Tomorrow Is Not Promised

A while ago I thought I had found true retirement and what it really felt like until I moved to Virginia Beach. My wife and I walked to the beach, she sat and got a lot of sun while I fished. Life is great and I will try to take full advantage of it with the little time I have left on this earth. Most people do not think about their age or that time is dear. Tomorrow is not promised, you can leave this world at any moment.

I never thought about that, I always lived as though I will be here forever. Then, one Sunday morning in 1971, while I was stationed in Germany, I had a massive stroke and awaken two weeks later. My right side, from head to toe, was paralyzed. I was given a fifty percent chance of having another stroke, a fifty percent chance of surviving another stroke and only ten more years to live. Well, I am still here and did not have another stroke. God is good and have given me a good life but tomorrow is not promised.

Today, like yesterday, I live one day at a time never forgetting that today or tomorrow could be my final day. For more than forty years I have reminded myself of this but I do not let it get me down or stop me from living life to it’s fullest, as much as I can. I also think about people that can not live life to it’s fullest or have the opportunity to even try.

It is a shame to be an American, to be a part of separating children from their parents. Yes, we all are guilty because we are the American that allowed the situation to happen in the first place and then let it come to a tragic point before opposition was voiced. The opposed should have made their voices heard from the beginning, not a week or two later. Although an order have been signed does not mean that this is over or it will not happen again.

How will the children be reunited with their parents when most can not tell their full names, parents full names, where they are from or any valuable information that will garner a possibility of reuniting them? It is a big mess the USA administration have made and they don’t show any sorrow for causing it. Mockery, laughter, snide remarks is all that is heard from the administration as well as blaming other politicians and/or the other party. Have anyone heard the majority leaders speak up yet?

We as seniors suppose to have the maturity to do the right thing, should not wait to see what happen but just do the right thing. Fall elections will be here shortly and the right thing must be done to get back onto the right track. We can then begin to allow people to live the life that we live. There is plenty of room for others, right beside me and you, and we all can ride this good life train together. Tomorrow is not promised to anyone therefore things must be set right today. Judgment could be today or tomorrow but whenever it come, and it will, it will be no use telling God that you meant no harm. You can see the harm and sorrow. You would not want to be treated this way nor have your children go through what the immigrant children are going through. Do unto others as you would have done unto you.

Do the right thing by loudly voicing disapproval, voting the right way and being an upstanding senior that will lead the younger generation in the right direction. Don’t quietly mumble you don’t like what’s happening, say it loud, also… Don’t believe it will get better on it’s own, it will not, believe me. Tomorrow is not promised nor the remainder of today.

 

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Relocating

 

 

I finally have relocated to Virginia Beach, about two hours from Richmond, a few yards from the beach. I returned to Imperial Plaza for the ROMEO (Retired Old Men Eating Out) monthly outing and we all had a really good time with good food. Laughing, joking and having a good time with my buddies made the day for me. It was a really good break from unpacking. My wife had a nail appointment at her usual nail salon after which she and her sister went out to eat. Who say seniors can’t have fun?

The thing about moving is finding things you forgot you have and taking more time than you have looking at pictures/items long forgotten but, my, my how memories return. There are several hard parts with one is finding your way around the new surroundings. Going through the streets watching the driving habits that are different from where you come from. There is also the joy of finding shortcuts that are not featured on GPS, avoiding the volume of traffic during the rush hours. In a few weeks I should be able to go where ever I desire without a thought, GPS or map. I remember being stationed in Europe; I would purposely drive around the larger cities, hopelessly lost, but not afraid. By the time my gasoline is getting low I would somewhat know the city. I would not know it like a local but I would know it. That is what I am trying to do, in time, here.

There is the myriad of empty boxes with a few more to go. Where to put it all is beyond me and I am wondering how we accrued all the things we are finding. The thrift stores will acquire quite a bit before we are finished with it all. I finally can move through this place without sliding side ways from one side of a room to the other. However, this bring on wonderful memories of my many military moves. Oh, well, the things I am really looking for must be in one of the boxes I haven’t emptied yet, I hope.

