04-04-2019 Letters and Commentary


April is National Social Security Month It’s National Social Security Month. This year we’re highlighting some of the time-saving features of having a “my Social Security” account. Once you create an account, you’ll see that we already have your work history and secure information to estimate what you could receive once you start collecting benefits. With your personal “my Social Security” account, you can also: Request a replacement Social Security card; set up or change direct deposit; get a proof of income letter; change your address; check the status of your Social Security application; and get a Social Security 1099 form (SSA-1099). For over 80 years, Social Security has worked to meet the changing needs of the American public. Today, you can apply for retirement, disability, and Medicare benefits online, as well as take care of other business. Knowledge is power. You care about your friends’ and family’s future, so encourage them to create a “my Social Security” account. Celebrate National Social Security Month by learning what you can do online anytime, anywhere at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. Vonda VanTil is the Public Affairs Specialist for West Michigan. You can write her c/o Social Security Administration, 3045 Knapp NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525 or via email at vonda.vantil@ssa.gov.

MY HAPPY BIRTHDAY… Thank you all for the birthday wishes last week, cards and phone calls too. Even we septuagenarians enjoy the birthday fuss. Amy and Billy Loshbough, et all, took us to Moo’s Place for Saturday Chinese dinner and then Anne lit up 73 candles on the cake she baked and we had cake and ice-cream and presents at our house to cap off the celebration. Then the kids and grandkids and great-grandkids drifted off just in time for my after-dinner nap.

SPRING SPRUNG? The month of March may have gone out like a lamb, but it was a frozen one. Sunday morning dawned 28 and the day never got much warmer. This week’s Big C forecast promises more springtime weather with warmer temperatures and sunshine for the weekend and beyond. I can handle that. Monday, I celebrated my recently passed birthday by buying my annual fishing license. At $11 it is a steal. Of course that is the senior citizens discount. The younger fishermen have to shell out $26 bucks for the same even though we are all fishing for the same fish.

NO WHOPPER, IT’S THE TRUTH… Just before closing time Monday, Anne calls me. “I’m pretty tired, can you stop at Burger King and get us a couple Whoppers and French fries?” Sure, I reply. Ten minutes later, I close up, Fire up the Jimmy and I am on my way. I’m actually day dreaming about the odds of getting stopped by two trains going in opposite directions, if I was going to McDonald’s in Hartford. MCDONALD’S? I was just a driveway away from my own when I came out of my daydream. By then I was at my stop. In one fluid motion I pull into my driveway, I see that Anne is not at the door or window waiting for dinner and so I turn around and retrace my route to downtown Watervliet and then out to the BK. Happily there was only a single car ahead at the drive-up order window. It only took a couple minutes to order two Whopper Juniors and a large French fry, stop off at the pay window and hand over six bucks and some change. In return I get some change and a handful of napkins. With a smile and a have a nice day the cashier waved me forward for the dinner I just paid for. As I moved to the pickup window, the car driver ahead collected his order and moved off. This is great, I thought. During the short wait, I busied myself putting the change down and securing the napkins so they wouldn’t blow all over when I hightailed it home. Those chores done, I but the Jimmy in gear and headed for home. I caught the Red Arrow/ Main Street traffic signal just turning green and saw smooth sailing right up the hill past the cemetery. Thanks to spring break there was no mass exodus from the high school or middle school parking lots. Now I could see ahead all the way to the railroad crossing, there was no flashing light and screech of whistle to warn me to slow down. On turning into my driveway, I saw the garage door was up, inviting me in to dinner. DINNER! In one fluid motion I killed the engine and opened the door and