A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-61

The hawk

On the one sunny day after two weeks of rain, when I walked with Lani around the building in the afternoon, she suddenly stood stock still and looked up. I heard the sound of an airplane, so I said, that’s an airplane, and looked up as well. I did see the airplane, but closer, right above my head, on the street sign that read Kirkshire Circle, I saw Larry. I don’t really know if it was Larry, the Waltonwood hawk, who lives in the Divide and surrounding forest, because I never saw Larry from so close by. We stared at each other, the three of us. I couldn’t help admiring how beautiful he was, and how big, compared to the ravens I see around all the time. And just when I started thinking about the capture of my big bullfrog on the beach of the pond, and the threats to the ravens’ nest every year, Lani barked. I think she shared my feelings that went from admiration to loathing. And Larry felt it too. With formidable hauteur he lifted off the street sign, made a half circle and soared into the Divide, where I saw him descend on a tree branch in Wimbledon. The Divide is completely see-through in winter, because all deciduous trees are bare and the pines and firs are tall. How is it possible, I thought, that Lani noticed the hawk while she walks face down most of the time? Was it instinct? A sense of threat?  And of course birds of prey need prey to stay alive, so I should not despise Larry.

The dining room is open!

Last Tuesday, the dining room opened for breakfast. We have a choice of “dining in” or picking up. For now, because we don’t get up at 5:50 anymore, after a year of laziness, I am picking up breakfast every day. It stands ready, with many other breakfasts in white plastic bags, on the table and bar in the Café. On Sunday, there was a long line, from the dining room entrance all the way to the Players Club Room; every body wearing masks, but not spaced 6 feet apart. A sign at the entrance said We are understaffed today, breakfast will be served from 8:15 a.m. They are struggling in the kitchen: with lack of trained workers and workers who just don’t show up or quit. I think that this is by far the lowest point we have reached in the Covid year, with many vacant apartments and lack of variety in the menu. But then, the end is in sight! We are all vaccinated, visitation is allowed again, as long as we make a reservation at the front desk. The dining room was open for dinner on Monday, even allowing tables of three. So we are hanging in there, and…I made a wonderful discovery.

Thai Lotus

A Facebook friend recommended a Thai Restaurant close by, with very good reviews, and they deliver within a 4.5 mile radius. We are just over that at 4.8 miles, but they made an exception! So on Monday we ordered Thai dinner. It came 40 minutes after my phone call and it was wonderful. It was warm upon arrival, so did not need re-heating in the microwave, and it was fragrant and delicious, with just the right spiciness. (to compare, think of the special Valentine’s treat from the kitchen: steak and lobster – heated in the microwave!) So we decided that we would order Thai food every time the kitchen menu does not sound delectable.


An Indo friend posted a nice poem on Facebook in Dutch and Indonesian. I could not resist translating it into English so that more English speaking Indo’s and other people can enjoy it. Perhaps they will post it in The Indo Project (TIP) as well.


A land exists that no one can imagine,
But it exists, and is close to my heart.
And like a child who dearly loves her mother
I do adore my lovely motherland.

This land, recurrently appearing in my dreams
Is with me still throughout the day.
She does not leave, she wants my company
And that is hurting, yet it gives me joy.

Oh yes, I know, so many years have passed,
But long ago, that’s where I saw the light!
I had to leave, regardless of my prayers,
But mentally I never left her sight.

And that’s ok, I think. We lost something,
A thing of cosmic value:
The country of our birth, a part of us,
A part of Mother Earth.

Now, people are complaining things are bad.
But I am silent: We gave up all we had!
Does anyone on earth fathom our loss?
Did you receive a band-aid for a gash?

Does anyone perceive what Indo’s suffer?
Uprooted and put down in foreign soil?
I think not! So I will keep on loving
That land of unity, of peace and of allure,

That country full of youthful memories,
The most alluring country in the world:
My precious island girdle,
My lovely Emerald Belt.


It’s a Wonderful Life!

Until next time,











2 thoughts on “A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-61”

  1. Ronny, this is fabulous and brought tears to my eyes. It made me think of my dear husband’s experience as a child in a Japanese Concentration Camp in Weihsien in north China with his family. Fortunately the family was not pulled apart as you were in the Dutch East Indies. Thank you for sharing this poem. It is so apropos to the Pacific War years in Asia.


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