A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-76

Our Pond

Mother Goose had spent two months sitting on eggs that did not hatch; she finally found out they were not fertilized and would never hatch, and joined her mate, catching up on eating and walking around and swimming together.  Meanwhile, out of nowhere, a mother duck had arrived in the pond, followed by five little ducklings. It was a joy to watch them grow, and anxiously watch whether all five were still there. Five became four, but then those four, closely following their mother on land and in the water, grew until the were about half the size of their mother. The blue heron visited again and swallowed, with difficulty, another frog; one of the turtles came up on land to sit in the sun in the afternoons. It was so much fun to watch that we sent a request to the assistant Manager to put a bench at the top of the pond, so Residents could sit and watch for a while. The pond is deep down, so can’t be seen from the Gazebo, nor from he street, unless you stand close to the fence.

One week later, all pond life had disappeared. No more geese (but they could have flown North), but all five ducks had disappeared as well. My thought is that one of the maintenance men hired a company to remove all fowl in the middle of the night and take them elsewhere. What a scare that must have been for those poor birds. Anyway, the ED would look into it, his assistant did also, but nobody came up with a possible answer. “One of the Residents may have done it..” Yeah right, someone in a wheelchair, assisted by someone with a walker, assisted by someone with infrared light,… no, that was not the answer. To make a long s tory short, I emailed the ED that I had found the answer. After three days of rain the water level of the pond rose to such height, that the four little ducklings could not keep their heads above water and went under, and the mother was so desperately looking for her babies under water that she ran out of breath and disappeared below the surface never to be seen again. I told him it was a fascinating topic to write a story about and to leave it at that.

We all hope we will soon have some life in our pond again to enjoy when we pass. A bench will be out of the question for now, I think.

Father’s Day

We had a lovely Father’s Day brunch at the Club, gifts and cards from all the kids and grandkids, and a brief visit from our son and wife, who came by after church. We had already been together last Sunday, when the whole family came over for lunch and to celebrate a birthday, a graduation, and an early Father’s Day. It is so special to live so close to family and to be able to visit again in person, without masks, and to feel safe.

I had to think of a song that always brings tears to my eyes when I hear it: Cat’s in the Cradle. There is an old man here in Waltonwood, whom we have known since we got here, when his wife was still alive. He is now alone, but once I saw his son visiting him. Henry is one hundred years old, he is skinny and does not shave every day, but he sits outside sometimes, reading a book. This man is extremely intelligent and had a very high class technical job; someone told me what he used to do, but that was three years ago and I forgot it. Henry has invited us and others too, to come over and have a glass of white wine with him; which we never did, because, really, we drink mostly red wine and Mike hardly drinks at all. So today, at the end of the day, I said to Mike “I would like to go to Henry’s apartment and give him a bottle of white wine from our refrigerator for father’s Day”. I went at 5 p.m., when I had to pick up our dinner anyway, and called ahead of time to make sure Henry was home. He was. He was delighted to see me and gave me a big smile and thank you for the wine. We stepped outside onto his lovely patio, which is looking out at the inner courtyard. I asked if his son had been over for a visit, for lunch perhaps? “No, he is very busy, he has his own business. And his wife is very busy too.” What kind of business it was he explained but I could not understand. “But Henry, today is Father’s Day.”
“Yes, I know. I called him at eight o’clock this morning. but he said he was busy.”
“I am so sorry to hear that. I am glad I came, and I hope I made your day.”
“You sure did, sweetheart. Would you not stay for a glass of white wine?”
“No, I have to go home with dinner. But I may take you up on your offer sometime.” A vague promise.
“Oh, please, do, and bring your husband with you.”

We should really do that. There is not much time left to receive guests if you are a hundred years old. And having guests is such a joy in the loneliness of every day.

Vacation Planning

The week is finally here! The week of planning and packing and getting ready for our two-week beach vacation. Everyone is ready for it. And even though I will have no use for my snorkel, I hope to dive into the ocean once again and swim to my heart’s content. We are being treated like royalty and only have to take care of packing our own things. Without telling us the kids got together and, knowing we would arrive late on Saturday afternoon, at the same time as hundreds of other tourists, they ordered groceries online from one of the stores, and paid, so everything will be ready for curbside pickup when we get there. Possibilities in the aftermath of Covid! So many wonderful things to look forward to! What joy!

May your days be peaceful and happy.

Until next time,


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