They’ve caught up with me!

Those of you who read my “Lifesavers All” may recall that article ended with Dr. Platonov saying,

“I’ll see you again in November.  It would be nice if you were down to 240lbs by then.  We’ll call you to make an appointment.”

Well I did get a call from his office about a month ago telling me that I was booked in for cardiac ultrasound, to be followed by a visit to Platonov a month later.  They’ve caught up with me!  I was sort of hoping that they had forgotten me by now, and moved on to other survivors but no, they had my number and they’re not finished with me yet.  I’m not sure what the penalty will be for a weight gain. (more…)


Lifesavers All!

Chapter 1: Call 911!


It was somewhere around midnight, I guess.  I didn’t see the flashing lights of the fire engine or the flashing lights of the ambulance but they were there, outside my house within a very few minutes of my wife dialing 911 and calling for help.  I could swear she was still on the 911 call when I suddenly became aware of three burly firemen jammed in the doorway of the bedroom, while a fourth sat or stood by my side checking me out.  It couldn’t have been more than a couple of minutes later, that they were joined by three paramedics, dressed in the familiar “Pullywooly” type jerseys, who also appeared in a flash and then assumed control of me.   (They must have arrived almost simultaneously, like genies from a bottle!)  I sat there on the edge of the bed not quite sure what was wrong with me, but sure nonetheless that I needed medical help. (more…)


Avoiding Trouble!

Well, that’s something most of us would like to do, avoid trouble!  I say most, because there are those to whom conflict and taking chances are an accepted and exciting part of life.  This is particularly common among the very young – we’ve all been there, taking chances that might have ended tragically.  For some it has been a chosen way of life, while for others avoidance of conflict was not an option.  Some survived, some didn’t. (more…)



Before becoming a senior, I had never given much thought to sharing. Not that I am selfish; it wasn’t that. In those pre-65 days it was taken for granted that one of us had to go out and earn some money to pay for the food and rent, while the other one had to stay home and mind the house. It was an understanding that grew out of the need to pay bills, and the important need of raising children. Many seniors, especially we senior seniors, grew up in an age when there was precious little daycare available. Besides, it was looked down upon by many because it was seen as paying insufficient time to bringing up the kids. (more…)


Alone at Last!

To start with, let me admit that I, personally, don’t live alone so I can’t write as an expert on the subject! The ideas expressed here today have been triggered by observation, plus comments and thoughts conveyed to me by others who do live alone. They are the experts, so take all I say with a grain of salt. But lend me your ear anyway for a while, and let’s see what we can make of this condition that is common to many. (more…)


Let’s Back It Up!

Yep that’s what I’d do, I’d back it all up – back to the days of my youth!  The world has changed so much during my lifetime that it is difficult to know what the latest fashion is now.  They come they go, and by the time I begin to catch on everything has changed again.  I took my watch in to get a new wrist strap.  It’s one I picked up recently for $45 in Nassau; it was the spring of 1988 actually.  It’s quite the latest thing – good to 100 metres underwater.  (Well, you never know when you might fall out of the boat, do you?)  The fellow behind the counter at Sears stared at it, then looked up at me.  “That’s a real vintage watch you have there!”  It is??? I thought it was quite modern.  As it was he had no strap long enough for my wrist, so the watch went back into the drawer.  After that incident, I started to pay attention to other people’s watches.  Most of them, especially girls’ watches, had faces twice the size of mine.  Strange, eh, the watches that are limited in what they can do get doubled in size while computers that can do everything get cut down to a minimum.  Another fashion had changed, and I hadn’t even noticed! (more…)



As we steadily age ….well, maybe steadily isn’t the best choice of words … making meals becomes a little more difficult, and different too, for several reasons. For example, our aging shows up when it comes to preparing a meal; what we eat changes, and how much we eat decreases. Safety issues, always important in the kitchen, become even important as we and the kitchen age. Things we never worried about when we were younger can become a concern, now that our physical needs and abilities have changed. Let’s take a look at the results of some of those changes, as we cope with the vital need for nourishment.



