A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-26

Negative never sounded so good

You guessed it: we tested negative for Covid-19 and so did all Residents as well as Associates working on Campus. North Carolina is still in Stage Two, and we still have no more freedoms as of this Monday, but they are working on a plan for us to dine in the dining room again. Also, the hair stylist will return next Monday. With only two patrons in the salon at the same time, and only three days a week, there will be a long wait list! I had just changed hairdressers before the lockdown; the new one is close by, but I will wait another few weeks before going back for a cut. Last Monday we both went off campus to the Ophthalmologist for our annual checkup. Mike got his new glasses and I took advantage of being off campus by going to the post office and to Trader Joe’s before the appointment. And so we had to be in isolation for three days, which was easy.

Father’s Day

Father’s Day was fantastic. I had bought flowers and coffee ice cream at Trader Joes, and one of the children had already sent a gift. Then, the family came to drop off some surprises, and, at our urgent request, all came in, at distances, to open gifts, talk a while, and connect Mike’s new iPad to our WiFi. Yes! one of the kids thought Dad should have his own iPad! When he opened the gift he looked like I would have looked if I was presented with the fresh heart of a Marlin that they just caught. (When we had our all-family reunion on Oahu, the kids and grandkids went deep-sea fishing, caught a Marlin and were told by the captain, who cut the fish open, they had to eat a piece of the heart) We shall wait and see if he gets to like the iPad and work with it. An initial FaceTime was fun, as were vacation pictures. Time will tell. I remember when WE got our first iPad, on an all-family reunion for our 45th wedding anniversary at Lake Tahoe. I did not know how jubilant I could be, expressing my total joy and surprise with this wonderful gift. Meant for both of us, I’m afraid I took total possession of it in no time at all.

The Last Wild Men of Borneo by Carl Hoffman

A new Facebook friend in Bali recommended this exciting, informative and very interesting book. And indeed, it was! The true story takes the reader into the deep jungles of Borneo in the sixties, seventies and eighties, in the footsteps of two men, one of whom disappeared eventually, one who now lives in Bali. It’s about the age-old tribal treasures of the Penans, Dayaks and other indigenous tribes they started collecting and selling to famous Art Museums in the world. And it’s about the disappearing of the jungles to bulldozers and chain saws. It’s about adventures in the jungles of an island I always wanted to visit but never had the chance to. And now, after reading this book, I have virtual images of places and rivers, the way they traveled on riverboats, amidst crowds of people carrying all their goods: cooking pots and galvanized roofing, cackling chickens in a bamboo cage and fifty-kilo bags of rice. That conquered images of a very similar boat trip we took in Java, from Tjilatjap (from where my Dad departed in the dead of night to escape the Japanese) to meet up with our driver further up the coast. Those memories are priceless. I could fill a whole book with them.

The 75th Anniversary of VJ-Day

This is the year. August 14, the day, V-J Day75 years ago, in August 1945, my mother, my little sister and I, incarcerated in a Japanese concentration camp on the Island of Java, were close to death I write on my Website’s Welcome Page. Many people don’t realize the importance of this year, the date. It all happened so long ago, and they have other problems on their minds. Like the Covid-19 virus. For me, I already mentioned it before, it is Déjà vu, I’ve been there before. And so I sent out a tweet recently:

L’histoire se répète. The War against COVID-19 is like the War in the Pacific. Today’s enemy a deadly Virus, claiming thousands of lives, the Japanese Army claiming millions. Now in Lockdown, then in a Japanese Camp. We survived in 1945, we will survive again!


And so, it’s a Wonderful Life!

Until next time,




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