Friday, November 18, 2016

Gratitude and Thanksgiving

This morning London, my granddaughter, came over to greet me as I reviewed the latest headlines in the news on the internet.  She pointed to an umbrella which is stored in the corner behind my work-station; a serious look took over her face as she reminded me not to ever open the umbrella in the house.  A couple of days ago London got in trouble playing in the house with the umbrella and she wanted me to know she understood how important it was to follow the rules.

I nodded in agreement as we reviewed how silly it would be to have an open umbrella in the house since its purpose was to keep rain from falling on us.  I looked up at the ceiling and explained how blessed we were to have a roof over our heads to protect us from the rain.  London looked thoughtfully at the ceiling and smiled.

It’s also nice to have a house for when it gets cold outside; again she smiled and pretended to hug herself as if being warmed by an imaginary heater.  And in the summer we have air conditioning to keep us comfortable too. 

London may have taken these conveniences for granted up until this moment; but as she considered the light rain falling outside, that she was enjoying the comforts provided by the house which she lived in, gratitude for all these blessings was evident by the look on her face.

May we all have a similar moment of appreciation for what ever blessings have been provided in our lives.   

If you watch much television, the advertisements tend to make a mockery of Thanksgiving; a not so subtle way of redirecting our thoughts.  Instead of getting down on our knees and thanking the Lord we’re being desensitized and programmed into accepting this time of year as a spending orgy, a chance to prove we have more money than brains as we go about going into debt for items we really can’t afford.

Black Friday with its door buster sales has, for far too many folks, become more important than sitting around the dinner table with family in quiet thanks for what has been provided and prepared. 

This nation was founded under the direction of wise individuals who understood our relationship with God, Creator of all we have, to include Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.  Our blessings come from above and we are showered with them in great abundance; consider what we have been given, not what you don’t have. 

London is correct, you shouldn’t open your umbrella in the house, let God’s blessings fall all around you and be grateful, truly grateful; that’s why we celebrate Thanksgiving.  

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Thanks for the Memories

I went to the Spring Creek Village assisted living center where my dad spent his last days to make sure our account was settled up, no loose ends.  We’d been double charged for a ‘one time only’ fee on the second month’s billing which we were told would be subtracted on the following month’s rent; but dad never made it to the next month.

My father died October 25, 2016 and we made it a point to remove all items we’d provided for his comfort the very same day, leaving the room as it was when he first arrived. 

Today I looked over at their ‘occupancy availability board’; they had a large white board in the manager’s office showing new move ins and those who’d moved out.  There was dad’s name showing he died October 25th along with his move out date of….Nov 7th…?

I pointed out the discrepancy to the manager and reminded her that we’d made sure to remove dad’s personal items on the same day he died.  Her response was, “That’s in the contract”. 

There is a clause in the residency contract which states the assisted living center can charge up to 10 days rent after the death of a renter.  Apparently we could have left dad’s body in the room for another week; not that the health department would have approved.

I reminded the manager that we’d been over charged by $1500.00, expecting a refund for that amount and perhaps a refund for the last five days of October since dad didn’t occupy the room that last week of the month.

Again the manager explained, “That’s in the contract”, as she handed me a due bill for  $186.50, the difference between the $1500.00 we’d been over charged and the ten days which the assisted living center considered an opportunity to extract additional money from the deceased’s bank account.

Spring Creek Village provided exceptional care while my father was in their facility and I would recommend them to anyone looking for an assisted living facility.  That said, they have an unusual way of interpreting their lease contracts.

I pointed out that this was morally wrong and as a business practice was no different than gouging the dead.  I know, “That’s in the contract”.  But the contract indicated that the assisted living center ‘can’ charge up to 10 days following the ‘move out’ of a resident; it doesn’t say that it must charge the full ten days. 

I suppose they were only honoring the memory of my dearly departed father as they hit the Enter Key on the cash register, or as Bob Hope used to say, Thanks for the memories.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.