A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-57

Reach for the Stars!

Before I welcome you to my Website I have news that is so exciting I had to add it here:

From Kirkus Reviews:

Rising from the Shadow of the Sun is “An unflinching account of one family’s fight to survive Japanese occupation during World War II.” — Kirkus Reviews

And also, “An eye-opening remembrance that focuses on a courageous mother and her children.” Kirkus Reviews

Click the link above to get your copy today!

And you can click here to read the rest of the review


This is the new Welcome Page on my website ronnyhermandejong.com. I am thrilled with having a Kirkus Review in addition to the 77 other reader reviews I already have on Amazon. It’s complicated there: The 2011 publication (with a commercial publisher) received 52 reviews, and the 2015 publication, the Second Edition, self published, basically the same content with the addition of a few items and better pictures and new cover, received 25 reviews. KDP was able to separate the two, and so the reviews were separated too. Do you follow?

For now, this Review is featured on the Kirkus Reviews website. In March, it will be featured in their bi-monthly magazine and promoted in Kirkus emails. A new readership  to look forward to!


When I went to the Club on Monday to drop off some letters to friends I met Pam coming out of the elevator, “the lady who knows everything”.  I heard that two people had passed away, one with Covid. The halls don’t look like a happy place anymore. Some people sit along the side by the Players club and watch others come and go, including a man on a gurney; some have a distant look in their eyes, one person looked so unkempt I felt sorry for her. I saw an old friend we had dinner with at a table of eight sitting in a corner, sipping coffee. He had lost his wife a few months ago and could not be with her because he fell and broke his hip so had to go to the hospital. I pulled up a chair six feet away and talked a bit with him. He will be moving to a one bedroom apartment this week. We laughed at a few things. It makes me feel so good when I can make people laugh. But I am counting my blessings that we still have each other and live in our cozy cottage until it is safe to go to the club again and things will return to normal.


Poetry today is quite different from the poetry I learned in grade school and even high school. In the Netherlands, it is customary to write a poem with every gift we wrapped “from Saint Nicholas” on December 5th. So around that time of year we all became little poets. But compare that to the poetry of today. I have four friends who are poets – two of them in Arizona, one in Kansas and one in North Carolina. Three of them are published. I have read their poetry and have begun to understand the meaning of their poems.

Then, last week, as a total surprise, a young girl made history during the inauguration services of the new president. 22 Year old  Amanda Gorman  became the youngest person in US history to deliver a poem at a U.S. presidential inauguration, reciting her poem The Hill We Climb. Click on the links and you can read the poem she recited and everything else about her. Her presentation was impressive and the poem was amazing to me in its descriptive clarity. Her books rose to the top on Amazon in one day and she was so delighted. She has a bright future ahead of her!

This is it for now. Today, my mother, Jeannette Herman-Louwerse, would have celebrated her 111th birthday. Her story is about to reach new audiences.

It ‘s a Wonderful Life!

Until next time,






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