No sermons but talk of arthritis, off-season travel, and how to stay warm

Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022, is getting close to the end of the year and Christmas, and this year Hanukkah, then comes the New Year. It is party time, only the OFs are either too old to party, are partied out, or don’t care one way or the other.

It is another time of the year when priests, ministers, and rabbis should have their best sermons ready because it is also a time when there are more people in places of worship. On Tuesday morning, the Old Men of the Mountain did neither; they just had breakfast at the Chuck Wagon in Princetown.

A not too-much-talked-about medical situation, or maybe not at all up until Tuesday morning, was arthritis. It was found out that this aliment (or whatever it is called) is common among most all the OMOTM. This debilitating ailment doesn’t hide — it shows itself with lumps and bumps that at times hurt like a son of a gun.

Tuesday morning, it was found that, also with the ailment, there are so many cures, relief regimens, and soothing creams out there that these remedies can fill a pharmacy by themselves. This should give one pause that, if there are this many different rubs, creams, and pills, the people that don’t have arthritis yet are due to get it.

One OF mentioned that diet has a lot to do with getting the disease, but the other items filling the pharmacy are diet supplements, books, pills, and whatever other product the markets can come up with to use diet as a cure-all. Some may argue it is.

The OFs talking about arthritis have tried many forms of relief. One OF said he does the dishes because he gets relief from having his hands in the hot water. Another OF said it doesn’t work that way at his house because the dishes just get thrown in the dishwasher and, when the dishwasher is full, they run it.

Tylenol makes a pill just for arthritis but all Tylenol does is increase the amount of medicine in the pill.

Another OF said he has tried all those topical creams and none of them work, but he has found one that cuts the pain way down to just a minor hurt. That is a cream called CBD 600 [600 milligrams of cannabidiol], and the stuff really works, at least for him.


Travel plans

The OFs at our end of the table continued the discussion of Kitty Hawk, not so much going there as to when to travel. Travel off-season for the OFs looks like the way to go. The rates are less expensive, and the venues are less crowded.

The Kitty Hawk traveler said that, at the museum, their group had a tour guide almost all to themselves. The OF mentioned that there were only 12 people in his group instead of 300 to 350 people during the season.

One thing the OF mentioned that was a little unusual was that everything was open. Generally, in an off-season, many of the restaurants are closed as are the shops, and other things to do. But, as OFs, a good place to visit is one that has a few good restaurants open, plus the venues the OF planned on seeing. As far as this OF was concerned, all the other tilt-a-whirls, pool halls, and miniature golf courses can close down.

It is good to plan your travels when you are younger. The OFs say maybe in your sixties and early seventies. Once the eighties come along, so do a lot of aliments, one of which is mentioned above.

This really cuts down on the ability to move about with ease. This in  no way means that, if the OF is on a ton of pills and using a walker, the OF should stay home, just be ready because the mind may say the OF can still jitterbug, or go horseback riding but the old body is not going to let either of those things happen.


Staying warm

One of many things that happen as the OFs age is the need to stay warm. That is why the Southwest and the Deep South are loaded with old people. It is hard for older people to keep warm.

The OFs who hang around in mountains during the winter are looking for ways to keep the ole homestead warm without having to jack up the heat. The price of heating oil, propane, gas, and electricity is climbing faster than the retirement plans and Social Security.

So that prompted a discussion on how to heat the cabin this winter. One OF said he is shutting off rooms and moving downstairs to close off the whole upstairs. Steps like this will help some.

This brought up the discussion on heat pumps. One OF was quite familiar with this method of heat because he uses heat pumps to warm his home. This OF discussed how they function and what different types there were.

One thing he did say was these types of units are not cheap. Another OF was keenly interested because they are in need of a new heating unit. Like many on the hill this OF lives in an old farmhouse. Any one in his situation has a lot to consider the way the economy is right now.

Those Old Men of the Mountain who are attempting to keep warm this winter and hang out in the Helderbergs just so they can go to breakfast with the Old Men of the Mountain were: John Muller, Jake Lederman, George Washburn, Robie Osterman, Doug Marshall, Roland Tozer, Bill Lichliter, Frank Dees, Russ Pokorny, Roger Shafer, Jake Herzog, Rev. Jay Francis, Elwood Vanderbilt, Dave Hodgetts, Bob Donnelly, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Joe Rack, Paul Whitbeck, Marty Herzog, Jim Rissacher, Dick Dexter, Frank Weber, John Dapp, Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, Herb Bahrmann, and me.