Writers’ Page – September 2014

Taxi and Doctor

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LuAnn just moved from Nashville, Tennessee to Seattle, Washington. Not only was there a huge distance involved, but a total world of culture change to adapt to for her.

The first thing that LuAnn needed to do was to find a new doctor and dentist. She called her health insurance company to get prospective names in Seattle. They were of little help and announced to her that they were not in the business of selecting doctors, just paying some of the bills.

Somewhat disgruntled, LuAnn started looking in the yellow pages: not the best way to find a doctor, but she needed to start somewhere. She found several names that had offices near her new home and thought that it would be wonderful if her new doctor was really close to her.

Question one would be, “Do you take new patients?” If no, that doctor was off her list.

Question two would be, “Do you take my health insurance?” If no, that would, once again, eliminate that doctor.

Question three would be, “Where is the lab work done?” It should be done in the doctor’s own office rather than having to travel a distance to get it done.

Finally, after screening several doctor’s offices and talking to their front desk receptionists, she decided on going to Dr. Smith.

After the first visit, she found that Dr. Smith was going to work out perfectly. Dr. Smith was compassionate, knowledgeable, kind and he gave her more than 10 minutes for an appointment.

Ten years later, she still lives in Seattle, loves it there, and still goes to see Dr. Smith.

His office has moved – basically across the street – from a too large office to a much more manageable sized one. His staff was incredible and he had one of the world’s best nurse practitioners. Life was good.

Then, one day, she called for an appointment and discovered that Dr. Smith had sold his practice – without letting any of his patients know. The new practice was interesting: Dr. Smith had really just merged with the new doctor and would be actively involved with all his patients. His office would stay where it was and his staff would be the same. The only difference would be that much of the dreaded paperwork would be handled by the larger practice and would free Dr. Smith and his NP to work with the patients instead of the paperwork.

LuAnn thought all was well and was happy with the new situation with her doctor.

Three weeks later, she got another job transfer and would be moving to Maine.

In the middle of all the moving plans, she managed to get a copy of the yellow pages for her neighborhood in Maine. Guess what she looked up first?

There is No Need For a Crash

Dick Nelsen

Let’s face it, there will always be auto crashes, stock market crashes, and airplane crashes, but men vs. women crashes; well there are more of those than any other. Books have been written on the subject of men and women relationships the most famous one is called Women are From Venus, Men are From Mars. It’s obvious that there is a definite difference in the makeup of the male and female of the species, but we all know that. You see examples of this relationship on sitcoms and even commercials. Usually the man in these scenarios is portrayed as stupid, clumsy, absent minded, or all of the above. Though in Joe Millionaire, The Bachelor, and Bachelorette well you can understand the dilemma facing people and the headaches it causes.

Come on now, it isn’t fair or necessary to portray man in this demeaning manner. You see men can’t help it. When a woman marries a man, she honestly believes she can change him. The problem is he doesn’t change. He still likes sports, for example, and if man is armed with a TV remote control, let’s face it he is unstoppable, unapproachable, and has disappeared into another world.

A man, on the other hand, marries a woman thinking she will never change. However, just as the sun comes up in the morning, she changes. After the preacher says I now pronounce you husband and wife, man will never win another argument, women always have the last word. Anything a man utters after her last word…is just the start of another argument.

Married men tend to forget their mistakes. After all there is no reason for two people remembering the same thing. On the plus side, married men live longer than single men, but married men are more willing to die.

Women worry about the future, until they get a husband. Men never worry about the future until he gets a wife. There are, however, some safeguards that could prevent a marriage or relationship from crashing. To be happy with a man, a woman must understand him a lot, and love him just a little. To be happy with a woman a man must love her a lot, and try not to understand her at all. Do this successfully and neither party will be frustrated. As a result the marriage will flourish and a crash, well, a crash may never happen.

Nevertheless, there are only two times man does not understand a woman. Number one is before they are married, and number two is after they are married. After all this do you honestly think there is hope for marriages to last and not crash? Well I think they will survive, especially if she can cook good.

Heaven is for the Birds

Gail Thatcher

I have always said I’m in my little piece of heaven in my home here in Sun Lakes. Lately I’ve been rethinking that. For the first few years I was happy, but then the birds started falling.

One morning I heard a scratching, fluttering sound coming from my chimney. I decided it was a bird, so I carefully opened all of the doors to the outside. I quietly opened the screen to the fireplace and the flue. I then hid and watched to see that the bird went outside. The first two times it worked perfectly. The third time I made the mistake of talking as I opened the screen. When the flue was opened, the bird flew out frantically, stopped on the ceiling fan, which thank goodness wasn’t on, and flew out the open front door. Another tie, I don’t remember how the bird got in the house, but as I was trying to open the sliding glass door, the bird flew into the door, fell on the floor, lay there gasping for about a minute and then gave up the fight. Needless to say, it was very traumatic for me.

The following week my handyman covered the opening on the roof to the chimney with a small piece of screen held in place with two cinder blocks. Problem solved.

A few years later I was rudely awakened at six in the morning to an extremely loud drilling sound which sounded like it was in my bedroom. When I investigated, I discovered it was a small woodpecker pecking, or it was more like drilling, on a piece of metal on the side of my chimney. I clapped my hands loudly and scared him away. Problem solved. Well, it was solved until the next morning when it started all over again and I had to put on a robe and go out and clap my hands again. This went on for several days, so I knew I had to do something. Now this might not sound like much of a problem – a small bird “drilling on a piece of metal,” but the sound went down the chimney and the fireplace acted like a loud amplifier resonating the sound throughout the house. I figured eventually he would drill a hole in the metal and I would have to buy a new one and pay my handyman to replace it. I saw an ad for a stature of a hawk and since small birds are afraid of hawks, I decided to buy one in hopes of solving my problem. I named him Hawkeye and had my handyman put him on top of my roof where the woodpeckers could see him. The next morning I heard the usual drilling, but surprisingly, after a minute or two the noise stopped and the bird flew away. That continued for a couple of mornings and now I hear it only rarely.

O awoke one morning and thought, “Ahh, silence,” but the ecstasy was short lived. The next morning I was awakened by the persistent cooing of a dove. I tried to go back to sleep, but the cooing continued – for more than an hour. Normally the cooing doesn’t bother me, but this sounded like it was in my bedroom. I couldn’t figure out why it was so loud and then I realized the bird must be sitting on my chimney. I went outside and discovered it was, in fact it was sitting on one of the cinder blocks like it was a perch set there just for its performance. I clapped my hands loudly and let the bird see me. Fortunately it flew away.

So life is good again. But not so fast, is that cat hair on my patio couch? Now I have to brush and vacuum the cushions if I want to sit there and enjoy my patio in my little piece of heaven? Oh great, I seem to have solved the problems with the birds and now I have one with a cat. I love cats, but I want to enjoy my patio. A friend suggested I tie a piece of wood to the back of the cat and that would solve two of my problems.

Not to be daunted, I laid the pillow on the seat cushions so there wouldn’t be room for a cat to sleep, but the next morning one of the pillows was on the ground and there were paw marks and hair on the cushion. I then put a small rock on one of the cushions, but the next morning it was on the ground and there were paw marks in two places and in addition to white hair, there was black hair. Oh great, now I have two cats messing up my couch. I have now placed larger rocks in three places on the couch. Let’s see if that works. If not, well…I guess I could move back to California. Oh, but wait a minute, at one time there was a loud parrot that squawked all day, that lived next door to me in California. I wonder if ear plugs would work.