So, last time I said I would talk a bit abut some of the more interesting people I’ve met here at the old folks home.
Let’s start with Ernie. Ernie appears to have always been depressed. Often he has some discouraging word for the enterprising younger man that I still am. He comes across as a grump. Always frowning, often complaining to the wait staff. Rarely does a meal pass without Ernie calling gruffly at the staff with an appeal for more attention. He knows few of the staff by name. Ernie hates it here. Nothing about this place is the least bit to pleasing to him. In his defense I have to remind you that few of us sing the praises of the old folks home. These places are pretty uniformly despicable. They are dominated by old, infirm, people. I’ve been trying to pin down just what the business plan is that makes this place work. But it eludes me.
I eat frequently with Peggy, Mariann. Phyllis, Karin, and Libby. I find the discussion at their fable much more interesting than that which usually goes on at the other table I routinely eat dinner at. There we usually are focused on either stories about wartime (WW II) or the effects of the new tax bill. Jim, in particular, would like to control his money even beyond the grave. Good luck with that. Therein lies the real death tax.
Next there is Margaret. She always gives detailed descriptions of how she wants her food prepared, usually to no avail, though “you can’t have that” would never cross a staff lip. She also tries to be very sociable. Bob, up next, is probably her favorite person, although it’s always hard to tell, since it may well be that she was just worried about him. He fell ill a few weeks ago and Margaret was, for a while, convinced he had died. She announced his passing somewhat regularly during his absence, during which he was staying in his room not feeling well. That’s how most of us disappear. Deborah did just disappear the other day, though. I suspect she got evicted, but all I could get from the front desk was that she had moved to Woodland. She had a bit of a reputation for coming to fisticuffs with other residents.
Bob was, originally, confined most of the time in a scooter at dinner. Note worthy here was Bob’s inability to stay upright in the scooter. When he fell ill about three weeks ago, Margaret worried a lot about him. I think she may be a bit sweet on him. Before he even disappeared from dinner she would leave the war lover’s table, where she usually eats, to join him and cheer him up. Bob was a Veterinarian before he retired following a stroke. Like many of us, he appears to have been unaffected mentally by the stroke, but severely handicapped physically.
Then there is, of course, Edwina. Everyone Edwina meets has blue eyes, according to her. She fell the other day and broke her foot. Falls are on all our minds, as they are a constant threat to all older people. It’s surprising just how far it really is to the ground, or how fast you can find yourself there. The only way to avoid a fall is before you realize you are falling. If you realize it, it’s already too late.
I guess I’ll sop for now. I’m losing steam and am reminding myself of my mother, a bit. She was an awful gossip. I resolved very early not to let that trait become my own. Now look sat me.