Claire Lovell

• May seems to be flying out the window without my having been aware of much. Except for family visits it was probably the most stressful of times. I'm on about the 10th day of my worst cold in memory, just hovering on the edges of pneumonia. Though I've tried to keep walking on the good days, coughing has been the biggest exercise, keeping my back so sore with the effort and just about laying me out. One of these days, it will either pass or I will. I've stayed away from a few routine diversions, such as nursing home and hospital visits.

• Though Kenny Bracken was visibly failing the last time we talked, I was surprised to find his obituary in the paper this week. He died on May 16. Life's pleasantness was fading for Kenny because his hearing was practically non existent, making conversation next to impossible. There had been times in the past where we went places together before he ended up at Suzanne Elise. Talking was much more lively then, since he was an advocate of the superhighway through town and I, of course, was not.

In high school, I remember Ken mostly in the assembly auditorium, leaning against the outside wall as many of the guys did, watching the world go by. He was the kind of kid who would be elected a class officer, or student body President or something like that. Having a car helped his social life because there weren't many in those days. Contrary to what some of you may think, there was not one horse and buggy tethered outside in the parking lot. Kenny was probably glad to go, having lost his wife, Suzy, a few years back and going from a rewarding life to a nursing home situation is always hard to take.

There's a spot in the Bible which explains it well. John 21:18 (free translation) "When you were young, you girded yourself and walked whither you would, but when you get old, you will stretch forth your hands and another shall gird you (some say 'put a belt on you') and carry you whither you wouldest not!" It's too bad but that's the way it is.

Rest in peace, Kenny.

• In my less than vigorous last few days, there had to be insult to injury. Sitting on the edge of the bed one night to take medication, I dropped the pill and leaning over to see if it were visible, I lost my balance and fell out of bed. Egad. I knocked over the bedside table, dumped the telephone, bumped my head in two places and hurt the pinky of my right hand. How ignominious! Of course there was a small voice on the phone reminding me to put back the receiver. Always some smart aleck to bring you down to earth.

• Am I the only one whose mail is not being delivered? According to my bank dealings, some bills do not arrive at their destination. The Post Office is not reliable anymore, it seems.

• There's another problem. Telephone harassment and there doesn't seem to be anything one can do about it. I can't afford extras like Caller ID but three or four times a day lately, I've had calls where no one answers on the line. After waiting a few seconds for a response, one hears a dial tone. They never use the message machine but must know when I feel bad or have just gotten comfortable and want to make sure any pleasantness doesn't continue.

• Qupsie Corner:

-Since my father really likes licking envelopes, people often call him a sealing fan.

-If a female monarch liked low quality beds, she could be called Mary, Queen of Cots.

-What would people name a racehorse that's a connoisseur of fine food? Galloping Gourmet.

-If a rich fellow owned a huge county estate, I guess you could say he's well manored.

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