Monthly Archives: January 2014

Ramblings

It’s wonderful and fun to be completely retired.  It is wonderful to just look out the window, relax and just look.  You don’t have to go anywhere unless you want to.  You don’t have to get up early unless you want to or your bladder calls for you to do it.  You don’t have to cook unless you want to.  You don’t have to go out to eat unless you want to.  You can either go to the café or restaurant or have it delivered.  Here at Imperial Plaza you don’t have to do anything at all except if you want to.  How great is that?  Tell me of another place that you can do this and it is forbidden to tip.

Remember I wanted to have a cup of coffee in my hand and look out at the falling snow and watch the cars being covered?  Well, it has finally happened and the feeling was as great as I expected it to be.  It may have been greater because I really enjoyed it.  My wife thinks I have lost it for good but I am completely sane since being here at Imperial Plaza.  It felt good not having to get up to shovel snow and salt walkways.  When it is too cold to walk the short distance between buildings you can walk the connectors and never get wet, cold or hot.  Kings should live like this (smile).  Don’t wake me, this is a dream I want to keep.

My wife and I went to the dinner dance this evening and, as usual, the place was packed.  This is the first dinner dance that I didn’t care for the food.  Everything was superb except the food.  At my table of four, I was the only person that almost finished the food.  I left some and I ate what I did because I was hungry.  It had a Japanese theme and décor but most of it was not my thing.  The wine, music and people were the only thing that kept me going.

My wife did not want me writing anything about it but I had to do it.  It’s not that next month will be the same because it will not.  I just want to vent.  Those of you that read this article please don’t fault The Activities Department.  Like in the military, they are only following the orders given to them.  I see Ron and Tracie have scheduled some good programs for next month, to coincide with Black History Month (February).  It should be great and I can’t wait to see what else is on the calendar.  Those two do a great job, over and beyond expectation, making the calendar.  They need more space and they need more help.  By that I mean help in distributing and in getting the calendar together.  So far, as I see it, No one needs the help more than the Activities Department.  Give them a long and loud round of APPLASE!

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Love It Here

It has been a good weekend and I have had fun each and every day.  For those that want something to do, there is plenty to do.  All you have to do is get up, go out and do it.  I was at the pool event at Boxwood Saturday morning and the turnout was fair.  A couple of people I expected to be there didn’t show.  Those of us that did come had a good time.  And, although I can’t shoot pool like I want to or like a couple of guys I have met, things went good because the rest of us can’t shoot worth a darn also.

There was a disagreement about the rules of the game and some other little things.  There was one woman complaining about the condition of the pool cues, especially the bridge (the metal portion came off).  I promised to get my screw driver and come back to fix it.  I forgot and, while writing this, just remembered.  I stay so busy lately that I am forgetting a few minor things.  It is not old age forgetfulness but it’s me staying busy.

Let me explain.  I entered one writing contest that is due on February fifteenth.  Now I am entered into another that is partly due on February thirty first.  Put that all together and it spells constant thinking, writing, rewriting and thinking again.  Then there are things to do in the apartment as well as what my wife have planned.  This does not count going out to Imperial Plaza events.  They say staying busy keeps a soul young and strong.  I say it keeps a body tired.

The weather forecast says there will be snow tomorrow into Wednesday.  I will finally see a good snowfall while here at Imperial Plaza and enjoy NOT shoveling snow, deicing walkways and parking spaces, and standing at the window watching the happenings.  I have dreamed of this and now it is finally here.  I just hope the employees are okay because they have a family and a life that is other than this place.

I can’t count the years that the weather did not exist in my life.  I had to travel to work regardless the weather.  I have worked in the extreme cold, heat, snow and whatever.  I fully understand and feel for all the employees.  I’ve been in their shoes and, at the time, enjoyed it.  It is so very hard to give that up and let others do it without me.

So, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!  But, when it is all said and done, there is a place in my heart that feels for all the employees at Imperial Plaza.  They all do a fantastic job and are super friendly every time I run across one.  I am glad to be here while I can enjoy all the things Imperial Plaza have to offer.  Keep up the good work!

 

Neighborly

Yesterday I practiced pool at Boxwood, here at Imperial Plaza, and, like I told Ron, I stunk.  I haven’t shot pool (billiards) in thirty five years or more and I stunk then.  Why, you ask?  I had other priorities at the time and shooting pool was nowhere near the top of my list.  To be good a person (man or woman) must have patience, planning, a steady hand, and, like chess, the ability to see moves ahead of time.  All I had was the patience and to follow it up was just plain luck.  I knew guys that could compete with “Minnesota Fats”.  He wouldn’t even look in my direction.

Today was the outing for ROMEO (Retired Old Men Eating Out).  We went to Ruby Tuesday and it was great.  There were two new men that have recently moved into Imperial Plaza.  Everyone was joking with everyone and conversations abounded.  Terry, as usual, drove and, of course, there was Ron with about a dozen of us guys.

