A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-13

Drastic Measures

Management and servers had created a drastic change in the breakfast setup in the dining room when we came in for breakfast Thursday morning. Instead of the long buffet table in the center, where everyone could serve themselves from various containers of grits, oatmeal, yoghurt, cottage cheese, fruit, chopped up fruit and more, plus juices, cereal and toast on the side board, the buffet was set up at the end of the room and gloved servers provided everything upon request. They toasted bagels, muffins and toast, served cut fruit in closed cups, fresh bananas and apples wrapped individually, pastries served on plates, water in covered plastic glasses, as were condiments like raisins, brown sugar and so on. Dinner on Saturday night was buffet style as well, with soup and desserts, coffee and tea brought to the tables.

Déjà vu

March 13, 1943
The camp is closed.

..…A neighborhood boy came running in to tell us that the camp gate was closed and no one could get in or out. Imagine the shock. We couldn’t get out…
…The central kitchen dished out one flat scoop of rice per person and one ladle of watery soup with a few vegetables….

I see it again, the way Mamma described it in her journal… How eerie it is! The unimaginable camp experiences of a little girl re-lived seventy-seven years later. The menacing killer outside not the cruel Japanese, intent on conquering all of Asia, but a virus so lethal that it is conquering the whole world.

March 13, 2020
In Lockdown

We are strongly urged not to leave the property. No people from the outside are allowed to enter with the exception of medical personnel. The postman just drops off all the mail outside the front door. A staff member sorts the mail and delivers it to the shelves outside everyone’s apartment. We, at the cottages, get our mail in a large mailbox on the street with individual slots, and that will stay the same. Groceries can be ordered from local stores to be delivered, including medications. Our local pharmacy does not deliver however. So I ordered three refills of each medication we needed, a 90 day supply, and our son, still on the “outside”, picked them up, delivered them to the chair outside our front door and in the process took home the bag with a birthday gift for one of the grandsons. We all depend on family members on the outside, who are still healthy and able to get necessities for us that Waltonwood does not supply.

Our fobs, with which we could enter all side doors and the doors to Assisted Living, were dismantled – everyone has to enter through the front door of Independent living and have his temperature checked. Mine registered an error message time after time and I had to wait in the hall until it registered ok. Apparently, coming from the outside, my forehead was too cold – the gadget only registers temperatures between 94 and 100 degrees.

On Monday, the breakfast room was set for four people per table, normally seven. And at dinner time, again, we sat with four to a table and only 49 people were admitted for the first seating at 4:30 p.m.; the people who came later had to wait until the tables were empty, wiped down, including the chairs, and set again. And that is now the new normal. We decided that we will order in for a while. Many people already did that tonight. We can call the front desk around 3:00 p.m. and order from the menu, to pick everything up around 4:45 p.m. (That’s like collecting it from the central kitchen).

To be sure, as far as care and food are concerned, we are far better off than in the camp seventy-seven years ago. All these strict measures are to keep us safe. In 1943, we were locked up so that the Japanese could systematically eradicate us all in the most cruel way. But the women persisted! They fought back as if their lives depended on it; which they did. And they survived! Because of the strength and faith and love of my Mamma I am alive! Alive and thankful for all the blessings that continue to come our way.

It’s a Wonderful Life!

Until next time,





4 thoughts on “A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-13”

  1. Hi Ronny,
    This must be so hard to relive the memories our current limitations are stirring up. My in-laws are in assisted living in Florida and are experiencing even more stringent restrictions there. It seems surreal that things have changed in just two weeks. Sending you love and virtual hugs.
    Be well,

    • Thank you, Cheri. It is surreal to me that similar things are happening to me now than when I was a four-year-old. I had no clue of what was happening then, and I am thankful that Mamma wrote down everything that was happening to us and how she felt about them. Sending best wishes for your in-laws.

  2. Ronny,
    Having read both of your books, and having a husband who was also in a concentration camp for three years, (as you remember, he was in Weihsien in north China with his family) this is all too real for him. At least we can still order meals from local restaurants and our little market is still open. Like you, everything else has come to a standstill – no church, no meetings, no cinema, no gatherings of any kind. Thank goodness for TV, Netflix and Prime, so we will keep our minds occupied on other things, like the stock market disaster. As our British son-in-law says, Keep Calm and Carry On. God bless, Carol and Terry

    • Thank you Carol and Terry. Yes, I have your story. It is sobering to read it again. Here, we walk some, with and without Lani, our dog; we have a jigsaw puzzle on the table; we just finished doing our taxes and both Federal and State were accepted and approved the same day. And, taking the example of Dottie, we will start on a new project: work through our photo albums. Of course we follow the virus updates and watch movies now and then and FaceTime with the kids and grandkids is fun.
      Thank you for your comments. Stay healthy.


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