Do You Talk To Yourself?

Well I do, and I’m not ashamed to admit it! Mind you, I do it mainly when I’m alone. When other people are around it is generally considered to be bossiness on my part, or they think I’m losing it. I try to start each short conversation with, “Gerry,….” It’s an attempt to disarm any opposition and generally works, even when I am actually trying to give disguised orders to someone else! So, yes, I talk to myself. Now you’re going to want to know why and when I do this, right? Well, there are several reasons and occasions. Let me tell you about a few… (more…)


Now Hear This!

Hear what? Oh, you mean this loudspeaker at Loblaw’s. Funny, isn’t it, they spent all that money on renovating the place, but you still can’t make out a word the girl on the p.a. system is saying; just a lot of garbled noise that no-one could possibly understand. I always ignore it, but cross my fingers and hope she’s not yelling, “FIRE!” Sometimes I think they make it indistinct just to muddle you. I don’t know how many times I have seen a really good deal on a price sticker only to find out it’s not for this one but for the product on the shelf “above” or the product on the shelf “below” the sticker. I have had so many arguments with the cashiers at checkout that nowadays I take the good deals to the Service Desk first to get a price check. You’d be surprised how many of those price stickers are in the wrong place! I complain, but seldom win. (more…)


Get a Grip!

Several years ago, I had a knee replaced. Like most people I guess, I was a bit apprehensive before the operation not knowing quite what to expect. Actually, the operation went very smoothly and I was surprised at how soon I was able to walk on the new knee. The only downside was I took too much painkiller (a self-administered intra-venous injection whenever the fancy took me!) Consequently I didn’t suffer much pain but the painkiller bound me up, resulting in a very incapacitating constipation and an extra day in the recovery ward. But constipation is not the reason for writing today’s article. (more…)


I Opened the Door …

“I opened the door, and influenza!” Well, that used to be a bit of a joke in earlier years. Right now, it’s a little hard to smile let alone laugh, because I think it recently flew in through one of my doors! It all started a couple of weeks ago. Just how, I’m not sure, because this flu seems to cloud one’s mind a bit. There have been the usual hot spells, the chills, the sniffles and the snorts, but the two things that stand out in my memory are a) an overwhelming sense of weakness and b) a mind that works at a far slower rate than it normally does. Most of the time, I have a zombie-like feeling. I do admit many a person has said things about me over the course of time that suggests I may have a bigger problem than just the flu, such as: (more…)


A Balancing Act

It all started at birth! After being held by our heels, slapped around a bit and then given a bath we were nurtured with love. The nurturing seems to fall into three. The first stage is to make us cry. That’s what that slap on the bottom was for. The next stage is to teach us to say something, instead of just bawling – which wasn’t our idea in the first place, anyway! The first spoken word seems to please everyone, but the real family rejoicing kicks in when we master the circus skill of balancing on two feet. (more…)


Post Holiday Blues

Well, it’s almost over! Things will start to quieten down pretty soon now. The hustle, bustle and downright excitement of the holiday period will soon be just a memory, and things will get back to normal. Did you notice how busy the stores seemed to be, this year? I don’t know if it’s because people are spending more or because there are just more people around these days, but the parking lots at the local mall were packed most of the time. One tends to gets caught up in the spirit of things, and end up shopping away with the best of ‘em. (more…)


The New Driving Test for Over Eighties

A close friend of mine sent me an email recently, telling me what it was like to take the new driving test for seniors. In essence, the true and false questions that test your knowledge of the Ontario Driver’s Handbook have been dropped. They have been replaced by the following: (more…)


Zorro Arrives at Dusk!

By the way, it’s not just my sister that loves animals! No, my wife is a fervent animal lover, too! Last year, there were three giant raccoons roaming the immediate neighbourhood! One of our neighbours discovered raccoons had got into his attic via the eaves! (Those footsteps in the night, as it turned out, were no ghost!) The neighbour sorted that mess out, somehow, but he needed outside help to do it.