The Seasoned Citizen

August 14, 2018

My daughter, Lisa, said “mama” at the age of five months. (If there hadn’t been witnesses, no one would ever believe me.)  She walked at nine months and by the time she was a year old spoke in intelligible sentences and was even analytical. To celebrate her first birthday we took her to a local ...

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For many years now I have been haunted by a voice pleading through a hospital room  door.  I could tell it was a rather elderly Seasoned Citizen, calling for “someone, anyone,” to her bedside.  I questioned the nurses and they cautioned me not to interfere. “She has dementia,” they said, “She’s ...

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We take so much for granted.  Stocked shelves in grocery stores, full pumps at the gas station, electricity (lights, heat, air conditioning, television), running water (to quench thirst, to shower in, to wash dishes).   This morning I tried to brush my teeth and found just a trickle of H2O ...

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A number of states have now made cannabis legal for both medicinal and recreational use, but 50 years ago it was completely verboten. At that time my next door neighbor was an avant-garde artist, a single mother, and a good friend. We lived on the second floor of a two-story garden apartment ...

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The latest fiasco I’ve read about is the renaming of the “Laura Ingalls Wilder Award” to the “Children’s Literature Legacy Award.” Why? Because the renowned author of Little House On The Prairie portrayed Native Americans (American Indians) in stereotypical language. I must inject a personal ...

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We’ve all had the experience of being “butt-dialed,” a euphemism for your pocket-held cell phone accidentally pressing someone else’s number. My granddaughter, Shanna, has unknowingly called me from parties at 2 a.m. I’ve enjoyed listening in on many of her celebrations and sometimes even joined in ...

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My definition of magic is something that has not yet been explained. Still, sometimes we experience phenomena that defy explanation. Here are a few that have occurred in my life. Many years ago, when my daughter Lisa was about 5 years old, we were staring out of the window on a very cold and ...

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I met Jason when I was 17 and he, 23. I was entering my senior year in college (don’t ask) and he was working in his father’s business. He was sensitive, a music lover and intellectually gifted. His avocation was wood carving and he created beautiful pieces of art by, as he said (quoting ...

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After living in Manhattan for the last few years, my grandson, Chris, and my wonderful grand-daughter-in-law, Silvia, have decided to move back to his hometown of Westfield, N.J. Silvia has just returned from a four-day visit with her parents in Hong Kong and they are bunking with my daughter, ...

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My father crossed the River Styx in his 92nd year. He did not go gentle into that good night, but after diagnosing his own problem, fought to keep his promise to my mother and not leave her alone after nearly 70 years. He was a lateral thinker and lucid to his last breath.   My parents were very ...

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When I was a little girl and even when my children were young, we had four distinct seasons: autumn, winter, spring and summer. We knew it was autumn because red and yellow leaves covered the ground and we’d crunch our way to school, enjoying the snap and crackle of crispness under our saddle ...

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I just watched the 1943 movie, “Irving Berlin’s This Is the Army.” It starred our former president, Ronald Reagan, as the son of a World War I veteran who following in his father’s footsteps, joined up and put on shows in World War II for and about the armed forces. It was kitschy and ...

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Once upon a time, before computers and texting and email and Facebook, we had telephones with dials. They spun around and connected us with the live voice of whomever we were calling. That’s what telephones were used for: talking to other people. They had an ear piece and a mouth piece and we made ...

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Be careful what you wish for…you might get it!   I heard recently that a group of citizens in the town of Harrison is challenging an approved 148-unit senior (seasoned) citizen home. The builders have tried to appease these dissenters by reducing the original size of the project, which is to be ...

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I was 8 years old, addicted to Nancy Drew mysteries, “The Shadow” and “The Green Hornet.”  The world was at war. We were inundated with catchy slogans: “A slip of the lip can sink a ship,” “Don’t talk, chum, chew Topps Gum,” and superheroes abounded.   My father, a doctor, was three years older ...

