Reinhardt Family History

Memories of Eggs and Chickens

Stories from Neil Reinhardt

<bgsound src="../../../music/drowsymaggie.mid">

of Eggs & Chickens

Getting Old

As people advance in age there are some things that, in spite of the pain and inconveniences, have a humorous side. In my case, my eye sight was always good until my 40th birthday. It was then that I noticed my arms were too short to read the newspaper. I went to an Optometrist, and from then on I wore glasses in order to read. Over the years I have had the lenses' changes a few times, and I now wear bifocals. I must put them on first thing when getting dressed to be sure my socks match.

At times when my wife was talking, and I kept saying "What? What?" she suggested I have my hearing checked, so I took my ears to the doctor and a hearing aid was added to my paraphernalia. Now as I sit down to breakfast, I can hear the 'snap-crackle-pop' of my Rice Krispies.

Everything went well, until the day I shampooed my hair while in the shower. When I noticed my hearing aid still in my ear, it was too late. As I removed it from my ear, I dropped it into the water in the tub. I couldn't revive it, so in due time I took it to Greg Wiersma. When he got through testing it, he turned to me and said 'Neil, I think you drowned it! I'll send it to Repair Service, maybe they can revive it.' He gave me a loaner. Ten days later I picked up my repaired hearing aid at the cost of $125. That was a very expensive shampoo!

When confined to the house for several weeks with a bad cold, there is a lot of time to observe things that go on every day. You can look out of the window and watch the kids going to and from school. You can watch someone walking their dog, or others just out for a walk or birds fighting for a place at the bird-feeder.

Believe it or not, I discovered that there are things moving inside, that you could see if only you would look.

When I sat in my favorite chair, or lay on the davenport with a waste basket and box of Kleenex beside me, I happened to notice that Em's Amaryllis bulb had started to grow. No leaves, just a stem growing from the center of the bulb. It seemed to grow taller every day. One morning I used a 12-inch ruler and measured it from the top of the pot to the tip of the stem. It was 4-1/2 inches tall. The next morning it was 5 inches, then 6 inches tall. Every morning after breakfast I'd measure the growth and record it on the calendar. Em watered it occasionally, and every day it was turned, to keep the stem growing straight.

Seven days after I first measured it, it was eleven and 3/4 inches tall. The next morning I had to use a yard stick to measure. Now a small bud formed on the tip of the stem. I have watched corn, oats, peas and soy beans as they emerged from the ground. I have never watched just one plant as closely as I watched this Amaryllis. By the 14th day it was 25 inches tall to the tip of the bud, and the bud was getting bigger every day. Five days later the bud opened slightly and I could see four blossoms forming. It now measured 32-1/2 inches high. Finally the waiting was at an end when two beautiful peach-colored blooms opened. Four days later the last two opened, each blossom pointing to the four corners of our world, for us to enjoy.

One of my neighbors is in the early stages of Alzheimer's. He called up one day and said he had a squirrel in his basement and was wondering if he could borrow my live trap. I told him to come and get it, as I was staying inside because of my cold, which he did. Two hours later he returned the trap and said that he had caught the squirrel. Two weeks later on a nice warm day I went for a walk around the block. This neighbor and his wife were washing their car in the driveway. I stopped and asked if he'd had any more squirrels in the basement. He replied "Did you hear about that? The neighbor around the corner had a live trap, I just put some nuts in the trap and the squirrel went right in!" He didn't realize that I was that neighbor he'd gotten the trap from!

Such are the hazards of getting old!