This Difficult Age – #SoCS

Wow, a week has gone by and we are back at the bar for Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday, and Linda has cooked up quite a challenge this week:

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “’the last piece of mail you received.’ Talk about the subject of the last piece of physical mail you received, i.e. a gas bill–talk about gas, not the bill itself. Have fun!”

Don’t you love how she says to “have fun?”

If we were having a beer, you would bring up a sore subject.

“Hello my young friend. How are you this fine day?”

“What makes this day so fine?”

“Hmmm, who’s the surly one this week?”

“Neither of you should be surly. I don’t allow negative vibes in my bar.”

“Cheryl, you’re back! I don’t know about Dan, but I am very happy to see you behind the bar.”

“Yes, I heard that you and Brad came close to burying the hatchet last week but couldn’t close the deal.”

“As Skippy would say, whatever.”

“Dan, can’t you get those two to play nice when I’m gone?”

“That’s a tall order, Cheryl.”

“A tall order is what I’m looking for. Corona? Or a tall draft?”

“You know, Cheryl, a tall draft sounds nice. City Steam Amber, please.”

“And how about your buddy over here. What can I get you?”

“Bourbon, and I’ll take the tab today.”

“Oh my! I’ll be right back with those drinks.”

“Oh my, indeed. What makes you so generous?”

“I just got my Social Security check, so I thought I’d splurge.”

“Don’t talk to me about Social Security.”

“Why not?”

“Because, it’s started.”

“Social Security? I thought you weren’t retiring until later this year…”

“I’m not, but it’s not too early for the people who want to sell me Medicare supplemental plans and the people who want to be ‘my guide’ through this confusing process.”

“Your guide?”

“Yes. For a small fee, I can attend a seminar where ‘experts’ will explain the complex timing surrounding Social Security and Medicare.”

“You can get that information for free at Social Security – their offices are in the old G Fox building.”

“Hey, hey, hey, you better not be thinking about going anywhere. I just brought your drinks.”

“Fear not, Cheryl. Apparently, I touched a nerve with Dan.”

“Here, a few sips of this should settle you back down.”

“Thanks Cheryl. A nice cold brew is just what I need.”

“And you, here’s your bourbon. I’ll be back with your ice and seltzer but give yourself the day off and stop talking about retirement income.”

“I wasn’t…”

“Hey, you already don’t get along with Skippy. Don’t make Cheryl mad.”

“Dan, you know darn well I wasn’t trying to sell you anything.”

“I know.”

“Here’s your ice and seltzer, and here’s a couple cherries for that bourbon. What is it you know, Dan?”

“The conversation you overheard, was me griping about the mail I’ve been getting lately.”

“Approaching sixty-five, huh?”


“Take the plan that gives you enough money to come here on Saturdays.”

“Sound financial advice, Cheryl. See, why can’t you be that helpful?”

“OK, I didn’t send you that postcard. I’m not trying to sell you my services. If I were, I’d be talking about some very nice plans, but I’m not, so I won’t.”

“I appreciate that. And, I appreciate this beer. Cheers.”

“Remember, I passed that age barrier, years ago. I’ve seen the horror that is your mailbox.”

“And on my phone, and my TV set, and in my email inbox. How do these people find me?”

“You’re turning 65.”

“Yeah, so?”

“Your age and your date of birth, for that matter, are very easy bits of information to find. Insurance companies can buy lists of people turning sixty-five in the next three, six, twelve months.”

“So, I’m a target?”

“Yep, with a bullseye on your birthday.”

“Hey, fixed and soon-to-be-fixed income folks, think the nursing home would let you have another beer?”

“Sorry, Cheryl. We aren’t ignoring you. Dan is in a lather over the marketing campaign being waged against him.”

“Then he needs another round, and maybe some wings.”

“How do you figure those will help?”

“Beer helps everything, and once his fingers are covered in barbeque sauce, he won’t be opening mail, or answering his phone.”

“I am so glad you’re back, Cheryl. Pour me another tall one and fire up those wings!”

The gallery has a mixed bag of images from this past week. One is a cell phone photo of the full moon. If you want to see a better picture (and some nice words), check out Cheryl’s post.


