Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Day at the Center

A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be. 

Douglas Pagels
Good morning.  It's another beautiful day in the neighborhood...although they do say the humidity will still creeping up today. It's good to see my reading list back.  I felt so lost when it was missing. Yesterday I was in a picture taking mood so today I thought I'd introduce you to some of the people at the Center.  I mentioned that I was going to do this, and none of them seemed to mind.

This is early in the day just as we were about to sign up for the bingo game.  Still kind of empty. (The lady upfront in purple is the one who liked to ride the buses for free.)

This is Frank.  He is usually such a nice man, but when he has his days, you'd best watch out.  Frank is in his 80's.

This is Frank's wife, Serena.    Both had lost their spouses, met at the Center, and have been married now for several years.  She is 88 years old and has had no age-related health issues aside from knee pain until just recently when she had a heart attack.

This is Fred.  He is one of my lunch companions.  Such a sweetheart, and boy, does he know his music.  We had music appreciation yesterday, and Fred was the only one who was able to guess the names of all of the artists. 

Fred hangs around with Anna.  They are best of friends.  Neither seems to want anything more than friendship at this point in their lives.  Poor Anna.  She had a terrible toothache over the weekend, and the whole right side of her face is swollen.  She knows she has to have it pulled, but can't afford it.  Medicare and Medicare plans don't pay much for dentistry, if they cover it at all.  When I was doing my research before I retired I happened across a few places that will provide services for free or at a reasonable cost so I'm going to bring her the information tomorrow and hopefully it will be of help to her.  It's really awful to be in pain and afraid that if you go take care of the problem, your finances will be wiped out and you will be put into debt. 

I chose to keep Emblem as my Medicare Advantage plan.  This is the company I had at work and never had a problem with them.  Thus far, everything is working out fine.  They do offer dental, but it's not like what I had when I was working, and dental is so darn expensive.  What are we retirees to do?  I'm lucky to have a hubby to share the expenses, but when you are living alone, dental fees can be overwhelming.

This was taken in music appreciation.  The lady with the striped shirt is the meditation facilitator.  The other lady, Maria, has such a beautiful voice and sings opera with a group that travels around the city and puts on shows.  Maria is fine at the Center, but admits when she goes home she locks herself in her bedroom and stays there. She lives alone in a huge house and becomes paranoid that someone is going to break in.  I feel that she would probably be better off selling the house and getting into one of those senior oriented housing options, but she won't hear of it.

This is Erma, my Avon lady.  She collects the money for lunch and assigns the table.  Luckily, she likes me and gives me the same one every day.  The gentleman seated next to her takes your blood pressure on Tuesdays.  He has a really difficult name, and I always forget it.

This is Tommy.  He is 80 years old and still quite a ladies man.  Tommy used to box in his youth, and boy, can this man dance.  He knows all the moves.

I don't really know the man sitting here aside from saying good morning, but the lady in peach handing out the milk is Caroline.  She is quite the character, and no one knows how old she is, but she is definitely up in years. She always reminds me of an old hippie with the way she wears her hair and the beads around her neck.  She also always has a hat on and a crocheted flower pinned to her blouse.  And, everything always matches. Caroline also can be quite nasty, and when I first started going to the Center I often wondered why she didn't like me.  But one day she came up to me and apologized.  She explained that she knows she can come across as gruff, but that is just her personality.  From then on I didn't let her wisecracks bother me.

I am worried because I haven't seen Annie and her boyfriend for about two weeks now, and everyone who knows her has been talking about how her age is catching up to her.  She turned 99 this month.  I sure do hope she is okay.

So, there you have it.  There are plenty of people who attend, but that is basically my 'crew'.  There are a few that are missing--one recently had hip surgery and the other moved--but these are the basic core of people that I socialize with every day...and I totally love them all.
In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, for in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.

Khalil Gibran


  1. Oh that was fun! I loved meeting your friends at the center. I can't believe some of them are as old as you say.

  2. Oh, regarding your reading list - do you mean the one that is on your blog? Mine disappears frequently - but I found that if you refresh the page, it may reset itself. Sometimes you have to do it more than once.

  3. An interesting and eclectic bunch! And my Blogger blog reader is back today too! Just after I spent all that time switching over to Bloglovin, LOL! Isn't that always the way?

  4. Good day sweet Mary.....loved meeting your friends at the center. Our next spot is much closer to a Senior Center in the area. I plan on stopping in to see them once we are settled.