The food was good but the prices were even better.  The only thing I didn’t like was the desert menu.  I wanted something I could bring home and share with my wife but the portions they had was too small.  Therefore, I gave up on it and decided to get Krispy Kreme Donuts tomorrow.  I usually get a desert the majority of times my wife and I go out to eat but this time I had to pass.

I see a lot of residents that need a little help.  Not serious help but just a little.  I am more able than most and much younger also so I try to do my part.  One day I may be in that position and I would like someone to help me if I needed it.  There was this lady that live down the hall from me and she needed help.  She drove herself to the market and was having problems unloading her car when she came back.  One of the maintenance men saw her, loaded her items in a basket and bought it up to her apartment.  She was too tired to move her car from the garage and when I left my apartment I saw her.  I went down the elevator to the garage, moved her car to a parking space and went back to her apartment to return the keys to her.

We all need help or, one day, will need help and it is upon all of us to render any and all assistance to whoever needs it.  I have seen residents ignore others, like opening a door and other small things but it all mean a lot to someone in need.  I cannot stress this enough.  Do what you can, when you can.  It’ll only take very little time and Blessings will come your way.

Pool anyone?

Sitting here working on my memoir for a content I want to enter when my phone rang.  Ron, from the Activities section, here at Imperial Plaza, was calling asking for help at the Superbowl Party.  It should be a lot of fun and there will be a lot of food and drinks.  It starts at 5:30 but I am to be there at 1:00 setting up.  I haven’t been to a good football party in a couple of years.  Come one, come all and have fun with us.

After we talked about the party, we discussed a new billiards (for the common person, that mean pool) competition.  I knew about the table in the building called Camilla but I didn’t know about the one in the building called Boxwood.  He suggested Boxwood and Dogwood play each other in Boxwood and Camilla and Azalea play each other in Camilla.  After a few games and a winner is determined for each, then the two winners will play for the championship.  Pending the Activities Department budget, maybe a trophy or certificate will be given.  Also pending the budget, food and drinks will be served.  This is something Ron is working on and wants my help, in which I am more than happy to give.

I haven’t played pool in thirty years or more and I wasn’t that good then.  This should be interesting, to say the least.  Ron said he hasn’t played in many years either but he will try.  There is a resident that is really good and he has been trying to get me to play with him since I first moved in.  I’ll wager money that he is the first winner but I’m going to practice and try to make him sweat for the title.

There is another thing going on that is probably happening at other senior facilities.  What I am talking about are gossip groups, for lack of a better, printable description.  I haven’t been with these people and I may be wrong for calling them a gossip group but it’s what I perceive.  These are people that, each evening, sit in each building’s lobby and talk.  It’s the same people every evening.

Then there are the people that troll for whomever they can find.  I have heard about them from more than one person.  There was one incident that happened to me.  I was walking to the garage of Dogwood when a woman with her walker approached me and started a conversation.  After a couple of minutes I attempted to graciously go on.  My wife drove into the garage and I tried to move the ten yards to give her a hand in unloading the car.  This woman grabbed my arm and kept talking.  I extricated myself and moved on.  My wife thankfully heard and saw what was happening and thought it was funny.  I have been a policeman for many years and have seen the results of a situation like that.  I’ll stay to myself.

Baby, it’s cold outside

Let me tell you, it’s still cold outside and, while going down the mall hallway, it’s cold inside too.  I was passing one of the maintenance men, by the activities office, as he was working on one of the wall radiators.  I asked if the heat was off and he told me it needed bleeding.  I went on about my business and he went about his.  Later that evening, as my wife, my sister-in-law and I were going to dinner, I could feel the coolness radiating through the window making the mall hallway cold.  It was not cool, it was cold.  I put my hand on the radiator and I could barely feel heat coming out of the vents.  I believe it was too cold outside.  I believe it was around eleven degrees.

Imperial Plaza has great food and greater prices.  The Magnolia Room is like a restaurant and Andrea, one of the managers, is one of the greatest people at Imperial Plaza.  She knows everyone by name and she goes out of her way to assist everyone.  I have never heard anyone say anything bad about Andrea.  All the people at Imperial Plaza are great but Andrea, in Food Service, and Ron, in Activities, seems to be above great.

I am getting spoiled with all the great food and prices in The Magnolia Room.  Next door is the cafeteria and it’s the same there.  Great food, great people and great prices.  In fact, when I go to either place, I leave food on my plate and I’ve never done that before.  You’ll never leave either place hungry or wishing for a larger portion.  Then you have deserts that should be advertised as for two.

I haven’t been to the gym this week.  I’ve been too busy plus I had a doctor’s appointment but my body feels the layoff.  I have no excuse for not going to the gym except I am lazy.  However, the gym is a tad too warm although I love warmth.  Then I think of the older users that need the heat and can’t deal with coolness.

