I’m Not Getting Old – I’m  Just Getting More Creative in Linking Two Vastly Unrelated Subjects

When my granddaughter called to ask me what I remembered about President Kennedy’s assassination for a school assignment she was working on, it triggered something in me.  You may think it was the memories of the events of that day.  Of course, that happened; but what it really triggered was a cold, harsh reality.  I’m getting old.  Middle-schoolers go to people my age to find out about the past.  I’m somebody’s homework.

I explained to Mia that when JFK was shot I was seven years old – a second-grader.  The full impact was lost on me much like the reason why we had atomic bomb drills where we would crouch under our desks while the air raid siren blared.  On that day, though, I remember our teacher crying as she sent us home from school early.  I remember my parents being upset.  I remember being sad for Caroline and John-John; he was such a cute little boy.  It was strange to think that the president had a regular life as a husband and father.


IMG_4828The weirdest thing I recall as standing out in my mind was the newspaper.  The Evening Star had the words EXTRA, EXTRA across the top banner.  This was odd and unusual enough to me that I saved the paper and have it to this day.  Somewhere in the mind of that second grader was the realization that this was important and of lasting impact – a piece of history recorded for posterity.

But, this is supposed to be a blog about Life on the Lighter Side, so with that in mind, I’ll let you know that my being my granddaughter’s homework was not the only thing that has reminded me that I’m getting older.  As background, you should know that I am a huge Seinfeld fan.  My son, Scott, sent me a notice that Larry Thomas, aka the Soup Nazi of Seinfeld fame, was going to be dispensing soup in a Publix in Kissimmee, which is clear across town.  I was excited about going until I found out the time slot involved a return home during rush hour.  Sadly, I’ll never know the intense pleasure of having my bowl filled with mulligatawny by a stern-faced soup ladler; and I’ll never know if bread was included or not.

That may not seem like a big deal to you, but just a few years ago I stalked Paul McCartney, I mean had lunch with a friend while trying to get a glimpse of him at his hotel where he was staying across town.  I also have driven across the state to hear my favorite author, Alexander McCall Smith, give a lecture.  So it broke my heart a little to know that I wouldn’t brave I-4 traffic in order to see a Seinfeld character in action.

Now that I think about it, it’s all about how you look at life.  Maybe I’m not getting old.  Maybe I’m simply having a season of personal growth.  You know, counting the cost and realizing the value of my own time.  Either way, it adds up to, “No soup for me!”  Ah, but I can always catch Seinfeld in re-runs and ladle my own bowl of soup.  Plus, there’s next to no traffic in my kitchen.  Sounds like a perfect plan.

No Such Thing as a Free Prescription

My daughter Dena is one of those crazy (in a good way) young moms who isn’t afraid of anything.  Last week she and I were chatting on the phone.  As we were winding up our conversation she said, “I have to go.  I’m heading to the doctor in an hour.”

When I asked her why, she said she was sick and running a fever.  I offered to come and get the three older kids so she would only have the baby with her, but she said the nurse said to bring them, that she’d be in and out quickly.  I offered again, but like I said, my daughter’s crazy brave.  On hindsight, I should have rushed over and taken them anyway – the fever probably worked against her decision-making process.

Things went fairly well in the doctor’s office, except for the part where she was in the examination room and the nurse informed her that her daughter looked out the window and saw they had left the van door open.  That’s not exactly what you want to hear while you are donning a paper outfit; but that was easily resolved with the key fob.

Next she headed to Publix where many antibiotics are free and decided to pick up a few things for dinner while she waited for her prescription (making the price of the free prescription now about $28.50).  This was the point where her launch window closed.  Conditions were no longer favorable for a safe trip.  The mission should have been scrubbed.  But she pressed on.

While they were waiting for the prescription, the melt down began.  During that time there were a couple of injuries and numerous complaints from the kids.  The freezer section left them frozen.  They were tired from their day, not to mention starving.  Thankfully, a good distraction was found next to the prescription window – the chair with the blood pressure monitor was just begging to be sat in.  One child tried playing in it and that looked so exciting to three-year-old Jett that he ran across the floor, tripped and slid head first into the hard chair.  As he’s screaming and the manager is approaching, Dena is still waiting for her drugs (at this point the more the merrier).

So with voices crying, “I’m hungry.”  “I’m cold.”  “I have a concussion,” she headed home with deli chicken and medicine, and of course the cold, hungry, and concussed children.  Just another day.  When she told me about it later, I was so tempted to say, “I’ll bet you were kicking yourself for not letting me come get them.”  But that wouldn’t have been kind.

I confess, I said it anyway, along with a thank you for the blog post.