Sunday, February 25, 2018

Your Thoughts and Prayers Have Arrived...

The fabulous Robert Tutman asked me if I had seen the picture of the truck arriving filled with thoughts and prayers.  Hurricane survivors  in Florida and Texas, thought when the truck arrived there would be food, clothing, water, things necessary to survive.  Listen, I am not one to make light of spirituality, but not in place of food and water.  Take a look at the image and then think about how any times you have heard, “Our thoughts and prayers are with you.”

Think about it.  When tragedy strikes is there something we can actually do to make things better.  Let’s take the most recent tragedy because there seem to be so many lately.  The senseless killing of 17 people in Parkland, Florida.  Are your thoughts and prayers with them? What else can you do beside think and pray.  We have seen any number of groups supporting the idea of gun control reform.  How long have these activist groups been at it without much success.  But there is a different kind of activist group in this case.  The voices of our children, the targets.  How can we support them without interfering with their message.

Today I met with an old friend who i hadn’t see in about 50 years.  He was a year older, which came as a surprise, because I thought he was a year younger. That being said he was still one of the Jewish kids who always had to stand in the back of the room when everyone else sang Christmas carols.  It was great to catch up. He is living not far from me in Jupiter.  Here is another case of the wonder of Facebook. He saw where I was and got in touch. He remembered when he and my cousin Stevie ran away from Bar Mitzvah practice. They did it every week and ran down the block to the Y. But on one occasion the Rabbi came after them and Stevie, being a big biter, bit the Rabbi and hid under the ping pong table.  Oh that Stevie!

Helping people in need is no joke, though often fleeting. People most often think about doing something good on holidays.  Whether it be a coat drive in the winter. A turkey at Thanksgiving. Food and Toys for Christmas. or Chocolate eggs for Easter. In our family, charity or tzedukah happened all year long.  From what I understand, it started in the shtetls. On Friday the Rabbi would go house to house with the tzedukah box. If you were a family in need you took money out of the box. And if you could afford it you put money in the box.  It’s just how things were, and how this little corner of society tried to care for its own.

For the Catholics, (and I love these),  it is the seven corporal works of mercy:
    To feed the hungry.
    To give water to the thirsty.
    To clothe the naked.
    To shelter the homeless.
    To visit the sick.
    To visit the imprisoned, or ransom the captive.
    To bury the dead.

People did not pull up with a truck loaded with thoughts and prayers.  If I ever say that again, I will always have the picture of the truck in my mind.  A Well intentioned, yet without much substance, thing to say. Amen

We’re just sayin’… Iris

Friday, February 23, 2018

What Doth We Know?

There are times you wish you knew more than you do about any number of things.  Today it was Golf.  My condo on the PGA property, is between the 6th and 7th hole.  We are across the street from the 7th green. Yesterday, we said “hey” to Tiger Woods who was so close we couldn’t even take a picture. He said hello and made a little fuss over Rosie, my granddaughter.  And today we watch him play the seventh hole and we couldn’t have been any closer unless we were playing.  It’s not that Tiger is my golf hero. it’s’ just that I don’t know any other golfer.  You might say I am totally golf knowledge free. 

We lucked out with this rental because on one side we have our own private rookery and two alligators, and on the other side is the Honda open. (I think that’s right). 

But the most exciting thing that has happened while we’ve been here is the student movement against guns.  It is my hope that it will stay a student movement and not get watered down with teachers, parents, grandparents, school administrators, or anyone who is not a student. The young woman who has become a voice for these young targets, says that “they have a right to live”, which is more important than the NRA speaking for the rights to have weapons of mass destruction.  In the 60’s the student stopped a war, made civil, women’s, and human rights a reality, and made activism a career.  It is my hope that this is happening again with young people who are angry and have an enormous capacity for common sense. 

Have you noticed that the US is about 7th in overall medals at the Olympics.  This must be a nightmare for NBC because, let’s be honest. They have very little interest in other countries.  It’s OK. We are forced to realize there are other countries who have better and more disciplined athletes than we have. Norway, the size of Montana, leads the way.   It’s cold in Korea. David is cold.  He hates to be cold.  Such is life. The weather where I am is wonderful, sunny and warm.  I love being warm.  Oh well, life is not fair.

