A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-88


On Monday morning, collecting breakfast goods at the buffet in the dining room, a lady I had not met before, looking at my jacket, asked if it was cold outside. “Yes,” I said, “it was 53 degrees when I walked my dog at 7:00.” She liked my name and a asked how to spell it. Now she had my full attention, because very few people ask the spelling of any name, and I always do. So she spelled her name. “Lindsey, with an e.” Then she asked if my father was living in town. “No, my father passed away already (23 years ago :-)) but my son lives close by.”
“Oh, you look so young.”
“I am proud to be 82.” She shook her head in amazement. “I love the color of your hair.”
“I do it myself.” One compliment after another! At the beginning of the new Monday morning! She made my day. She said she was in transition because she had to sell her condo first. And she would love to see more of me. Great, I thought, another friend in Waltonwood.

But then, on Tuesday, I met her when I was on my way to the chair yoga class. She told me things were missing from her apartment and nobody believed her.  Aww, someone with mental disability. I did show her the coat closet where she could find lost and found items. When I opened the door I was appalled to see that they had stored walkers and other junk    in it, so that the door could hardly open. And the mirror that we had donated was gone. After yoga class I went to see the concierge at the front desk. She thought it was a storage room and the mirror would be better in her back room where the printer is. So I explained the use of the coat closet and asked to hang the mirror back and empty the closet of all the stuff that does not belong there. We’ll see how fast that will happen. And as for Lindsey, the concierge said she was living here already and they were aware of her situation and were keeping an eye on her.

Lost and Found

Daisy, one of the ladies I see often when I pick up breakfast, lost a pair of prescription glasses three weeks ago. A real problem for her, because she does not see well, even with them. She had looked everywhere, asked the housekeeper to look for her in the house, and we helped her look in the coat closet and the library. She ended up getting two sets of new prescription glasses from her ophthalmologist, but that was an expensive loss. Last week, Daisy lost her walker. She had two walkers actually, so she could walk from her cottage to the Club for meals and physical therapy, and she could keep one at the Club. It was nowhere to be found for days; neither in the coat closet, nor in the office, the library, the dining room or the café. After a week she happily told us that she saw it (with the new glasses) being loaded onto a truck ready to leave with donated items for Goodwill. The driver reluctantly gave it back to her. But her name was on it, so he had to.

Laurie, a very nice lady we have not known for very long, lost her wedding ring. Now that’s disastrous. Two days later, a note was put on the bulletin board across from the library that the ring had been found.

They serve brunch every other Sunday these days. One Sunday we had brunch with David and Gloria, a wonderful couple that has been here longer than we have. When we got up, David could not find his walker. We all helped him look. “What does it look like?”
“Red and black, with large wheels. And it has my name on it.”
Gloria and I looked around the perimeters of the dining room; Mike looked outside the dining room against the wall. Then David showed up with someone else’s walker he had found (her name was on it), who was no longer in the dining room. We all assumed that she had taken David’s walker by accident, but we could easily find her apartment, so that we could switch the walkers later. Thus was decided, and David and Gloria went on their way to their fourth floor apartment. Back at the table to pick up my sunglasses, I saw a red and black walker with large wheels against the wall behind the chair David had sat on during brunch: it said DAVID on the front bar. None of us had seen it but it was there all along!

Something worse happened to Richard. One morning when he got up he could not find his teeth. He and his wife looked everywhere, in the bed, under the bed, in the bathroom and around the rest of their apartment, but the teeth were lost. Poor Richard had to have a whole new set made the next week. A good thing was that they were not his front teeth, so he could tell us about his misfortune with a smile. He even considered not to have them replaced at all, but his wife objected to that.

Worse even, Paul appeared at Happy Hour one Friday afternoon with one of his front teeth missing. He said it had happened before, that he had to let the spot heal for three months and then he would get a new one implanted. A month went by, then he lost a second front tooth. Now that spot has to heal for three months, and the dentist told him he would rather wait and do them both at the same time. So Paul is starting his wait all over. But hey, you get used to everything in life if there is noting you can do about it anyway.

Walkers Away!

In the monthly membership meeting Management announced that they had hired new wait staff and kitchen help, so that starting in October we would have three sit-down dinners every week. And walkers would be no longer allowed parked in the ding room during meals. People will be allowed to use their walker to come to a table, but then any of the servers would take them away and park them outside the dining room, to the left and the right in the hallway.

This is what I remember from that first morning of our introductory week when we went down for breakfast: we took the elevator down to the second floor, turned the corner towards the dining room and almost laughed out loud. It was a couple of minutes before 8 o’clock. Thick ropes were temporarily closing off the entrance to the dining room and in front of the ropes a throng of people waited impatiently to be admitted. Along the wall, all the way from the Café to the dining room, rows of walkers were parked; small walkers, large walkers, red walkers and black walkers; ones with a seat and ones without, ones decorated with ribbons or “Best Grandma Ever”; walkers with names on the handlebars and walkers with a basket in front; plain aluminum ones with two wheels and two “feet”, one with a tennis ball on each “foot”. I counted ten. We will have more than that in October!

