It is springtime but April can be the cruelest month. Many states are still locked into winter. In our area, the middle tier, a gorgeous April day may be followed by a brief final fling of winter’s last gasp. My daffodils are bravely blooming surviving icy winds clad in snowy blankets. Of necessity I write my columns about a week before publication. A card arrived from Wyoming family visiting in Victoria, B.C., to escape winter’s chill. “Everything is in bloom here. Bloom time in Wyoming is not for another 6-8 weeks." I surely hope Kansas beats that by at least four weeks! This has been a cruel winter.
A heartfelt thank you to many who have made my life easier by lending a much-needed hand. State Sen. Tom Holland and Mary Lou, his pleasant assistant, have certainly made my life easier. Once again Tom helped me and restored my driver’s license, which had been arbitrarily canceled. Why? (Great question.) I have macular degeneration, which has been under control for more than 40 years. After diagnosis my daughter, Holly, in Wyoming went online. Harvard Medical School recommended daily doses of lutein. It appeared in autopsies those with macular degeneration had a lack of lutein in their eyes. I immediately began daily doses: years before this was publicized. For years, in July, I have seen an eye specialist. Every year in July, I have an appointment. Every year the “powers that be” in Kansas will not accept a July eye exam. My birthday is in February. I am often secluded for weeks by snow, ice or mud - whatever! Although my eye exam is valid until July 2014 and driver’s license valid until 2016, I received a letter revoking my license. The notice came two days AFTER my license was canceled. What to do!
I called our ever-helpful Sen. Tom Holland’s office. Voila! I could get my valid license reinstated IF I passed another eye exam first. Tom’s office suggested I be on the safe side and ask someone to drive me to my longtime doctor in Lawrence. (The Senior Bus would not negotiate my hill even in summer to take my husband to the Senior Center in Lawrence. He had Alzheimer's and was living at home. I did not blame them.) I drove into Lawrence CAREFULLY. (I have never received a ticket. One should not tempt fate by saying this!) I wished they would arrest me! Perhaps I could alleviate this yearly harassment of the elderly. Is that illegal? March 2014, I passed the eye exam AGAIN although the eye doctor at Walmart told me my previous exam and glasses were good until July 2014. I have a new appointment in July 2014. The driver’s bureau says I must also have another within six weeks of my birthday February 2015, although my glasses and eyes will be good until July 20l5. I think Medicare only pays for one eye exam a year. Each year I must have 2 exams: July and February. If my birthday were in July, Medicare would pay.
I have thought of moving to Wyoming to live with a daughter. I legally moved there long ago because of this harassment of the elderly by the state of Kansas. Finally I moved back to Kansas. I missed my life in Baldwin — the greatest town for helpful, friendly people in the USA. I have a T-shirt bought at Gregg’s City Market that testifies to this. Along with the help given to me by Sen. Tom Holland, the district attorney, wonderful friends, two helpful libraries, Baker University and Baldwin City, and my longtime association with Baldwin City newspapers. I do not want to uproot myself at age 94! I guess I shall continue to pay for two eye exams and put up with Kansas harassment of the elderly! See you on down the road! I hope!