A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-79

Life is busier than ever

The days fill up quickly and I am so thankful for my morning and evening helpers who clean up the kitchen, do the dishwasher and the trash, make the bed, do the laundry. It is a total of only 45 minutes per day, four days a week, but it makes a big difference.

On Thursday, we got a tetanus shot; I guess it was that time. Mike was all right, but I did not feel well for two days. So no chair dancing on Saturday, but I was better again on Tuesday for chair yoga. I do miss the real yoga on my mat, but 90% of residents could not get up if we did it on the mat. We do not have a treadmill either, because even without it many people fall.

My two tomato plants are flourishing. I will pick the seventh tomato today. They are the most delicious tomatoes I have ever tasted, and I am not a tomato girl per se. The little thing you see in the foreground is a solar light to keep the bugs away at night. I got it from my new friend, who has planted a variety of vegetables on her back patio.

Book orders

Out of the blue I received an email from an “Indo cowgirl” on Maui, who ordered eight of my books. After some back and forth emailing about autographing and such, I will be shipping her books this week. She is researching her parents’ WWII background and is part Indo, part Hawaiian, part Dutch, with traces of all three languages in her letters. She also dances hula. Ha! Funny to encounter people like her who heard about me by word of mouth from an Auntie on the Big Island. When she realized how old I am, she started calling me Auntie too: Auntie Makalani.

Article in Moesson International

Any day now I am expecting my copy of Moesson International, in which the story of my childhood in the camps is published. I am very curious how that will look – I wrote it a few months ago and submitted it with pictures as well.


One of my cottage neighbors, who is from upstate New York, has a very interesting background. We have become best friends, and are making plans to entertain the Community in several ways. She is writing a story and will have a storytelling afternoon on August 26, where she is reading it and will be acting out the various people she is reading about. Afterwards, people in the audience will be invited to reminisce and talk  about their own story. It sounds interesting and I will be in the audience for sure.

On August 11 I have been invited to do my Keynote Presentation again, and on September 2 I will be dancing hulas with the monthly singer and entertainer, first in Assisted Living and then in Independent Living. For both the Presentation and the hulas I will have to practice. It has been about two years! I will have to dig up a muu’muu, my long wig, leis and so on. I started practicing and it feels wonderful to dance again to the familiar Hawaiian music. How privileged we were to have lived on the Big Island for twelve years!

May your days be peaceful and happy

Until next time,



A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-78

Back to the Future

Activities at Waltonwood start to resemble normalcy again. There have been trips out, like a BBQ at Jordan Lake, two baseball games, shopping and more. We are now allowed to sit with 6 people at a table for dinner. However, because of a severe lack of kitchen staff, most dinners have been buffet dinners, and so we prefer to pick up – always a choice.

I have tried “chair dancing”, a weekly activity for half an hour with a lovely, licensed fitness trainer. And I joined “chair yoga” for the third time. Both activities are great. Added to that, I am going back to my floor exercises in the morning. This first week after vacation I have not had time for anything but unpacking, laundry and the likes. But starting tomorrow, I will get a nice girl to help me with household chores for half an hour in the morning, four days a week, which time I will set aside to work out in my office. In between, early and late, walks  with Lani will be wonderful. Since it has been very hot, I walk early, or in Wimbledon right after breakfast; the trail is shady.

Because there is still a lot to do before I can sit down and read a book again, I will end this week with a front and back image of the amazing, beautiful picture album we received from all children for our 60th wedding anniversary: memories of more than 60 years, really unbelievable, and a joy for many years to come.



May your days be peaceful and happy

Until next time,





A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-77

July 4, 2021, Hilton Head Island

First light on the beach

Sunrise on the beach

There is no doubt that this was the very best family reunion ever. Now, we have said that after every reunion, but this, the celebration of our 60th wedding anniversary, really was the best.

A beautiful house with a pool on the beach in South Carolina for a two-week vacation was the ultimate luxury, and every person in our three-family group enjoyed it to the fullest.

The night we went through the eye of the storm Elsa was a scary event, but it had passed right after midnight and everybody could go back to sleep.

Coming home, there was a lot to do, so I’ll write more next week.

May your days be peaceful and happy.

Until next time,