A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-83

Birthday Celebrations

After a morning of opening gifts, reading cards and emails and phone calls from family and friends we went to our son’s house for more celebrations of Mike’s 84th birthday. We enjoyed part of  the Homecoming Concert in New York’s Central Park – until it started to rain: a deluge ahead of tropical storm Henri. A delicious Mexican dinner was delivered to the door, and before knew it we needed to head home before dark, stopping at a gas station along the way.

At the end of the evening, when I treated Lani to an icee, a teaspoon of frozen pumpkin puree, and put her to bed in the sunroom, I discovered our Roomba vacuum cleaner in the far corner. How could it possibly get there all the way from its station by the front door? Well, I found the tracks. Somehow, with a mind of its own, it decided it needed to vacuum the house in our absence. A weekend surprise. It traveled through the front office and bathroom, down the hall to our bedroom, through the kitchen to the living room and at the end of the living room through the narrow opening of the baby gate into the sunroom. Where it gave up the ghost. I carried it to the station by the front door and this morning the battery was fully loaded again. I would have loved to see what Lani did all that time. She had the run of the house, and she knows the Roomba and usually dances around it with great interest. I would also like to know what made my vacuum cleaner decide to go to work. It was a pleasant surprise.

On Friday, we celebrated Lani’s 3rd birthday. When we had our morning coffee I sang Happy Birthday to her and gave her a gift: a beehive with three squeaking little bees in it. In the afternoon, when I stood ready to put on her leash for a walk, I sang the birthday song again, and she ran back to the living room and returned  with her beehive! Smart dog! I got stuck in my training sessions; I have to learn at the computer what to teach her next, and then do it, ten minutes per day. It takes longer for me to learn how to train than training sessions for her. But it is fun and she is a quick learner. I am in the process of freeing up more time for fun things…I have to remind myself 🙂


Dining is not a pleasure anymore. We now have buffet style dinner every night due to lack of servers. So I pick up our dinners and warm them up in the microwave. The quality has deteriorated as well. The chef sent out a list of things that are not available at all at this time, like lobster and steak, salmon and lemons, and many things are way too expensive. Once a month there is a special dinner for all the residents who have a birthday in that month, and they can bring one guest each. The special fare for the birthday dinners is steak and lobster, but those are not available, so we are wondering what they will come up with today.


Many people’s health is deteriorating. One friend has been in the hospital for weeks now, another was moved from the hospital to Rehab, yet another from Rehab to Hospice. A friend in one of the cottages had a heart attack yesterday, I heard this morning when I picked up breakfast. Is it the heat? The general aging and frailty of our Residents? The complications of Covid? We are wearing masks again and warned not to meet with outsiders; any time now we are expected to be advised to get a booster shot. It is all depressing, especially for people who are single.

This morning, while putting the unclaimed articles of Lost and Found in bags to be donated to Dorcas (a Christian Goodwill Waltonwood is supporting), I noticed Fred, Daisy’s son, walking to the elevator with a cart full of empty crates. The family is busy emptying Daisy’s apartment after she died. I wanted to talk to him, and so I ran the length of the hall, turned the corner and ran into the elevator with my arms outstretched to keep the door open. I made it! After dropping the cart at the fourth floor, we went down together again and he told me they are planning a Memorial service at Waltonwood for his mother in September. The lead singer of his band will sing, and I believe the drummer will participate too. It will be very special. But Daisy was a very special person, and we all miss her. Around here, nobody runs through the halls, just imagine! So I can see the heads turning in my mind’s eye, and hear the voices, asking why is Ronny running?

Oh! I am so glad that I can still run! And that I can still dance! Next week, I will dance in Assisted Living and then in Independent Living. But I’ve got to go now, and practice, because knees and hips do need a refresher course.

May your days be peaceful and happy.

Until next time




A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-82

WWII PowerPoint Presentation, August 11, 2021
It was great! I think that you will only hear how good or how disappointing your performance really was if you hear what people say to each other about it. But from what heard, it was successful; nobody left the room, even after we went overtime (as usual), I had a full house, about 50 people I think, and I am happy that they were optimistic and added enough chairs ahead of time. Several people told me that they loved it, that it was interesting and they learned a lot; “good job” said one, and so on. I was happy to see two of my grandsons there and my daughter-in-law, and they all thought it was very interesting “and well brought” 🙂 Because my family knows I am planning to retire from my book promotion, they gave me a lovely bouquet of flowers afterwards.
One email from a Waltonwood neighbor was especially heartwarming:

Thanks for  sharing memories and images with us. As I thought about the terror of your early days and your continuing buoyancy of today, I thought of this poem we had to memorize high school English. It has a different meaning for me now.

Missing my friend

One of my best friends here at Waltonwood, with a wonderful laugh and a sparkling wit, went missing. Today I found out that her son had sent me an email, but it went into the trash and so I didn’t find it until this morning. Daisy has been in the hospital and is now with Hospice, after they found her to be with pancreatic cancer that had spread to one lung and her liver. She is ninety-one. She is being kept free of pain – Hospice is wonderful – and many relatives are flying in to say goodbye. We will miss her, especially at the Friday afternoon Happy Hour, where she was never shy to go back to the bar and ask for a second glass of red wine. Dear, dapper Daisy.

Garden millipedes

Two days have gone by that I did not have to pick up fifty or more of those critters on my dustpan first thing in the morning  and then more all during the day. Maintenance must have done something outside to eliminate them, and I still spray outside my front door at night, just in case. I don’t like all that poison around, especially with Lani, but at least I am not stepping barefoot on crawling bugs when I get up in the morning. Life is good!

The first sign of Fall

It’s hard to believe, but yesterday I noticed the first sign of changing leaves, still amidst a lot of green, but standing out nevertheless. Hopefully the very hot and humid days will be over soon, but then I am hoping for an Indian Summer until October, like we had when we lived in Prescott.

May your days be peaceful and happy.

Until next time,





A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-80

Well, what a week it was!

After watching the Opening Ceremony of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo live, I’ve seen only flashes of the games, and not one Medal Ceremony with national anthems. What I did notice was that someone was handed her gold medal, after which she put it around her neck herself: Covid precautions.

We had a mouse in the pantry for almost a week before finally the Orkin Man came to set two metal traps. I was very sad to see the next morning that the mouse had been caught in both traps, moving them around, and that he was still alive. And suffering. It took Maintenance three hours before they came to take the traps and mouse away, and then they sent two cleaning ladies to disinfect the inside of the pantry while I threw placemats and napkins in the washer and disposed of other things.

For weeks, starting before our vacation, we had an infestation of millipedes in the house, probably due to the extreme heat outside. The Orkin man came three times, and I still spray ant and roach killer on the threshold every night. It feels wonderful not to have to scoop up fifty or more millipedes on my dustpan every morning before I even have coffee! And many more during the day!

We can say those are the blessings of living in a cottage in the woods.

Yesterday I spent two hours driving from the local hardware store to Lowes and then trying to find the third one, to get a rechargeable 9V battery for the sound system I need to use next week for my presentation. Amazon would take too long. But at the end of the day I still don’t have one, and that is frustrating. I should have recharged the existing battery every three months while I was not using it, but during Covid it never crossed my mind that I would ever do a presentation again. I completely forgot about my sound system. Hopefully our son can help tomorrow.

Moesson International 

It’s here! The whole Indo Magazine, dedicated to 65 years of Moesson, and to the 15th of August, the end of WWII in the Dutch East Indies, is beautiful; my story fits right in, four pages with pictures, in the center of the Magazine. Retirement is fast approaching!

May your days be peaceful and happy!

Until next time,