Tom’s recent change…He’s a new man…Dinner with cruise friends from 2022…

Nancy and Bill, whom we met on our last cruise in 2022 and happen to live in The Villages. It was fun to see them again.

After spending 42½ working on the railroad and constantly exposed to loud sounds, Tom’s hearing was impacted to such a degree that over the past decade, it’s diminished to the point of my having to talk very loud for him to hear me. He often misses out on group conversation, although he’s very good at reading lips.

Some of our friends and family members have noticed this and encouraged him to get hearing aids. Still, he adamantly opposed paying $3000 to $6000 for the devices, often easily visible and clunky looking. Over the years, we’ve done a lot of research on hearing aids and discovered that the high prices were totally unnecessary, and hearing aid companies have been getting rich, charging such high fees.

Tom decided to wait and see if technology would eventually result in reasonably priced hearing aids, inspiring him to try it finally. That happened in the past few weeks when we discovered a company, MD Hearing, that possibly could fill the bill.

This was my steak salad. The meat was tough but had a good flavor.

He ordered the hearing aids and began wearing them a few days ago. There was a day or so adjustment period for him to get comfortable with the tiny devices in each ear and adjust the sound to suit the differences in each ear. So far, so good.

Last night for the first time since he started wearing the devices, we were with another couple, Nancy and Bill, whom we met on our last cruise in 2022. As mentioned in yesterday’s post, we had dinner with them the night before we both tested positive for Omicron in April, with only two days left on the cruise. We were very concerned that Nancy and Bill got Covid from dining with us on that last evening.

Nancy only ate a quarter of her pizza and took the remainder home in a styrofoam container.

When they so kindly invited us to happy hour at their home late yesterday afternoon, the first question we asked was if they got Covid from us that night. They did not. We were so relieved to know this.

It was delightful spending time with Nancy and Bill last evening. Nancy had put out a lovely spread of snacks which we thoroughly enjoyed. As a reader of our posts, Nancy was aware of my way of eating and had some items that worked for me, nuts and cheese. That was so thoughtful.

This was Bill’s wiener schnitzel with red cabbage and spaetzel.. They had lived in Germany at one time, and this was a pleasant reminder for him.

After a lively conversation at their beautiful home in The Villages, a 20-minute golf cart ride from here, the four of us headed to their local golf club, Mallory Hill Country Club Restaurant, for a delicious, affordable dinner. My one glass of wine was only $4.50, and Tom’s beer was $3.50, a steal for drinks in the US. Our total dinner bill was $44.54. I had a steak salad, and Tom had a Reuben sandwich with fries.

But, besides the delightful time we spent with Nancy and Bill, the special treat of the evening was seeing Tom able to hear the conversation among the four of us, the waiter, and voice directions from Maps on his phone when we made our way to their home.

When looking straight at Tom, you don’t see the hearing aids.
They are neatly placed in the ear and barely noticeable.

It’s a new day when I don’t have to constantly have to speak loud, listen to loud streamed shows, and frequently have to repeat myself. It opens up a new avenue to easier conversation between us and when we are with others. It will take him a week or two to get used to the feel of the tiny buds in his ears, but I have no doubt he will accomplish this in no time.

That’s all for today. We’ll be back with more tomorrow.

Photo from ten years ago today, June 14, 2013:

There’s Tom, happy as a clam as we made our way in a lifeboat to the shore of Dubrovnik, Croatia. For more photos, please click here.