Sometimes I Feel Like a Piece of Bologna

Saturday, September 05, 2009

A Small Business Owner Speaks out on Health Care Reform

This lady shows a lot of understanding and offers simple solutions that would help all of us without totally overhauling the system. What do you think?

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009


Firefighters from across the state of California battle one of the many wildfires raging around the city of Los Angeles
Photo: PicApp

I received a frantic call from Mom a couple of days ago. It was about 6:00 in the evening, about the time I usually try to call her.

“Pat, we have to get out! What do I do?”

To begin with, I had been working all day and wasn’t aware that there was a wildfire in her area. I had no idea what she was talking about. She quickly brought me up to date, and as my hubby overheard the conversation, he turned on TV and Googled her area. Sure enough, there was a fast-moving fire not just in her area, but literally across the street from her! She lives in a mobile home park on a four-lane highway that goes through town. The perimeter of the fire was basically the bordering streets of her mobile home park. The only thing dividing her from the fire was the four-lane highway.

She kept asking me what to take. Trust? No, I have a copy. Insurance papers? No, I have a copy. Bank records? No, they’re online. I realized how important it was that I have copies of so many of her important documents.

Although she said that many of her neighbors were refusing to leave, I told her to grab her medicines, a change of clothes, her cell phone, and as many photo albums as she had time to load into the car. All the while wondering if more than one trip to the car would over-exert her. If she would fall in her haste.

The call was all the more frantic because the phone lines were breaking up. Her land line sounded like a bad cell connection, and her cell wasn’t much better. She couldn’t hear me and I couldn’t hear her. We were shouting at one another, neither of us making sense. I finally told her to hang up, load the car, and leave.

I called my brothers to alert them. Despite my admonitions, both of them called her, slowing her progress even more! The good news was that while one brother was on the phone, a neighbor was there. He was able to talk to her and learned that the evacuation order had been lifted. The wind had shifted and they thought the mobile home residents were safe.

All told, some 60 homes and businesses were lost that night—right across the street from Mom. She had to sleep in the dark until the power was restored about 2:00 am. Made me realize that we are not well prepared for a disaster at her place. Before my next trip, I need to get her an emergency radio and some battery powered lights. I also need to think about other documents I should copy and have here. What else? If you’ve faced a similar situation with your parents, what have you learned?

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