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Joan Knows: A fortunate time for recognition

Greetings from Pine View! Arrived here by way of Cadence Delnor and whatever corporate names apply. It’s me, No. 321, as I was always addressed.

No need for concern, no scary or painful things happening – just time for a good tune-up! Nevertheless, the welcoming hugs and smiles of recognition have been a swell tonic already. I’m tense about not finding “Law and Order” on my TV but otherwise this is the second best place to be.

Best place, of course, is Camp Randall Stadium with a Badger football game victory assured.

A warm welcome is one of those double-edge, tricky to translate moments. It’s good news you are back yet it’s bad news you need to be here. 

Similarly, when acing the cognition questionnaire (how far gone is your brain?) I sometimes stumble, excusing to myself that I wasn’t paying attention because it is boring. So, how do you say to the deadly serious recorder that I tend to remember interesting things like the dialogue from every “Law and Order” rerun or the guy who shot a two-pointer from the wrong end of the court?

I’m also in clover calendar-wise. It was Teacher Appreciation Day just a few days ago. Funny, no card or flowers, but I do have a sense of lingering gratitude for those recipients of term paper due date extensions or overlooking the athletes who came to class before showering and in pajamas and were not subject to direct criticism.

Hope all of you were gracious in showing your appreciation to the many fine teachers in your community. For those with a not-so-fine teacher, know that the term is nearly over and look ahead.

Mother’s Day presents some hopeful options since there are two generations that  must surely acknowledge the biological link even if not totally appreciative of the cool educational toys; the rides to somewhere; and the highlighting of their own special days – birthdays and every other day something is needed.

As I gaze at the wall here at PV, I note an activity calendar proclaims that May is Older Americans Month. Congratulations to all of us and particularly my Class of ’56 buddies who all look just as young as I do.

Here’s a few tips if you wish to do good things for Older Americans:

Do no stare at the wheelchair or other appliances. If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. If you are thinking ahead to your own inevitable infirmity – get a catalog. We elders almost always have a tender spot in the heart and a sharp tongue, so approach accordingly.

Finally, hats off to Nurse’s Week. Just now, the loud speaker (aptly named) just invited all the staff nurses to a room to celebrate the occasion with a piece of cake. I felt left out probably since I have been officially a nurse since 1959 but, then, I am clearly in the recipient category now.

Another set of tips:  Appreciate your caregiver for all the add-on things while addressing your health. Hail to those who listen to your “war stories,” and apologize for all of the system failures out of his or her control. A high five to any who actually call you by your given name. Don’t try to hug your nurse, however, they all have to wear gloves before touching you.

Finally, if these recognition days don’t work out for me this time, I am prepared to petition for a National Fat Lady Day. Perhaps, time it near Independence Day when all the good things are in season – sweetcorn, brats, potato salad and America’s own apple pie!


• Joan Arteberry is a longtime resident of St. Charles. Her columns are featured in the Kane County Chronicle’s Neighbors section every other Friday. Write to her at

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