I’m sitting at home, thinking maybe it’s time to fly off somewhere on vacation. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, so I know that hundreds of planes are taking off and landing at local airports throughout the day and evening. But who’s up there…
This post presents the third in a series we’re publishing called “Postcards From The Edge”. These postcards are a from a collection which has been cared for by my in-laws up in Western Montana. Rather than keep these hidden away in a box, we thought it would be fun to share some of these with our community members here on The Senior List. The postcards are circa early 1900′s and are written (mainly) by Francis Clark (1857-1950), my husband’s great grandfather. Frank was a railroad conductor and traveled around the country manning routes for The Northern Pacific Railroad.
Postcards were Frank’s primary means of communication back to his family back in Tekoa Washington, Kellogg Idaho, and Spokane Washington. They are addressed to his wife Clara, but also to other members of his immediate (and extended) family including his children. There are also several postcards in the collection from other members of the extended family to one another. The postcards a turn-of-the-century “time machine”, and take us back to a time time in history when our country was changing ever so rapidly.
Keep in mind back then there were few telephones and very limited communication methods other than by post. I hope you enjoy the series. These postcards are very personal, and we’re happy to share them with you. **Note the 1 cent stamps… The actual postmark/stamp… The addresses on the cards (just a name and city in some cases)… And of course the story that each postcard reveals.
Postmark January 7, 1915 (Adrian Michigan)
This vintage postcard features a photo of the new D & C Steamer “City of Detroit” The Largest Side Wheel Steamer in the World (Detroit, MI). It’s postmarked January 7 1915 and is written by Goldie (sister living in Adrian Michigan) to Frank (in Kellogg Idaho) with news of their mother who is gravely ill. It reads:
“Dear Brother: Awfully lonesome since you left. We were up with mother most of the night and the doctor came early and gave her hypodermic injection. She suffers so and is getting so disconnected. Love to all from all. Goldie”
Other Stories from the Series: “Postcards from the Edge”:
Today marks the first in a series we’re publishing called “Postcards From The Edge”. These postcards are a from a collection which has been cared for by my in-laws up in Western Montana. Rather than keep these hidden away in a box, we thought it would be fun to share some of these with our community members here on The Senior List. The postcards are circa early 1900′s and are written by Francis Clark (1857-1950), my husband’s great grandfather. Frank was a railroad conductor and traveled around the country manning routes for The Northern Pacific Railroad.
Postcards were Frank’s primary means of communication back to his family back in Tekoa Washington, Kellogg Idaho, and Spokane Washington. They are addressed to several members of his immediate (and extended) family including his children. The postcards a turn-of-the-century “time machine”, and take us back to a time time in history when our country was changing ever so rapidly.
Keep in mind back then there were few telephones and very limited communication methods other than by post. I hope you enjoy the series. These postcards are very personal, and we’re happy to share them with you. **Note the 1 cent stamps… The actual postmark itself… The addresses on the cards (just a name and city in some cases)… and of course the story that each postcard reveals.
In this postcard featuring Mt. Hood (Oregon) Frank writes a personal note to his son Kenneth (my husbands grandfather):
“Well Kenneth do you miss me? Very much wish you were here – We would have a fine time seeing the city and going to shows – 9 am enjoying myself very much but it will be nice to be home again. Be a good boy – love to mama and sister – Love Daddy.” — Frank Clark to his son Kenneth — September 30th, 1909
Beau Prichard (from USA Today.com) published a list of safety tips for beginners that are preparing for an upcoming cruise. In the wake of the overturned Costa Concordia, and the crap-covered Carnival Triumph it’s important to pay closer attention to emergency measures AND general safety precautions when getting ready for your “vacation aboard”. Remember these tips for smoother sailing on your next vacation!
Here are Beau’s 7 safety steps for cruising:
- “Pay close attention to your safety briefing” – We’ve reached a point when you can’t take anything for granted anymore. You are responsible for you (and your family)… Pay close attention!
- “Take care of your health” – Beau warns against using public restrooms, but if you wash your hands and practice good hygiene protocols this shouldn’t be a problem. We recommend that you try to get some exercise in during your cruise. At least an hour per day should keep you feeling more alert, help with your sleep, and allow you guilt-free indulging.
- “Wear appropriate shoes” – This one is obvious, but worth noting. Ladies don’t need to haul around 4 pairs of high-heals. Get comfortable, and find yourself a quality pair of sandals, and be sure to bring some tennis shoes (or some quality walking/running shoes).
- “Leave valuables at home” – Love this one… and frankly, it’s a good rule-of-thumb for any travel (abroad or otherwise). Unless you feel the need to show off (and it’s OK if you do) leave the jewels at home in the safe. Thieves and schemers love to prey on the naive and on the wealthy. When they spot both (in one person) they know they’ve hit the mother-load! IF you can afford to lose it, no big deal… but if you can’t, better safe than sorry. Just leave it at home.
- “Keep your money out of sight” – See above (same applies).
- “Do not travel alone” – There is safety in numbers. Enough said.
