Tag Archives: senior citizen

I Was A Homeless Person

…for three days in 1990!

Today (September 28th, 2016) is the 26th anniversary of my official residency as a Floridian.  Three days before, on September 25th, 1990, I gave up my citizenship as a legal resident of the State of New York, as I signed on the dotted line to sell my house.

It was a big, new adventure; one which held an unknown future for my then husband, Dan, myself and his Mom.  That’s what I called it, as we drove into Delaware on US I-95.  “A new adventure,” I announced to Mom.  I felt excited and positive.  Little did I know, as we settled into our first motel stay and I got my first mosquito bites which were of major proportions, what was in store for our future.

We were a caravan of two cars and were “attached” by a CB system that Dan rigged up.  It was very basic, but served the purpose in notifying when we intended to stop at a service area.  Dan led the way in his car.

I followed, with Mom in my back seat.  She was 86, full of trepidation; full of trepidation, because we couldn’t leave her in Long Beach.  She had no one there on whom she could depend if she needed help.  Friends had moved away to be near their kids, or died.  Nothing was left there for her.  She really didn’t want to leave, but there was no other choice.

Mom was very comfortable what with pillows and blanket to insure her comfort. She was of small stature and she fit right in on the bench seat of my 1986 Ford Granada – turbo engine, of course.  Ha ha.

We were making very good time.  I had arranged for motel stops and the next one was located in Georgia.  When we got there, it was only  3:00pm, and we decided that it was too early and had the manager call ahead to another one in St. Augustine, Florida.

We lost all the time we made before that motel stop in Georgia.  We got caught up in the Jacksonville rush hour traffic.  What a bummer!

Mom was very tired after the two days’ travel, so she just wanted to rest when we arrived in St. Augustine.  We decided that we would bring her back some food, which we did after enjoying our supper in a casual restaurant.


We had visited that city previously, some years before, and found ourselves wandering about, and visited some of our favorite places.  It is such a quaint, old city, and it was a pleasure to stretch our legs and feet over cobble stones!

After an exhausted sleep in St. Augustine, and after five more hours of driving, we finally arrived at our first destination at Forest Trace in Broward county.  It had opened only a year before; it was beautiful (we had visited it a couple of months earlier).  Mom was settled in at her apartment:  she was warmly welcomed by the staff, and made to feel at ease.  Her rented furniture was in place, so she was able to rest after the long trip.


At the same time we had made arrangements for Mom’s apartment, we made arrangements for an apartment in a nearby apartment complex for ourselves.  Our rented furniture had been delivered in our apartment, overseen by the complex office manager.

All our furniture and Mom’s were sold in New York.  This was really a new start for us all!

It was an odd feeling I had, knowing I didn’t have a place where I could call “home.”  I had a destination, but those three days had me feeling “displaced.”  And, in another way, it was a free feeling because during those days, I had no responsibilities.  No tethers.  It was peculiar, but, yes, exciting.

Everything went smoothly.  That was a good feeling.  The next day, we went to the court house, and signed a “Declaration of Domicile.”  We were no longer HOMELESS!

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Rest In Peace, Mr. Fix-It

rest in peace

Today, I was unfortunate to attend a funeral for a very dear man.  Marty was our neighbor and loved by everyone in our community.  A great loss, for sure.  He lived to serve.

Marty was happiest when helping others.  He was our talented handyman, and when anyone in our community needed assistance with a door or a window or a lock or anything around the house, Marty was your man.  I believe there isn’t a person living here who didn’t receive Marty’s help with something.

Personally speaking, Marty assisted me by re-routing an outside pipe leading from the hose connection to a hose reel; climbing a ladder in the garage to install a new heavy battery for the garage door opener; changed the batteries in the smoke detector alarms; and convinced me and many of my neighbors to get a carbon monoxide detector.  He was so happy to install them all.

We have a community newspaper here where I live, and Marty submitted a new article for every issue.  The subject was usually how to help ourselves to be safe in our homes and in the community.  We learned a great deal from his expertise.

Marty was also our amateur magician.  He loved to perform in our clubhouse; usually before some event, just to “get things started.”  He always made us laugh with his hi-jinx, costumes, props, and comical imitations.  It’s very possible he got some of his tricks from the following book:


Whether you needed a little encouragement if you were feeling down, or not, Marty always had a great short story or one-liner that was guaranteed to at least make you smile.

The chapel held seats for 160 people; however, when the services began, it was SRO.  Several people from our community stood up and spoke about how Marty’s caring affected them.  One person mentioned that people in show business and sports were highly regarded and when performing, people in the audience and in the sports stadiums stood and applauded.  Well, he suggested we should all stand and applaud Marty as a way of showing our admiration and love for him, as we say “goodbye” to him one final time.  It was as if this was rehearsed, because everyone stood up as one rippling wave, and we very gladly put our hands together and sent Marty on his way to a beautiful, peaceful place, riding on that wave.

Advocating For M.E: Letter to President Obama

The "invisible illness"

The “invisible illness”

I am mailing my 8th letter to President Obama tomorrow.   I approach the content of my letters according to my thoughts and feelings of the day, and sometimes I get inspiration from something I read.  This is one of those times.  I refer to a blog I follow:  ME||WELLINGTON REGION ME/CFS SUPPORT GROUP INC.  Located in the UK.

July 2, 2014

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington DC 20500

Re: M.E. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) and The Department of Health & Human Services and NIH

Dear Mr. President;

This year is flying by. When you’re my age, time seems to go so much faster. As a senior citizen, I’ve had many life experiences – some good, some not so good. But, that’s life. If we can’t make adjustments to life situations as they occur, and make the necessary changes in our lives needed to continue on life’s path, we are in trouble.

Following that line of thought, change is necessary within the Dept. of Health and Human Services. Very necessary change. I’m referring, of course, to the lack of sufficient funds for research and the extremely slow-moving progression of recognition of a diagnostic criteria for the “invisible” chronic illness from which my daughter suffers. It is Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, (M.E.)  This disease is commonly referred to as CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), a misnomer. It is much more than fatigue. We, patients and advocates, are trying to delete CFS from “chronic” usage. Pun intended.

I am a blogger on WordPress, where I write posts about my life experiences and also about advocating for M.E. One of the blogs I follow included, in a recent post, a very definitive description of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. This is reality:

Imagine if…one day you got a flu or a stomach bug…but it never went away; instead, it got worse…the flu-like state would be with you every day, and there would be pain, in muscles, joints, arms, back, legs, face…and this pain would sometimes be unbearable, so that you couldn’t move or stand up…then there would be nausea and headaches…and you would get repeated infections, anywhere and everywhere in your body…and dizziness and vertigo…and muscle weakness; sometimes you would be so weak that you couldn’t hold a cup to your mouth or lift your arms or turn your head…then you would get extreme sensitivity to light, noise, smell; they would make you sick…you couldn’t bear anyone to touch you; this would cause searing pain…then there would be times when your short-term memory didn’t work and you couldn’t remember words or articulate them…your brain would be so fogged over… on top of all this, you couldn’t sleep…and this would drastically limit your life and it could go on for months, years, decades or even for the rest of your life…”

Mr. President, welcome to the life and world of a sufferer of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis!  Would you believe that more than 3 times as much funding for research was allocated to studies of male pattern baldness than for M.E.?  True.

Please take this plea seriously. This “invisible” disease is serious, and is affecting more young people right now!

Very Sincerely,


Carol Carlson