Letters to the Editor


Have patience — wait and see
People keep asking me the same question: “Will my tree or shrub survive?”

Last winter’s low temperatures broke records in Socorro and took a major toll on local vegetation. So my answer, which no one wants to hear, is invariably, ‘I don’t know.’”
Many of the plants that we think of as typical in this part of the country simply aren’t adapted to below-zero temperatures. The broad-leafed evergreen shrubs, such as rosemary, silverberry and the Spanish broom, as well as some conifers and even deciduous trees, had their foliage and/or buds frozen and are slow to start spring growth. Depending on the exposure in which they are growing, plants of the same variety may survive in one area and may not survive in another.
It is, however, my belief that the root systems of most of these plants are intact. Many cold-damaged plants are starting to show signs of life. Some plants, like roses, may start growing below the graft and won’t be the plant you picked out at the garden center, but you might like the new version. Then there are plants like pyracantha, which maybe attacked you regularly on your way through the backyard and should be replaced anyway.
For the most part, I would like to adapt my response to this: “I don’t know, but show some patience. Wait and see.” I hate to see trees and shrubs cut down that haven’t been given time to recover. Food reserves and growing points in these plants may have been destroyed by the cold, but the roots will still try to push forth some growth.
It may not look like the plant you remember, and in the long term you may decide to remove it, but it’s better to find out by giving the plant a chance instead of removing it before you know.
Especially in the case of trees. Wait and see. They might surprise you.
Karyn DeBont, ISA Certified Arborist

A gem is right here in Socorro
My mother-in-law transferred to Good Samaritan Society (affectionately known as Good Sam) from an assisted living facility in Deerfield Beach, Fla. on Dec. 19.
When she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, it became evident that she required more attention than that facility could provide so the family started making arrangements to move her to a facility geared to care for patients with her disease.
The options were to stay in south Florida where her daughter resides, move her to St. Louis where she’s originally from and where a son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren reside or transfer her to Socorro, where her son and I reside.
I had become familiar with Good Sam’s care, attention and nutrition, as well as the general demeanor of the facility.
Fortunately, Good Sam had availability for my mother-in-law, so with the assistance of her son and daughter, my mother-in-law made the flight from Ft. Lauderdale to Albuquerque to reside at Good Samaritan Center in Socorro.
Upon her arrival at Good Samaritan Center at 7:30 p.m., on a Sunday evening, she was met by the administrator, the director of social services, the director of nursing and the MDS coordinator, who promptly completed the nurse assessment and admitted her. During the four and a half months my mother-in-law has been a resident of Good Sam, she has gained weight and shown improvement.
Besides her three meals a day, she is given snacks and liquids three times a day, thereby insuring proper nourishment and hydration.
She has become active in a daily exercise program, has been given “responsibilities,” thereby giving her a purpose.
The nurses and nursing assistants are amazing! They engage the residents in various activities. They demonstrate the utmost kindness, care, compassion and love for the residents. I have yet to see anyone lose their temper or get irritated with any of the residents.
On any given daily visit it is not unusual to find one of the nursing assistants or nurses hugging, laughing and kissing the residents. They lovingly care for my mother-in-law, while maintaining a careful watch over the other residents while performing their required duties.
My mother-in-law’s disease is new to us and we are learning to cope with it. It is a tremendous comfort to the family to know that my mother-in-law is in such capable and loving hands. Her son and I know that all her needs are being attended to with patience, kindness, dignity and respect.
It is extremely difficult to see a loved one diminish from the vibrant person they once were, but knowing they’re being cared for in such a compassionate and gentle manner makes it easier to deal with and bear the effects of her disease. Having her at Good Sam has relieved the family of many worries and problems we are not trained to deal with.
I highly encourage families whose loved ones are in need of Good Samaritan Society’s services, not only for the care of Alzheimer’s disease, but other nursing home care, need to take a tour of the facility, ask questions and get informed.
The entire family is delighted with the progress she is making, within the limits of her disease, of course. We have had no qualms about transferring her to Good Samaritan Society, except perhaps that we should have acted sooner.
Socorro truly has a gem — that is Good Samaritan Society and its entire staff, and we are profoundly grateful and thankful.
Rita Steinnerd, Socorro