Monday, October 5, 2015

THIS & THAT, aka farshidn #1

In Yiddish, farshidn means “miscellaneous” or “various.” Instead of creating yet another blog to go with the ones shown in the links below, “THIS & THAT” will appear now and then in The Ho-Ho-Kus Cogitator blog.

The topics covered will be as various and sundry as whatever seems fitting at the moment, and at this moment “elderly” seems like an apropos start, as you will read below.

According to Merriam Webster’s dictionary, “Elderly” is defined as “being old, or rather old, past middle age.”

The World Health Organization’s definition differs a bit, to read, “Most developed world countries have accepted the chronological age of 65 years as a definition of 'elderly' or older person.”

In Rhode Island public agencies, elderly officially begins at 60. In Hawaii, it arrives at 55. On a national note, the IRS Tax Counseling for the Elderly program offers free tax advice to anyone 60 or older.

A New York Times story called a 69-year-old woman elderly, and a story in the September 23 San Jose Mercury News, described the tragic death of a woman who was killed when a car crashed into the club while she was working out. The story said, “She died at the hands of an elderly driver.”

It turns out that the woman driving her Mercedes Benz ML350 was 80-years-old, and was afflicted with “pedal confusion.” This is a disease of the elderly when they hit the accelerator pedal instead of the brake.

This should not be mistaken for  “pedaling intrusion,” when younger bicyclists deliberately ignore red lights and cross traffic, as they exuberantly rush down main thoroughfares without a care, and without really caring.

The trio of younger, male Mercury News reporters added reference to three other “pedal confusion” stories to make readers aware that anyone over eighty should be considered armed and dangerous, while driving a car.

When I was fifty and teaching journalism classes at a major urban university, I would send my students out to observe and describe people they saw. One teen-aged student read her observations which included, “An elderly man sat on a bus stop bench, reading his newspaper as cars whizzed by.”

I asked her how old the elderly man appeared to be, and she quickly replied “Forty.” I bent my body and answered her response with a raspy reply, “Well, daughter. I must be ready for the old age home, since I am a very elderly fifty years of age.”

Today, I am faced with the realization that I will soon be far beyond middle age when I turn eighty in January. Elderly? 

Who are you calling elderly?

Find my recent and semi-regular writings here on the new Ho-Ho-Kus Cogitator blog, and there are current essays here, on What I Have to Stay.

You can also find earlier writings here on the original Ho-Ho-Kus Cogitator blog,
and other writings here on the Huffington Post.

If you like, add bookmarks for these writings. 
When you want to relax, try the calming exercise movements while learning Yiddish, found in his book The Oy Way — Following the Path of Most Resistance, by going here. Then click on YOU TUBE on the left side, and you will begin to find di zakhtkayt — tranquility.

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