American Association of Retired Pirates – ARRG!!!

Ok, friends, hold on to your hats! This is going to be a busy blogging week and I’m going to be hard-pressed to keep up.

First, I have a key milestone (not millstone, important to note, but milestone…) in my life. Then, our Miami family are coming and Rebekah and I get to see three of our grandchildren for the first time in over a year. Finally, Lent will be moving on into Palm Sunday and Holy Week.

So This Happened:

The birthday thing is going to take several posts to deal with! Friday is the official day, but earlier this week I received my Medicare confirmation letter; then, today, this came in the mail!

I think they missed a great opportunity by using “P for persons” at the end – unless of course the P had stood for “pirate”! It would be so much better to turn 65 and join something called AARG! The card could have been pirate themed, red and black, featuring the Jolly Roger.

How about, “The American Association of Retired Geezers”. Or “Retired Geriatrics”. Or “Retired Grandparents”. Or “Gadflies”. AARG!!!

That’s it, I think we have a winner! The American Association of Retired Gadflies. That sounds at least pirate-ish: AARG!!!!

(A gadfly, by the way, is a motivator, a stimulator, an energizer, an instigator, a mover, a prodder. That sounds like some good emphasis for this next stage of my life.)

It’s important to note, however, that I am not retiring. I will continue to write, to consult, to teach, to blog, and hopefully to inspire; I absolutely plan to instigate in a good way. I am already, I hope, in that sense somewhat of a gadfly.


While my AARP membership was not difficult, getting signed up for Medicare certainly took some patience and tenacity.

I initiated online access to my Social Security account, where my forty-years of contributions were immediately confirmed.

Then – as I am not retiring – all I had to do was to select “Part-A” medicare, fill out a few forms, and I would be good to go.

But Social Security apparently did not know that I have been a naturalized U.S. citizen since 1985.

“If you do not present your original birth certificate and your original naturalization certificate we will reject your claim,” the letter said. It went on to tell me I must present them in person because such documents must never be put in the mail.

When I called to make an appointment, however, I was told there are no appointments because of COVID. “Just mail them in,” they said.

“But these are sensitive original documents,” I said, “my denial letter said I had to hand deliver.”

Catch 22.

Several phone calls later I had an appointment to enter the lobby and put the documents in a drop box! I included a secure, priority mail express, trackable, self-addressed, $26.85 envelop to facilitate safe return.

Sigh… bureaucracy!

The First Gift:

Our son Andrew gets credit for the first gift. It arrived from Germany via the Internet, Total Wines, and Door-dash delivery. “Prost!”

This promises to be a most excellent celebration.

Stay tuned for more as the week goes on!


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