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Old ladies who hunt for cans in trash bins

December 27th, 2015 at 03:43 pm

I've been reluctant to travel far but i did need to get gas for the car, so I drove to one of the lower priced stations I often go to. At the pumps, I saw a very old woman digging for cans in all the trash bins. I am not in the habit of giving money to homeless people or others who appear hard up, I guess because I wonder if they'll use it to feed an addiction, but this woman was just too old to be doing that. If she was my grandmother, I would want her to be home with her grandchildren sitting inside a comfy home and nibbling on Christmas cookies.

I walked up to her and said hello. When she looked up from what she was doing, I stuffed a wad of dollar bills in her hand. It wasn't much, as I've long ago stopped carrying much cash with me. I wished her a Merry Christmas and walked back to my car after she thanked me and continued digging for cans. My mother would be very proud of me. Smile

After I drove off, I actually thought I should have invited her to lunch at the nearby Friendly's. I don't know if she would have gone, or even if she was as destitute as she appeared. I guess my protective instincts are in high gear right now.

I stopped at BJs and returned a label maker I'd bought on sale there. Took a walk around the neighborhood and found that the Garmin VivoFit 2 i just bought myself is no longer syncing with my computer, so I can't update the steps I took today.

Saw my mother...her old neighbors dropped by again. I don't know what drives them to continue to visit my mom, as they are neighbors, not family, but I do appreciate it so very much, these people are golden. Because it's been mostly them and me visiting mom. As recently as Dec. 13 they brought their dog and sat him on her lap, and she smiled. But she's not doing well now and is on morphine 3x a day. She has remained in bed and they are turning her periodically. She had just a few bites of food i think on Dec. 22. I can't imagine she will last much longer. I don't know if she knew I was there. She seems to be in some distress and they are trying to address that with the morphine.

Then, I got a bill from my mother's old Amex card. I never cancelled it becus they required a written letter and I just didn't have the time for it. I cancelled her internet and phone service last May, and even went to the trouble to undo the auto billing of her phone/internet to her Amex card.

So why Frontier Communications billing $60 onto the card is beyond me. I already spoken to Amex who now agreed to cancel the card over the phone, since i'm the account manager now, and dispute the charge. I called Frontier, who said they saw no such charge on their end and then she transferred me to another area, only for me to get the message they were closed. So I'll have to call the idiots back again tomorrow. Like I have time to straighten this out.

I was scheduled to go on a group hike tomorrow at a state park about a half hour from here. I had really been looking forward to it but decided to cancel, reluctantly, as I feel uncomfortable being so far from home, in case I get a phone call.

13 Responses to “Old ladies who hunt for cans in trash bins”

  1. snafu Says:

    Thank you for your impulsive act of kindness. I too pledge to do something similar at first opportunity.

  2. Carol Says:

    Sending hugs.

  3. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    That was really sweet of you to do for the old woman collecting cans.

    Your mother's neighbors sound like really top notch people. They also sound like they really loved your mom.

  4. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    When it comes to women of my Mom's generation, I always remember that even when they were working and racking up Social Security credits, they often had only low paid jobs and were discriminated against both in pay and in hiring, plus their work lives were sometimes interrupted by raising children. They may have been young Rosie Riveters in good factory work until the soldiers came home from war, and it was assumed they would yield their positions to the men. Thus women of that generation are more likely to have reason not to have enough income in their old age....Of course there are many other reasons....Ya done good.

  5. creditcardfree Says:

    So nice of you spread kindness into the world. And it doesn't always have to be with cash. A smile, holding a door, listening to someone...so many ways we can connect in this world for a greater good.

    Keeping you and your mother in thoughts in prayers, PS.

  6. Dido Says:

    Sorry to hear that your mother continues her decline--may the end be swift and painless. Yay for your good deed for that elderly woman. You're in my thoughts & prayers at this hard time.

  7. My English Castle Says:

    Thinking of you in these long days.

  8. alice4now Says:

    That was kind of you to reach out to the elderly woman, the world could use it. I am thinking of you during these difficult times.

  9. CB in the City Says:

    I do give to panhandlers, as everyone knows from my posts. Some people have tried to shame me out of it (not here). While I never know for sure whether I'm feeding an addiction, I don't believe that passing them up is actually going to help them "see the light." I am more concerned that they make it through another day. My brother (deceased) always gave to panhandlers, and I do it in his memory. Besides, it is for me, too. I cannot bear to walk past such obvious need with my eyes averted. It feels horrible.

  10. pjmama Says:

    It's inspiring to see you giving back in a world that probably seems a bit dim right now. Thinking of you, and hoping that your mother's decline is painless and peaceful.

  11. Ima saver Says:

    That was very nice of you to help an elderly lady out. I agree that many working women of that age did not make very much money and their social security checks are too small to live on. The most I ever made, working full time for a year, was $8000. My social security check is for $529 a month and that is hard to live on.
    I once talked to a cashier at a grocery store. She was telling me of an old couple who cashed their social security check there every month to buy food. It was only $200 a month for both of them. I offered to buy their groceries for them every month, but they would not let me. They had too much pride.
    You did a wonderful thing.

  12. CB in the City Says:

    Julie, surely that couple would qualify for help from a food bank. Are they too proud for that? I hate to think of anyone trying to survive on $200 a month.

  13. Livingalmostlarge Says:

    Julie, do you qualify for food stamps if your SS is $529/month? That older couple should apply. I recall my grandmother and grandfather together made $1000/month SS combined with small pension. Now my grandmother make $700/month but she has no bills and lives rent free with a daughter. I don't know how she'd make it if it wasn't for her children paying for things.

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