A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-24


Monday and Tuesday were frustrating days. Somebody had gotten into my Facebook Page and translated everything into a foreign script that looked like Hebrew, which I could not read, and when I wrote something I typed from right to left: the margins were also on the right. If you need them, nobody is available for help on FB – I could not even find a telephone number! I spent the whole day without getting anywhere. My son could not help, but on Thursday, one of the grandsons offered to get into my Page and he guided me through a few simple steps: change your password – refresh the page, and everything fell into place again. Wah! Why did I not think of him sooner?

On Tuesday, I needed to print a return label for my daughter, and the printer did not work. I spent half a day watching how-to videos and more until I finally found a telephone number and a very patient, very helpful technician at HP who guided me through – again – a few simple steps that fixed the problem. I have learned more about my printer; and I saw that there are many more things it can do than copy and print, basics I have been using it for. Hallelujah! I could sleep again.

Covid Progress

We received a notice that we can now leave campus if necessary with only three days of isolation afterwards. We can also take our car off campus and go for a ride without the three days self  isolation as long as we don’t get out of the car. Plans are in the works for use of the dining room again in very small groups. And on the calendar it says that every resident will be tested on Friday, June 12.

Dining in

On  Saturday nights we get the menu for the coming week delivered to our door with individual sheets to be filled out with our daily menu choice. After filling out the sheets we put them back in the envelope and hang it on the front door, from where it will be picked up by the night shift. There are plenty of choices. Most of the time, the breakfast items are delivered according to our choice although sometimes there is only one orange juice, or two sausages while we scratched those out in favor of bacon. But that is no problem, things like that can happen in the kitchen; someone wanted to do us a favor and gave us bacon plus two sausages, we think. Twice. Until we made it very clear: no sausages.

Dinners get delivered to our door in biodegradable boxes stacked in plastic bags, usually in two plastic bags, knotted together. Often, I find surprises and can’t help laughing when I see what’s in the boxes. I open the bags right away and first take a look at the boxes with the dessert, because on the menu that is listed as Dessert of the day, and you never know what you’ll get, only that it always has mounds of whipping cream with it; that’s with it, because very often it is not on it anymore. I laugh out loud when I open the boxes and see a piece of yellow cake with a turret of whipping cream on top on its side or upside down because the box did not fit in the bag right side up. So the whipping cream is everywhere in the box except on the cake. Or it is a very small piece of chocolate cake in one box and a large one in the other. Or I find two huge pieces of Red Velvet Cake, with whipping cream of course. I know Red Velvet Cake is a favorite of many Americans, but we think it is tasteless, so why consume all the calories? Yesterday, someone had not closed one cup with soup properly, so when I opened the bag the soup was everywhere in the bag, and the bag was leaking onto the counter! It was a soupy mess.

But hey, it is no mean feat to cater to a large community of residents and do everything right. After three months they now have the  administration and execution down pretty well. On top of that, the ladies who are “Activity Managers” come up with balcony singalongs, puzzle sheets and more, and they come around with a “mimosa cart”, “happy hour wine”, “mobile ice cream social”. “milk and cookies” and “Starbucks coffee: one day only!” So we are thankful and do not complain. Yesterday was one of the few days we had signed up for lunch because it was a Waldorf salad and we were looking forward to some greens which are non existent in our daily menu. The first time it was on the menu it was full of lovely greens and bib lettuce. This time, when I picked up our lunches, Sonya next to me opened her box and said with disgust: this is no Waldorf salad! I looked in our boxes, and sure enough, it looked like potato salad with lots of mayonnaise. After dropping off a card on the fourth floor, I went back to the dining room and returned our boxes: compliments to the chef, we would like more greens in our Waldorf Salad; please delete the charges.


When I dropped off our recyclables on Saturday in the Activity Room I heard that two other friends had passed away in the main building last week. One’s widow was very weak and depressed; and another’s wife was depressed as well. And when I walked into the library on my way out I was shocked at the sight of three out of the five people I saw sitting there. A man in a shabby t-shirt and shorts, two women with long, uncombed hair, one with exorbitantly long outgrown acrylic fingernails and no makeup. Apparently after three months of this mostly solitary life some people don’t care about their looks anymore. I had no idea that was happening in the main building, where they can still meet some friends in the common areas –  at a distance, if they want to get out of their apartment. I can now understand the mental illness problems that can happen on the larger scale in the whole country. What a sad result of this horrible Covid-19. I read that North Carolina this past week has had increased hospital cases, so that is not a good sign for our expedited freedom.

Walks with Fitbit

The best time to walk is between 6:30 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. and many days I can accomplish that if it does not rain. Then around 8:00 p.m. is a good time as well, with the sun gone and sometimes a breeze. I can’t wait until we have permission again to get off the property and into Wimbledon. Lani and I will explore the Divide again and walk on to the trail. I have a Fitbit to track my steps. This is my third – I lost a  previous one and gave one away when I could not sync it with my computer anymore. The goal is 10,000 steps per day, which is about four miles, but I frequently get five and sometimes even six miles in a day. Then, yesterday, Fitbit sent me a message:

Staggering! You’ve earned the Africa Badge! It’s a jungle out there,but that’s not stopping you—because at 5,000 lifetime miles, you’ve walked the entire length of Africa! If tat’s not a reason to go bananas, we don’t know what is!

It’s a Wonderful Life!

Until next time,





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