A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-88


On Monday morning, collecting breakfast goods at the buffet in the dining room, a lady I had not met before, looking at my jacket, asked if it was cold outside. “Yes,” I said, “it was 53 degrees when I walked my dog at 7:00.” She liked my name and a asked how to spell it. Now she had my full attention, because very few people ask the spelling of any name, and I always do. So she spelled her name. “Lindsey, with an e.” Then she asked if my father was living in town. “No, my father passed away already (23 years ago :-)) but my son lives close by.”
“Oh, you look so young.”
“I am proud to be 82.” She shook her head in amazement. “I love the color of your hair.”
“I do it myself.” One compliment after another! At the beginning of the new Monday morning! She made my day. She said she was in transition because she had to sell her condo first. And she would love to see more of me. Great, I thought, another friend in Waltonwood.

But then, on Tuesday, I met her when I was on my way to the chair yoga class. She told me things were missing from her apartment and nobody believed her.  Aww, someone with mental disability. I did show her the coat closet where she could find lost and found items. When I opened the door I was appalled to see that they had stored walkers and other junk    in it, so that the door could hardly open. And the mirror that we had donated was gone. After yoga class I went to see the concierge at the front desk. She thought it was a storage room and the mirror would be better in her back room where the printer is. So I explained the use of the coat closet and asked to hang the mirror back and empty the closet of all the stuff that does not belong there. We’ll see how fast that will happen. And as for Lindsey, the concierge said she was living here already and they were aware of her situation and were keeping an eye on her.

Lost and Found

Daisy, one of the ladies I see often when I pick up breakfast, lost a pair of prescription glasses three weeks ago. A real problem for her, because she does not see well, even with them. She had looked everywhere, asked the housekeeper to look for her in the house, and we helped her look in the coat closet and the library. She ended up getting two sets of new prescription glasses from her ophthalmologist, but that was an expensive loss. Last week, Daisy lost her walker. She had two walkers actually, so she could walk from her cottage to the Club for meals and physical therapy, and she could keep one at the Club. It was nowhere to be found for days; neither in the coat closet, nor in the office, the library, the dining room or the café. After a week she happily told us that she saw it (with the new glasses) being loaded onto a truck ready to leave with donated items for Goodwill. The driver reluctantly gave it back to her. But her name was on it, so he had to.

Laurie, a very nice lady we have not known for very long, lost her wedding ring. Now that’s disastrous. Two days later, a note was put on the bulletin board across from the library that the ring had been found.

They serve brunch every other Sunday these days. One Sunday we had brunch with David and Gloria, a wonderful couple that has been here longer than we have. When we got up, David could not find his walker. We all helped him look. “What does it look like?”
“Red and black, with large wheels. And it has my name on it.”
Gloria and I looked around the perimeters of the dining room; Mike looked outside the dining room against the wall. Then David showed up with someone else’s walker he had found (her name was on it), who was no longer in the dining room. We all assumed that she had taken David’s walker by accident, but we could easily find her apartment, so that we could switch the walkers later. Thus was decided, and David and Gloria went on their way to their fourth floor apartment. Back at the table to pick up my sunglasses, I saw a red and black walker with large wheels against the wall behind the chair David had sat on during brunch: it said DAVID on the front bar. None of us had seen it but it was there all along!

Something worse happened to Richard. One morning when he got up he could not find his teeth. He and his wife looked everywhere, in the bed, under the bed, in the bathroom and around the rest of their apartment, but the teeth were lost. Poor Richard had to have a whole new set made the next week. A good thing was that they were not his front teeth, so he could tell us about his misfortune with a smile. He even considered not to have them replaced at all, but his wife objected to that.

Worse even, Paul appeared at Happy Hour one Friday afternoon with one of his front teeth missing. He said it had happened before, that he had to let the spot heal for three months and then he would get a new one implanted. A month went by, then he lost a second front tooth. Now that spot has to heal for three months, and the dentist told him he would rather wait and do them both at the same time. So Paul is starting his wait all over. But hey, you get used to everything in life if there is noting you can do about it anyway.

Walkers Away!

In the monthly membership meeting Management announced that they had hired new wait staff and kitchen help, so that starting in October we would have three sit-down dinners every week. And walkers would be no longer allowed parked in the ding room during meals. People will be allowed to use their walker to come to a table, but then any of the servers would take them away and park them outside the dining room, to the left and the right in the hallway.

This is what I remember from that first morning of our introductory week when we went down for breakfast: we took the elevator down to the second floor, turned the corner towards the dining room and almost laughed out loud. It was a couple of minutes before 8 o’clock. Thick ropes were temporarily closing off the entrance to the dining room and in front of the ropes a throng of people waited impatiently to be admitted. Along the wall, all the way from the Café to the dining room, rows of walkers were parked; small walkers, large walkers, red walkers and black walkers; ones with a seat and ones without, ones decorated with ribbons or “Best Grandma Ever”; walkers with names on the handlebars and walkers with a basket in front; plain aluminum ones with two wheels and two “feet”, one with a tennis ball on each “foot”. I counted ten. We will have more than that in October!

If I ever need a walker, I want one with a seat and a basket and large wheels. And if I ever need a wheelchair, it will have to be an electric one. Because I will still want to go places, independently, and not at the speed of a shuffle. By that time, Amazon will have an even more updated one than you see in this picture. Because Amazon has everything!

May your days be peaceful and happy

Until next time,




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