    • Full moon before spring. I was in a hurry. Maddie never quite knows what to do when I’m working from home. I think she was hoping it was Saturday, or that she could guilt me into a walk. It was pouring, so…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. That late night photo is gorgeous… wonderful colors!
    As for old people junk mail, it started flooding my husband a few years back. Reverse mortgages, hearing aids, Medicare supplements, power scooters etc. Geesh! It’s like someone flipped a switch on old and decrepit.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That number on our birth certificates is daunting! I am just a few years behind you. And yet twenty minutes ago I was in my twenties and plotting a life long indulgence in, well, life. Nah, I ain’t done yet and neither are you! I want more Dan, I want more! Hi Maddie. (:D)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yep. We’re starting to get more of those I’ll be your ‘guide’ through Medicare letters in the snail mail and we’re not what I’d call the target market, yet. These experts are desperate. We also get lots of ‘free dinner’ invitations [to nice upscale restaurants] where some kind financial ‘wizard’ can help us with our post-retirement planning. People are just so darned nice anymore… as if.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great way to weave mail in there.
    Oh those predators…
    And out of the photographs – I really like the satellite dish one the most today. So unique and had to zoom in a couple times

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have been down your path, Dan. The best advice I can offer is everything you need is on the SS site. Those seminars are a waste. I have to agree on the ketchup choice. Your pics are terrific. Amazing how light it is in the East

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great conversation at the bar today Dan. We went through the mail scenario too, and that was many years ago!! Today the mail/phone calls are for hearing aids, assisted living facilities, motorized scooters, life insurance for burial costs, and funeral planning, and I can’t remember what else. Hmmmmm, maybe they should target me for an online Memory Course!!

    The photo of Maddie, a mass of wet ringlets, and the closeup of her face where she’s lying on her blanket, are terrific. Poor MuMu…..she can’t decide if she wants to take another step out or scoot back to where she was. And MiMi apparently has imitating a curled up caterpillar down pat!! Can’t say the 3-M’s don’t keep you entertained. Lol.

    The moon shot is great, and I really like the shots where the buildings are all coming to life with their lights on.

    Hope you and all your girls have a wonderful weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ginger. It was a hectic week, and I ended up working at home for the end of it. Maddie never knows what to do when I’m working from here. “It’s not Saturday, but dad’s home…is it Saturday?”

      MuMu has been getting more and more brave, scooting out to get brushed and scratched. And, we just can’t figure what MiMi is doing half the time.

      I guess I should feel grateful that all the people want to help me – help me spend my money, that is.

      I hope you’re having a good week.


  7. Wow, Dan, you hit the bullseye today–I turn 65 later this year and have been inundated with information about Medicare plans. Yikes. I am used to government bureaucracy, but Medicare seems to take it to new heights (or depths). Are you done with snow pics for the year? I know that in my area there is always a chance for an April snow and I suspect that is the case for you too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel your pain, Mike, I feel your pain. Everybody wants to get in on the action, get a piece of the pie. I feel like I need a big fly swatter.

      We are in a clear area between two bands of snow today. Some folks near us are getting 3-4″. We’re getting a cold breeze, but no snow. I’m OK with that.

      I hope you have a great weekend!


  8. Dan, Once you finally get it all set up there are still lots of rude surprises. The first trip to the doctors and you give them the new medicare information. What can go wrong ? The bill goes to Medicare and they say ‘who?’ And then they send it to the old insurance and they say ‘not here anymore.’ And you get to make more calls after you get the ‘who is paying for this bill.’ And resubmit the bill again. All in a days retirement. And that is why old people learn to forget. It will get straightened out …. eventually. On the bright side you have all day to check out doors. And take walks with Maddie

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Makes my head hurt thinking of all the options. I’d probably be suckered into one of those seminars. Maybe I’ll work until I keel over at my desk one day? Though I’d love to retire tomorrow. Nice gallery. A mixed bag is always good.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Big brown-eyed Maddie waiting for you to stop working? Give that girl 500 bonus points for an almost out loud AWWWWWWW!!! in the middle of the cafe. Adorbs to the max!

    I’m retiring before 65, so perhaps I’ll avoid some of the mail pain you are feeling. However, figuring out SS and Medicare is not something I am looking forward to. It’s like doin math and taxes on the same day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha ha – that’s a great description of SS and Medicare. I’m sure the various companies will catch onto your plan. I hope you can avoid the deluge – I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

      Maddie always has a hard time figuring out what to do when I work at home. I try to explain it, but trying to explain working for a living to a dog like Maddie is a difficult task. I’ll give her the bonus points. I’m sure she’ll want to exchange them for a treat. Thanks!


