A little salt needed

Los Alamos Aug 2014 (22)

Now that we are back in our usual pattern of daily life – our six months of adventures in London fading – little things irritate me more. For example, I received a check from a major health care provider for $150. I have no idea what it relates to. It wouldn’t be a problem if I could be sure some other person in the provider’s data bank is missing the money.

What are the other possibilities? Is my memory just bad? I have only used this provider’s services as an insured patient, and I cannot recall anything for which I made a co-pay. I have to find out or my conscience won’t rest.

So yesterday I called the number on the check. I was switched to an extension. An answering machine took my message, which I thought was very clear. (I, unlike most receptionists today, take the time to enunciate.) I have not heard back.

While I am waiting, I am at my computer with a variety of tasks, such as trying to find out about the healthiest salt to use, and also find a saltshaker that works with larger grains. The restaurant-style shaker next to my cooktop was inexpensive, but it rusts. I have accommodated almost fully (though not happily) to the disposable society we live in, but I can’t just go to the big box store where I bought it and replace it because I can’t drive, as I have a numb foot owing to my spinal arthritis (well documented at the health care provider above). Besides, when I get there, I will have to walk a half mile into the store to find it, if there is one in stock.

The grinders I own all get plugged up, so I also need  new one of those I can count on to put on the table when we have company. The big box store does not have something of that quality, and lately I have noticed the “better” department stores don’t either. It would be nice to go to a familiar, boutique-y kind of store in our neighborhood, but alas, nothing so prosaic as a home goods store exists in what has been famously nicknamed “Barrio Volvo.” We do have a fantastic loose tea shop, however.

Los Alamos Aug 2014 (26)

Another problem facing me is how to get college-age grandchildren to communicate with us. In one case, I just want to know that a birthday card and check have arrived. I see this child’s photo on Facebook where she is showing off a tee-shirt announcing her gender-free politics, yet she apparently doesn’t have time to text “Thanks.” The other child is in fact 26, back in school, and worrying about finances. We have written to say that we can help, but she has been afraid (she texts) to open the mail and get upset.

At the other end of the age spectrum are four friends at a distance whom I worry about constantly. They usually write by email, and when they don’t, after a couple of weeks I wonder….

This is the Silver Age. I need some silver polish, too.

PHOTOS: Sage and wisdom at Museum Hill garden in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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