A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-63

Tax Returns Done!

Our returns were done, e-filed, accepted and approved in the same day! What a relief to have that behind me and what an accomplishment: I did them all by myself! ¬†With Mike’s saved receipts, Schwab’s downloaded forms and the knowledge of having them done together for many years it did not take me too long. I can recommend Turbo Tax to anyone with a computer and some computer skills.

New CDC guidelines

On Monday, the CDC announced that it is safe for fully vaccinated people (us) to visit with unvaccinated family members in the same household, as long as there are no high risk people in that family. How wonderful! It means that we can get together with our family to celebrate our grandson’s birthday next week! We promised to treat the whole family to Thai food and a favorite dessert of the birthday boy. It will be our first unmasked visit with our family in a year and we are so looking forward to it!

The new guidelines may also mean that we can sit with 4 people at a table for 7, so that we can have a decent conversation. Last Friday, we decided to go to Happy Hour at the Club. We found a table with six people around it and without further ado we started the second one, and had the opportunity to meet a nice new couple. Well, they had already been here three months, but because of Covid, we had never met yet.

Introduction Newcomers

Three couples, a single lady and a little dog have entered our Independent Living Community. My first encounter was with the little white dog, four years old, about the size of Lani, 23 pounds. They have an outside entrance and a tiny yard, and they really made it cute. With the help of a sister, they installed a tiled path from the walkway to the door, with a solar paneled light on either side of the entrance. There are four decorative little rabbits in their yard and a drinking fountain for the birds, and they created a dog run that has a six feet high fence around it. “She is a jumper,” they told me. Oh, I am so glad that Lani is not! We close the sunroom when she goes to bed at night with a 2 feet high gate, and a similar two feet high gate provides an unsurmountable barrier between the patio and the pine-needle-covered pee area. Although she does not dig in the dirt anymore like she used to as a puppy, you’ll never know, so we keep the gate closed when she is on the patio by herself.

When we came to live here in Waltonwood, there were strict health restrictions in place. I was not even sure I would be admitted, because I had hypertension. Well, there are so many vacancies now, that Management seems to turn a blind eye to almost every ailment people have, in order to fill as many apartments as possible. One couple coming into the dining room last night was a pitiful sight: the man, completely bent over, pushed his wife in a wheelchair to the table. They must have been in their nineties. Even though we love to meet new people and help them to get settled, there is so little valuable communication possible to enrich our lives. While it is true that we lose friends because they die physically, we also lose them when they fade away mentally. One good friend we often had dinner with moved to Assisted Living because he had rheumatoid arthritis. I was so happy to discover that the window of his room was facing the path where I walk daily. Thinking he would be happy to see a familiar face, I waved a few times, then dropped off a card for him at the desk with my phone number. When nothing happened, I asked one of the caregivers why he would not call me. She said, “He does not know who you are. He saw you, but forgot who you are. That’s how it goes here.” That’s indeed how it goes. And it is difficult to realize that it happens all around us and we lose friends even when they disappear behind the doors of Assisted Living, physically still there, but often fast declining and moving behind the next door.

So I am focusing on the wonderful things we have together and the many things we can still do. I am thankful for family close by and far away, and looking forward to this summer, when, hopefully, we can have another all-family reunion on the beach, a celebration of our 60th wedding anniversary. The temperatures are rising, we are having spring weather already and the time change is coming up this Sunday. We’ve had tulips, and Trader Joe’s is selling daffodils – irresistible! Yesterday, I had a decent haircut in the salon. I keep showing the stylist pictures of how I really want it cut, but she only glances at them and then does her own thing. After I wash and style it myself will I know if it is a good cut. Since I did not have a regular hair stylist before Covid, going out will be a gamble, so for now I will stay. And I must say that it is very convenient to have an in-house salon!¬†“Life is what you make it” one resident told us when we first arrived. I do believe that, but life sometimes throws you curveballs that you can’t avoid. Yet…

It’s a Wonderful Life!

Until next time,

Ronny

 

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