- “Drink in moderation” – This is a tough one, because some folks want to cut loose when on a cruise. Once you’ve reached the point where you can’t drink responsibly you’re at your limit, and it’s best to back off.
There are so many more to mention that we’ll be doing more of these lists in the future. (Here’s a preview… “Make sure you use that sunscreen!”) If you have tips you’d like to share, please do so in the comments below.
150 Law Enforcement Agents Converge On The Scooter Store
150 law enforcement agents executed a search warrant on The Scooter Store earlier today. Critics believe “government fraud” may be leveled as officials pull evidence from The Scooter Store headquarters in New Braunfels, Texas. The Scooter Store is notorious for it’s advertisements claiming that; “We’re experts at getting you the power chair or scooter you need. In fact if we qualify you for medicare reimbursement, and medicare denies your claim, we’ll give you your power chair or scooter… free.”
Ironically, The Scooter Store claims on it’s website that “In 2010, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the company was selected as one of their legitimate quality suppliers to provide medical equipment and supplies to beneficiaries in Round One of the Medicare competitive bidding program at competitive bidding prices. The company subsequently announced that it accepted contracts to provide multiple products and related services in Round One bidding areas as a “contracted supplier”.”
I’m sure there will be a lot coming out over the next few weeks and months, so we’ll all have to take a wait and see attitude as this unfolds. I’m going on the record with a prediction that Scooter Store sales of power chairs and scooters will decline over the course of the next few months, but they’ll bounce back one way or another. The only question left to answer at this point is… What the heck are they going to do with all those free lighted magnifiers now???
One of our co-founders travels a great deal for work. In any given week he can be on the East Coast, West Coast, north or south… Some weeks his schedule is plain hard to keep track of! One thing we get a kick-out-of are his stories of fellow passengers, and the things that frequent travelers deal with on a regular basis. We asked Chris to give us his top 10 list of things NOT to do while traveling by air. *Note- Some of these suggestions are from fellow passengers that Chris interacts with while he hops across the country… We hope you enjoy!
Top 10 Pet Peeves for Air Travelers:
- Don’t take your shoes off- I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on a plane and had a passenger beside me slide their shoes off because “ohhhh these dogs are barking”. First, if “those” dogs are barking, I sure has heck don’t want see or hear them (let alone smell them). This one is just plain disgusting (fellow travelers will back me up here) and it happens more often than you think.
- Don’t have more than 2 (alcoholic) drinks- OK 1 drink I get… 2 if you’ve had a stressful day… Fine… But anything over 2 is a head-scratch-er for most of us sitting around you. Also, after a few drinks you get too chatty and frankly, we could care less what your batting average was in high school, or how many pounds you gained after your first-born.
- If you’re going to chew gum, chew with your mouth closed- Didn’t your mother teach you any manners? This isn’t just younger kids mind you, but it can be full fledged corporate types. Maybe it’s lower oxygen levels or the altitude, but for some reason passengers lose their mind the minute they pass 10,000 feet. None of us want to hear your gum snapping while you type on your overly-priced MacBook… (PS: You sound like a 16 year old girl.)
- Don’t Be A Loud-Talker- OK, this one is a little less offensive depending on the nature of the conversation. Frankly, it can be quite entertaining. IF you don’t know if you’re a loud-talker (or not)… you might be one. Most frequent travelers keep their voices down as a courtesy to those around them, but some folks just have a loud voices in general (even when they whisper). Just make sure you know that you’re sharing your son’s sexual escapades with 6-10 of your closest seat mates when discussing “Nicky”…
- If you snore… Try not to fall asleep- This one is a funny one for about 2 minutes, then it gets old real quick. The last thing any of us wants to do is give mouth-to-mouth to the guy with sleep apnea in row 22… Once this nuisance starts, it’s tough to get it to stop. A few loud coughs is what we try (maybe even a shoulder nudge) but after that it’s up to the (noise cancelling) headphones to do their job. Yes that $300 I spent on those Bose headphones was worth it!
- Don’t blast your music- Clearly some folks don’t care that they are causing themselves permanent hearing loss by blasting their iPods directly into their tympanic membrane. I know you’re a big fan of Rick Astley… but trust me when I tell you, it sounds awful to the rest of us. Please turn down the volume…
- If your carry-on is too big to fit in the overhead bin… Check it! This one kills us frequent travelers. I don’t know how some folks get past the first 2 gate keepers (security and the gate crew) but it happens all the time. Someone gets to their seat only to find out their “carry-on” is stuffed so full it won’t fit in the overhead bin. When this issue occurs it’s painful because the guilty party will try smashing it in there for at least 2 minutes while everyone waits in the aisle. Finally, if they haven’t torn their bag, or broken the overhead latch, the bag has to make it’s way back to the front of the plane to be checked. Ever driven the wrong way on a one way street?
- Don’t emphatically recline your seat without checking behind you- This is another one that happens too often. If someone behind you has a laptop open and your seat suddenly lurches back, that laptop is at grave risk! Not to mention when you recline, you’re almost laying in the other person’s lap. If you must… look behind you and let the person know you’re coming back. Then do it slowly.