If I ever need a walker, I want one with a seat and a basket and large wheels. And if I ever need a wheelchair, it will have to be an electric one. Because I will still want to go places, independently, and not at the speed of a shuffle. By that time, Amazon will have an even more updated one than you see in this picture. Because Amazon has everything!

May your days be peaceful and happy

Until next time,




A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-87

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Enough read about possible future health problems! The list is endless! I will cross bridges when they appear. Time for an interesting TV program (we are watching The Crown at night) and finally a good book. Also, wonderful opportunities to “do good in the neighborhood.”

On Thursday morning, a huge moving vehicle backed into our cul-de-sac and parked there. An old, skinny, bespectacled black man sat behind the wheel. He sat there for hours. Finally, I decided to bring him a bottle of cold water. That was gladly accepted. “Is anyone going to move into this cottage?” I asked.

“Yes Ma’am, tomorrow morning at nine,” he said.
“What? Are you going to stand here all night? Are you going to sleep here?”
“Yes, Ma’am, I will sleep in the cabin.”

Two hours later, I walked across the street: “Would you like a banana for lunch?”
“Um, no Ma’am, I am diabetic.”
“You are diabetic and can’t have a banana?”
“Well, I can have a little piece and another little piece later. Yes, I would like it.” and he reached his arm out of the window and down to get the banana I held up to him. The afternoon wore on, and I checked  the menu for the night, posted on the refrigerator. Perhaps I could pick up dinner for him when I picked up ours at 5:00 p.m., I thought.

Back to the truck. “Sir, would you like me to bring you some hot dinner tonight?”
“Yes, please!”
“BBQ chicken?”
“Yes please.”
“Baked beans?”
“Well, I can have no pork.”
“I don’t think we have pork in the beans, but I will check with the Chef. How about salad, Lentil soup, and mashed potatoes?” He nodded his head.
“Oh yes, Ma’m. But I can’t eat after sundown and before sunup.”
“I will pick up dinner at five, so that is way before sundown.” He nodded happily.

I couldn’t imagine who, as a diabetic, could have no pork, no sugar, and could not eat after sundown. But then diabetes is another thing I know nothing about. I Googled it and now I know a lot more. Except for not eating after sundown. I googled that again. This is the Holy month of Ramadan and during this month, Muslims do not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset, only after sunset. So let’s call him Joe was not a Muslim.

Jains, an ancient religion from India, however, do not eat from sunset to sunrise because they believe germs that we cannot see directly spread rapidly at night.  They also insist on nonviolence in any form.  They go out of their way not to harm even small insects and other tiny animals. They are part of a broader Hindu religion. Looking at Joe from White Plains New York, I didn’t think he could belong to a group of this ancient religion either. Final conclusion: diabetics can’t eat after sundown. Now, I have not looked up those details – enough already!

 I sent an email to the Chef, explained to him I wanted to provide dinner for a poor, homeless man, and we would gladly take home less for us. Well, the BBQ chicken was glazed (sugar!) but he could set aside two pieces without glaze. And yes, chicken was more nutritious than flank steak. And yes, baked beans did come with pork and sugar. The soup, salad, mashed potatoes and mushrooms were safe. The Chef was very helpful and kind.

And so I picked up a nice dinner for Joe, and took a little less for ourselves. I put his in a nice styrofoam box, soup and salad separate, with a bottle of water, and then I could for the life of me not find any plastic forks or knives anywhere, only chopsticks. So I walked over to the truck again, and saw that Joe had moved over to the passenger’s seat. That seemed more comfortable to me, too. I said, “Sir, here’s your dinner. No sugar, no pork, no utensils! I’m sorry, but you will have to eat with your hands or with these chopsticks. I put in a whole stack of paper towels to wipe your hands afterwards.” He opened the door and reached down with a big smile, then said something I could not understand. But I could see that he was happy. After sundown, beige curtains were drawn in front of the side windows of the cabin of the truck and he must have happily gone to sleep. So did I, very happily as well. And I hope I will never get diabetes.

Fall Flowers

A very nice, older couple, Jack and Jenny, living in one of the cottages, have had a lot of health problems during the past year. Their children brighten up the outside of their entrance once in a while with hanging pots of flowers and garden lights. But one large flower pot remained empty during the time we were all in lockdown for a year because of Covid. Jack used to fill it with silk flowers that looked real from a distance. Last week, when I went to Walmart, I saw picks of large, bright yellow Mums on sale and I bought them all. Two days later, after taking the price tags off and waiting until it was almost dark and their car was parked outside the garage, I walked over to the cottage and filled their pot with the Mums. It looked sunny and glorious! What a surprise it must have been the next morning, and what a guessing game between them as to who could have brought them flowers for the pot! I also bought one pick of black flowers and leaves, and I will put that in the center on Halloween. Until then I will keep it in a mixed bouquet in our living room.

