Growing up, I was taught to respect one’s elders. Thus, I addressed senior acquaintances as, “ Mr.,” “Mrs.,” and “Miss,” or whatever handle he or she requested for I knew I wasn’t on the same plateau as those adults. And, I noticed as they aged, they needed a little help, so I was glad to assist.
From many elders, I gleaned knowledge regarding cooking, self-care and thrift. And, one thing I often heard my elders say was: “Health is wealth.” And, today I definitely grasp that concept, especially due to mobility challenges for over 35 years.
Because of my impaired gait, I don’t get around much anymore. But, due to COVID-19 and the widespread DELTA variant, few people are getting around much. So, after the infamous two week lockdown, I prayed, and some former students called to see if I needed anything. I then asked myself: “Where can I safely go to make a few purchases and have some social interaction?” That which came to mind were drive-thrus.
I began going to the drive thru at Culver’s, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, Pizza Hut and Sara’s Family Restaurant when I didn’t feel like cooking. When I needed a few grocery items, vitamins and stamps, I’d go to the pharmacy drive-thrus.
Initially, the pharmacists and pharmacy techs were very accommodating. But, when the pharmacies opened for full-service, and curbside pickup became available, some became more concerned with filling scripts as opposed to assisting its seasoned, challenged seniors. Being annoyed, I aspired to find a business that would allow me to casually peruse its wares without following me up and down the aisles when I was looking for essential oils, lotions, hair products and, of course, vitamins.
Thus, one day, while listening to B96.9 FM radio, I heard BJ Steele speak of the Health Hut on Fairfield Avenue. So, I decided to drive down Fairfield to locate the establishment because I didn’t make note of the address, and neither did I Google it. Bad me.
However, driving south on Fairfield from Creighton, I had to continue for several blocks before viewing a pyramid shaped building that I thought resembled a hut. And when I looked up, I saw the words “Health Hut” emblazoned in green and gold letters on this structure with other promotionals on the lawn.
I then wheeled into the Health Hut’s parking lot, which incidentally is a former People’s Trust Bank branch building. And, fortunately, two handicap parking spots were marked on the lot which indicate the proprietors adhere to ADA laws regarding those having mobility issues.
Nevertheless, when I entered the business, I was truly surprised to be warmly greeted by longtime acquaintance Dave Thomas, a co-owner of the Health Hut. Along with this gracious greeting, my olfactory senses were also ingratiated by some pleasant aromas, and my auditory sense was stimulated by some soothing music – all of which made for a wonderful experience, where I found my calcium, magnesium and zinc combo vitamins along with some yummy ginger mango lozenges, frankencense and myrr. So, with this first trip to The Health Hut, I was pleasantly surprised. And, due to Dave’s graciousness and assistance, I returned for some Elderberry Extract and Vitamin D3.
Since I have incorporated the vitamins and a more fruitful, veggie diet, I feel better. I’ve even noticed an increase in energy. Because of the extraordinary customer service exemplified by Dave, the Health Hut is now one of my stops.
Due to mobility issues, I have become more reclusive; and I find myself reflecting on a few of the truths espoused by Beatles John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Some may recall these famous lyrics:
“When I was younger,
so much youngerthan today,
I never needed anybody’s help
in any way. But now those days
are gone; I’m not so self-assured.
Now I find I’ve changed my mind
and opened up the doors.”
Hopefully, other folks are changing their mind and opening the doors to others. For by opening the doors, I can say I definitely am getting by with a little help from a few friends – church members, former classmates, former students, a few sorors and a few good folks.
And, “Tho’ billows may roll,
He keeps my soul.
My heavenly Father watches over me.”
Thus, I look at life like Poet William E. Henley exclaims in his poem “Invictus”,
“It matters not how strait the gait,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate.
I am the captain of my soul.”
And, I am getting by with just a little help.