Monday, July 13, 2009

Wonderful Weekend & Wine

It's a beautiful day here in sunny Ohio and yesterday was gorgeous, too. It's a good thing, as we (Steinvic, his son, and his sister and her husband and his sister) all headed to the North Market for a wine festival and artisan show. (I'd link to it, but apparently the North Market is VERY proactive about updating its Web site and the information is already down this morning!)

We had major storms on Saturday. This started, of course, while I was at the grocery. Props to Steinvic for somehow knowing the exact second I'd pull up and meeting me with a jacket and a helping hand with the bags! A tornado touched down not too far from us and our power was out for a few hours - but by yesterday, the sun was shining and the wine was flowing at the festival. (By the way, the power being out was kind of nice. We opened the windows and just know? Quiet and calm existence. Steinvic read and I finished my shower by candle light.)

So, for $20 a couple, we received two wine glasses for tasting and ten tickets. Each ticket could be exchanged for a taste (about one to two ounces, depending on the pourer) of a variety of wines, many from Ohio. We love pinot grigio, but in most cases, at each booth we visited, I opted for a blush and Steinvic got the pinot grigio so that we could try each other's.

We planned to buy a bottle to take home to enjoy with the pasta and sauce I'd prepared the day before, but we were pretty wined-out by the time we left. Not tipsy, mind you...we made sure to eat a good snack (I felt the Manhattan Chowder was outstanding! Yes, I sometimes eat seafood. Just not mammals or birds, save for the bad news I received last week... ) and paced ourselves. But neither of us wanted any more wine so that was that.

Aside from the festival, we stayed in on Saturday night and watched Donnie Brasco. Friday night was spent at our local and ended with a pizza at one of our favorite spots. Wow, I'm dizzy from working my way backward through the weekend!

Let me take that one step further back to Thursday... I did stop in to see Virginia because it occurred to me that she had my old phone number and not a current one...I'd given her my number years ago, when I first moved in. So, I stopped in to do that. She was so grateful - I think it let her know that I really meant it about looking in on her and being there if she needed a hand.

Virginia told me that her monthly prescriptions - medicine for her heart, diabetes, blood pressure and cancer - cost more than $800 per month. She told me this because she was really happy that a kind soul at the pharmacy offered to get online for her to find information from several different drug companies who offered assistance programs. I was glad to hear this, but what horrified me is that the reason the pharmacist was helping her is because Virginia couldn't afford her insulin...she went to pick up the prescription and simply didn't have enough for all the meds she was picking up, so she had to pick and choose.

As I drove back into town this morning, it got me thinking. I did some searching at the end of last week for senior programs and was amazed at how hard it was to find resources. While I'm not the savviest of online users, I'm very good with Google. But what if I were a senior and not familiar with the Internet?

My point is, if I have some computer skills and can't find the information, how could someone with no computer skills find it? Further, what if you're like Virginia, and can't afford prescriptions...are you likely to have a computer or Internet access?

So, I'm thinking...what if there was a community outreach program that provided something as simple as putting essential information on fliers and distributing them to the doors of area homes? I'm thinking phone numbers for Meals on Wheels, any local or city senior programs, and phone numbers and addresses to pharmaceutical companies that offered discounted prescriptions. Is that tacky? Cheesy? Would it work?

I mean, for some seniors, the biggest thing they do each day is make it to the mailbox. But would it be helpful for someone to open his door and find information that could enhance his existence right there, waiting for him?

I could easily see myself investing a few hours of research online, putting this information on a simple Word document with large font, printing off a few hundred copies and going door-to-door. I don't like how fliers can junk up neighborhoods, but what if this made a difference for one person?

If you feel compelled to comment, I'm interested in your thoughts! At any rate, Happy Monday and enjoy the day!

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