Monday, June 26, 2017

Birthdays and Memories

I'm almost one year older as my driver's license states.

I must pay for registration so that I'll have legal plates.

The vision test's the only part that I will truly fear.

So if I know the letters, I'm on the road next year.

I am about two weeks from celebrating another birthday. After this, I am out of sixties numbers and that is alright with me. Thanks to several wonderful doctors I am still in pretty good health. Thanks to an unlimited amount of support from friends and family, I am mentally strong. For that I am grateful.

Now, let's talk about aging. When I was very young I did what most kids did and probably still do. I was always my age plus a fraction. I wasn't six: I was six and a half. The half seemed to mean a lot back then, but that has disappeared for me. I don't remember ever saying that I was sixty-eight and a half. I think the fractions disappear once you are old enough to drive, drink, or vote.

I call the time when I was raising my sons the "Mr. Joe" years. Since they have become adults they are both doing well. As a matter of fact, they received degrees with honors and they both worked very hard to achieve their goals.It wasn't always that way.

This approaching birthday reminded me of a story from roughly thirty-five years ago. Money was scarce even though I always worked full time.

Every once in a while I could afford to take my sons to a movie. I'm not talking a giant drink and popcorn. I mean that I could afford to pay for the admission. That's when the fraction added to the age got me. I don't remember the cutoff for kids tickets back then, but it was young. It might have been even six or seven. I remember telling the lady at the ticket counter that Jason was six and a half. He would always get upset and tell them that he was seven. There were a few times when we had to drive back home. If you don't have don't have it.

I remember when the boys were in daycare and they would force me to work over. I was making eleven dollars an hour and roughly sixteen on overtime. I was supposed to get off work at four thirty, but that didn't happen that often. The daycare closed at six and they charged a dollar a minute when they had to stay open until you picked up your kids

I'm good enough at math to know that if you are bringing in sixteen dollars an hour before taxes, paying out sixty doesn't work.

I'm looking forward to my birthday because it reminds me that I have been blessed for yet another year. I think that if I have a cake it might have Roman Numerals for candles. That's cool. I like to think that I am a few years away from having only one. Thanks to the fact that I quit smoking six years ago, I will easily blow them out. That's pretty cool, too.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Jury Duty

I'm sorry that we're meeting in a courtroom.

But, I've been called to listen to your case.

Please try to make the twelve of us believe you

It's up to us what future you will face.

I have had many experiences in my lifetime. Some were wonderful and some were painful. We learn from both and each contributes to making us the person we are today.

One thing I have always wanted to do and never have had the opportunity is to serve on a jury. I have never been asked and I have to wonder why. I have been a licensed driver since the sixties and the first person I ever voted for was a peanut farmer. That means I have had half a century to be called.

 Most people seem to hate the thought of serving on a jury. I guess I would too if it caused me the loss of income or time away from my family. Since I was a single parent I can absolutely understand where they are coming from. You want to fulfill your obligations as a citizen, but you have to put your family first. That is why I might have solved the problem of selecting a jury.

 I am a retired, card carrying member of AARP and also a recipient of social security, Medicare, and a pension. For the most part, I am covered financially and don't need to seek employment if I choose not to. The problem I do have since I am single is what to do each day.

 I live in a nice apartment complex, but that means there is no lawn care or maintenance required. A house makes no sense to me at my age and in my situation.

 Now, back to my solution. Most appointments that I schedule have been with doctors, with the exception of a monthly haircut. My sister told me about how seniors obsess about appointments and I understand it now. It seems I can't leave home without spending money and seniors have a lot of time on their hands.Why not put the time to use and solve the problem that some seniors are facing. Being alone and lacking contact with the outside world.

 Make jury duty voluntary. Ask the ones who would relish the opportunity to have their opinions mean something. I would do it full-time if I could. I think it would be interesting and I think I could add a positive note. Look at it from my point of view. It's a chance to get out and even make a few bucks. It's also a chance to meet people your age and see that your opinion is valuable.

 The only downside I see is this. If you are on trial for trespassing on someone's yard, you might not want your jurors to look like Fred or Ethel Mertz.That was a senior reference and not meant for everyone.