Another difficult part of relocating is getting used to new routines as well as meeting new people (it takes me awhile to remember a name). For some odd reason I find myself waking earlier than usual but on an odd day or two I do sleep late (blame it on the salt air, so refreshing). It is good during this time of year, however, when it gets dark earlier and sunrise later, I doubt I will be in to it as much. Then, being on the coast, with the water a hundred yards away, may be a problem if or when a hurricane arrive and the water floods the area. We’ll deal with that when the time come to deal with it. Until then, we’ll enjoy what is here.

Well, summer is here and it’s fun time. Many people prefer cold weather, winter snow, I don’t. I spent too many years in the military surrounded in cold weather and snow. Now that I am not required to do it, I will not. Have fun, stay safe and I’ll see you the later.

Smoking Rules

There have been fights and arguments over smoking for many years. Whether it is someone’s right to tell, not ask a person(s), not to smoke, where to smoke, when to smoke and/or how bad smoke is to their body, or, on the other hand, a person(s) have a right to affect their body and smoke I believe is the smoker’s business. This argument goes both ways, have many variables and cross many lines, clear and hidden. I will only touch on it lightly.

Imperial Plaza have been going through this for a few years and, I hate to say this, will see no end to the controversy. Brookdale, who leased Imperial Plaza in the past, was to give clear guidance and areas in which to smoke to the residents last year. They never did proceed in the actions (I am guessing) because they knew for a long time they were leaving and they would let the new administration handle the volatile situation. Now the new guidelines are in effect with many people ready to carry the fight to full war.

I see both sides, I know that both sides have fanatics, I can agree with some of what both sides want. I used to be a supervisor, mediating many disagreements, seeing what both sides want while trying to prevent total war between the parties. Because of the smoking bans, cigarette companies have moved from states that put undue pressure on them, their source of money and extra taxes on them. However, the populace should look at, feel for and understand the smokers that are caught in the middle of it all.

First and foremost, like the non-smoker, smokers have rights also. The way things are set in the USA, smokers don’t have any rights except to be able to buy cigarettes when they reach a certain age. Then they are greatly taxed for buying the legal weed and layered with many legal issues in order to smoke the legal weed. They are told the over taxation goes toward the over burdened medical system in order to care for the health problems that smoking brings upon the human body. Okay, then don’t allow the nonsmoker benefit from the program, let that money take care the smoker.

Then, the smoker is put out in the rain, cold, boiling hot sun, humid air and placed yards away from everyone. If a nonsmoker happen to come near, smell the smoker and complain, the smoker is moved even further or told not to smoke, even though the nonsmoker could have walked around or gone in a different direction. To me, the smoker do not have rights.

Somerby have done just that. They have banned smoking in many areas and to be able to smoke the resident have a long walk to get to the area, if the resident is not lucky enough to live in the nearest building. I am a cigar smoker and I have a few days left before I am completely moved to another community. I will not have to do the things residents here does. I am one of the lucky ones. Maybe these rules/laws will effect me a few years from now but at this time I will not be under the strict laws that have come about.

The nonsmokers do not have to go out into the rain, sun, wind, cold, snow, etc. to do what they have a right to do under the laws that were passed by our elected officials. The smoker, as far as I see, does not have the same rights and they are not only over taxed (and the nonsmoker benefit from that) but shunned worst than our pets. I see both sides and feel for both sides. All I have to say is I am moving at the right time and I am sure more will do the same, I have heard rumors. Neither side want to bend (give a little) but in order to have peace and tranquility the sides must.

After I wrote the part about peace and tranquility an incident happened that shows that there are people that do not want peace. Three or four people were sitting around smoking and talking, enjoying the afternoon. A person that live two buildings away came over to confront the smokers, called the police to the Imperial Plaza property but refused to lodge a formal complaint. True, they were illegally smoking, however, they were not in her area of domicile nor were they bothering other people. All I can say now is GOOD LUCK people at Imperial Plaza. My wife and I are out of here!

 

 

Senior Living

Well, the time is almost here for me to finalize the move to the luxury independent senior living apartment complex. It is less than a year old and abuts the Chesterpeak Bay/Atlantic Ocean. This is what I call living the high life. I have tried to tell others that there is always more than what you see. All it will take is looking around and the willingness to move from the comfort zone that a person have become used to, whether it is good or bad. Move up, never down. There is always something better than what a person have now (if it is not all ready fantastic).

