A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-27

It’s only a matter of time,

they said. And even though I never thought the virus would get to Waltonwood with all the strict rules we have here, it happened. We first heard about it when we got a phone call on Thursday morning from our physician, who said she was not coming for her three-monthly checkup, but could we set up a conference? Sure, I said. Well, I had participated in two Zoom conference meetings, but I had never set one up. Doctor would call back in ten minutes. I don’t know how, but I got it done: I set up a Google Meet program on the Mac, and we had a very pleasant meeting. All was well with our blood!

In the course of this week we have received several updates from Management about the current situation. Two Associates in Memory Care went home with symptoms and one person in Independent Living tested positive and will be in isolation in her apartment for 14 days. Of course they did not tell us who was sick, but in a place like this things do leak out. There are two people who always know everything. Thus we heard (in Hawai’i we say through the coconut drum) that one of the Associates is now in the hospital – poor person! – and the person in Independent Living is a single woman on the fourth floor, whom I have never even met because she must have been fairly new and hardly ever came out of her door. Thus the rules have become stricter: visitations, sitting outside with friends or family, are no longer allowed. That’s good, because on my daily dog walks I noticed visitors sitting outside with residents frequently. With masks, but yet… Visits with people in Assisted Living are still allowed, by reservation, talking through the closed window in the small meeting room next to the Assisted Living front door. So they can see each other and talk on the phone. We are even more careful now, and I will not go into the Club anymore, not even to say hello to Lani’s favorite person at the front desk.

A mouse in the house

It happened early on during our stay here, and now it happened again: I found droppings in the pantry, a roll of candy that we don’t like was open, a little container of peanut butter had dropped to the floor and was partially chewed open, and the bag of dog treats was nibbled on; thank goodness not opened. I showed it to the maintenance man on Friday and he came to the door early on Monday morning to put two sticky mouse traps in the pantry; then sealed the bottom crack of the door again with the tape that I had put on it. We shall see what happens. As of today, the pantry door is still sealed.

The 75th Anniversary of VJ-Day

This is a very special year, at least for me. VJ-Day came just in time for the three of us in Camp Halmahera. Because of VJ-Day, we got a second chance on life. And here I am, alive and well, the last of our little family, to tell the story of the three years of captivity so painstakingly written down by Mamma in her secret journal. In exchange for an honest Review on Amazon (so more people can hear the story), I am giving away free copies of my Audiobook  Rising from the Shadow of the Sun, A Story of Love, Survival and Joy.    https://youtu.be/jO4jcZ1dh3M

Even if you have read the book, the Audiobook gives you the sounds and atmosphere of those camp experiences and the joy of living again after the war. For your free copy, contact me at ronnyhermandejong@gmail.com

Off-campus vacations

Well, since summers are for taking vacations, and since Covid-19 has totally ruined our family reunion plans, which we would have been right in the middle of now, I feel shortchanged. I am envious of other people who left campus to go on vacations to the beach of a week or longer, then came back for a three-day isolation. I am finally getting restless, after almost four months. Why can’t we go somewhere? We can’t even get together with our son and his  family. But then I said to myself, now, be reasonable, Ronny, you do not want to get sick. You are planning to live to be at least a hundred in good health, like Mamma. So do not take risks! Yes, but I will be careful! You can’t be careful enough with other people around. Pout. Snivel. Sigh.

Then I thought of something. I had a plan! And the future did not look so bleak anymore. We are allowed to leave campus as long as we stay in our car. We are surrounded by lovely, treed areas with small lakes, and all I have done for three years is drive roads and freeways to see doctors, take the dog to training and run errands. So I decided to plan mini-vacations for myself in the weeks to come, to explore neighboring areas, to take pictures to show to  Mike. Because Mike is totally not interested. He is happy to be at home, even if I am not there, and he is happy for me if I can enjoy nature on my mini vacations in the neighborhood.

It’s a Wonderful Life!

Until next time,




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