A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-51

Zooming in and out

We are not yet allowed to have visitors, but once in a while things have to be done that we can’t do and then our son comes to the rescue. So, too, this week. We needed to get our winter comforter out of storage and replace the summer one. Then, when we got our new computer, I ordered extra memory so we would be prepared for the long haul. So at the appointed time, our masked son zoomed in and went directly to the bedroom. Ten minutes later he shot across to the office, where he turned the computer on its side and replaced the memory. Within twenty minutes he was in and out. It was wonderful to have at least seen him.

Employee Christmas bonuses

For the past three days I have been busy emailing back and forth with a friend in the main building about the fact that two long-time employees, who had left employment here in November, did not get a Christmas bonus, because they were not here on December 1, when the bonuses were distributed. The rule is that we, residents, may only show our appreciation for employees by donating money to the Christmas fund. The Treasurer divides that money between all non-salaried employees, based on a point system of how many hours they worked during the past year. Anyway, these two employees, the dining room hostess and the move-in coordinator, left probably because we were not eating in the dining room any more, and there were no people moving in. They were not aware of the cutoff date. And we feel strong, because such a thing was not mentioned in the bylaws.

The treasurer, aware I was trying to get bonuses for the two ladies, called me and told me to stop. When I continued to defend my case, she hung up on me. She went to the apartment of my friend in the main building and told her to back off too. But my friend said she would fight for the employees. After going door to door with a petition I drafted, we both got a total of 42 signatures in two days. Today I wrote a strong but nice letter to the Board members, with attached the lists with signatures, and a blind copy to my friend. Now we are waiting what they will do. If it is a go and we will get two checks, one friend in the main building will find out phone numbers and addresses of the employees, and then we will mail them the checks. If the Board does not budge, some of us will collect some money and send the employees a bonus anyway. It feels so good to fight a case when you know you are right and have some support! And I can write fantastic letters, if I say so myself. I’m proud of my letters!


Often, out of the blue, I think of someone that I have not heard of for a long time or a very long time. When I call, there often is something wrong with the person or someone close. This past week, calling a friend in the Netherlands, I heard that her son was terminal with colon cancer. We know him well – he was only 64. Last night, I called an old high school friend in Hawai’i. We were together the first year of high school in Surabaya, then we lost touch. Twenty years later, in Los Angeles, we met again at an Indo dinner; they moved to Hilo, Hawai’i, she became our travel agent, and in 1990 we moved to Hilo as well, and we did many fun things together. We moved to Arizona, and then to North Carolina. Writing Christmas cards, I called her to see if they still lived in Hilo or had moved to Spain, as they had been planning. She told me in tears that her husband had just died, and we had a long talk together. I could come up with more examples, but don’t want to be so morbid. When Mamma was in her eighties, she often said, this is a time of saying goodbye. We are starting to experience it; family members, good friends, we can’t keep them with us on a string, we have to let go when it is their time.

And so, we realize the treasured life we have; we are thankful for every new day, for having each other and our children and their families. Which reminds us of two unbelievably beautiful concerts we just heard.

Christmas Cantatas

Our granddaughter’s high school’s choir put together a beautiful concert on Youtube. It was so moving to hear those young teenagers sing, in many voices, We shall overcome, knowing that they are starting their lives in a world full of violence, with a pandemic and problems with climate change and more, and yet, they know they shall overcome. Our daughter-in-law, minister of music in a large church, had worked with her choir since July, for many hours, on a beautiful, eight part Christmas Cantata which we heard live on Sunday. Unbelievably complicated and awe inspiring.

So yes, there is hope. If people in dire circumstances like this can produce things of beauty with techniques they have never used before, and grow and learn, and teach others, times will get better.

It’s a Wonderful Life!

Until next time,














2 thoughts on “A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-51”

  1. Thank you Ronny for these thoughts. ‘Tis the season but still it seems more so this year possibly due to the plague. I’m feeling so l loved by my friends who are in still in contact after all these years.

    • Thank you, Anna Konya. I have been wearing your friendship for about 25 years. And nobody but you will understand what that means! Have a wonderful Christmas and a blessed new year.


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