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In These Otsego Hills

September 20, 2012

Home again ...

-- — We have, for the second time this year, returned from a trip to the Midwest where we visited the Ohio Ellsworths, Christopher, Annie and Abby a.k.a. The Widge, and one of the Michigan Great Lakes, namely our sister Ellen.  And while we greatly enjoyed our time there, we are indeed most happy to escape from two states that are currently riddled with an unbelievable number of political ads. We were stunned. But we discovered that there was so much going on in both places to occupy our time, that we fortunately had little time for the television.

We were delighted to discover that our 2½- year-old granddaughter, Abby, has taken on, for the most part, the daily task of feeding the two family dogs, Barnaby and Bella. She also has an instrumental role as spotter when it comes to picking up the resulting dog poop. One night after dinner she pleaded to go out to undertake that somewhat onerous task. As she went out the door, she told us, much to our horror, “Last time I stepped in a pile of it.” It quite made us wonder about her spotting abilities.

During our stay, she introduced us to one of her new dolls, namely Elmo, confiding to us that, “He is my sister.” She also had a new Dora the Explorer doll, which, we are happy to report, we recognized the minute we saw it.  However, we gather that doll is not related to The Widge. At least she didn’t say it was.

We were also quite amused when every time we went somewhere, The Widge would ask, “Daddy, can I drive?” Needless to say the answer was always no. As a result we always arrived safely at our destinations, which included a trip to the orchard to pick apples. We had not picked apples in years and quite enjoyed the outing although we discovered the the Red Rocket is in no way an all terrain vehicle.

When we mentioned this fact to a friend in an email, we received the following reply: “The only thing apple picking and the RR have in common is the color red! Please shift your brain back into drive and remember you are not to go four wheeling in apple orchards.” It was no doubt good advice, although we hasten to point out that some of the apples we procured were yellow delicious.

There were two other items of interest we encountered when we were in Ohio. The first revolved around a new movie, “Liberal Arts,” which was filmed in the summer of 2011 at Kenyon College. Josh Radner, a Kenyon graduate who appears in the television show, “How I Met Your Mother,” wrote, directed and starred in the movie. The movie also features, we understand, Annie’s car in one scene and Christopher, if one knows when and where to look and one doesn’t blink, in another scene. The movie has been reviewed in Entertainment Weekly, receiving a grade of A-, noting the movie is “...the wittiest, most perceptive campus comedy in years.” Unfortuantely, we doubt it is coming to a theater near here anytime soon.

The second item of interest was our acquiring a new book, “What Happened to Joan?” written by retired Kenyon history professor, Reed Browning. This is Reed’s second mystery. His first book, “Trinity,” only appeared in digital form, which we received chapter by chapter via email. Unfortunately, we found we could not bring ourselves to read it on the computer and thus did not read until we were able to finally load it onto our iPad earlier this year.  And we have to say, we loved “Trinity,” sharing our reaction to the book in an email to Reed.

As a result of that email, Reed asked us if we would consider allowing him to use our thoughts about Trinity on the back of his second book. We said yes and can now report that, as Christopher points our, we are a full fledged blurbist. On the backcover of “What Happened to Joan?” it says: “...have just finished reading ‘Trinity’ and absolutely loved it...a great read.” --- Catherine Lake Ellsworth, columnist, Cooperstown Crier. Needless to say, we are basking in our 15 seconds of fame.

We are also busily reading, and greatly enjoying, “What Happened to Joan?”  Once again, we are unable to figure out where the book is going and what the solution to the mystery might be. We think it too is a great read.

Books may be ordered from Reed Browning, 219 Kendal Drive, Granville, OH 43023. Please include your name and address, along with a check made out to Reed Browning for $17.50. It should be noted, however, that since we have deemed the book most appropriate for Christmas giving, we will be placing an order for more books in the near future and would be happy to order additional copies should anyone wish one. Plus, we would also be glad to e-mail the digital copy of “Trinity” to anyone who might like to read that book.

Please let us know if we can be of help in procuring either of these most enjoyable books.

And finally, now that we are back in Cooperstown, we realize there are a number of things which require our attention, like paying the ever dreaded school taxes and even worse, figuring out the maze of Medicare. The taxes, although painful, were relatively easy as we have written checks for years.  But we find Medicare to be somewhat more problematic. And even though we have an appointment at the Office of the Aging to meet with Dave Polley to discuss the Medicare issue, we also plan to attend the meeting, referred to by Mr. Polley as the annual Health Benefit Check-up, which will be held on Monday, Oct. 1 at 5:30 p.m. in the Clark Auditorium at the Bassett Medical Center here in Cooperstown.

We attended this meeting last year in anticipation of joining the Medicare system this year. And we have to say we were stunned at how complex that system seems to be. There are umpteen plans for supplemental insurance as well as a seemingly unbelievable number of Part D Prescription Coverage plans. They all present different coverage, which, unfortunately, can change from year to year making it necessary to do an annual review of coverage to make certain they are the best plans available for one’s needs.

We fear confusing does not cover it.

Therefore, if you are one of those about to become part of the Medicare system, or one of those who has been in it for a number of years, we would encourage you to attend this meeting to learn more about what has changed from last year and what options are available going forward.

PLEASE NOTE: Comments regarding this column may be made by mail at 105 Pioneer St. Cooperstown, N.Y. 13326, by telephone at 547-8124 or by email at

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In These Otsego Hills
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