Columns LaFayette Sun


Up until last year, I could use two fingers to type out all my thoughts faster than any secretary. Well not the really good secretaries, but the ones who were hired more for their looks than their typing. (I know it’s politically incorrect, but I can’t help remembering that Evangelist Jim Bakker had a beautiful secretary, and he couldn’t behave himself in the office, not to mention church.) So since I can’t type anymore, the way I “compose’ this article is that my daughter writes down all the things I want to say, and then she tells me that I can’t say half of it. The rest gets published. At times she argues that someone might take my teasing the wrong way, and I point out that at 95 how much more harm can I do?
This week I want to pass on my thoughts about my stay here at the Old Folks Hotel. Some people call it Arbor Springs, but that sounds like a Disney resort, and no offense, I don’t think I’m anywhere close to Disney World. I did call my friend Greg by the name of Goofy the other day, but that’s because he is a character.
The Old Folks Hotel is actually a long-term care Rehab, and I mentioned to my CNA Christina that they’re doing TOO good of a job. How much older do they want me to get? They track my oxygen with a finger clip, and miraculously from the squeeze of my finger this contraption signals that, yes indeed, I’m still breathing. This finger thing even has the audacity to give me a grade! From what I understand, anything above 90 is good, so I’m right back in school trying to make an A. I’ve mentioned before, as a student my main concern was to take whatever class the pretty girls were in. I don’t remember caring if I passed – I cared about MAKING a pass. This also explains why I used to be fairly good at typing. That was the class with all the secretary wannabes.
There are only three things we really need to survive: food, shelter, and companionship. The Old Folks Hotel is good at providing all three. The food is a little bit like the plate I used to load up at the Country Time Buffet. It’s southern food served warm, with a side of cornbread that is either the driest thing you’ve ever put in your mouth or the best thing on the plate. It depends on the day. The real treat here is that I’ve made friends with the Candyman. That’s what everyone here calls my friend Bill L. because, no lie, he has more candy bars than Halloween. And he’s generous with them! He lives across the hall from me, so every morning I wake up and he has quietly placed a Reese’s Cup on my breakfast tray. The Candyman has made my stay here better than I could have hoped.
I’m grateful for his friendship, which for me is key to survival. Companionship matters. Many of the staff here are now my friends, and I don’t go a day without telling them how grateful I am that they’re so nice to this old man. Instead of just clocking in to do their doody duties, they go out of their way to be kind. When I tell Shanice to Mind her own Business and Quit Blocking the Hallway, she laughs every time. And instead of being jealous, they’re happy for me when I win Bingo and get to pick from the prize table. No one, except my daughters, gives me a hard time that I’ve won 13 blankets to date and have kept them all. I’m hanging on to them for whenever we have a power outage in winter. I’ll be a very rich man.
I probably thank the staff too much; I like to make sure they know that it’s a hard job and I’m glad they show up. There is a Bible verse about treating others the way YOU would want to be treated, and I reckon that’s what they’re doing. It seems to me that Jesus figured out that’s how the world would best work.
Meanwhile this place is costing me an arm and a leg, so hopefully my insurance will cover new arms and legs.

Leave a Reply