As prayer lists get longer, OFs advise planning ahead

The Old Men of the Mountain met again at the Middleburgh Diner in Middleburgh. As the OMOTM talked after this very long hiatus, we discovered that many have not fared that well, and it is not COVID-related.

This is just a long time of not being together and catching up. The OFs found that cancers, age, and other serious conditions caught up with them, and now hearing about the collective numbers all at once makes these situations sound worse than hearing about problems every now and then. The prayer lists get longer in a hurry this way.

On the practical side, the OFs found it makes a lot of sense to do some financial planning ahead of time so that whatever the OFs have great or small doesn’t all wind up with the state, or at a nursing home. One thing that came to light was that it now takes seven years for many plans to take effect, where it used to take five years.

After talking to some of the OFs, depending on the individual circumstances, wills do not cut it like estate planning, even if the OFs don’t think they have too much of an “estate.” The wicket just becomes stickier, and stickier, with the underlying glue being the state.

The state seems to want to get its hands on whatever you have, in any way it can. It appears high taxes are not enough.

Do the OMOTM sound bitter? You betcha!

The scribe thinks this is another “we get too soon old and too late smart.” This is another reason to join senior groups where the senior generation can get good advice from people that have gone through it.

This scribe thinks if possible, don’t wait. Do something as soon as you can; age comes too quickly and there is a point of no return. The OFs comment the right thing to do is not become a burden to the kids or the neighbors, so plan ahead.

A couple of OFs, who were caregivers to their parents, mentioned that, even though it was hard at times, the OFs never considered the parents to be a burden. As one OF said, “Just consider how much you were a pain in the a-- when you were a kid and all the grief you caused your parents.”

Another OF added, “The rule of natural selection is you can’t select your gender, or your parents.”


Varied vaccine reactions

Many of the OFs have had their vaccinations, and there was quite a discussion on how most had no reaction, to some having quite a reaction.

A few said that the first shot one was fine; with the second one, they slept the whole next day; a few complained about having flu-like symptoms for a few days, and one OF said he became quite ill. This may or may not have been a reaction to the vaccine.

Either way, the OFs have heard that a reaction is a good thing because it shows the vaccine is working. One OF said, “Where does that put us? We had no reaction. Is it working for us? “

The other OFs said, “Hey, we don’t know. We are not doctors — Google it.”


Blessing in disguise?

One of the current events covered was working from home during the pandemic. Some of the OFs think this is going to change the dynamics of many companies like banks, insurance companies, big companies with large billing and collecting departments, and so many more.

The OFs think we’ve seen the last of the big skyscrapers. One OF thinks that now, worldwide, many of these buildings will be only half full.

To which another OF said, “Look how that can help with housing shortages. As the world’s population grows, there will be square footage for housing already there and we won’t have to gobble up all the farmland. Now we can grow food to feed the population as it grows. Is this a blessing in disguise or what?”

The OMOTM have mentioned this before, and this scribe thinks many times before, but the OFs said that, with all this high-tech stuff and knowing how computers work, they are now able to understand computer talk, so the new workforce can work from home.

Now who is going to fix the leaky faucet, change out the toilet, or hot water heater — all that kind of stuff. We need those people right now. Have any of you guys tried to get a contractor to come and build something or do home repair?

One OF asked, “How many actually show up, if and when they do get back to you?  If they give you a price, even show up to do the work, and if you get someone that is good and reliable, let me know.” (I was going to put a joke in here about carpentry, but I didn’t think it wood work).


Flood fallout

The OFs discussed speaking about contractors, etc. about how the villages of Middleburgh, and Schoharie and that area still show remnants of the flood of 2011. One large building that will pick up the area (the OFs think) is when the Parrott House in Schoharie is finished being brought back to life.

The quaintness of some of the other small towns and areas hit by the flood might be back to what they were, so hopefully, the whole valley may bounce back. The OFs are talking about this but really don’t have any answers — yet.

The Old Men of the Mountain met at the Middleburgh Diner in Middleburgh, and are beginning to try to get back into a routine. This was the first time at the diner in quite awhile. The waitress wore an Old Man of the Mountain T-shirt. How fitting. (Pun intended.) Those who made it to the diner were: Ted Feurer, Jake Lederman, Glenn Patterson, Miner Stevens, Roger Chapman, Chuck Aelesio, Harold Guest, Wally Guest, Jake Herzog, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Bill Lichliter, Dave Hodgetts, and me.