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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Harmony Happenings

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Congratulations to Brad Pell for making a hole-in-one at the golf course. He took a lot of ribbing about his surprise accomplishment. Hey, Brad how long did you look for the golf ball before you figured out where it was? Are you sure that was really your ball? Brad shrugged it all off and just kept smiling.

Brad and wife Barbara had celebrated a first birthday with granddaughter Clara the previous week.

We had a really good Worship Service last Sunday at Harmony United Methodist. Pastor Bob Kumpf gave a sermon entitled, "Come Into the Light." Some folks think Christians are just there to make fun of the non-Christians. Pastor reminded us that the Bible does not condemn. The only time Christ was really angry was when the money lenders were using God's house for their own purposes. Jesus reached out to those who were in dark despair and drew them into His light.

Pastor Bob reminded us that our mission was to be lights in the world, to help guide and draw people into the life that God offers. He told us to live the life rather than judging how others live. You could really feel it in the church this past Sunday morning.

Susie Pell had picked wonderful songs to go with the sermon. We did choruses of "Hallelujah," "Heavenly Sunlight," and "I Saw the Light." Leader Dave Shorter had started us out with a round of hand shaking and hugs. The sun was shining. The friendships were warm. It was a good day to be in God's house.

Sheila Termeer and her mom, Mayme Cox, have had all kinds of family happenings in the last few weeks. Sheila's son Jason married Jennifer Martin. They were busy with wedding plans. Congrats to the couple.

Mayme's granddaughter, Mike Johnson's daughter, gave birth to a bouncing baby girl in New York. Mom and baby are doing fine. Proud Great-Grandmother Mayme always enjoys getting the pictures. They had visited on their recent trip to the Big Apple. Although she was seven months pregnant at the time, Mayme's granddaughter gave them the big city tour. Welcome to little Amina Fideli.

Mayme had been busy waiting on her husband, Jim Cox, for the last couple of weeks, too. Jim had done his Evel Knevel impersonation with his riding mower. It did not go well. Seriously, we are all glad he is recovered now and can get back to driving. He and Mayme have resumed their workouts at the YMCA and enjoying life.

Suzanne Neier told us Sunday that she had enjoyed celebrating her niece's birthday. She shared her joy in having such a wonderful family. I can certainly understand that because I have wonderful relatives, too. They are such a blessing.

Harmony United Methodist Women will meet Monday, Aug. 24 in Fellowship Hall. Kenda Dierdorf will prepare the lesson and Rose Marie Pell will serve as hostess. All ladies of the church, or any other church in the cluster, are welcome to attend.

The HUMC Women will have a Pot-Latch (pitch-in) at my house for the Sept. 28 meeting. We will think about our Native American sisters and their children. Our plan is to be kind to the earth that day and to remember our family, spiritual, and cultural traditions. In order to stay with the theme, we will try to use no paper or plastic at our picnic. Mark your calendars for Sept. 28.

Soapbox: I am tired of hearing all the arguments about Healthcare. We know we need a program for people who have no way to get insurance. We know that it will cost us no matter how we go about it. It is costing us a fortune now because those of us with insurance have to shoulder the bills. If we keep slopping around debating every little nit picky thing, nothing gets accomplished.

The false statements about death panels and losing our current plans just wears me out. I have good insurance and count myself fortunate but many people don't. Insurance and medical care have gotten out of sight. My good insurance costs me more every year because of those who have none and some other factors. I wish we had some kind of co-op we could all get into that helped everyone, made enough money to keep going, and provided needed services. Maybe the government can provide that.

Credit Unions have survived and flourished even while banks are making a fortune. Some banks have had to sweeten the deals or lower interest rates because Credit Unions offered a better package. Fed Ex and UPS have made the Postal Service work twice as hard to keep afloat. Competition can be a good thing. Postage stamps have gone up but shipping a package with the U.S. has gotten pretty good in order to compete.

A public healthcare system could make insurance and medical care facilities have to face some competition. The Mayo Health System does not give you just one doctor, it gives you a whole team to analyze your problem. Those doctors are not cheap labor even though they are in a system. You choose the system, not the doctor. It is pricey but not as pricey as all the mess we have now. What if we had the equivalent of a Mayo Health Clinic in every state?

Those of us in a small town need our individual doctors for regular maintenance but it would be good to be able to have access to a big system, within driving distance, when needed. Now we have to go to one doctor for heart, another for colon health, another for female/male problems, another treats our skin. With all that, we still need a general practitioner. Let's keep the G.P.'s and put all the specialists, that want to go, into a pool at a large facility. Many of them would like to dispose of all the office and insurance mess that have to deal with now and just treat patients. Maybe a National Healthcare System could help that.

As we get older, we have doctor check-ups in Brazil, Terre Haute, and some go to Indianapolis. Wouldn't it be nice to just go in for an overhaul at one place and get it all done in a day or two. You'd be good for the year unless something cropped up.

It would be nice to deal with one insurance co-pay instead of arguing with them over 15 different procedures by 5 different doctors. Even good companies are trying to figure out a way not to pay for whatever you have done.

The current government proposals won't take away my good insurance but it would provide a net if something happens to that insurance. Facing Medicare in a few years, a net sounds good.

I heard on the radio the other day that the "death panels" were nothing more than a program like grief counseling. They were not to decide whom to pull the plug on but to help advise people who were terminally ill. Sometimes it is hard to talk to family. Some doctors had asked for a program to help people deal with these situations. Currently, that is not covered with many insurance programs.

When my father was very ill, the medical facility kept doing tests, sticking and prodding him. There were tubes running in and tubes running out. No one explained what all this was doing.

I usually missed seeing the doctor because I was teaching during the day and drove from Southern Indiana to Indianapolis on weekends. Finally, in one phone conversation with the doctor, I just asked pointblank, "Is any of this helping my dad to get better?" The doctor was surprised by my question. He assumed I knew my dad was dying. No one had bothered to have that conversation with me.

Having medical professionals to talk with families and/or with the ill patient does not mean they are saying to pull the plug. It is helping the patient and the family to be prepared for what is to come. No, it isn't pleasant but it should be done. Now, the only folks helping are the Hospice groups. They do such good services but not all families have that when they need it.

It just makes me mad when people misrepresent what legislation is supposed to do. We need explanations, not lies. Some political and business groups want to kill any plan for their own benefit and use any untruth to get their way. Is any plan perfect? No. But let's let the people try to work out something that benefits the most people.

Public education is far from perfect but almost every living soul in this country can read. Before government mandated education, most of us would have signed with an X. Neither should government have a monopoly on healthcare because they need the competition from insurance and independent medical professionals to keep them honest.

Americans need some relief from insurance, pharmacy, and medical bills that can totally steal their way of life. One serious illness can destroy a family. Reaching Medicare age can move someone from middle class to lower class pretty quickly. Needing one expensive medication can cause a person to loose their home. Access to medical care should be a right for everyone.