So here’s the bad news.  TLC, one of my favorite channels with “Say Yes to the Dress” is also the home of programs like “Sister Wives” and “My 600 Pound Life”. There is truly something fascinating about these incredibly gross and distasteful  shows.  And everytime another of these shows pop up I think it can’t get worse.  WRONG. Tonight, in-between “My 600 Pound Life”, and speaking of popping up, is a new show. At least  new to me. “Dr. Pimple Popper”.  It is tempting to turn it on but not tempting enough to actually do it.  TV seems no longer to have any redeeming qualities.  Where are shows like “The Donna Reed Show”, “Pee Wee’s Playhouse”, “Alf,”  and “The Man From UNCLE”?  There probably was a time when there were people who thought these shows had no redeeming qualities.  but I would put “The Golden Girls’” up against “Dr Pimple Popper” and I feel sure my choice of the 4 old girls would come out way ahead.

Sports, entertainment, culture, games, politics. Have our tastes changed that much or have we lost perspective, our sense of humor and our moral core.  Where will we go from here? I’m not sure I’m looking forward to finding out.  We’re just sayin’…  Iris

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Hey New Jersey, Leave My Aunt Alone

The invasion of the entire body and mind snatchers or Aunt Irene vs. New Jersey Social Services.

There was a show on 60 minutes or, one of the “tell all the horrible things that can happen to you” tv shows, about senior social services in Florida.  These horrible service people had themselves declared guardians of a number of senior citizens, who were living out their lives in comfortable housing even with their families involved in their care.  These human nightmares gained control of the seniors’ money, homes and lives.  They moved them into substandard housing and milked them dry financially.  OK you say, but that’s not going to happen again because now we know about it.       This is certainly not the case, with so many of our beloved elderly family members.  Take for example, my Aunt Irene.  A few weeks ago one of her “friends” called NJ social services and reported that my aunt was not being cared for and something had to be done.

Imagine my surprise when i read the note (hand-scribbled on notebook lined paper -no logo, nothing remotely official), from the ever vigilant Danielle , which said she wanted to meet with Irene and evaluate the care she was getting.  Danielle was testy on the phone.  She wanted to know what was wrong with the note she left, and did I want her to travel back to her office to get letterhead.  Not necessarily, but a card or something official would have been nice.  Anyway, Danielle, our own personal mind and body snatcher, said she needed to come to the house, look around and talk to Irene — and I, the niece and holder of the POA (power of attorney) couldn’t be there. They apparently can do anything they want to do. 

We called  Danielle’s supervisor to find out who this idiot was and here’s what she said.  “She’ll only be there for a few minutes.  She’ll look in the fridge to make sure she has food and look around the apartment to make sure everything is OK.” This was a lie.  After an hour and fifteen minutes of asking Irene questions she didn’t want to answer, and Irene saying that she didn’t know why this woman was in her apartment because she paid her bills and just wanted to be left alone to make her own decisions — which by the way she does.  When she started to administer an alzheimers test, it was enough, and I insisted she leave.  So leave she did with my Aunt in a total meltdown, still wondering why Danielle had been there at all.

Best I can figure, here’s the problem. Her friends want her to be who she was, with her hair always done and dressed to the nines.  That is their priority.  It’s not who she wants to be anymore. Really.  My priorities are that she is healthy and safe.  I don’t care if her hair is colored and poofed, and she doesn’t either.  OK, Im not crazy about the long hairs on her face but she doesn't seem to mind them.  She has the food she likes in the fridge. She doesn’t use the stove or the microwave or any appliances so there is no danger of fire.  She has a life-line and her gerontologist is in her building.  The friends think she can’t take care of herself and we don’t take care of her either.  This is not the case.  She has help seven days a week and her aide, who has become her friend, lives a half mile away.  She is 95.  She gets a pass on hair and clothes.  

Anyway, Danielle is still on the warpath.  On advice of counsel, I don’t have to talk to the yahoo from the state and she is not allowed to talk to Irene without me present.  You remember the old song, “friend friend friends, we will always be”, that is not the case when one friend gets old and the others do not.  In this world of “everyone has a rule you cannot break, sicko’s can carry assault machine guns. People who shouldn’t be driving due to old age or not having a license, still drive. And Children find a way to get drugs and alcohol and don’t use them responsibly.  Hey NJ, there are real problems out there. Leave my Aunt Irene alone.  We’re just sayin’....Iris