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November 14, 2013

Full tilt running can overwhelm

Cooperstown Crier

---- — We are running full tilt into that time of year when the opportunities for any number of activities become somewhat overwhelming. As we plow through the listing of upcoming events, we always wonder if it would be humanly possible to take in everything. We suspect, although we have never taken the time to confirm our thinking, that if one didn’t run out of energy, one would probably encounter any number of scheduling conflicts. Nonetheless we always enjoy reading about what we could do if we were so inclined.

We have been asked to note two such activities which are on deck for next week. On Friday, Nov. 22, 2014 from 4:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., there will be a Brooks Barbeque Chicken Dinner and Pie Sale at Christ Episcopal Church to benefit the church’s Global Mission Outreach. The dinner will be held in the Parish House, located at 69 Fair St., Cooperstown and will feature Brooks chicken as well as coleslaw, baked potato, baked beans, roll, dessert and beverage. The cost for the meal is $10.00. Take-out meals will also be available. For more information about the dinner, please contact the church office at 607-547-9555.

And on Saturday Nov. 23 from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. the First Presbyterian Church in Cooperstown will hold a Harvest Festival Bazaar. The bazaar will feature a number of handmade items including baby quilts, wall hanging, table toppers and placemats as well as a selection of Christmas items. It will be a great opportunity to buy some special gifts for Christmas giving. The sale will be held in the church’s Congregational Lounge which is located behind the Presbyterian Church House on Church Street.

In the midst of all the upcoming holiday activity, we also note that this is also the time frame for the annual Medicare Open Enrollment period which will end on Dec. 7. This is the opportunity for those seniors on Medicare to assess their supplemental Medicare insurance and Medicare Part D Prescription insurance. It is also the time for those with Medicare Advantage to take a look at those programs. Each year the plans and costs, as well as the prescriptions covered, may change. And it is important to make certain that insurance coverage for 2014 will meet one’s needs. Those seniors whose insurance is covered with retiree or other such plans will not need to do anything unless those plans are being changed for 2014.

We must say that we are not particularly keen on having to deal with all of this each year. In fact, we had hoped that what we had chosen for 2013 would also serve us well in 2014. However, we have decided that is not the case and so are going to try a different approach to our coverage in 2014. We are ever hopeful that it will work out well for us. And if it doesn’t, there will be yet another open enrollment plan in 2014. How can we wait?

We would like to note that for anyone who would like help with this seemingly complicated issue, help is available. In fact, if we understand what we read in the newspaper, there is a meeting this afternoon, Thursday, Nov. 14, at 4:30 p.m. to learn more about all of this. The Otsego County Office for the Aging, in conjunction with Bassett Healthcare, is sponsoring an informational meeting at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at the Clark Auditorium in the Fieldstone Building of Bassett Healthcare at 1 Atwell Road in Cooperstown.

A representative from Statewide Senior Action council, state EPIC and others will provide an overview of what people need to know and will be available to answer questions. Anyone unable to attend the meeting can also call the Office for the Aging at 547-4232 for help making decision regarding health care insurance needs.

And finally, even with the arrival of our second grandchild we are quite certain that we will not find ourselves in the position of having to change our answering machine message to something akin to a sample message for grandparent answering machines we discovered in our inbox this past week. However, since we did get a kick out of it, we pass it on for what it is worth.

“Good morning . . . At present we are not at home, but please leave your message after you hear the beep.

If you are one of our children, dial 1 and then select the option from 1 to 5 in order of “birth date” so we know who it is.

If you need us to stay with the children, press 2.

If you want to borrow the car, press 3.

If you want us to wash your clothes and do ironing, press 4.

If you want the grandchildren to sleep here tonight, press 5.

If you want us to pick up the kids at school, press 6.

If you want us to prepare a meal for Sunday or to have it delivered to your home, press 7.

If you want to come to eat here, press 8.

If you need money, press 9.

If you are going to invite us to dinner or take us to the theatre; start talking .... we are listening!”

PLEASE NOTE: Comments regarding this column may be made by mail at 105 Pioneer Street, Cooperstown, NY 13326, by telephone at 607-547-8124 or by e-mail at