Category Archives: Getting Old

Overheard at the Nursing Home

Yesterday I visited my friend and neighbor who is recuperating from surgery at a nearby rehab center. It’s the same place that I spent a week in after I broke my hip. If you have to be in a place like that, it’s a pretty good place to be. The people were really great and my therapist Kari set me on the road to an amazing recovery. I not only had a broken hip, but at the time I was minus a knee. They had to remove my first artificial one for about six weeks because of an infection. I fell while on crutches and broke my hip. At that point I wasn’t sure if I would ever walk straight again.

Visiting my neighbor was sobering, he’s in pretty bad shape. That’s another blog. I was feeling pretty down as I left him, but between his room and the front door of the center, I had an encounter that left me laughing to myself the rest of the day.

In order to get from the rehab area of the building to the exit, you have to pass through the common area of the nursing home section. As I entered two women in wheelchairs were meeting in the hallway, one was being pushed by an attendant ant the other was in a motorized chair. They looked to be well into their eighties at least. As they passed I couldn’t help overhearing their conversation. For the sake of the story I’ll call them Mabel and Alice.

Mabel, in a teasing tone, “What’s this I hear about you….”  I didn’t catch the end of the sentence.

Alice replies, loudly, “Oh that’s bullshit!”

I proceed to the elevator and press the down button, not realizing that it had a security code so the inmates couldn’t escape. Fortunately one of the nurses came along and let me out, I was beginning to think they were going to keep me. But the delay was a good thing because it resulted in my standing there long enough to hear another exchange with Alice. She had been motoring along right behind me and stopped at the nurse’s desk, where an elderly gent we’ll call George was standing, conversing with the pretty young aid who was holding down the fort. Speaking to George she cracked, “Are you paying her by the hour to sit there and listen to you talk?


“Are you paying this poor girl by the hour to listen to your dumb stories?”

“Who put a nickel in you?”

“You did.”

George must have been at a loss for a good comeback, because as I entered the elevator, he was grumbling away in German.

Problem Solving Test

By way of introduction, there’s a couple of things I want to mention about this next story.

As far as being relevant to this blog, It serves as a baseline for my cognitive skills. Over time I expect that they’ll deteriorate, and this way my kind readers can let me know when it’s time for institutionalization. I fear when you read this you might find that ship has already sailed.

Here’s the situation as it I saw it this morning at 8:00 am.

  1. I was desperate for caffeine.
  2. I had the ability to make coffee.
  3. I had no cream and no milk.
  4. I don’t drink coffee without cream or milk.
  5. The temperature was -8.

So I had to make some decisions. There was no way that I’m going to drink coffee without cream. Coke, that’s out. On a morning like this I need the reassuring companionship of a hot beverage. So what should I do? I could go to the store and get cream and milk and come back and make coffee. I could go to Caribou and get  coffee and cream hot and ready to go.

Neither of these alternatives seemed very good to me, given the temperature, but as every addict knows, your Jones can get you to thinking in peculiar ways. Necessity however, is the mother of invention (not, as many people think, Frank Zappa) and she gave birth to a stroke or genius. I can make espresso! That’s right, I chose, out of the array of RHD retirement gifts, a combination drip coffee and espresso maker. I can slam down a shot of expresso without any dairy products in it. And that I did. In fact, since you can’t make just one shot on this machine, I slammed down two. The second one with sugar and caramel flavoring. Problem solved!

Not quite. I still felt the need for a soothing hot liquid to sip while I’m working. It hit me like a flash, Tea! Green tea to be precise, Jasmine green tea to be more precise. Next question is how to make tea? The one thing you need to know about that question is:

I am not a tea bagger,

I am a tea infuser.