Shopping for a used cellphone

Most Americans trade in their cellphones every two to three years, according to Statista. My Moto E4 is five years old this month. It runs on outdated Android 7.1 and holds a charge for only a few hours. A new phone is warranted. I imagine that many people are fine with buying locked phones usable... Read more »

Hard to give it away

Do you think it’s hard to declutter? Wait until you try to find places to take unwanted china and furniture. The apartment from which my mother moved had a sleeper sofa, a wing chair, matching end and coffee tables, a pullout dining table, a recliner, a china cabinet, a dinette table and four chairs, and... Read more »

Observing rapid aging, and it's not pretty

The last few months have been a scary vision of the ravages of aging. Until my mother declined precipitously after a fall in August, I didn’t perceive her as feeble and infirm. Other than using a walker, she did not seem 94. She was always fastidiously groomed, wore a wig, and was known as a... Read more »

Mom’s upcoming move to a nursing home

Is there anything an elderly person dreads more than going into a nursing home? Is there anything that makes a son or a daughter feel worse than placing an elderly parent in a nursing home? My mother will be moved into nursing care at Our Lady of Angels in Joliet next week. She needs more... Read more »

Thoughts of the season

Note: I had already composed this post when we received word that my mother’s needs are greater than her assisted living home can handle, so she must move to a nursing home. My sister and brother are negotiating with the assisted living home to let her stay through Christmas so that we can observe Christmas... Read more »

Major museums aren’t the only game in town

Before this year I hadn’t gone to galleries much, thinking them showcases of contemporary art I wouldn’t appreciate and places rich people go to buy art. This year my friend JoAnn invited me to join her on two gallery walks and at the 21c Hotel Museum in her River North neighborhood and at Gallery 400... Read more »

The working class and higher education

This is a tale about class differences and higher education. My sister’s daughters are both business majors. The older one, 23, a finance major, just began her career at a major corporation. The younger, 22, will graduate next spring with a combined BS/MS in data analytics and go to work for a major consulting company. ... Read more »

Neighborliness in a high-rise

Recently I got on my building’s elevator with a man who pushed 9. I remarked that we live on the same floor and asked when he’d moved in. He’s been here more than two years! Why had we never met before — at the elevator, the trash room, the mailboxes? In my former 13-unit building,... Read more »

With gift-giving reduced, what to do with gift box contents?

Some friends and I have stopped giving gifts for Christmas and birthdays. It make sense: we say we want to purge possessions. It leaves me with a dilemma, however: what to do with the potential presents collected over the years.  A large box holds things from my own shopping, regiftables, and never-used purchases of my... Read more »

Time for annual review of Medicare choices

It may be inconsistent for a liberal who supports a government-funded healthcare plan to opt for a private company’s Medicare Advantage plan, but it goes to show that personal interest wins out. Medicare Advantage saves me hundreds of dollars a year. Medicare Open Enrollment for 2022 continues until December 7. After reviewing my options, I’ll... Read more »