A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-12

Being Prepared

After all the information that comes to us from various directions, we have learned that people over 60 are more susceptible than younger ones. Because we are definitely in that category, we will have to prepare for the fact that we could be asked to self contain in our cottage for a period of time. How blessed we are to live in a cottage away from the main building! I went shopping to get some supplies at Costco and Walmart. Costco seemed well stocked as usual, but Walmart had many empty shelves: all vitamin-C shelves were empty and there were no disinfectant wipes and very little toilet paper. I thought of the years that we lived on the Big Island. Toilet paper was always in short supply because it had to be shipped in from the mainland, and people stocked up as long as it was available. And I thought back to the years in the Dutch East Indies, Indonesia, where I was born and grew up.The locals always had a bottle with water next to the toilet, because water cleaned more thoroughly than paper. That bottle was called Botol Cebok. They cleaned themselves with their left hand (that’s why they always used their right hand for eating).

And then we have the memories of cruising to small, primitive islands in the South Pacific. Going on a land excursion, we were advised to take toilet paper with us. If there was a toilet for the tourists, it would definitely be a squatting toilet. Next to it would be a bucket with water and a scoop to clean oneself. Sometimes they had a dirt floor and the better ones were tiled, like the one in the picture. A toilet like that was offered for tourists at a museum for instance. In the corner was a wastebasket to deposit any toilet paper instead of in the no-flush toilet. Sometimes only a curtain provided privacy. So I decided that, in case of an emergency, as long as we have water, I can use a botol cebok and we will save the paper, as long as we have it, for Mike.

I did find a small jar of Clorox pills, which I can dissolve in water to disinfect surfaces with in the house. That’s better that having to store a gallon container. We are to some extent prepared, but hope it will not get that bad in our environment.

I have been suddenly confronted with the fact that other people see me as an older lady! Someone at Costco offered to take my cart to the depository after I had put my groceries in the car; the attendant in the guard house at the gas station rushed over and offered to finish putting gas in the tank; You just sit down lady, and I will finish up for you and bring you the receipt; and next time I will help you too. Well! A personal attendant at Costco! Not bad! But what are they thinking? I am not grey, I am not stooped, I walk like a teenager! At least that is what I think since I have no more back pain and have been working on my posture. Sigh. It happens, I know. My dear Kumu Hula in Hawai’i got a shock when someone called her Auntie. And she was only sixty-five.

Tax Break

We are now seriously getting ready for tax preparation, so I don’t know if I’ll have to skip a week. We’ll see.

For now, It’s a Wonderful Life!

Until next time,




2 thoughts on “A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-12”

  1. Thank you, Ronny, for all of this. I particularly enjoyed seeing the Asian toilet again, which we in Hong Kong called 101’s. When I took groups of ladies to HK between 2001 and 2008, I warned them what they would find, and recommended they build-up their quads and hamstrings!


    • Yes, fond memories, Carol. I, as a little girl, don’t remember if we had toilet paper. I don’t think so, and Mamma did not write about it at all in her journal. But with the outside latrines…. we could not have had tp.


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