A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-47

My new Mac

is wonderful! It works with the speed of light it seems, and has many new features I still have to learn more about. The desktop image is again a Hawaiian ocean scene: this time it is “dawn in Kailua-Kona”, on Oahu. The printer works again without having to turn off the WiFi, and I could even print from my iPad in the living room. I love all this modern technology!

New Covid Scare

Last Wednesday, all the relative freedoms we had in the past weeks were withdrawn again: no visitations, no scheduled activities, no meals in the dining room. A flyer from the Assistant manager stated these new regulations and explained that they had found one resident in Memory Care and one caregiver in Memory care testing positive for Covid. The resident was taken to the hospital, the Associate went home to wait in quarantine until she would be better. On Monday we would all be tested again, with the team going door to door. But on Monday morning all testing was cancelled because one of the testing nurses got sick. While many residents had looked forward to getting together with family for Thanksgiving, the Culinary team had envisioned a new lockdown, so the traditional Thanksgiving dinner will be served on the actual evening. In previous years, we had our dinner a week early, to give residents the opportunity to be with their families on the outside on Thanksgiving day and/or weekend. So this year we’ll just be together in our cozy cottage, connected to our three families by zoom. C’est la vie.

A purpose for each day

At a time like this, eight months into a lockdown with very little communication with family or the rest of the world, I feel we need to set a goal for each day, give each day a purpose; at least, that makes me happy. The problem is that I have so many goals for each day that I lack the time to do them all! I started on Sunday with the harvest of my ginger.


When we lived on the Big Island of Hawai’i, we had a friend who had a ginger farm across the highway, in Papaikou. Once in a while he came over with a large “hand” of fresh ginger – clean and fresh and so beautiful. At that time I created recipes with ginger: ginger banana bread, ginger carrot cake, and, my favorite: banana ginger jam. For many years we had a slice of the banana bread or carrot cake (without frosting) with our morning coffee, and the jam was not only delicious on toast, but also made wonderful gifts.

Before Covid, when we dined in the dining room, I would sometimes bring an exotic fruit from the Asian store close by to show to people at our table. One day, I brought a small, 3×3″ piece of ginger as the topic of our conversation. Afterwards, I put it in the large antique fruit bowl on the kitchen counter. It remained there until I came across it the second time I emptied the bowl, sometime in March. The ginger had shrunk to a pitiful dry piece; yet I could not throw it away. I found a pot and some potting soil in the garage and planted it, according to Google’s instructions, 1/2″ below the surface and put the pot on our front patio. The following months I was absolutely delighted to watch first one, then another, then a total of eight green stalks rise up to a height of two feet. There was life in my shrunken ginger, life after death!

On Sunday I decided it was time for the harvest. When I started cutting off the stalks, I discovered a bud – a flower-to-come? How delightful! I did not cut that flower, but decided I would plant it again with the root attached. It was a little difficult to dig up the ginger root with my hands, because it filled up the whole pot. I found a tool to help me: my mother’s antique silver serving fish fork that I had not used since we live here, because I don’t cook anymore. It worked like a charm, and I got the whole ball of ginger, dirt and all, out of the pot. This was yet another item that served a different purpose in another time of my life!

Back to the front porch, where I have a garden hose at the ready (until it starts freezing). I cleaned the ball till most of the soil had come off, and continued to clean it on the kitchen counter. It was an amazing sight! With the sharpest knife I own, never used, I cut the ginger roots in pieces and cleaned those some more. (It’s like editing, you need to do it multiple times.) On Monday, I brushed some more dirt away until all the pieces were ready for consumption. I was going to make banana ginger jam.

In the mean time, realizing that I had a lot of bananas from the Club and fresh ginger from my patio but virtually nothing else, I ordered sugar and lemons and more from Amazon Fresh, and the wait is for the mason jars from Amazon. They will come today, Wednesday, so you know what I will be doing! Oh joy! Life couldn’t be better!


It’s a Wonderful Life!

Until next time,










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