A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-49

Thanksgiving Week

This 2020 Covid-influenced, stretched-out Thanksgiving was amazing! It started on Tuesday night, when an email from our daughters on the west coast announced that surprises for a cozy Thanksgiving would arrive soon and our son and daughter-in-law came by with a large thin-crust pizza, a homemade apple crisp, vanilla ice cream and a lovely, deep red poinsettia. I used to make breads and jams and pies to share with neighbors and shut-ins this time of year wherever we lived, in Pasadena, Hawai’i and Prescott. And now the roles are reversed andĀ we are the shut-ins.

On Wednesday morning two large bags were delivered with a plethora of surprises: a variety of cheeses, crackers, a jar of olives, salmon, sliced salami and a bottle of Josh Cabernet. We cancelled dinner from the Club two nights in a row, and their actual Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday was very disappointing. On Friday morning I decided I would make up for the mushy pumpkin pie (that I did not eat) and make my own favorite lemon pecan pie. Amazon Fresh delivered lemons, sugar, eggs and whatever else I needed the same day, so on Saturday morning I started getting all things together – mixer, grater, lemons, eggs, sugar, and then I could not find the recipe! šŸ™ Ā And I had been looking at it for two days! I searched for it for fifteen minutes, then found a recipe online. I changed that to what I remembered from my own and happily baked two beautiful lemon pecan pies. I had only saved one glass pie dish when we moved, but I used the empty dish of the apple crumble that our daughter-in-law had brought on Tuesday.

After lunch and a lovely walk with Lani in Wimbledon, we set off, the three of us (yes, Lani went along for the ride) to deliver one pecan pie to the de Jong family. We did not get out of the car, but talked to three of them in the driveway, and Lani was a miracle of controlled grace, greeting them though the open window. I borrowed another pie pan, because I wanted to make another lemon pecan pie to give away to neighbors. But when we came home I had second thoughts. I needed a break. And why would I make a lemon pecan pie for neighbors who get desserts from the Club every day, and some of whom would not eat it because of allergies or because they had not enough teeth in their mouth left to eat pecans (I know a few people here. When their teeth got bad, and we got the in-depth stories at the dinner table before the Covid virus struck, they just did not replace them).

Fall weather

The colors faded and the leaves fell faster this year, making the Divide more see through. There are not as many pretty mushrooms along the trail in Wimbledon, and the trail itself is covered in a thick tapestry of leaves: lovely to shuffle through. People in the large homes have been blowing first acorns then leaves off their lawns and driveways onto the streets, with loud noises disturbing the peaceful surroundings. 3″ x 4″ piles of leaves and acorns border the Wimbledon streets, and I think the City will collect them every Monday. The temperatures are so nice, in the sixties, that walking is pure joy and winter seems far away.

Late Sunday morning, after testing the strings of lights we had from last year, I proceeded to string them along the fence by our front door. Well, the weather was nice, and I got my exercise for the day, but that is not really a job for a lady my age anymore! Twice I had sat so long on my haunches, trying to attach light strings to the fence beyond my reach that I had a tough time to get up. Next year I will ask my grandsons to come over and do it for me. But I am glad I did it, because Monday was a rainy day. The sad thing was that I could not test them because the electric outlet by the front door does not work. It has a red light in it, and I could not find an off-switch on the switch board in the laundry. So I’m waiting for Maintenance to send someone to fix it. We don’t have any other way to hook up the lights. So I have my fingers crossed. Well, someone finally came to fix the outlet on Tuesday, and next time I will know what to do. I had pressed the button, but not hard enough! All the outside lights work now! And while he was here, he also replaced a bulb in the chandelier over the breakfast table and got two large bins with Christmas decorations down from the top shelf of the garage closet. I was so happy with this progress that I started on in-home decorations Tuesday afternoon.

Time goes so fast that I forgot to mention that while we had lunch on Monday, a nurse came for another round of testing. The resident-in-isolation tested negative, but two Associates were positive, so we will be tested on a weekly basis until all is safe. We postponed yet again a visit to the dentist because of the danger of infection by all those people who traveled for Thanksgiving and came home contagious.

Goodkindles.net Ā 

Did you ever hear of Goodkindles.net? It is a book promotion site – I think it is based in Great Britain. Today, December 1, 2020, they are featuringĀ Rising from the Shadow of the SunĀ on their main page, and also in the various genres it pertains to: Historical, Biography/Memoir and Non-fiction.

I am so proud that I copied the whole page, because tomorrow it will not be front page news anymore and you will have to look for it in their files.

RISING FROM THE SHADOW OF THE SUN – a Historical Memoir of WWII in the Pacific by Ronny Herman de Jong


https://www.amazon.com/Rising-Shadow-Ronny-Herman-Jong-ebook/dp/B017Y87MFQPicture being a child on a war-torn island in the Pacific during World War II. Imagine being interned and starved nearly to death by a merciless and brutal enemy with no compassion for the innocence of your childhood and no empathy for other prisoners, mostly women and children, who are suffering along with you. Think of what it would be like existing without sanitation and plagued by bug infestations. Envision the horror and the terror that invade your dreams as the sound of falling bombs jar you from your restless sleep at night, your tiny body racked with pain caused by malnutrition, disease and lack of medications. These things happened to Ronny Herman de Jong as a three-year-old little girl, imprisoned in a concentration camp by the Japanese on the Island of Java from 1942 until 1945.

RISING FROM THE SHADOW OF THE SUN has a subtitle: A STORY OF LOVE, SURVIVAL AND JOY. You will find this eyewitness account of life in a Japanese death camp, written in a secret journal by a mother who Loved her two little girls, risked almost everything to save them and herself to Survive the unimaginable physical and mental stress of four years of harsh treatment by the Japanese; and you will be moved by her utter Joy of being reunited with her Pilot husband, who escaped the Japanese on a ship with unknown destination in the dark of night and, unbeknownst to her, joined the Allied Forces in Sri Lanka. This book tells his story as well, parallel to the timeline of his wife and children’s incarceration.
This is a little known part of history of World War Two in the Pacific. View the book trailer here:

Ā https://youtu.be/Ihda5ziPQvoĀ 

So, to all my friends and followers I say: please, if you have not read my book – this one is the most important – please read it. I am honoring my courageous mother who wrote her secret journal for four years while we were incarcerated by the Japanese; I am the last one in the family who can talk about it, the last survivor of our little Herman family. And wherever you live in the world, USA, Canada, Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Australia, to name a few where I have fans, Amazon is everywhere, and they carry at least the Kindle version, sometimes the print. And, another thought, if you have read it but you have readers on your Christmas list: it would be a lovely Christmas gift!

It’s a Wonderful Life!

Until next time


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