subject to snowfall is likely to have a city ordinance about snow removal; but, that is ignored by some residents (that’s why it was written into the code).  It’s not just private citizens that overlook clearing the sidewalk. There are respected businesses like banks and restaurants that may let it go. 

Now, snow tales there are a-plenty. There is room here for one, just one, which is the choicest ever encountered. Covington doesn’t get a lot of snow, except at times.  It can be a foot deep maybe thirty miles to the north, but a combination of two degrees of temperature and a slightly different angle of wind leaves the area maybe a bit damp from cold rain.  Sometimes, however, it does snow.  One year it did, and yours truly managed to pick a way out of the apartment house to hike a few places.  At the post office, which was enroute, the entire sidewalk was properly shoveled and dumped at the end of the walk, three feet high. 

Old folks are often tottery all of the time.  Snow and ice are no place for trying to walk.  And, there are old folks apartment house managers who do not make snow shoveling a high priority.  In an old folks’ home one has to expect to be a little snowbound for no good reason.  And, furthermore, there may be serious objection to taking matters into one’s own hands.  If there’s maintenance staff and some elderly person should have an accident doing what maintenance is supposed to do, the management can have big trouble on it’s hands.  One must shut up and hibernate or maybe lose one’s digs. 

There are angles to everything. 


Egypt And Such Places

It’s hard not to sit in astonishment at what’s happening in North Africa. Protests are not rare things in the United States; but, apart, from the first one more than than two hundred years ago, they do not topple the government or change the form by writing a new constitution or the like.  Of course, those places along the northern coast of Africa (and the like) have histories of ancient existence, which may easily make a difference in the outlook of the people with ancestry in those ancient times.  And, it can indeed be said that some of the people running those nations have been in office for decades, but so has the Queen of England. 

One of the first places really noticed by yours truly was the Ivory Coast.  While it was known it was a tiny nation, nothing else in particular was known about it, and it seemed strange that the media kept news about it on top.  Why it was a thing for top news still isn’t known, but one story mentioned that the place was a source of chocolate and coffee.  Most serious attention was firmly established to a spot on the map of Africa, with visions of sky-rocketing prices for coffee and chocolate.  From there the attention expanded (as did news reports), especially when it became centered on the Land of the Nile river. 

Political scientists and historians will probably be chewing over the events for a good long time.  The why and the how not to mention the suddenness already are matters of extensive curiosity.  A quick look might make someone concerned about what it will have to do with oil; but, as has already been mentioned, also in the works there is chocolate, coffee and the ancient history along the Nile for tourists to consider.  A more important consideration is how far will upheaval go and to where?  Some reports are speaking of the likes of a hundred thousand people moving from one place to another. 

Tomorrow’s world will be different. 

Wishful Thinking

If one lives long enough, sometimes it’s very hard not to be sad. It doesn’t take a lot for something unrelated and in passing to trigger a memory of a thing once beloved and now gone.  It also doesn’t take much for something unrelated and in passing to bring back a memory of something hurtful. The hurtful thing can be long past and no longer possible, but the “victim” must again gather up the soul and put everything in context.  While that can be relatively easily resolved with a recollection of how it was resolved in the first place, sad moments based on a loss are not so easily washed away. 

Early today some people in the apartment building were loading belongings into a moving truck.  As they were doing so, a resident standing nearby waiting for a chance to move about his particular business commented something about how could anyone get so much stuff in a motel room? Well, it is an apartment house, but once one gets past a one year lease it’s month to month and apart from the kitchen area each unit has all the aspects of a motel unit.  The presence of patio and community room suggest more; but individually speaking, the building feels somewhat like a motel.  If someone had a house they liked, it’s not replaced. 

Sometimes if someone really cares about something, it’s necessary to give it up to others.  Many people would relate that principle to adult children who choose to leave home for good reason. That’s not the only circumstance where the idea is applicable.   It’s common with pets.  People get the animal, realize they can’t care for it properly so hope to give it to a good home.  It’s also true of houses owned by people who can no longer maintain them and even smaller items that have a personal value of some sort.  If one puts part of oneself into something, once it’s gone a part of one’s life is also gone with it. 

“By their works ye shall know them.” 

The Animal Kingdom

There are, of course, different kinds of things in creation, such as living and non-living things.  Rocks will be dealt with some other time, especially since at least one famous person reportedly seemed to think he sensed life in rocks. The likes of spirits will also be dealt with some other time, especially since not only is very little known about spirits, but supposedly they don’t eat or sleep so any living is very different.  That leaves plants and critters.  Although some plants, they say, do things like eat bugs, so maybe they are a bit like critters, it would seem best to leave plants for another time as well.

“Critters” fall into three categories.  By that (here) is not meant things like land, marine and avian, or insect, human and other.  In many (not all) species those three categories are those that humans keep for pets, those that become food or other commodities and those that are free in the wilds of nature and the rest of that realm. Take rabbit for example.  Some are urged to increase and multiply for the sake of fur and dinner. Others are kept as beloved pets. And, still others live their lives – learning about life, bearing their young and dying off completely unknowing about and unknown to being either food or pet. 

