Home Alone!

by Bob Sparrow


My companion, Al Walker

First I’d like to thank all of those who have wished me well and a speedy recovery; I am truly blessed to have so many great and caring friends!

No ifs, ands or even butts about it . . . rehab sucks! I know many of you readers have gone through what I’m going through now, but no one told me how frustrating, boring and mind-numbing this was going to be.

I was homebound for two weeks after surgery with just me and my aluminum walker, which in my desperate search for company, I named Al Walker. I actually named it Allie Walker, but Linda didn’t like the fact that I was spending so much time alone with this strange woman. She did admit that the walker had ‘nice wheels’, but she also pointed out that it had two balls. My argument that in today’s world that didn’t necessarily define the gender, didn’t get much traction.

I have over 125 TV channels, not counting subscription or pay-per-view options and still find that there is NOTHINGDays of our Lives on TV! I did find out that a few shows that were on when I was growing up ARE STILL ON!!! Days of Our Lives, General Hospital and The Bold and the Beautiful are still making housewives sit down for an hour and listen to organ music and detergent ads while hoping that their favorite character doesn’t get mysteriously killed in the next episode. Not to worry, they will just as mysteriously reappear when their contract gets renegotiated, if they didn’t actually die.

Going into my post-surgery rehab, I thought I was fortunate to have the Olympics as well as the always-entertaining election year battles to fill my long sedentary days.

buffett for prez

Are we just ‘wasting away again’?

As far as politics go, it is clear that the agenda of each candidate, rather than telling us what their plans are for a better America, is to be totally focused on degrading their opponent. I’m calling this one the ‘Pinocchio Election’ – the one with the longest nose wins!  A sad state of affairs.  Recent statistics show that a large percentage of voters are not voting for a candidate, but rather they’re voting to try to keep the other candidate out. I even tuned into several interviews with Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson, who doesn’t appear to even be the smartest person in the room when his running mate, William Weld is present, which is most of the time. I’m leaning towards writing in Jimmy Buffett, whose campaign slogan is, “Keep a song in your heart and a margarita in your hand.” That’s more positive than anything else I’ve heard from a candidate!

As for the Olympics, I love the athlete’s stories about their dedication and their overcoming adversity to become the ‘best in the world’. I enjoyed most of the telecasts, but how much volleyball and water polo can one watch? The answer is not as much as they televised. Additionally, by mid-Olympics I was a little embarrassed by the medal count that was constantly put in front of us; I was OK until we just got so far ahead that it was a little embarrassing and perhaps a bit jingoistic. If I’m the other countries, I’m calling us the ‘dumb jocks’ and pointing out that the U.S. is ranked 14th in the world in education, 17th in happiness, 23rd in gender equality, 24th in literacy and#1 115th in linguistic diversity. But we are still #1 in number of prisoners, wine consumption and breast augmentations.

OK, I just re-read this and it’s clear I need to find a mountain to climb and get some fresh air, but in the mean time if anyone needs any medical or mental help, I’m all caught up on Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil, and I may also be able to help with your legal problems with the knowledge I’ve garnered from Judge Judy.

Get me outta here!



By Suzanne Sparrow Watson

Me - on a slope that looks nothing like the Downhill.

Me – on a slope that looks nothing like the Downhill.

Today is a sad day for me – the Olympics are over.  Champions were crowned, losers were consoled, and the women’s hockey team grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory.  I am a huge fan of the Olympics – Winter more than Summer.  I think that’s because I relate more to winter sports.  Oh sure, I was on the swim team in high school and did some gymnastics well into college, but let’s just say I wasn’t too graceful at either sport.  In fact, someone rather close to me commented that I moved like a hippopotamus in three feet of mud.  But the winter sports! Just strap something on my feet and put me on a slippery surface and I’m golden.  So for the past two weeks I have watched the skiers and the skaters with envy and unbridled enthusiasm.  I have to admit that the slopestyle skiing and snowboarding of any ilk is way beyond me and my knees hurt just watching  the aerial skiers.  But I actually commented to my husband during the downhill ski race, “I could do that!”.  He ignored me, sure that I was just making another of my Walter Mitty-type  comments.  But in my heart, I really do think that I could ski an Olympic downhill course.  Because even though I’m 63, I think I’m 45.

I'm a Gold Medal winner in Doughnuts

I’m a Gold Medal winner in Doughnuts

I mentioned this to a friend the other day and she told me she had suffered from the same delusions until she took the Real Age Test.  She suggested that I go online to Dr. Oz’s website and see just how old my body is.  Simple enough.  I began by answering some obvious questions – Do I Have Aches and Pains?  Do I Suffer from Digestive Tract issues?  Am I Often Anxious?  I was sailing through these questions – any moron could answer this stuff.  But then wise Dr. Oz started throwing in some trickier subjects like “How Much Do You Drink?”.  Hmmmm….this was a stumper.  Our doctor told us that he automatically DOUBLES the answer his patients tell him when asked this question.  So my first quandary was to determine if Dr. Oz is as wily as our doctor.  Not that I drink that much anymore but still…I was trying to determine my Real Age here and I didn’t want to have the alcohol algorithm adding any extra time.  Secondly, there’s the whole seasonal factor.  I drink more in winter because we go out more in winter.  So do I average the number over the whole year or answer for right now?  This was not going to be easy.  I moved on to food.  Fruits and vegetables have never been my strong suit.  We bought a VitaMix a couple of years ago thinking that we would make green smoothies every day but so far I’ve found that it whips up a pretty mean ice cream gin fizz.  Actually, we’re fairly healthy eaters but when faced with a piece of cake or a fresh piece of sourdough bread I have all the willpower of a six-year-old at a birthday party.  Finally, the smartypants people who devised this test ask about your “feelings”.  But not just depression or how often you laugh inappropriately.  They ask you to rate your belief in statements like “Most People Would Lie To Get Ahead”.  Jeez!!  OF COURSE most people do that.  I worked in Human Resources for 32 years and I could tell you stories about made up crap on resumes that would make your hair stand on end.  But…I could see the sneaky Dr. Oz baiting me on this one – if I answer truthfully he will “age” me because I am a negative, cynical, old bitty who always sees the glass half empty.  So I lied.

Proof that Attitude is Everything!

Proof that Attitude is Everything!

When I completed their barrage of questions I felt like I’d been grilled by a prison guard at Gitmo.  I was sweating bullets, just waiting for them to calculate my Real Age.  Turns out I’m not 45, I’m 57.   They gave me all sort of pats on the back for some healthful living and congratulated me on being younger than my actual age.  Still…even at 57 I guess I’m too old to ski the downhill course.  So instead I’ve decided I’m going to focus on Figure Skating.  A few years ago I laced up some skates in Sun Valley and made it around the WHOLE rink once before falling.  Oh sure, it wasn’t exactly a double Axel but it’s a start.  And my new hero is Yvonne Dowlen, pictured here, who is still figure skating at 87 years old.  She says that if she can walk, she can skate.  I like her attitude; I’d venture a guess that she’s never even come close to taking a Real Age test.  And I suspect that when the doctor asks her how many drinks she has per week she gives him a steely-eyed look and tells him to mind his own damn business.