SALAD DAYS, SALAD BARS

Salad Days — Is there a period in your own personal life that you think of as the good old days? Tell us a story about those innocent and/or exciting times (or lack thereof).

Note: If WordPress is going to keep repeating the same prompts and themes, I’m going to rework my material. Good for the goose, good for the gander. Or something like that.


All our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death. Out, out brief candle. Life’s but a poor player who frets and struts his hour about the stage and then is heard no more.

It is a tale told by an idiot. Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

William Shakespeare, “King Lear”

And here we fools are  … again … reliving for WordPress some aspect of the past. Taking another dive into the treacly waters of remembrance of times past. The wonderful days when life was simple, warm, and fuzzy.

Those halcyon days of yore, before women and minorities got strange idea about rights and dignity. Before inferior people thought they were as good as white men.

Yesterday, when it was okay to beat up your kids, your wife, your pets. You knew your neighbors wouldn’t say anything because no one wanted to interfere in a “family matter.” The good old days of back room abortions with wire hangers, nuns with rulers, fathers with straps. The days when bullies could be kings of the world and the rest of us had to cringe our way through school hoping to get out alive.

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When husbands could rape their wives and it was okay because a marriage licence conferred immunity to prosecution for everything short of murder … and even murder in some states.

The good old days, when you could refuse employment to people because they were the wrong sex or color. When jobs were listed by sex in the press and if you had the wrong plumbing, you couldn’t get an interview.

Those were great times, were they not?

I’m exhausted by all these trips down memory’s lanes. The good old days had some good stuff in them. The world was smaller. We had fewer predators or were blissfully unaware of the ones lurking around every corner. We played outside in good weather, without supervision. Our world wasn’t ruled by technology, or at least not personal devices. No cells phones or beepers to leash us to home. Out of sight meant freedom.

Mom was boss. Watch out for her dish towel! It could get you in any room in the house because mom could not only hear your whispers, but your thoughts, too.

Salad days? Not really. I had healthier days, younger days. 1969, the year my son was born was a good one. Because my son was born, men walked on the moon, everyone went to Woodstock (except me because I was home with the baby) and rock and roll was king.

But not salad days. Just younger.

The Yarn Shoppe in Williamsburg, August 2012.

There’s a lot wrong with today, but there was just as much wrong”back then.” We may not have noticed it, but it was there if you had eyes to see and ears to hear. So lets put our efforts into making today better.

We can’t redo the past and I don’t want to live there or even visit. We have today. We have “now.” Let’s do the best we can to make today worth remembering … even if we aren’t the ones who will remember it.

SOMEWHERE IN SUTTON

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Kaity and I went shooting today. We haven’t done that in a long time and it was a pleasure spending time with this young woman who is my granddaughter.

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It was not quite as bright and beautiful as it had been earlier in the week … but it was neither raining nor snowing.

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At this point in the seasons, a day which isn’t bitterly cold and when precipitation isn’t falling from the sky, is a good day to be out and about.

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Monday Garry and I are off again. Me to Amherst to stay with friends, he from there to Amherst to Long Island, then back to pick up the luggage (me). And home.

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I’ll try to get some pictures while I’m out in the western part of our lovely commonwealth.

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These pictures were taken somewhere in Sutton. A farm, a pond, a few bright leaves.

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We met a big (probably) Greylag (domestic, not wild) goose who was taking a break from the farm and failed to read the signs reminding us not to feed the geese. I hoped I was seeing a rare goose, but suspected, when he walked out of the water and stood there looking cute, he was probably domestic.

I have dogs. I know begging when I see it.

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GENEROSITY. MY FIRST MISTAKE.

My husband’s statement from Medicare showed a charge (paid by Medicare) for a doctor neither of us had ever heard of. This wasn’t the first time such a charge had appeared and I was fed up with phantom charges, even if they didn’t personally cost us anything.

I called the number on the Medicare summary to which one was supposed to address issues of fraud. After half an hour on hold, I got a person … who told me I needed to call the “Fraud Hotline.” Following some grousing (I was merely trying to be a good citizen … Medicare was the one getting hit with bogus charges, not us), I called the hotline.

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More like a cold line. Endless voicemail options. Press this, press that, press the next thing, press another thing … and then …

You got it. Wait on hold for another half hour.

When finally I get through, I provided the information. Then, I pointed out if they are serious about stopping fraud, they might want to make it less of a challenge to report it. She said that’s the way the hotline is, nothing to be done about it and I mentally threw my arms in the air and gave up.

It turns out it was actually Walmart (who we already paid for Garry’s eye exam), billing Medicare for yet another eye exam with the optometrist’s wife — who he had never heard of and never seen. Another $100 on top of the $110 he already paid to Walmart. Nice little scam, eh?

Apparently no one appreciated my attempt at good citizenship and like Calvera in “The Magnificent Seven,” I realized “Generosity, that was my first mistake.”

I spent nearly 2 hours trying to report a fraud … and no one cares. As far as Medicare is concerned, it is more trouble to track down scams than to just pay them off.

And here we sit, wondering where our money goes.

Wonder no more. I know where it goes.