The coyote and the Geese

Three years ago, when we had geese all over the property and people complained about the danger they posed should they attack, and the dirty sidewalks, the – then – Executive Director ordered a life-size coyote to be put in the pond area to scare the geese away. But it did not work: the coyote never moved, and the geese got used to him. Over time, the scary looking beast started to deteriorate. But last week, when I counted the return of seventeen geese, somebody moved the coyote to the center of the sloping lawn around the pond. Lo and behold: the next day all the geese were gone!

May your days be peaceful and happy.

Until next time,




A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-86


During our two week vacation I read a wonderful book. How delightful to sit with my legs up, facing the ocean, and read an exciting story! It was one of the many books waiting in my Kindle Library. Back home again, I have been reading as well, not non-stop, but when I had a few moments during the day. What I’m reading now are more self help books, preparing us for any calamities that may show up as we get older. Interesting, but not what I look forward to in the near future.

My retirement from book promotion came just in time, because I need many hours for all the every-day tasks. Because of balance problems Mike can’t do much or carry anything, and PT and OT people (I value them as personal trainers) come to the house to work with him. We are also making weekly trips to the wound Healing Clinic in Raleigh, because of a leg wound (he kicked himself by accident) that keeps on draining. The visiting nurse made me aware one day of disposable underpads to keep the sheets clean. I had to laugh out loud and looked through my acting files of the eighties. This is what I found:

I did a Print Job once for Disposable Underpads the first time they came on the market! “Full Time Joy for the Part Time Nurse” it said. Pigeon toed in fluffy slippers, a baby doll under a gown with pink flowers, voilà my job for the day. I forgot what I earned with it; it was not a commercial for which I got residuals each time its showed, but hey, even print jobs were not easy to get and I was mighty proud!


So, even though I know about disposable Underpads, I still use a towel under Mike’s ankle. It will only be temporary.

In our senior community we have Doctors Making House Calls: every imaginable doctor comes for regular visits to check us out. A very safe feeling, but we are only in our eighties and compared to other Residents in their nineties we remain healthier than most. Still, we get book recommendations from some of them. From a Cardiologist: Younger Next Year (about mandatory exercise and diet to keep healthy); a Physical Therapist: The Bathroom Key (about the fact that male and female incontinence can be cured or prevented by exercise); a Doctor we met on one of our cruises: The Pursuit of Happiness with Alzheimers (among other things: Joyful experiential Stimulation of the Brain or Sex to get the brain blood flowing). Now that book I read first (because I remember the author), followed by the Younger Next Year (because that seems a worthwhile  endeavor and I love exercise), and I am currently in the Bathroom Key. 

I must say that I am learning from every book so far: situations, health problems and solutions are important to remember should they happen to us. So I feel I need to read those books since they are highly recommended by healthcare professionals. But I can’t wait to read Deceit, Disappearance and Death on Hilton Head Island that I just got on my Kindle. That’s where we had our July reunion. And it is a true story, published in 2018. They are still looking for the killer! And then there is the Science Fiction series “The Future of Humanity” written by Harvey Stanbrough, starting with The Ark, a space ship with about 200 selected people taking off in search of another planet to start a new life. All these books and more are waiting!


When I was at the Club today, and the Yoga class appeared cancelled, I talked to the fitness trainer. She will put together an exercise program for me, including weights, and I will start working out again. For starters, I worked on three of the machines and it was such a great feeling! I will be starting low, taking home 5 lb weights, and my yoga mat stands at the ready.

A Pizza Party and a Thai Party

We had two wonderful evenings at our cottage with friends we invited from two other cottages and from the main building. It is a great way to make friends, get away from the often boring, tasteless fare from the dining room, and it is like a Pot Luck: DoorDash gets Thai Food, Papa Murphy’s bakes the pizzas, friends bring desserts and wine. A lovely way to spend an evening!

May your days be peaceful and happy!

Until next time,



A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-84

Too many jobs, too little time!

If you would ask me what in the world I have to do as a retired person, living in a nice cottage, with meals provided and housekeepers once every two weeks, I would indeed be able to give you a specialized list of things I do on any given day. But since you are not asking, I will suffice by saying that the time it takes to complete my daily lists exceeds my 16 waking hours. I know it is unimaginable. But I am not complaining. Better times will come.

Most of the things I do are not chores that I dislike, but they have to be done! And then there are the fun things, like sending a surprise package to our granddaughter for her birthday, and filling a basket with wrapped gifts for a family member who turned fifty, and sending birthday and anniversary cards in the mail or online, and of course take walks with the dog. Because of the 95 degree weather lately, I have been taking her to the Club for indoor walks on the first floor, where it is cool.

And so, with my hula performance coming up on Thursday, I will make this a short Post, promising a more interesting one next week.


May your days be peaceful and happy.

Until next time