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As we become Seasoned Citizens, whole new vistas open up to us. We were expecting “golden years” and find instead “rusty years.” Every ache and pain becomes exacerbated and we begin to feel less capable and more vulnerable. Many doctors take advantage of Seasoned Citizens and prescribe numerous ...

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Why is the world so fascinated by the sex lives of others? I’ve just read a review of a new book dealing with the relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt and reporter Lorena Hickok. So what?  Shouldn’t these two people be afforded the privilege of privacy…especially since both have been dead for ...

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Americans are obsessed with diets and dieting. “Watch your cholesterol intake.” “Watch your fat intake.” “Watch your salt intake.” Some opt for all vegetables and no fats or protein, others for high protein and no carbs, and each promises weight loss or gain. My father (a physician) had, I ...

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I recently experienced a re-mastered memory. It was a very funny “Saturday Night Live” spoof, presented in the 1970s as a car commercial that I remembered as an actual VW commercial.  Interestingly, I had just read an article that postulated how our brains deal with things remembered. According ...

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Shelley Berman, where are you? My sister and I have just experienced one of your hysterical sketches in real life. For those who don’t remember or weren’t around, Shelley Berman was a monologist back in the 1970s whose routine usually consisted of frustrating telephone encounters. In one of his ...

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It was the day of the Finch Ball. Jason had been away on business, but was expected home in time for us to attend that evening.  I had graduated from Finch College two years earlier and was now married and expecting my second child. We lived in a one-bedroom garden apartment in Yonkers. It was a ...

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Everyone asks me, “How do you like your new home...It’s really a wonderful setup for one.” Ah, there’s the rub. I spent 62 years with my husband, so how do I like my new home...I don’t. I deplore the silence; the empty echo of remembered voices; the loneliness of solitary living; reaching for a ...

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Alka-Seltzer’s marshmallow meatloaf, Life cereal’s “Give it to Mikey,” “Snap! Crackle! Pop!” Rice Krispies, “Which twin has the Toni?” I really dislike television ads but some of the “oldies” were very memorable. Commercials needn’t be subliminal to influence us. Between TV and the internet, ...

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I suffered a power outage on Christmas morning. Losing electricity isn’t fun anytime, but Christmas morning? No heat, no water and no working range.  I had slept in, knowing it was a holiday, and had just brushed my teeth when everything stopped, so no coffee, either. That’s what pushed me over ...

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We all have things we regret doing and not doing, and one of mine is leaving “Anatevka” in my old garage. Back in 1974 at our theater, the Westchester Playhouse, we presented Paul Lipson in “Fiddler on the Roof.” Mr. Lipson had played Tevya, the role innovated by Zero Mostel, more than 1,800 ...

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I’ve just read an article stating that some of our ancestors were rats. Well, that’s not surprising...many of them are still with us, except they now have two arms, two legs and no tail! We meet them in business, politics, and even romantically. They burrow, insidiously, into our lives, causing us ...

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My cats are finicky eaters. All cats are finicky eaters but mine, I think, are worse because they’re spoiled... by me of course! Want an example? Pyewacket has decided the only way he’ll drink water is if I pour it from a bottle onto the shower floor and he laps at the stream. Sometimes he dips his ...

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I love the Christmas, solstice, New Year’s season. Whether it is celebrated for religious reasons or “return of the sun” solstice reasons makes no difference. It’s a joyous holiday. In ancient times, people noticed that around Dec. 25, the days were lengthening, bringing back the light. So they ...

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When I first read about the remake of Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express,” I was incensed! “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?” was my first thought. Then I regrouped and thought some more. Most of today’s movies rely on computers to enhance their less-than-perfect scripts (e.g. giant ...

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To study is broadening; to learn is fulfilling; to create is everything. I’ve just watched a retrospective on the life of Edgar Allan Poe and it struck me how so many writers and poets live lives of quiet desperation. They reach out with words and thoughts and are met, so many times, by ...

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