A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-33

Covid Testing

Good news from the executive director: after repeated testing of the positive Associates, and isolation of those who were in contact with them, everybody tested negative. Starting next week, we will be having communal dining in the dining room again, and activities with 6 – 10 people in the room will resume. The staff asked me if I wanted to do a presentation again in the theatre to commemorate VJ-Day, and they scheduled it for the 13th and the 14th. Twice? Yes, because there are only 6 people allowed in the theatre at one time with proper spacing. Well, if you ask me, the theatre easily has room for 10 people with proper spacing, but management said no. 6 compared to 60 is very few, but I have addressed small book groups before, so it’s all right. Because of the age of the people here, and because they might only be interested in the camps, I will show half the number of slides. Then, if they all say, please continue, I don’t have to go yet, I can always continue. But I understand that if you’ve got to go, you got to go! Until now, however, the projector is still broken. So if it can’t be fixed before Thursday, I’m taking two days off!

We have decided that if they open the dining room and serve as before, 2 people to a table of seven, we will pick up our dinner and eat at home. Because there is virtually no contact with others. We wave from a distance, sometimes say a few words, but that’s it. And eating at home together it is very comfortable, from real plates with real silverware :-). When we can have three to a table, we will go back.

My Dipladenia: 

For mother’s day I received a potted pink Dipladenia, a plant new to me. I have watched its growth over the last three months and am surprised at the way it has filled out, just like a woman’s body fills out, spilling over the edge of the pot, now twice its size. And then, a few weeks ago, a thin green “arm” reached out. Searching in all directions; first left, then straight up the wall, up to the white tiles, growing in length, until it found the potted gardenia! It felt its way around a branch and curled around another, and lo!  On the bridge between two plants buds have formed and are about to open. It looks like plants have a need for company, just like people need other people to thrive. No person should live or die alone. It happens too often. There are so many lonely people in this world, I only have to look around me. They brighten up when they get a phone call or a card. My little sister died all alone in a hospital bed in the Netherlands, unbeknownst to her 101-year old mother in an Assisted Living in another town, and without her family by her side. When I heard Paula was admitted to the hospital, I bought a plane ticket to be with her. But her daughter-in-law said, what’s the use? and I cancelled my flight. Perhaps I have told you this before. Sometimes, it just pops up in my memory, especially when a neighbor passes away.


Death in our neighborhood

One of the neighbors in the cottages passed away on Saturday, in the hospital. He was not alone – his two daughters were with him. But he had suffered for three whole weeks and had become so tired and frail that we all expected he would have to let go soon. He did not have the Covid virus, but nevertheless his passing is devastating for his wife, who depended on him for many things. She was not allowed to visit him in the hospital, but thankfully his daughters could each take turns to come for one day, and in the end, they could both sit with him. Life is so short. We never know when it is our time. So make every minute count, live a day at a time, set goals for tomorrow and love each other.

Remote FOB battery replacement

Ah! I am so proud of myself! I remotely replaced the batteries in three of our car Fobs yesterday. When I took Lani to be groomed on Monday, my dashboard warned me that my Fob battery was low. So when I picked her up again I took the second Fob we have in the drawer. Goodness! The same warning appeared on the dashboard. Just in case I lose both Fobs, we have a third one in Mike’s secret drawer. That battery was low too! I envisioned having to take them to the Ford dealer, or to AAA, for service, but I first called our son. He texted me a video of how to remotely replace the battery in my Fobs – of course it was a video specifically for our car, because all cars are different. I happen to have the 2032 batteries in the house, because I use those for our Fitbits. So I did it, and they all work. I could not have done it without that video, but I did it! And, did you know that inside a Fob is a little key to open your car door with? I haven’t quite figured out when to use that though. Perhaps if the Fob has a totally dead battery and you are locked out of your car, you can take that little key out and open the door. But then what? You can’t drive unless the Fob works, right? Oh well, it’s good to know, but I am glad it will not happen to me, because all my Fobs are working again.

The sprinklers

The sprinkler system turned on Monday afternoon around 4:00 p.m. It turned off again after a while everywhere else, but around our cottage it stayed on. I reported it twice, but apparently nobody could do anything about it until the outside Sprinkler Maintenance Company would come on Wednesday. What happened? The principle of communicating vessels. The water from the pond drained into the sprinkler system, then ran down the street and into the storm drain, from where it was channeled into the large overflow pit next to our cottage, and from there down and out via the little stream by our trail to the next community, Wimbledon. And the pond? The fountain is still running, but the water level went down six feet and now consists of two small puddles with a wide bridge across, in between them. I could walk across the bridge easily from one side to the other. I won’t do that, because I would first have to climb over a little fence, then down to the water and across, and things down there will be muddy, for sure. And so, when we look outside, everything looks like it has rained, nice and fresh!

I saved two lives!

A few weeks ago, we had a mouse in the pantry. The Maintenance guy gave me two small glue traps to catch it. But the mouse was long gone, and the traps stared at me each time I carefully opened the pantry door. So I put them on the floor in the garage and forgot about them. On Saturday morning, when I looked again, I thought I had caught a snake. Because Friday evening I saw a 14″ snake crawl across our front porch towards the border. Hm, I’d better be careful when I cross the Divide with Lani,” I said to Mike. And now…there was something in the trap. When I looked closer I saw not a snake but a large lizard. Aww, I felt so bad. I did not know what to do. So I did nothing. It was still there the next day. I called Maintenance, but it was weekend and the man did not come, even though he lives on the property. To make a long story short: on Tuesday night I thought I would look it up on Google: How to save a lizard from a glue trap. I found it, and it seemed easy. I put a little chair outside the front door in the shade, a plastic cutting board on the floor in front of it, put on gloves and went to the garage to get the trap out. What I found was not one lizard, but two! Isn’t that heartbreaking? They stuck together!  I put the trap on the cutting board, cut it open at the top and folded the sides away. Then, with my little watering can I dropped some water on them to cool them off. They were still alive! Both of them! In 90 degree temperatures for three days and three nights! I happened to have a small bottle of olive oil in the house, and drizzled a little around them; swabbing it with a cotton swab around their feet, tails and bodies. And in less than five minutes they broke loose: first one, then the other. What a miracle! They ran as lizards can run in the direction of the border, which was nice and soggy; because even lizards love life!

Conclusion: Always have batteries of all shapes and sizes in the house and always make sure you have a bottle of olive oil in the kitchen. And definitely never use glue traps!

It’s a Wonderful Life!

Until next time,



1 thought on “A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-33”

  1. So sad about Paula dying alone after all you two have been through in your lives. But the happy lizard survival story balanced you’re news. I’ll have to look into the delapidania plant, so gorgeous! I’ve never before heard about them.
    Thank you, Ronny


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