This brings me back to the cold hallways.  How did the older residents, at Imperial Plaza, tolerate the change in temperature?  Now that I think about it, I should have spent a lot of time in the gym.  The change of temperature would have been ideal.  In fact, I probably would have had the gym to myself.  Oh well, that is a lost opportunity.

This sheet is almost finished (I only get five hundred words) and I would like your input.  What should I write about?  How deep do you want it to go?  Facts or just what my mind perceives?  You tell me and, if I can, it will be done.  Yes, I love my new retirement home, here at Imperial Plaza, and want to share what this life is like.  As you can see, mine is very busy and I hope it will stay that way.

Baby, It’s cold outside

Look like My wife and I came to Imperial Plaza at the right time.  Man is it cold outside.  This morning, I decided to walk to the gym instead of walking through the connectors for the buildings.  The cold air felt good until “The Hawk” (super cold breeze) hit me straight in the kisser.  I’ll never do that again.  That you can bet your bottom dollar on.  It is great to just look out the window and wonder what the temperature is, without looking at the thermometer.

When I had my house I would be worried about the water pipes, slick walkways and all sorts of other things.  Even if I didn’t have that, I had to take care of my dogs.  I had to get up dog droppings, making sure they had fresh water without ice in the bucket.  They spent most of their time in the house but I had to make sure they went out to relieve themselves.

This cold is no joke and it remind me of North Dakota, my last duty station which made me make up my mind to retire from the air force.  Of course there isn’t any snow and it is about forty degrees, or more, warmer but it is still quite cold.  Before retiring from the air force, I was experiencing temperatures ranging around minus fifty and lower before adding in the wind.  No, Virginia is not that cold but this isn’t “Global Warming” either.

I want to laugh every time I hear one of the residents mention how cold it is, etc.  I was talking to a resident when the person made that comment.  I had to tell them about minus sixty, before adding the wind, making the temperature minus eighty or lower and snow drifts ten to fifteen feet high, because of the wind.  The resident mentioned feeling bad for the people in the north eastern states and couldn’t understand why I did not feel bad for them.  I cannot feel bad for them because they choose to live there.  No one is making them live there when there are areas not as bad.  I feel sorry for all the people who work here and have to come out in the cold to care for us.  I appreciate and thank them.

As far as I am concerned, let it snow.  I don’t have to worry about it anymore.  I can stand in my window and look at it all day long.  If I still had my house, I would be hoping for it not to snow because I would then have a date with my snow shovel and ice melt.  However, this area of Virginia seldom gets very heavy snow although I believe we are overdue.  Not to worry about it anymore.  I now reside at Imperial Plaza and all my worries are taken care of.   Again, thanks to all of you.  My wife and I, for two, really appreciate you all.

Retirement Events

Let me jump ahead of myself for this article.  I have just attended two events, given by the Imperial Plaza Activities Staff, and had a great time.  I would like to attempt to tell you about them and the participation.  The staff of two is great and does a fine job that should be commended.  It takes a lot of hard work and time.

As I have mentioned before, there is one activity attended by men.  The activity is called “Romeo” which stand for Retired Old Men Eating Out.  Since it’s a men only function, Ron, the assistant activities man, the other being female and his boss, always go out with us men.  Last Thursday evening, Ron drove the little bus because the regular driver had driven all day and could not drive us, like he usually does, on our outing.

We went to P. F. Chang and there were only ten of us men.  Paying to go out was seven of us walking normally, two in wheelchairs and Ron.  This is a poor showing for a senior community the size of Imperial Plaza.  I have taken the once a month outing three times now and each time the turnout is very poor.  I have heard rumors about some of the other men saying they cannot afford it or there is another conflicting engagement.

The men that attend the outing is usually the same as always.  I have asked about this and was told that it’s normally ten to twelve men.  The other men also said they have tried to get other men to attend without any luck.  Ron told me the same thing.  I’ll drop it and not dig any further.

The other event was the Pre-New Year party that was a blast.  The band “Second Floor” provided the music, a mixture of Christmas, pop, rock and soul.  The party was to be from six thirty to eight with drink, food and dancing.  My wife and I did not leave until almost nine and some people were still there.   There was wine, champaign, a punch fountain, chocolate fountain, and finger food.  Those that were able to danced and everyone was singing to the music.

One of the residents got on stage sang and so did Ron.  My wife and I also had a new resident sit at the table with us and found out she had only been there a week.  Since she lived in our building and we were also new, we became immediate friends.  She walks with a walker and is from Southern California therefore we told her to contact us if she needed anything.

As my wife and I started to leave with another resident from our building, the band was still playing and most of the party participants had preceded us.  It was a lot of fun and my wife even had a picture taken of us and posted it on Facebook.  It was a good evening.