Whoops! More Good Folks

I love to report on good-deed-doers.

This morning as Alice was making pancakes, I told her I was going out to get the newspaper, one of my little morning chores.

Leaving the front door I saw the paper on the ground under the tree in the parkway where the ground rises a little and there are exposed roots.  Using my cane I got down the stairs and onto the sidewalk, but I didn’t take enough notice of the ground and went down on my face.

By now I think everyone knows that an old guy lacks the strength and agility to get himself up after a fall.  In warm weather, windows open, I would have called for Alice, but I knew she would miss me eventually.  It was only a little chilly this morning and I knew there would be passing cars, dog-walkers, others who would notice the old man down.

A couple of cars went by; a young man walked by on the other side of the street; I’m acquainted with him, don’t think he notices anything.

The the breakfast cook remember me,  She hurried out the front door in her robe.  In previous falls, Alice has been able to raise me with a handlock and a good pull.  Not this time.

 

Then two things happened at once.

— A car stopped along the curb about 30 feet away and a brown-faced young woman in scrubs started to get out.  I waved at her.

—  I felt strong arms close around my chest from behind and heard a voice say, “Relax” as he put me on my feet.  I turned around and saw a stocky man about 50.  I thanked him several times and shook his hand and he walked to his car.

The girl in scrubs watched Alice and me until we had gotten safely in the house.

Alice makes good pancakes, serves them with little sausages, and Canadian maple syrup from a jug marked with a price about the same as pretty good whiskey.

RJN

 

 

 

 

Good Folks Out There

 

Image result for photos cane

I value the courtesies given me as a somewhat disabled old guy, and I enjoy telling about them, spreading the good news–there are good folks out there.

First a word of caution.  Being nice can be dangerous. When I drop my cane, someone always picks it up for me.  Recently, I was waiting in line at a Starbucks when I dropped my cane and two people jumped to get it, could have cracked heads in the competition to do good !

Two days ago, I took my car to Jennings Chevrolet in Glenview for an oil change. Yes, Jennings VW is still there, too,  where a service writer did me a favor once.

After leaving my car, I went into the waiting room for a bagel and a cup of good coffee, noticing four older people watching the Today Show and a young woman sleeping,

I toasted my bagel, drew my coffee, and found I could not carry both to my chair with the cane in one hand, so I left the cup behind for another trip.

One man had his legs extended to the center of the room and I thought, “Well, old guy, you might just get stepped on,” but he pulled his feet in and I said, “Thank you.”  I put my bagel on a table  and turned to go back, finding Mr. Longlegs right behind me.  He said, “Here’s your coffee.”

A little later, the young woman woke up and caught me looking at her in a grandfatherly way.  I was concerned when she left the room that I might have made her uncomfortable, but she came back.

I must have dozed finishing my coffee, because I felt something at my hand holding the cup–the girl was taking it out my hand very gently to prevent a spill.

I thanked her, told her I done that a couple of times, had spilled a drink into my as I fell asleep.  She said she understood.  Said she worked in a nursing home where “They do it all the time”.

RJN

 

 

 

 

 

Veterans Day and Suicide etc.

Today, 20 military veterans will commit suicide.  I heard that on NPR’s Morning Edition.  Our country’s treatment of, or failure to care for, veterans is a long-standing shame.

I’m a veteran though I don’t think of myself that way.  I was in the army for 21 months in the late 1950’s when there seemed to be no war, though the U.S. was active in Viet Nam and dropped paratroops on Lebanon when an election didn’t go our way. My weapon was a typewriter and my battlefield was  the compound of the Corporal Missile (training) Battery in Oklahoma. I drew the veteran benefit for courses I took when I got out.

Who’s a real veteran?  My nephew Jeffrey Nugent who served in Iraq and our new Senator Tammy Duckworth who lost her legs there. My brother John who graduated from the Naval Academy and transferred to the Marines.  And my friend Larry who served in Viet Nam.   And a lot of those people sleeping in a park or on the warm grates of city sidewalks, asking for change on street corners, talking to themselves in public libraries.  Or sitting in jail cells with no hope.

What’s being done for all those suffering as a result of military service? Not enough..

Mental Health Concerns
  • Postraumtic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Traumatic events, such as military combat, assault, disasters or sexual assault can have long-lasting negative effects such as trouble sleeping, anger, nightmares, being jumpy and alcohol and drug abuse. …
  • Depression. …
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

RJN