A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2021-101

Christmas 2021

What a wonderful Christmas it was! We touched base with many old friends through the exchange of Christmas cards through the regular mail and email. It’s about the only time of year that I connect with them, apart from the friends on Facebook. We are still in touch with four couples we met on various cruises, dating back to 23 years ago. We heard about the loss of one friend and received a picture of my former 1974 boss at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Flintridge, California and his extensive family.

Our son and his family came over with a lovely supper and we spent some time talking and opening presents, installing a new light rope on the kitchen cabinets and the new Keurig coffee maker.

The Second Day of Christmas was my 83rd birthday and I awoke an hour later than usual, after a wonderful nine hours of sleep: a great beginning of the day. Just as I was ready to step into the shower our son called, so I walked back to the living room, when somebody rang the bell. When I went to look, I saw a man and a woman put packages on the chair by the front door. Oops! I quickly dodged into the office to watch them get into a car and leave. After I was dressed and opened the door I found two bags and a bouquet of flowers from Whole Foods: a surprise from our two daughters and their families. Croissants and orange juice for breakfast and a lemon birthday cake. What a lovely surprise. It was a good thing, I thought later, that they had not sent wine or champagne which would have needed a signature!

After our “time in the spa” I renewed the dressing of Mike’s wound (which takes a total of 50 minutes and I do it daily now) and we were delighted to notice great improvement over the “plateau” the doctor had mentioned the Friday before. “Ha! I can do it better than anyone,”I said. “Perhaps we can go back to the clinic on January 7 and dismiss doctor and nurses because the wound is healed.”

We opened mail and birthday gifts, received phone calls and had a totally relaxing day. I sat on the back patio for a while, enjoying the 70 degree temperature, and we took a walk around the pond. After supper, which I picked up at the Club, another surprise arrived at the front door: another beautifully frosted tres leches cake with fresh fruit on top, tied to a Happy Birthday balloon. That made my day perfect: I love balloons, and the cake is decadent!


For all of you who don’t know what a stroopwafel is: it is the most delicious Dutch cookie. Two thin waffles with caramel in between. Warm it on top of your steaming hot coffee or put it in the microwave for twelve seconds, and you will agree that there is nothing better and it tastes like more. In December, Trader Joe’s carries them, 8 waffles in a blue tin with pictures of windmills. They are stacked high by every checkout. How wonderful! I purchased two for my friend who was going on a trip to see her daughter and one for ourselves. Planning to get some more before they would run out, I went back a week later and found to my great disappointment they had not a single can left. “Perhaps I have some in the back that are dented, but the contents are still good,” said a helpful employee.
“I would like ten cans please,” I said.
“Oh well, I don’t have that many, but I will see.” He came back empty handed. What a disappointment. A December without stroopwafels.

Back home, I looked on Amazon, where I order just about everything. Surprise! They had original stroopwafels from a different bakery. I quickly counted how many I should order so I could share with the family too. Eight to a tin? OK, these came in boxes. I ordered five boxes. Five boxes of eight that would make forty stroopwafels. Enough to share.

A week later, Amazon delivered a large, heavy box to our door. When I opened it on the kitchen counter, I was stunned. There were five boxes all right, but each box contained not eight, but twenty four  individually wrapped stroopwafels. That means I now had 120 stroopwafels, individually wrapped! Hm. Great for sharing all year long! My goodness! Where could I store them? They filled up a whole pantry shelf! And the story does not end there.

When we opened the gifts from our family, there was one bag with three brown, beautifully decorated cartons, each with 8 stroopwafels from yet another Dutch bakery. Of course we showed our delight, and did not tell them that we now were the proud owners, for the first time in our lives, of twelve dozen, or 144 stroopwafels. How does the saying go? Death by stroopwafels?

Whoever would like to come over for tea or coffee, spend a night or two for more tea or coffee, all with a stroopwafel or more, you will be welcome here!

Pornographic email to Ronny Herman de Jong

For at least three months, first in my Trash, then also in my Junk folders, I received porn. It started with a few messages daily, but quickly increased until I had about two times 600 of them per day. At first I scanned the Trash, to see if there was anything I should open, but later on I just deleted all of them with several clicks without looking. I missed an invoice from someone, who caught up with me later, but I have no idea what else I missed. Anyway, I never opened any of the messages and decided I would delete my email address at the beginning of the year.

What happened? Just before Christmas I found only a handful of messages, and today, there were only two. They all gave up when they discovered that Ronny Herman de Jong was not interested in Russian girls and the like. Miracles do happen!

Here’s wishing all of you a wonderful, healthy, happy New Year. And Believe in Miracles!

It’s a Wonderful Life!

Until next time,



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