  11. Wise bartender you have there, my friend. 😉Ketchup? Definitely anything but Hunts. DelMonte for me first and then Heinz. Hubby could stand most things regaling his long coveted retirement except for the AARP propaganda. He hated those folks with a passion. Lol. Now he just gets tons of mail from his medical insurance carrier system. Ugggh. Well now I have to do a SoCS post and I was gooing to play hooky today. Too good to pass this one up. Stay tuned….have a great weekend Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We have the best bartender, Cheryl – simply the best. We finally broke down and joined AARP for the Medicare Supplemental plan. The Editor got off easy. I get the emails and mail, she opted to be enrolled as my spouse. It’s not fair. Those of us who grew up in Pittsburgh, toured the factory, wore the pickle-pin, swear by Heinz or nothing. Fortunately, I don’t like ketchup on hash browns, so I’m good. Sorry to kick you out of your comfy chair for this post, but you must have a good reason. I’ll be watching, Enjoy the weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I have that same bullseye on my back, but as my husband has “credible insurance”, I won’t have to do anything but sign up for Part A of Medicare as soon as I get my callback from the local Social Security office in late April. Yes, that’s how long it takes to get an appointment and I made it several weeks ago! So I don’t have to think about all that arriving mail for now.

    Love the photos, but that breakfast shot is making me very hungry. I delayed breakfast this morning to finish getting all our tax things organized and ready to send to our tax preparer (still in Ohio), but now I’m hungry!! Must be because that great weight is off my mind, but at any rate, I’m off for “a little something” as Pooh would say. Have a wonderful weekend.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Getting appointments will be my task when August rolls around. You’d think, after working all these years, the line to get out would be shorter.

      Sorry about the breakfast picture (I had more from another day, but I’ll save those) I have to look at them, too, once published, and I was having cereal today, so…

      Thanks for stopping by, Janet.


  13. I love your low light images. The sky. stars, moon, reflected light on the tarmac…love-lee!

    I really liked Cheryl’s last line in the dialogue. I laughed out loud.

    It won’t be long before we’re getting those types of letters. Groan!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. So, we’ve talked here before about certain social media sites selling our info, but you haven’t seen anything yet, my friend. You will now be getting info in your mail box on every type of insurance in the free world plus every hearing aid company and assisted living facility. Don’t laugh – you will. And, then you will spend a fair amount of time trying to get off their lists to no avail. It is such a total waste of your time and space in the landfill, but I declared war on them in 2018 and couldn’t make a dent in the amount we receive. So, keep a recycling bin close to wherever you bring the mail into the house. And, by all means, please give Maddie a pat on her beautiful head for me. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • My wife just got mail from an assisted living center today. Some goes in the bin, some gets shredded but almost nothing gets opened or read. I’m going to avoid the battle. I tried for years to unsubscribe to lists and newsletters at work. It’s amazing, people outright lie to you and then wonder why you don’t want to do business with them.

      I’ll give Maddie a pat. We walked (short walk) in the cold this morning. It hung in the 30s today, so no sitting outside.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Welcome to the club, Dan. My husband’s been getting his promotional Medicare materials as he will be 65 this summer. But the good news is, once you actually start receiving both Medicare and Social Security, that mail simply stops – except for the “open enrollment” period each year. I just throw it all out without opening it. What a waste of trees.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. All of a sudden I have been getting a lot of these senior citizen email ads. I don’t know who sold my email address or is it The Russians. My husband told me to mark them ‘spam,’ so I am trying that for now. Very annoying.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Gee, I can’t wait for more junk mail. I already get phone calls about remedies for my so called “chronic pain” which is well controlled by an occasional ibuprofen. I have no idea where they got info I needed anything else. And I’m only 63! Maybe it was from an old internet search. On the bright side, my neighbor invited me to a free and informative lecture by someone from the social security office who said they’d be happy to schedule an appointment to explain the process.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I love the first photo, everything about it! And the first closeup of Maddie face, who couldn’t love that face? I’ll leave the SS comments because I’m just relaxing today 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I frequently can’t believe you’re in your sixties. I only remember when I read you backpacking in ’72 or whatever. See, in my head, you’re 45 and I’m 25 because it’s all relative. We have a client who I swear is the OLDEST 54 year old woman I’ve never met. I talked to her on the phone about ten times before I ever had to look at her birth date and the shock was real. 1964? Are you freakin kiddin me? She had to be at least 110.

    I deal with the SS people A LOT in my work, and I’d recommend a guide, except they change it so @*!#%@!* much, you may spend too much time hiring a new guide and relearning. Certain aspects seem to change constantly. I recommend you get call until you get a NICE person, which can take 3-4 times — and always call or login with a beer in your grip! May that be the only bummer in your retirement!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha ha – thank you for thinking of me as younger. Maybe I’m still a kid inside. I think, to a degree, you really are as old as you feel. You can’t No Facilities more than 25, ‘cuz that’s the last time I had as much energy as you show in your running-around stories. My kids would be stranded all over town, if I were you.

      We had a very nice woman when we dealt with SS Folk for The Editor.

      Liked by 1 person

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