Friday, January 28, 2011


You may know that I visit a few friends in a nearby retirement home. I started this church ministry as a way to honor a grandmother who died while I was in college. Grandma Rose was half of my namesake, a cute, pudgy woman with a German accent. I can still remember her heavy voice. Some of the things I recall - she always had a steady supply of microwave popcorn and Juicy Fruit gum. She shooed cats off of her carport with a broom. And she grew the best tomato plants.

Back to the people I visit. They have become wonderful friends. They live in small, over-priced rooms that resemble apartment complexes. With the close quarters, they get to know one another a little too well. And, at a time when you would think age would begin to equal our differences and yes, annoyances, they only seem to exacerbate them. Thanks to my friends, I get to hear about the politics of the place and some of its quirky residents.

One of my sweet friends is 97 years old. One glance her way and you'd think she was merely in her 80's. A week ago, she described one of the residents like you might describe someone in high school. The annoying character is a male who likes to have his way. "No one likes him." He has requested that some of the BINGO time be converted to UNO time. She said he reminds her of a pig. This is the story he likes to tell people: when he was born, his parents put him in the cellar to see if he would grunt or cry first.

Totally cracked me up.

It is almost refreshing to know that we don't lose our sense of the annoying when we get older. If anything, we are more likely to lose our tolerance and say something about it. When you're close to 100, you might as well speak your mind.

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