By MARY BETH MAASSEN
Father’s Day is just around the corner. This year we celebrate the occasion Sunday, June 18.
There are a wide variety of gifts that make every Dad feel loved and cherished. This would include anything having to do with fire- grills, smokers, and endless selection of accoutrements; anything sharp or pointy such as knives and tools; and anything powered by electricity or batteries that would ideally shoot flames while cutting.
If all the items on the wish list have been fulfilled, then there is always the option of alcohol…which will just make every other gift seem that much more exciting.
I don’t think it is a coincidence that in 1996 the National Safety Council declared June National Safety Month.
In my home, I don’t worry too much about fire, knives or electricity. I worry about dogs. Specifically, I worry about tripping over them. Particularly at night. Between the bedroom furniture, three huge dog beds, and three sizable dogs (that only sleep on their huge beds about half the time), when I get up in the night to make my way to the bathroom I am risking a broken hip. I refer to the night time two-step as the dogs-tacle course.
I have tried to make the path to the bathroom as safe as possible. Two of the dogs are black and the third is brindle. In the darkness, they were impossible to discern against the dark hardwood floor, so I bought a large nearly white area rug. Three dark dogs and white area rug. Yup, that was a stroke of brilliance on my part. No regrets there. Honestly, that decision is working out really, really, well. Really.
I also removed any unnecessary furniture from the bedroom to make it more spacious, just so the dogs would have plenty of room for their comfy beds (that they only use half the time). They all prefer the exceptionally big and cumbersome beds with the difficult-to-wash shell.
Every time I wake up at night and head into the bathroom my dog Pal gets up as well, and follows me in. Once he sees I am safely seated, he returns to a different location in the bedroom and curls up and goes back to sleep…but when it is dark I can’t see him, and I never know where he is until I trip over him. Yep, it is hazardous business. Argh. What to do? What to do? I devised a genius plan.
Did you know accidental falls are the number one cause of death in Los Alamos? Maybe now is a good time to look around and see what you can do to make your home, or your parent’s home, safer. That would make an excellent Father’s Day gift. Remove dangerous extension cords, small rugs, and other tripping hazards. Add handrails in the bathroom and near steps. Make sure smoke and carbon dioxide detectors are working.
If you need assistance you can call the Betty Ehart Senior Center, they have dedicated volunteers and resources to help with making homes safer. 505.662.8920.
As for my genius plan? I am going to turn on the light.