The Bible and no doubt other seriously respected books say it’s all right to kill to eat something. But, somehow it seems a bit traitorous to care for something for a relatively long period of time for the sole purpose of one day eating it. Yet, it’s what happens and the cow, pig or what have you must sense it.  Even if it isn’t comprehended by the creature, the human knows it and must set aside that bit of reality or rationalize it out some way.  It may be the law of the jungle in more refined form, the natural order and all that; but somehow it’s hard to have lunch while reading about endangered species. 

Even in the animal kingdom some are preserved. 

A Prediction….

One guess about life in the days ahead for people with responsible authority or ownership in charge is that places of all sorts will have regular inspections and, as needed, extermination services for bed bugs.  It certainly isn’t everywhere at this time; and, as at least one person has put it, an infestation of the insects is rather on a par with nuclear contamination.  The insects may be anywhere tiny (and are nearly impossible to see when just hatched).  Today was an inspection day in the apartment building underfoot.  In a sense it’s both encouraging and discouraging if the keener eyes looking find some. 

If it is not known for certain that a place has some of the creatures, but there’s reason to suspect there are some around, said inspections are usually directed to any place people might sleep, including upholstered chairs and couches (not just beds).  The creatures have their best chance to be active when people are asleep.  An inspection is not a “treatment”; it’s just a look-see if there might be some bugs where there doesn’t appear to be any.  A well-run treatment takes more than a little spraying around with an insecticide.  It is a complicated, long-running deal, and not something that should be done unless it’s needed. 

To date, according to some authorities, about the only thing that is fairly sure to be effective is outright fumigation – running a gas through a building.  And, that is only going to be good until the place is somehow re-infested, probably a sure thing sooner or later.  There are “contact” killers that will work on bugs right at hand, and there are some slow acting things that can sometimes be successful; but, presently there’s no safety from bed bugs.  For people such as yours truly who grew up and lived all along in a world that didn’t have any such insects to contend with, it’s a staggeringly different approach to living. 

Some problems are only solved temporarily. 

In Home Services

A thing that many people probably don’t know is that the federal government is encouraging “in home services.” There was a time, for example, fairly recently in fact, when it was a near impossibility to get doctors to make house calls.  In old storied times they did; but, in more modern times it wasn’t done.  Now, there is advertising telling everyone about doctors making house calls.  The house calls of real interest are ideally those in senior citizens’ retirement communities. If it’s arranged so that the doctor can see two or three people in one visit, it’s not so time consuming but the prices are still the same. 

The whole idea of gathering up the old people in a rather independent state is not good business for everyone.  If two elevators can serve a hundred and fifty or so people, commercial though they be, that’s that many people who won’t be buying one of those chair-type things (stairway lift?) that rides someone up and down on the staircase of a house. On the other hand, home services opens up new business opportunities for some aspects of life.  Home health care is not a new idea. Once it was pretty much of a norm.  Now it’s franchise operations for what can be equated to the jobs of nurse’s aides. 

The bad part of the deal is, the assumption is that some government program is going to pay for it.  Prices and services are geared to what the government will in some way cover.  While that’s not new, either, what’s been developing is the expansion of the idea, and there are workers who don’t even grasp the idea as straight out business – a couple of times yours truly has asked about payment plans, such a for a scooter purchase. Dealers claimed they never heard of such a thing.  They heard of getting a doctor’s statement and having Medicare (etc.) hand them a lump sum.  Conveniently on firm did just sell them. 

The world is changing. 

Hidden Rules

One of the first rules of life is that nobody has to like anybody else.  In religion a rule says love the neighbor as thyself, and things like that; but, that’s in religion not a simple fact of life.  People don’t have to like any thing, either. There isn’t a reason needed.  The best that can be expected is a state of co-existence, which can be a difficult thing to maintain, ideally (to borrow a term from a bad source) not just co-existence but a “peaceful co-existence.”  It boils down to something like independent living, but to have very much at all, most often people are very inter-dependent.  It’s true of individuals; it can be true of more. 

Among the elderly, who tend to be more dependent even if they manage to be apparently independent due to factors such as the ability to pay for things they want, that rule is more important than among the young and strong.  As stated, there doesn’t have to be a reason why someone doesn’t like someone else.  An apartment manager of a place beyond a certain number of units, however, can’t by law discriminate.  Neither can employers, for that matter; but, that’s beyond the discussion here.  The thing is, the property management (like the employer and individuals) is looking for certain attributes taking less only if necessary. 

What can be expected to be in any place is somewhat of a blend of attributes in which there is some vague common denominator. And, just because someone is accepted doesn’t mean they embody everything sought. It can come as a shock to people to find that although they are a part of something, they don’t really fit in or belong there.  Furthermore, the outlook can change. The best example can be none other than the change over from one political party to another, likewise not the thing under discussion.  One should not get into “classified” living under the assumption that everyone else there is “like them.” 

Reality can be surprising.