A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2022-109

The Threat of War

He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother

The road is long
With many a winding turn
That leads us to who knows where
Who knows where
But I’m strong
Strong enough to carry him
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother
So on we go
His welfare is of my concern
No burden is he to bear
We’ll get there
For I know
He would not encumber me
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother
If I’m laden at all
I’m laden with sadness
That everyone’s heart
Isn’t filled with the gladness
Of love for one another
It’s a long, long road
From which there is no return
While we’re on the way to there
Why not share
And the load
Doesn’t weigh me down at all
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother
He’s my brother
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother, he ain’t heavy.
This song was released in 1969, during the bloody Vietnam War
It tells a story that touched my heart; yet it never meant as much to me as when I read it again recently.
L’histoire se repète. As I am writing this, Russia is threatening to impose war on Ukraine. The list of wars between 1945, when WWII had just ended, and 1989 is staggering. “War” is just a word, but the human suffering caused by it is heartbreaking. The bond of love between two soldiers expressed in this song is heartwarming. And again, in the Senior Community where we live, l’histoire se repète. When I look around, I see similar bonds of love. One of two people is old, yet fit to a certain extent. The other is old and totally helpless. Together though, they make it another day, and another week, perhaps longer. The excruciating load of caregiving on the endless “road to there” is only made light because of “the gladness of love for one another.” It’s heartwarming.
As a little girl, I lived through the Second World War. I don’t have many memories of that time. But reading again the words of my mother, words she wrote eighty years ago in her secret journal, which I take off the shelf once in a while, I realize the heavy burden she carried; the suffering, the diseases, the hunger and the despair. But she persisted. With a mother’s love for her little girls she brought us through hell and gave us a second chance on life. And what a wonderful life I have had and am still enjoying! I will be forever thankful.
A Promise of Spring
On my walk in Wimbledon Thursday morning, I saw a cherry tree in bloom! Because of the wonderful warm weather – in the high sixties – with dips of temperatures in the low forties, we won’t have to wait long for winter to be over. This winter wasn’t bad at all! Another thing to be thankful for.
May your days be peaceful and happy
Until next time


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The weather

After two sessions of temperatures in the low seventies, the temperature dropped again suddenly into the forties. Jackets back on! When I went out to walk the dog today, I put on my sunglasses, then left her at the door and went back inside to get my hat. I have several hats, but I needed a sturdy one, because it was windy. I put on the hat and went out again; then back in, because I needed my sunglasses. I looked everywhere, even in the kitchen, but finally decided they were probably in the car and I would do without them this time. We walked around the pond and quickly back home. What a difference with yesterday, when I went out in short sleeves!

Lani is very smart; she always manages to pick up something very close to home, usually a piece of wood. When we come inside, she tries to hide it. When I repeatedly tell her to drop it, she finally does. Then I go and get her a treat from the kitchen. She knows the routine, and even though I am watching her outside and never actually see her picking up something, she sneaks it by me every time. So too this afternoon. I took off my hat and put it on the stand, and then I went to comb my hair. And what did I see? My sunglasses were sitting on top of my head! Something like he was looking for his horse and he was sitting on it!

Covid testing materials

A neighbor received a box from the Government yesterday: four free at-home testing kits. Did anyone get his or hers yet? I applied for a kit online at: covidtests.gov and received a prompt response: they were delayed but would send my box as soon as possible. With the perspective of Covid and its variants being around for a very long time, we will at least be covered with home testing materials. At the Club, only Associates and Residents with symptoms are tested. Currently, no residents have symptoms, a few Associates are out, but will be back soon.

Valentine’s Day

In Monday’s meeting, the Chef mentioned that he made a few special things for Valentine’s dinner: a delicious, very rare roast beef, and skewered shrimp. We in the cottages get the dinner menu on Saturday for the whole week. When we saw the Monday menu we decided we could not make a choice between these – to us – unappetizing entrees and would end up with the third choice, always on the menu: a hot dog. On days like that we “eat out.” So DoorDash brought us a delicious chicken curry from our favorite Thai restaurant in the evening, and during the day we were surprised with beautiful blue irises and blue hyacinths, plus Chocolate covered strawberries and a bottle of champagne for two. All that made for a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Another Birthday Party

For tonight, we have invited two couples from the cottages to celebrate the belated 82nd birthday of Jesse. We’ll order Papa Murphy’s pizza, have champagne and wine, and yesterday I baked another lemon pecan pie, for which I had everything in the house, except four eggs, which I borrowed from the lady across the street. I will get some tomorrow at Trader Joe’s in return.

By the way, I did some great discoveries. Trader Joe’s is less than one mile on the Parkway to our left; Lowe’s Food is less than one mile on the Parkway to our right; there are also a gas station and a car wash. All so close! For years, I drove five miles to Walmart and the pharmacy, through traffic, but now I can save time and money – well, perhaps no money, but after all, Time is money, right? I used to go to Costco for gas, but that was seven miles, and groceries from Costco, like Dutch Cheese, come to the door with Door Dash.

We surely live in a wonderful neighborhood! Wimbledon trails are practically in our back yard, and even though I used to cross on foot with Lani through the Divide, these days I drive around to the parking lot by the tennis courts, from where we catch the trail. Four years older, I have to be four years wiser, and after my fall from the step stool who knows what I can get into when I scramble through the bushes. I have not encountered any snakes there, but it only takes one!

It’s a Wonderful Life!

May your days be happy

Until next time,





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I’m well on my way. Now the waiting is for the statements from banks etc. which will come in on February 18.


With my past, living in the Dutch East Indies for seventeen years, in Hawai’i for twelve and in Arizona for fifteen, my skin has had a lot of sun exposure. In the early years, sunscreen did not exist, in the middle years I used sunscreen but still was in the sun a lot and happy with a tan, and now, in the later years, the effects show up in cancerous spots here and there. Over the years I have had a few surgeries, on my face and my arm, and now I spent the past weeks to make arrangements for some more, on my right leg. Squamous cell cancers, all. Yesterday I had the first two, and I am scheduled for two more on Thursday, and then one on March 10.

The surgeon was great, so was the nurse, and everything went well. I won’t go into details, but if every surgery goes as smoothly as these, I’ll be very happy.

May your days be peaceful and happy too,

Until next time


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Art in the Netherlands
Night Watch by Rembrandt, brought to life . . .
The Rijksmuseum museum in Holland had an idea: Let’s bring the art to the people and then, hopefully, they will come to see more – at the museum. They took one Rembrandt painting from 1642, Night Watchand brought to life the characters in it, placed them in a busy mall and the rest you can see for yourself!
Take a good look at the painting above……, then Click to see the video. Make sure the sound is on.
I can tell you that I got chicken skin and have watched it over and over.
Dutch Art in the USA
Van Gogh Exhibition: The Immersive Experience
It is a traveling exhibition that I would love to see – or experience. It is currently in Raleigh, as close to us as it will ever get, but because of Covid we are hesitant to venture among many people in an enclosed environment. Has any of you seen it? Would you give a review? On this Blog Post or in a personal email? I would love to know more.

This week I took time out: I started to prepare for our tax returns.

We have done them together with TurboTax for many years, and it really gets easier every year. Still, it takes time to prepare, and because I want to have them done early again, I have started with the paperwork. We use a TurboTax CD and as soon as our son comes over to fix a computer problem I have been having, I can start on the computer. The darn thing shuts down each time I stop working on it and leave to do something else. Then when I come back I have to start from scratch with name and password and so on. Of course I could choose to stay and keep working and reading and writing until I fell asleep together with the computer.

May your days be fulfilling and happy,

Until next time,