Giving thanks


“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.”
Aphonse Karr, French critic, journalist and novelist

Since it’s the end of another year I would love to give thanks, especially to the esteemed members of the United States Congress who supposedly just gave all of us tax relief. Never mind the fact that they reduced the amount of tax dollars that our government will take in and didn’t reduce government spending the same amount, what just might be worse is that our children, grandchildren and future generations after them will end up paying, in one way or another, the debt that our congressional members just caused.

Make no doubt about it, I am always happy with two things when it comes to money. One is getting more of it and the second is having to pay less taxes than I already pay, which for me is truly an oxymoron. If one wonders why I would state such a thing, my wife and I (please don’t tell her I mentioned this) are slightly over the age of 65 so we have become four tax deductions instead of two. (Please also don’t tell my doctor as sometimes I believe my weight gain after quitting smoking has him thinking that I am two people as well.)  So I will sit tight and wait for a reduction in taxes that I already don’t pay. Maybe it’s something like getting paid not to grow something and at the present rate I certainly will never having entered our nation’s highest tax bracket. Really, would you want to live with all of those headaches every day of your extravagant lifestyle?

I have to give thanks to all of the medical care I have received from the Togus VA Hospital and the outpatient clinics located in Bangor (a couple of decades ago), Saco, Portland and lately Lewiston for my eye problems. Many moons ago I mentioned that when I first walked into the Togus VA Hospital in 1988 I walked out and didn’t come back for years. As time passed I witnessed so many great improvements that the VA became my solo medical provider, and I am still happy with it today. Yes, one hears of problems with that system but that is no different than every place that provides medical care.

What’s different with the VA medical system, as far as I am concerned, is that it can appear overwhelming if one does not attempt to learn how the system works in order to go with the flow instead of against the tide. That’s one of the things  veterans complain about. But I now use my computer on an increasing basis to communicate with my providers and their staff at Togus and at each outpatient clinic that I use. I order my medications, relay another medical problem I am having and can now even make or cancel appointments. I receive emails when I am being sent medications, reminders about upcoming appointments or send/receive secure emails about medical care from my providers.

What I am going to mention next is kind of funny because there has certainly been plenty of news about the state of Maine having a shortage of snowplow drivers. Yet, at least so far, shortly after a snowstorm Route 202 is very passable within a short period of time. I don’t travel many roads for which the town of Windham is responsible for snow removal, but I do sense an improvement. Having stated that, please remember that I have absolutely no reason to speed, which makes those roads just fine as far as I am concerned. Better late than never.

Lane Hiltunen of Windham wishes all had a Merry Christmas along with having an even better new year.