- Don’t lather on the perfume (or cologne) we don’t care- You’re traveling on a plane with a hundred strangers that don’t care that you’re wearing Sex Panther cologne. Leave it at home or in the bag… We really don’t want to taste it.
- Your kid isn’t Pele, don’t let him kick the seats- For the record we love kids, and travel with them a lot. One thing we don’t allow is kicking the back of the seats. It’s so annoying for others, and we’ve seen folks come unglued because of it. If you can’t keep your kids from leaving boot marks on the tray-table, request a bulkhead.
- (BONUS Pet Peeve) Lighten up… You were a kid once too! One of our biggest pet peeves is the uptight traveler that immediately gives the traveling mom (with toddler) a dirty look, and then sighs deeply at every chance they get… Lighten up Francis! Or better yet, lend a helping hand!
Well that’s it for now folks! What are your top pet peeves while traveling?
There is a lot of marketing material out there (online AND in radio/TV/print) telling us about scooters for seniors, and how easy it is to acquire one. The fact is that scooters for seniors ARE easy to get your hands on… especially if you have $800-$2,900 to spend today! Given that we’ve had great feedback on our posts entitled “Medical Alert Systems – The Top 10 Questions you Should Ask Before Buying” and our post entitled “Senior Friendly Cell Phones – What You Need To Know Today“, we thought we’d come up with another Top 10 List… This one focused on “The Top 10 Questions to Ask When Evaluating Scooters for Seniors“.
Remember, there’s a lot to get to know before purchasing a mobility scooter, and this should only be used as an initial list of questions to consider. Scooters aren’t for everybody, and some of them can be downright dangerous (even the simplest to operate). In a subsequent article, we’ll showcase many of the more popular scooter models available today, and the features/benefits of each.
The Top 10 Questions to Ask When Evaluating Scooters for Seniors
10. Will the mobility scooter be used primarily indoors, outdoors or both? There is a lot to this question, and understanding where the user needs mobility-assistance will determine many factors about the models to consider. For example, a scooter for (primarily) indoor use doesn’t need to be as durable as many of the outdoor models. Most of the indoor models can get away with 3 wheels (one leading and two trailing). A single leading wheel makes the scooter easier to steer, and lighter too. Outdoor scooters are usually heavier, more sturdy, have more “range” under the hood (ok in the box), and can be a bit more expensive.
9. Are you paying cash for the mobility scooter, or are you hoping Medicare will pick up the cost? Many manufacturers and marketers tout that mobility scooters for seniors can be paid for by Medicare (if you qualify for Medicare). There are stipulations to this strategy however. In most cases, your physician will need to “prescribe” and/or recommend a mobility aid/scooter for you with appropriate documentations.
8. Do you require a new model OR would a used (reconditioned) scooter do the job? There are great discounts to be had on used and/or reconditioned mobility scooters. A scan of “mobility scooters” in Craigs List showed over 20 scooters for sale in the Portland, Oregon area in the first 2 weeks of January alone! Scooters are usually well maintained by their owner/operators, which makes buying a used scooter a wise choice if you’re spending your own money.
7. Do you (or someone you know) have the means to transport your scooter if you intend on using it outside the home? The larger grocery chains usually have mobility scooters available for people that need assistance, but some do not. If you plan on taking your scooter with you, you need ample space in your vehicle (like a mini-van) AND someone to muscle it in and out for you. Van lifts are obviously the best alternative, but you need to think about transport as it relates to using a scooter away from home.
6. How much do you plan on spending on your mobility scooter? For reasons mentioned above, there is a wide range in prices for mobility scooters for seniors. Pricing for a new mobility scooter ranges from $750 on the low end up to $4,500 on the high end. Features, durability, and quality raise the price points considerably.
5. Have you found any ratings and reviews for mobility scooters? Here at The Senior List we plan on showcasing many of the popular models, so that our users can provide feedback on senior-friendly-scooters. Until then, you can check out Amazon.com on many popular models today. You can also check with the manufacturers, or the sales outlet (but you might not be getting unbiased feedback. Just keep that in mind.)
4. Is the scooter comfortable to sit in? Now this may seem obvious, but if you plan on purchasing online, make sure you find that model locally and take it for a spin. Mobility Scooters are designed to be comfortable, but I can tell you from experience that people come in all sorts of shapes and sizes! Leg room is a big consideration when evaluating the comfort of a mobility scooter. Another consideration is that we all sit a bit differently! My posture isn’t perfect so I may sit differently than the next person. Test drive your mobility scooter… you’ll be glad you did.
3. What is the maximum load weight? Load weight refers to all of the weight-bearing-stress being placed on (or in) the scooter and any one time. Individuals that are overweight, or need to carry heavy objects with them need to understand and answer these questions when evaluating mobility options.
2. What safety features and/or accessories come standard with my purchase? You don’t want to spend $2,000 on a new scooter only to find out you need to purchase arm rests as accessories… (enough said).
1. What kind of warranty comes with my purchase? Make sure you understand the warranty inside and out. Service can be expensive on mobility devices (not to mention a pain in the posterior). Know your rights upfront.