Issue 2.31 – The Haves and Have-Nots

Hazel was sitting in the front lobby watching the daycare children hang their construction paper jack-o-lantern decorations on the walls of the entrance area. The children took such pride in decorating for various holidays, smiling with great big grins as residents would stop and comment on what a good job they had done on their crafts.

As Hazel watched the children finish up, she noticed a group of ladies from the Manor get out of a van with bags and yoga mats. Hazel recognized them from the morning yoga class she was taking before it was cancelled. They were busy chatting away as they entered the building. Hazel was curious, so she politely interrupted. “Are you ladies coming back from a yoga session?” The lady with the purple coat nodded. “Yes, we found out which studio Neil is working at, and so we go to his drop-in beginners’ class on Wednesdays and Friday afternoons.” “Well that sounds lovely! I know I sure have been missing his morning classes,” Hazel said hopefully. She was trying not to make it too obvious that she was eager for an invitation. “Oh, it’s so much fun, Hazel. The class is all ages, and Neil was so tickled to see us!”

There was an awkward silence. Hazel wasn’t sure how to outright ask if she could come along. Finally, after fidgeting for nearly a minute, she just came out and asked. “So, how does it work? Do you just drop-in and pay for each class?” The dark haired lady shook her head. “Yes and no. You can just drop-in whenever you like, but you have to join the studio as a member. There is a monthly fee.” “I see.” Hazel shifted her eyes to the floor. “I suspect the monthly fee is rather costly at a place like that?” “It’s not too bad. I mean, it’s not much more than what I spend on golfing each month in the summer time,” the lady in the purple jacket explained. “And we split the cab fare to get there. Right now it works out perfectly because all of us can fit in one cab,” one of the other ladies piped in. “So if you were planning on going, you’d have to find a ride or gather together another group of ladies to take a cab with I suppose.”

Hazel gave a polite nod and watched as the ladies made their way to the elevator. She felt extremely disappointed. She would love to take a yoga class with Neil again. He was a charming fellow who truly enjoyed being around older adults. Unfortunately, she and Charlie didn’t have a whole lot of extra money to spend on things like yoga and golfing. The yoga ladies were definitely in a different income bracket than she was.

As Hazel made her way to the dining room for a cup of tea, she thought what a shame it was that some of the free classes at the Manor were discontinuing. Those that could afford recreational activities could easily do so by going off site, but those that didn’t have much extra money were going to have to do without. It was rather depressing to say the least. Even though she felt fortunate to live in a community with so much to do, she couldn’t help but feel that she had lost something important to her.

She was going to have to figure things out. Not just for herself, but for other residents who didn’t have golf or yoga budgets.
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Now that some of the services have been cut. Residents are looking for activities like their yoga class outside of their homes, while others in a lower income bracket are finding it difficult to find the extra funds for outside recreation.

Hazel is feeling disappointed not to have the extra money to join the studio.

Please share your thoughts and solutions with us below.

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