A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2022-129

Life at Waltonwood after Covid

Changes in the dining room

With many newly hired servers and cooks, the dining room management has put out enormous efforts to train them like waiters in restaurants. After the weekly brunch on Sunday mornings, we will have sit down dinners every night, instead of buffet dinners, and the servers will take our order on a pad right at the table. The choices are: the Daily Special or something from the list of items available every day. Most people are looking forward to the new system, which takes us one step closer to the dining room experience when we first got here, five years ago.


Little by little, floor by floor, contractors have been hard at work. New wallpaper, new carpeting (not to everyones liking), new colors on doors and doorposts and hand rails. The carpet, in dark blue and grey, reminds me of a Rohrshach test; it’s not a light and bright uplifting color scheme. The wallpaper, nondescript, is alright, but they should have painted the ceiling a light, bright white – there are so many different nuances of white – to avoid the impression of walking down a long, dark tunnel. All this was decided by Management in Michigan before Covid, so there is nothing we can do about it. Happy that it does not affect the cottages!

Storm doors

We heard that the coveted storm doors for the cottages were ordered and delivered three months ago, but there was nobody available to install them. That is so disappointing! We could have had more light and a view of our front yard all summer! The front yard, by the way, which is the walk up to the front door, is like a jungle. The Hibiscus with flowers in three different colors, has grown to over 6 feet, as high as the front door – mostly leaves, with only an occasional bloom. The same is true for the beautiful red Dipladenia, at first blooming profusely, then sending out long vines, first clinging to a little trellis I put up, then to each other in a long, twirling rope against the wall: leaves and more leaves, but no flowers. What could be the reason? I only planted them in Miracle Grow potting soil, never fertilized them. The Basil is a foot tall, we had a nice harvest of tomatoes from one plant, which is gone now. I almost gave up on the second plant, because the top had been scorched by the heat. But then, as it showed a few little yellow flowers, I added some Miracle grow potting soil, fertilized it with Miracle Grow, and lo and behold, it is coming back into full bloom, with a promising number of about 20 little flowers. Miracles for sure! The white Gardenias on both sides of the path are lush and full, and I do hope we’ll get some fragrant flowers soon. We have a little frog that lives in our jungle. I see it once in a while, in one of the pots, or hiding behind one.

The pond

Most life seems to have disappeared from the pond. Its water level dropped drastically over the past two weeks, the fountain stopped working, and finally, after I reported it to the Executive Director, she said they would’ve it checked by the inspector after Labor Day. The large turtles have crawled through our back yard on their way to the ponds in Wimbledon, the frog choir is silenced, the blue heron has not been seen, and only “our” goose family of three comes to visit occasionally. There are now two divided puddles of water and I can indeed cross the pond with only my feet getting muddy. The temperatures have dropped, but are still in the high eighties, and we have had no rain lately. But all in all, we do not have anything to complain about. So many people all over the world are much worse off without rain or with too much of it. We are thankful to be where we are, in our beautiful, cozy cottage at the end of the street.


With residents moving: in (house), or across (to Assisted Living or Memory Care), or up (to heaven), many new people are moving in as well, too many for us to get to know, since we are not at the Club very often. They organize many activities, as well as shopping and dinner outings on the bus. We choose to attend a few music performances, but since I still have our wonderful Ford Escape, I can go out any time, and we indulge in the use of a Door Dasher to pick up and deliver occasional dinners from the Thai or one of the other restaurants around. We are blessed!

Farewell and Hello again

Several of our dear friends have passed away: in the hospital, with Hospice or just suddenly because of a fall or a heart attack. Their partners move to a smaller apartment, or to a whole different place, closer to children. Even when friends move across to AL or MC, they disappear from sight, and there is little time in my life to go visit. We rejoiced when a cottage friend came home from Rehab, and when my  best friend returned from a six week vacation in upstate New York. We are organizing a welcome home dinner from the Thai at our house, for the six of us, old and current cottage friends.

Cleaning house

After going through my wardrobe and giving away 25 pounds of clothing that I had not worn for one or more years, I have gone through our book shelves. The books that I absolutely still want to read, I put on my Kindle, and many others I gave to my friend, who is an avid reader together with her husband and has many bookcases full of books  around her house. Then there was this beautiful, thick, warm winter jacket of Mike’s, that he only wore once or twice, many years ago. I hesitated to take it to Dorcas (Goodwill) and drove around one day to see if I could find the family on Walmart’s street corner with a sign, asking for food or clothing. No needy people anywhere I went. I had to think of our December in New York city, when I walked around with leftover pizza in my hands, searching for a homeless person, until I finally found one in Central Park, lying on the grass in the sun under a thin blanket. Remember that blog post? Then, this morning, coming home from the barber shop, Johnnie, the trash man was just emptying the trash bin into his cart. ‘Johnnie is back’ I had heard. He does not speak English very well, is an older gentleman, a hard worker with always a friendly greeting. I called him over to the garage, showed him the jacket, pointed to his chest and shoulders, then to the jacket and a said “extra large? Do you want to have it?” He nodded happily, let me put it back in the brown bag, smiled a big “thank you” and drove away with his treasure on the floor by the back seat. Now that is how I like to give away things we have no use for anymore.

Time is Money 

I know for sure how precious my time is. There are not enough hours in the day that I can sit down and read a book. I do not have enough time for some things. So am I poor?  No way. I am taking care of Mike, the house, the dog and everything that has to do with all three. Plus visits to doctors and the dentist, the barbershop and more. I’m sure you know all about those things too. But it is so wonderful to be healthy and able to do everything that makes for a happy life for both of us. A thankful person is a happy person. And that’s the truth.

May you be happy and healthy.

Until next time,



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