Back to the 50s

As I sit here and contemplate all that is going on in our world today I am reminded of growing up in the 50s.

Our world has come to a standstill. Now that I am over the initial panic my thoughts are somewhat rational unless I listen and watch social media and the news 24/7.

I woke up this morning with the thought that for my husband and I there is no place to go. We have been grounded by our kids. There is no shopping, no restaurants to visit with our friends, no coffee hours etc. I don’t have to worry about work and so I took some time to try and put things into perspective. My main thought was all our lives are about to change. Most of us are not used to going without. We are used to fast access. We are used to having food readily available or taking a day out and away to somewhere fun such as sporting events etc. We are used to having the money to be able to buy what we want when we want it. Our kids are on an endless journey of sports and activities and are rarely home.

This morning I was reminded of my childhood. I told my teenage Granddaughter she was lucky she could at least keep in touch with her friends on social media where if it were in the days when I was a teen we wouldn’t have had that available.

I feel like today is a Sunday in the 1950s. Nothing was open. Stores were closed and life stopped. We didn’t worry about food because there was plenty of jars of canned meat in the cellar and fruits and vegetables too. If we needed eggs we went to the chicken coop or someone would come in from the country and sell us their eggs.

Every week the milkman came and we bought our milk and dairy from him. Groceries could be bought and delivered if needed. And of course at my house we had pretty much every thing we needed if something would happen, because my parents lived through the depression and that lesson never left them. People lived simply.

We read books and played outside or in the evenings talked with our neighbors. We kids were also kept busy helping in the garden or with the chores and yes, there were still things to do in winter. I lost all those simple pleasures and thankfulness with having those experiences living in the busyness of today.

I realize what we are facing now is different. People will be hurting because of lost businesses and lost jobs. Our younger people have never known this or a recession and it is very tough to get through. But I know we have generations behind us oldies that are strong and will figure it out. I have faith in them that they will emerge stronger.

I am reminded that there are people in our country that live with these fears every day and now I imagine they are living with the fear of not having access to a health system to help those without insurance or a safe place to self quarantine. Yet we have been fighting tooth and nail to not make these things available to them before this happened. Maybe we actually have been made to now walk in their shoes. I can’t imagine living with this fear daily. The response of most of us who could afford it is to stock up and hoard because of our fear we are not going to have enough. We need to count our blessings that we could afford to do that.

My hope is that the lessons we learn from this pandemic and how we cope as Americans are remembered. There are some positives. We are coming together helping one another. We are not divided in this but uniting to get through these times. Maybe life will slow down and we will be kinder and more caring to one another and realize that we are more the same than different.

There is an old Bible School song that says it best.

Reach out to your neighbor

Reach out to your friend.

Reach out to the people on the street.

For those of us that are grounded by our kids we can still reach out by phone, text, FaceTime and positive messages to keep up our spirit. It is hard to stay positive but together we can do it. Support your local businesses. They will need us now more than ever and so will those whose jobs are in jeopardy.

There is also the fear of getting sick. It is gut wrenching fear. We look into the future of the next few weeks and we panic not knowing the future. Do we ever? But today, what about today? Can we stay in the moment? Today I am fine. This moment I am fine. I, as much as anyone panic if I let myself think about the time frame and the people that are sick. But today I am fine, my loved ones are fine. I am going to try and go moment by moment, day by day, which is what Alcoholics Anonymous asks of us. And though tomorrow may be different, it may not be. If it is I trust we will work together to get through it and help each other with our panic and fear.

“The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

Love Great Reviews. Another Blog Stop

Thank you LibriAmoriMiei for the great review and hosting my new book. Thank you again Lori at Great Escapes Book Tours. Granny loves to tour.

Please Give Me My Discount. I am Older!

GrannySkewersSomething About Nothing by Julie Seedorf- Published in the Albert Lea Tribune and Courier Sentinel week of March 24.

It might surprise you know to know I am a senior citizen. All right, it’s no surprise because I am always telling you I am old. I happen to like being a senior citizen. I became a senior citizen at the age of 55 when I could order off of the senior menu at Perkins Family Restaurant. I loved it. It was great to get a few benefits for growing older.

One of the perks of growing older are senior citizen discounts. I have heard the arguments against these discounts because many people think senior citizens have a lot of money and don’t need the discounts. I suppose that is opening a can of worms.

There are many senior citizens who struggle to make ends meet. They worked hard all of their life, paid in to Social Security and worked at a time where there were not retirement accounts. They did what they had to do to put food on their table for their family.

There wasn’t any extra to save for that retirement. Many salaries were not what they are today even if you were a business owner. Senior citizen discounts are very valuable to these people.

I was 55 nine years ago. You can do the math to figure how old I am now. I haven’t in all those years thought too much about senior discounts until recently. I wasn’t aware of all the discounts out there for seniors.

I was aware that my local grocery store, Wells Marketplace Foods, offered a discount for senior citizens on Wednesdays. They are very good about applying that discount without us asking for it on Wednesday. I knew Wednesdays were a big day for those who live in our Broadway Apartments complex as the occupants must be over a certain age to live there. Wednesdays is grocery day for the older generation in my community. I knew the new Kiester Market offers senior discounts, too.

I happened to be in Mankato on a Tuesday and visited their local Hy-Vee store. I presented my coupons to the clerk, I am a coupon shopper and the clerk asked me if there were any other discounts. I looked at her with a confused face and she leaned forward so as to not embarrass me or her, just in case she was wrong, if I wanted to apply my senior discount. Of course, I did. Apparently at Hy-Vee in Mankato Hilltop and downtown they have two days where they offer senior discounts. I believe they are Monday and Tuesday.

I started thinking about all the discounts I might be missing. I started asking around. Juba’s in Blue Earth quit senior discounts in favor of spreading the discounts around in the place of discounts on gasoline.

The Hy-Vee in Owatonna offers senior discounts on Tuesdays. Hy-Vee in Albert Lea and Austin does not offer senior discounts, nor does Nelson’s Market Place. They may have other offers in place that I do not know about. However, Hy-Vee Wine & Spirits in Albert Lea does offer a senior discount. Check with the store for the day.

I have started asking each business I visit and make a purchase if they have senior discounts. I learned that at most places you have to ask. I have received a senior discount at Applebee’s and found out that starts at age 60. I could have had savings for many years as I dined in their establishment. I didn’t ask. Cost Cutters, a movie theater, Michaels and Herberger’s are a few other places that gave me a discount recently. Discounts vary by city and state. Many companies leave their discount plans up to local stores which is the case with the Hy-Vee chain.

It is no secret that I am doing freelance writing work and recently I have been asked to do a column twice a month called “Senior Cents” for one of my gigs.

I am excited to find out what all is out there for someone that is “older.” I will be researching restaurants, hotels, businesses and Internet for what is available for seniors in the southern Minnesota area.

I am excited to be able to help senior citizens save a little money and hopefully along the way I will meet many new people like myself. We’re not getting older; we’re getting better and having fun doing it.

After all as Doris Roberts quoted, “The minute you’re born, you’re getting older. Who can argue with that?”