On the way home from NOT GETTING my new lenses from the optometrist I spotted movement in a tree top. It’s a good thing I had my glasses in my pocket because, had I been wearing them, I wouldn’t have seen the tree, let alone the hawk in the top of the tree. More on this later.
I’m just about certain this is a Red-Tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) which is a common variety around these parts. Thanks to C.S. Miller for correctly identifying another member of this species I managed to capture, poorly, for my Grahams Forge Road post.
Isn’t that a gorgeous bird?
I was lucky to catch him highlighted by the late afternoon sun. If he had been a little lower in that tree the shadow of the ridge just across the road probably would have hidden him from view.
A little more movement under another tree a few dozen yards east of that one and I knew what had the hawk’s attention.
A flock of Wild Turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) was holed up under that tree and they weren’t going anywhere as long as that raptor was perched nearby. A wild turkey is a sizeable bird, at least as big if not bigger than a red tailed hawk. I don’t know if a hawk would even tangle with a bird that size but these girls (they were all hens) weren’t about to press their luck!
Now, for the situation with the spectacles. I’ve needed new glasses for at least 2 years but, between Frankie’s salary and my meager Social Security pension there were other budget items we deemed more important…..food, prescription medications, utilities to name a few.
Lately my vision has deteriorated to the point where new glasses had become a necessity. Putting it off any longer would result in a spike in my car insurance rates because it has been getting difficult to distinguish between the idiots who actually need running over and the idiots who are just too slow to get out of my way.
I went in for an eye exam in November. After trotting out every fancy machine in the building and trying them out on me the doc gave me that look that said “You’re not driving with these on, are you?”
Then she sent me to her partners in crime on the other side of her office, the optical shop, to discuss lens and frame options. To be fair, I have been advised on several other occasions that I may be at risk fro glaucoma and a couple of the specialize tests are to keep an eye on the thinning of a portion of my inner eye.
As a matter of fact, one of her former associates had originally told me I had “stage 1 glaucoma”. By the time I was examined by an ophthalmologist and told that diagnosis was “a little premature” the aforementioned associate had moved on to practice elsewhere thus explaining why I didn’t need a cast for my hand which I fully intended to break on his face. But I digress…….
The optical shop people cheerfully flipped through my chart, went into the back room “to consult” (I know I heard them singing “We’re In the Money!”) and eventually came back out to where I was sitting.
Optical person: “Your vision insurance will pay up to $200 for new lenses and frames!”
Me: “Can’t you just put new lenses in my frames?”
Optical person: “Well, yes…..if you want to keep those frames.”
Me: “What’s wrong with these frames? I bought them here!”
Optical person: “Oh nothing…….I guess.”
Me: “How much for just the lenses?”
Optical person: “Well, progressive lenses with scratch coating, anti-glare coating, kryptonite meteorite resistant coating, ……..”
Me: “How much?”
Optical person: ”Mrs. Allen, your husband did leave his gun at home this time, didn’t he? We don’t want to have to call the police again.”
THE BOSS: “Well, he doesn’t have one on him but I don’t know if he has any out in the truck.”
Me: “I’m not getting down off of this desk until you tell me how much!”
Optical person: “Well, with all of those features and the portion of your exam that isn’t covered by your insurance………….$588.00”
Me: “588.00!!!!! Lady you better call 911 and tell them to send every ambulance within 100 miles because a whole bunch of us are gonna need a ride to the Emergency Room!”
Today, after scrimping and saving and making payments since November, we were finally able to pay off the balance due thanks to our state income tax refund. I was all excited and couldn’t wait for Frankie to get off work so we could go pick up my new lenses and I would once again be able to read a book, or text on TV, or road signs!
We paid off the balance at one desk, were sent around to the optical shop, handed over our receipt and, after disappearing into the back (I swear I heard people singing “We Gotta Get Out of This Place”) the optical person came back out and timidly said:
“I’m sorry Mr. Allen but we weren’t sure you still wanted those lenses so we sent them back to the lab last week. I can call and get them here in a couple of days if you still want them.
“IF I STILL WANT THEM???? WE’VE BEEN FUNNELING EVERY SPARE NICKLE AND DIME INTO PAYING FOR THOSE THINGS FOR 4 MONTHS AND YOU WANT TO KNOW IF I STILL WANT THEM? LADY YOU BETTER CALL 911 AND TELL THEM I’M HERE AND WHAT YOU JUST TOLD ME!”
I must be getting more mellow as I age because I let Frankie lure me out of there before the police arrived. She promised to take me to McDonald’s. We haven’t been able to afford THAT for the past 4 months because we were paying on my glasses. Besides, she said if I got arrested I’d probably be in jail for years before she could save up enough to bail me out!
My new lenses are supposed to be ready for pick up by the time Frankie goes in for her eye exam, Wednesday. I’m going down to the courthouse Tuesday night and stealing that 105MM howitzer sitting out front…….just in case!