As my friend and I smoke our cigars, watching the hawks constantly fly to and fro from their nest, we are anticipating the appearance of another bunch of baby hawks. Unfortunately, I will not be here to watch and take pictures again. One thing is for sure, the squirrel population will be kept at a low number. I have observed rats, squirrels and rabbits in their talons as they fly to the nest, feeding themselves and, if the eggs have hatched, the little ones. All I’ll see in Virginia Beach are sea birds, maybe a fish or two in their mouth. Oh well, change is good and exciting.

Somerby is moving right along with their moving into the job at hand. They still have a long way to go and I hope things come together soon. Although I have resigned from the Resident Council, I still get people questioning me about the things going on around here as well as personal problems they have about this facility. I listen and try to advise them, knowing they know I am leaving very soon. They will realize they have to go to the new person in charge when I am finally permanently gone, can’t be found wondering around this facility. As far as I know, my new place does not have a resident council and, if they form one, I will not be apart of it. Too much work, no pay.

As I have said, senior living is fun plus relaxation and the latitude to do what you want to do, when you want to do it, no pressure. I see some seniors trying to have fun but far too many do not and frown at those that do. They are the ones that constantly live in the past and want everyone around them to do the same. That is not me because, although I find time to sit and relax, I always look for something fun and exciting to do. The activities department at Imperial Plaza always provide a variety of adventures, on and off site, but few residents engage in the activities. I guess the old saying still stand true; you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. I see that most of these people are stuck in their same old ways and don’t want to change. God bless them and I wish them well. My wife and I are moving on, moving on up.

Seniors can live a relaxing fun filled life. All they have to do is want to do it and be willing to change. Change their way of life, possible location and thinking. Become more active and SMILE. Love life and life will love the senior until the end day. No one know when that day and time will come but until then, love life to the fullest.

Coco Cay, Bahamas

 

Changes

I have attended two military management schools plus one when I became a civilian. The first thing that is always drummed into my head that I have found to be true today: there is always a resistance to change. In all my years of moving around in the military or having a change of command, I learned to adapt, go with the flow, things are not as bad as it seem, life goes on.

At the end of the month Bookdale Senior Living will leave to be replaced by Somerby Senior Living. Change. As I look into Somerby, as president of the Resident Council and as an independent resident at Imperial Plaza, I don’t, at this time, see any negative signals about the change. At this time, all I see are positive things. Sure, the pharmacy is lost but that was a part of Brookdale and, as told to me, Brookdale could not find a replacement willing to operate on the premises. Somerby, looking into their other facilities, have never operated a pharmacy on their premises. Maybe later they can be talked into trying although there are many regulation hoops to jump through. Changes.

A lot of people at Imperial Plaza either do not understand or refuse to understand that to them this is their residence but to Somerby or any other company this is a business and businesses must abide by laws and regulations. They want to not cause any disruption to the daily lives of the residents but, at the same time, must do what business practices demand. Sure, with change there will be some disruption of the way things have been done but change cause people to adjust to the subtle change in the way things were done.

Many people, especially senior citizens, want to stay in the same old mold and do not want to change, whether good or bad. They do not want to try something new or even talk about it. I have found a lot of people here always talking about the way it was done back in the ’40s and ’50s and they still want it done that way. On days when the activities department have music, old swing music have the place almost full. On days when up to date music is played, very few people attend then complain that there is nothing to do. They hate change and have to be dragged along into a new era.

I wish Somerby luck in managing Imperial Plaza and attempting to drag the stubborn individuals into a new system. I wish the residents stop asking the same questions over and over, put into a different format and getting the same response, hoping for a different answer. That goes back to the old saying: you can satisfy some of the people some of the time but not satisfy all the people all of the time.

On that note, to those reading this at Imperial Plaza, the blogs will continue but not from Imperial Plaza. My wife and I will relocate to Virginia Beach, right down the road (interstate 64) to a new senior living facility on the beach. My wife and I will return for visits and activities and we will always remember the good times we had at Imperial Plaza. However, as I have said, the blogs will go on and the readers around the world will continue to wonder what I have to say next. I hope I can honor their wishes and make it entertaining. Change is inevitable, we also are changing.

