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Post-Acute and Healthcare News and Topics

Wednesday Feature: Here’s Comes Summer!

I can feel it and smell it…. summer is coming. Every year at this time, it feels like it’s taken forever, but soon, the warmer days and the longer days (hours of sunlight), erase the darker memories of dreary, cold days. Winter becomes a distant memory, replaced by a joyous desire to romp outside.

Where I primarily live, the celebration of summer is almost a ritual. Winters can be long and springs, short. Some years, spring is almost unrecognizable, and summer becomes, a quick jump into warm, muggy days. This year though, winter was relatively mild marked by a decent amount of snow but no real prolonged frigid, sub-zero periods. Just north of me, the snowfall was righteous and the melt, the cause of major flooding along the Mississippi. The transition to summer can be brutal at times.

Early summer is also storm season or can be. When I lived in the Great Plains, this timeframe marked the sweet spot of tornado season. I’ve seen my share of tornadoes, fortunately not up-close. Still, I love watching storm systems and cloud formations as warm fronts clash with upper air cold fronts, etc. The views can be breathtaking and soul filling.

Soon, next week in fact, the summer season kicks into high gear. Most schools will be closed or soon to close. Memorial Day marks the official/unofficial start of summer with picnics, a long weekend, the Indy 500, and maybe, the first family camping trip. While the official first day of summer will remain two weeks away, Memorial Day is a perfect weekend to begin in full force, the rituals of summer. County fairs start along with various festivals. Farmer’s Markets awake (a favorite for me) and early produce like asparagus, some lettuces, rhubarb and onions become available. My summer planting is also done so now, I can wait for the flowers and the first tomatoes and peppers that will add (wonderfully) to my summer meals.

I now will spend almost every evening on our open porch or deck. We’ll eat outside nearly every day. When time permits, we’ll hop into our Mustang convertible and take long(ish) jaunts to various favorite spots for lunches or ice cream. We’ll hit parades and firework events as often as feasible. The Farmer’s Market will become a weekly stop, one or more locations. Suffice to say, I will be outside as much as I can, charging my batteries for what I know, will be another winter. Summer gives me the memories and energy to hold-off against the northern winds and frigid, dark days in January.

With Memorial Day next week and the marking of another summer season right along with it, feel free to share your memories in a comment to this post.  I’ll try to retain as many as I can!  Happy Hump Day!


May 17, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Wednesday Feature: The Last Quarter of Life

Following-up on an emerging trend from last week, this post has nothing to do with healthcare, health policy, etc. It is meant to have readers think and enjoy. It’s origin, at least to me, is from a good friend and colleague. Happy Hump Day!

Most of us are now in the last quarter of our life and should read this interesting piece of advice.

This is one of the nicest and most gentle articles I’ve read in a while: no politics, no religion and no racial issues – just food for thought.

You know …… time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years.
It seems just yesterday that I was young and embarking on my new life. Yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went.
I know that I lived them all.  I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams.

However, here it is …… the last quarter of my life and it catches me by surprise.
How did I get here so fast?  Where did the years go and where did my youth go?

I remember well seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that I was only on the first quarter and that the fourth quarter was so far off that I could not visualise it or imagine fully what it would be like.

Yet, here it is …… my friends are retired and getting grey – they move slower and I see an older person now. Some are in better and some worse shape than me but I see the great change They’re not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant …… but like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we’d become.

Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day and taking a nap is not a treat anymore. It’s mandatory because if I don’t of my own free will, I fall asleep where I sit.

And so, now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did. But at least I know that, though I’m on the last quarter and I’m not sure how long it will last, that when it’s over on this earth, it’s over. A new adventure will begin!

Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn’t done; things I should have done but truly there are many things I’m happy to have been done.  It’s all in a lifetime.

So, if you’re not on the last quarter yet, let me remind you that it will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life do it quickly.
Don’t put things off too long. Life goes by so quickly.
So, do what you can today, as you can never be sure whether you’re on the last quarter or not.

You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of life. So, live for today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember – and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the past years.

‘Life’ is a gift to you.
Be Happy!
Have a great day!

Remember, it is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.

You may think:

Going out is good – but coming home is better!

You forget names – but it’s okay because some people forgot they even knew you!

You realize you’re never going to be really good at anything like golf – but you like the outdoors!

The things you used to care to do, you aren’t as interested in anymore – but you really don’t care that you aren’t as interested.

You sleep better on a lounge chair with the TV on than in bed – you call it ‘pre-sleep’!

You miss the days when everything worked with just an ‘On’ and ‘Off’ switch!

You tend to use more 4 letter words – ‘what’ and ‘when’

You have lots of clothes in your wardrobe, more than half of which you will never wear – but just in case!

Old is good –
• Old is comfortable
• Old is safe
• Old songs
• Old movies
• …… and best of all,
• Friends of old!

So, stay well, ‘Old friend!’
Have a fantastic day!
Have an awesome quarter – whichever one you’re in!
Take care

Send this on to other “Old Friends” and let them be smiling in agreement.

It’s not what you gather but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived.

April 26, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Wednesday Feature: The Shot Heard Round the World

Happy Hump Day subscribers and readers! With best intentions met, every Wednesday I’ll add a post totally unconnected to healthcare, health policy, economics, etc. These brief notes are the remnants of an old fun precedent I set for myself and my staff. They are meant to be inspirational, educational, and fun. Sort of a way to break-up the week and begin a fun journey into the remainder of the week and into the weekend. I hope you enjoy!

Today is the anniversary of the original “Shot heard round the world”. This phrase has been tied to three historic events (and other lesser events) one arguably, far more meaningful than the others. History buffs (I am one) will connect the dots quite quickly to the first reference but maybe not the second or third. The third and less historically significant “shot” aligns with baseball trivia. I’ll fill that piece in at the end.

Today is the anniversary of the start of the Revolutionary War – April 19, 1775. The “shot” is reference to the first gunshots that rang out at the start of the battles of Lexington and Concord, in Massachusetts, not far from Boston. The phrase comes from the opening lines of a poem written by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Concord Hymn”. Emerson was referencing a battle/skirmish that his father and grandfather saw along the Old North Bridge in Concord. What is interesting about this reference aligning with the start of war is that the shots Emerson refers to are not the initial gunfire exchanged. The initial shot occurred at Lexington Green when British regulars encountered colony militia. Though neither group were ordered to fire, a shot from somewhere occurred and an exchange of gunfire took place.

The second reference of “shot heard round the world” has international connections. This reference is to the “shots” or “shot” that occurred during the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria Hungary. He was assassinated in Sarajevo (Yugoslavia) on June 28, 1914. Two shots were fired by the killer, one hitting Ferdinand’s wife Duchess Sophie and the second, killing Ferdinand. The significance of this shot and the event is that it is often referred to as the political genesis of WW I. The assassination basically pushed Austria-Hungary and other major European nations into the war.

For baseball fans, the third “shot” heard round the world refers to a walk-off home run hit by New York Giants (now San Francisco) outfielder Bobby Thomson to beat the Brooklyn Dodgers (now Los Angeles). The Giants won the pennant in 1951 as a result but lost the World Series to the New York Yankees.

Other less notable references to various events, primarily sports, use this coined phrase. In golf. the reference is used to a true rarity of a shot – a double-eagle made by Gene Sarazen in the 1935 Master’s on the 15th hole. Sarazen’s shot was holed from 235 yards on the Par 5, 15th. It was his second shot, thus a double-eagle or a score of 2.

Happy Hump Day!

April 19, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment