Christmas cards are arriving and what a treat it is to hear from friends and family one doesn't keep in close contact with. Seems like there are fewer cards than in other years. In these days of cell phones, voice mail, e-mail, computer greeting cards and text messaging, real letters are becoming a thing of the past. There's something so special about a "real" piece of mail in the mailbox along with bills and solicitations for credit cards.
I remember back in our younger days, mailmen would make two or three deliveries a day during the Christmas season. And, right to the house, too -- no banks of mailboxes in those days.
And just think how telephones have changed over the years. I was probably six or seven when we first got one. It was on a party line with several other neighbors. Do you recall listening for the ring to determine who was receiving the call? Two long and a short were for Jones down the street; three long was Smiths, and so on. Before you made a call, you picked up the receiver to make sure the line was clear. If someone was on the line, you had to wait until they finished before you could place your call. "Listening in" to others' conversations was a common, though not condoned, practice. There was one phone to a household, not one in every room, or every purse or pocket, like there is now.
We don't own a cell phone, but we do have a mid-'30s wooden wall Bell telephone, which still works, in our kitchen.
There are lots of closures these next two weeks in observance of the holidays. The Senior Circle, 215 N. Beeline Highway, will be closed from Dec. 23 until Jan. 5, 2006. The Pine/Strawberry Senior Center on Highway 87 in Pine will close Dec. 24 through Jan. 2, 2006. Payson Senior Center will not be open Dec. 26 and 31 and Jan. 2. The Payson Public Library, 328 N. McLane, will be closed Dec. 24 through Dec. 26, and Dec. 31 through Jan. 2.
Did you know that the Pinal-Gila Council for Senior Citizens offers a wide variety of community and in-home services for seniors? The programs are offered directly or through a network of provider agencies. Among the services are case management, where clients are visited in their homes and assessed for home care eligibility; home care or home health/personal care, which provides in-home support needed to remain at home or intermittent health maintenance; home nursing; housekeeping and respite, short-term care and supervision to relieve client's usual caregiver. Also available are legal assistance and advocacy; home repair; Medicare/Medigap information and referral and more. To learn more about any of the above, call PGCSC's Central Intake, Screening and Referral line at (800) 293-9393 or inquire at the Payson Senior Center, (928) 474-4876.
Another local organization providing supportive services to low-income or homebound seniors is Elderbuilders. To learn more about how they can be of assistance, call Jeannie Filson at (928) 468-0546.
Warm wishes for a blessed and joyous holiday season to all my friends and readers.