Elder Abuse

I’m late getting this blog out for viewing because I just returned from another cruise. Senior living is fantastic if you take advantage of living after working. As I have said in other articles, there are many wonderful things to do when you hit the senior status, no matter your mobility or age. I will talk about senior traveling, especially mine, in other articles.

Before I get into my article I would like to welcome Somerby Senior Living to Imperial Plaza especially Maryanne. The Resident Council, with me as President, look forward to working with you to improve, as well as sustain, Imperial Plaza. Our home is your home.

Many times I have seen older people (seniors) with scars, bruises, broken bones and worst. There are events where seniors are severely injured or killed. Not all but most can be attributed to what is known as ‘senior abuse’. It happens all over, all the time, especially to those that can not fight back or is incapacitated. When the people that cause these abusive acts are caught, charged with the crime and jailed, someone always say “they didn’t mean it” or something similar.

As seniors get older and older some depend on another person for help in the daily routines. Many hire someone through an agency and, a lot of times, the person selected to help the elderly person is not vetted properly, if vetted at all. Another reason is the pay. These people don’t get the money they should have to do the best job possible. Low pay equal low work equal elder abuse. I really can’t put the entire fault there because others abuse also.

Family members have been known to do the same thing and, sometimes, worst than an agency. The people or person that received life, nourishment and love from the very person/people they are abusing, really don’t care. Sometimes the abuse is done because of frustration. Sometimes it’s done because they have a mental illness and don’t know any better or don’t realize what they are doing. Sometimes it is done because of stupidity, to see what happens if this or that is done. Most of it is done because of greed. There is an inheritance or insurance, etc. either way, no one can feel or know the suffering that the senior endures.

Over the years, as a police officer, I have come upon cases that have made me want to inflict my own justice upon the person that did the harm. It’s heart retching to see a person beaten, starved, robbed, mocked, made homeless, etc. How can people be so heartless, unfeeling, unremorseful, or just plain sick minded to do this to a mother, father, sibling, child or even a person you are tending to? They must not know God but would be the loudest, crying for help if the same thing would happen to them. They don’t realize, one day they will be in the same condition and will need the aide of others. Remember, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Senior Retirement

Like I have said, as well as many others, being retired is fun and, at the same time, exhausting, to most. Remember, us retirees worked our whole lives waiting to have the time and pleasure to go to do whatever we want to do. I know, many people say they are adults and can do whatever they want to do now. However, the reality is in the back of your mind that there is always the JOB. Vacation time is always too short and you always run out of time to do the things you don’t have time to do. I know this sound like the run-around but look at it seriously.

As a senior, money was put away in your youth, or should have been put away for the time that you can not work any longer or when you reach that retirement age (full or early). Social Security come in handy, which is taken out of the paycheck each and every pay period. Now you can do whatever you want to do, whenever you want to do it and for however long you want or need to do it. It is up to you because you don’t have a clock to punch or a deadline to meet. This is your retirement and you don’t have to answer to anyone but yourself and/or your spouse. You can dance the night away on a Wednesday night or go on a two week cruise while someone look after your house for you. You are the adult, the retiree, you do what you want to do.

Or you may do it the way my wife and I decided. Get rid of the house and move into a retirement community (like Imperial Plaza). It may be smaller and it is not yours but what you are giving up is small compared to what you gain. You gain the freedom to come and go as you please. You gain the freedom to stay on a trip as long as you please because everything is cared for, you just take care of the interior of your house or apartment (even there, you don’t have anything to do). You do not cut grass, remove snow, trim bushes, fix a leaky faucet, etc. You are a senior that is sitting back and relaxing. You think about how pleasant it is to be retired as you pick-up your umbrella garnished drink on a tropical beach somewhere.

My wife and I are always on the go and we simply love it. Our passports are up to date and the suitcases never gather dust. Week after next we will be on another cruise and so many other things are on the calendar for this year. So be like the retired me, be a good senior and enjoy the rest of your life because tomorrow is not promised. Also, don’t forget, being a senior does not mean you are limited as seniors were years ago. Accommodations are made for seniors, handicapped people and for people that fit both categories. There is no excuse not to get out there, enjoy life and spend the kids inheritance. You worked for it, they did not, and you may not get another chance to do the things you always dreamed about doing. There is a big beautiful world out there just for you to see, enjoy or just chill. Have Fun!!!