Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer


I’m going to be one of those cantankerous people who gripe about their medications. I have one friend, God bless her, who when I was feeling depressed because I was going to have to take a daily medication said “You’ve managed to put it off this long??” She always knows just what to say. Somehow, I guess I had hoped for a miracle, I was going to be a person who never had to take anything. It hurt my pride more than anything else to be told that I might live as long, but the quality of my life could be dramatically effected. That made an impression on me.

As retired military, we can get some medications for ‘free.’ So last week, when my prescription had about five pills left, I called in for a refill. It was all automated, so there was no one I could talk with, and the automated voice told me my refill would be ready for pick-up today. Meanwhile, I had five pills, and seven nights to get through.

The next day I went to the Navy Hospital, where the clerk told me that they gave me seven days worth of my medication to get me through to when I could pick up.

This morning, we got there early, 8:30, and it wasn’t open until nine, so we did some commissary shopping, then went back – only forty minutes later, but the line was 19 people long, people older than me, standing in line outside in temperatures in the 90’s (F) and steamy. Almost every other person had a problem. “Sir, we don’t even see your name in the system” they say to one. “Sir, your medication just came in; there was a shortage and we won’t have it ready for you for another couple hours.” “Sir, that medication isn’t available, can you come back in two weeks?”

When my turn came, they told me my prescription had already been refilled, and I could not get another refill until the end of the month. Indeed, when I looked at the bottle the hospital had given me, it was a full refill, but I didn’t know that.

To get this free medication is a lot of work. For only a small amount more, we can have it mailed to our home address. I am thinking that might work better for me.

June 6, 2011 Posted by | Customer Service, Family Issues, Health Issues, Living Conditions, Pensacola, Weather | 3 Comments


“Why are you smiling?” AdventureMan asked as he read the Sunday paper on our bed, the ceiling fan whirling madly to cool him down after his post-Church yard work – feeding the birds, shoveling up all the birdseed hulls, putting recycle materials into the compost bin.

I was doing something I do only rarely, changing purses. At the last minute, all in navy, I decided to do the navy purse instead of the tan. Now, back home, I was re-transfering all the important things, and checking pockets for stuff that accumulates and needs to be thrown away.

“I found a list,” I began. “It says:

fruit cake
kick board
peanut brittle
photos in frames

He laughed. “I know exactly what that was, “he remembered, “my Christmas box.”

More specifically, my tag on the outside of the box reminding me of what was inside when I had to affix a customs tag to send the box to hubby in Kuwait. These days, as I send boxes, I (mostly) no longer have to fiddle with customs tags or leaving the box open until I get to the post office so that customs officers can affirm what I included in the box. Every time I send a box, still, I think of those customs tags and give thanks not to have to do those irksome little steps.

I keep my lists now, in a folder marked, predictably,

    To Do Lists

This one goes in there. On days when I feel bad about myself, or overwhelmed, I can look at my to-do lists and have a record that my time was not mis-spent. I can see all the little chores and fix-it projects we have finished, all the dinners we have done, house guests we have had . . . These little to-do lists keep track of the little things you do that take up so much time, and then at the end of the year, you ask yourself “where did the time go.” These help me know that I didn’t waste the time, I used the time, a little here, a little there, to bring order out of chaos in our daily existence, to brighten a life, maybe to help others, or to meet a goal I have already forgotten.

Some of the lists, like the moving lists, remind me of God’s gracious hand in helping me to do the things I’ve had to do, and could never have managed without his help. When I read some of them, I almost laugh out loud thinking “I did all that??”

It also reminds me how very happy I am to have AdventureMan back home with me, not far away at Christmas time. 🙂

June 6, 2011 Posted by | Character, Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Financial Issues, Home Improvements, Living Conditions, Marketing, Moving, Pensacola, Shopping, Values | 2 Comments