A not-so-distant fire tower


By Vicki Scott

Every day, at least one of our seniors at the George Wallace Senior Center in Glencoe ask when the center will open back up. We do not know. I will tell you what we do know. We miss fellowship with our seniors, and we are on the edge of sanity as we struggle to keep things going.  Deidre is struggling with shingles, Faye is struggling with her back, I am struggling with family matters and our director Pat is struggling with us.

“Shinglina” has been in a lot of pain and cannot sleep but is determined to come into work. Calling Deidre by that name reminds me that she is hurting, which helps me be easy on her. Deidre, who seems to be doing better, said that shingles are caused by stress. It will probably be a long time before she is completely healed. Deidre seems to like the name “Shinglina,” and I ‘m glad. I would not like to think I’m teasing her at a bad time.

Faye usually wears a back brace and looks like the Rocket Lady when she must cover for me.  Faye kept forgetting her brace, and now she is in pain. Like Shinglina, Faye is stubborn in that she has not missed work, either. That is what I like to call dedication, or just plain crazy. Pat patiently has listened to all of our frustrations with an occasional nod, then reminds us of our work schedule for the day. She does all she can to keep us in line for our seniors, but we need time with them for fellowship.

My family matters involved a pair of hurricanes named Saylor Rhea and Tyler Kate, and we’re still trying to recover from the 2020 Nana and Pops Camp. Please understand that I am not making light of those folks who recently suffered from real hurricanes, but we’re still exhausted. There are things were turned on that we did not realize our little hurricanes could reach!

How can a two-year-old and a four-year-old do so much damage? I remember saying as much about their mother. When Eva went off to college, I would clean her room, only to have her come home to visit and destroy, in five minutes, every effort I made to clean.

If that is not enough, I suspect that my husband is trying to kill me with exercise. On my parent’s wedding anniversary in November, my two brothers and I plan to meet at the Smith Mountain Fire Tower in honor of our mom and dad. We prayed about it and discussed this, and this will be our chosen place to spend time with memories of our parents. The only issue is that we must walk there, which is right down my darling and in-shape husband’s alley. Alan loves to walk, so we took a practice walk. Of course, he took the long way around!

The fire tower is a historical place, and at the top is a view of nine counties. It was supposed to be a half-mile walk, but I assure you that was not the case. I’m not telling my brothers, since they’re six and eight years younger than me and just a little competitive. I’m going to act like the walk is no big deal. They probably will, as well. This system works for us.

The fire tower works for us, too. Our parents loved walking and nature and being in the outdoors. They almost went bungee jumping one time, but a rain cloud saved my father from a heart attack. My mother said she turned around and looked at him and he looked like a ghost. About that moment, the guide told them to get down because of that rain cloud.

We saw a lot of nature on the way to and up in the fire tower. The walk back might well have been a half-mile and it did not take nearly as long as the trip to the tower. All the way down the mountain, I did not have to stop one time. If you hear of a death from exercise at a fire tower… awe, never mind; God is not through with me as of yet.

After our walk, I hurt all over. I hope and pray that our Shinglina and Rocket Lady are not in this much pain. I need to stop teasing them, because it is coming back to haunt me.

Stay safe, y’all!

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