A New Life! Retirement at its Best 42

Blood Draws

Every quarter, our Primary Physician, a member of  “Doctors Making Housecalls”, orders a blood draw from the Lab for all Residents. In Prescott we had that done once a year, during our physical. But here, a person from Quest, the Lab, goes around on Wednesdays to draw blood from Residents between 6:30 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. She goes first to the apartments in the main building, then comes to the cottages and we are done just in time for breakfast at 8:00. I asked Jolene, one of the people at our dinner table one day, “Who is awake at 6:30 in the morning to give blood?”
” Not many of us, to tell you the truth. I certainly am not. But she knocks on the door, comes in, tells us who she is, and comes to the bedroom. Then we, half awake, hang our arm out of the bed, she takes blood, covers the pin hole with a bandaid, and disappears. We turn over and go back to sleep.”

We are glad that we are last on the list and will be showered and dressed to open the door. And we refuse a bandaid, because taking it off causes a multitude of bruises on your arm. Bruises are the norm here by the way, either caused by ripping off a bandaid or just appearing out of nowhere. Like, “how on earth did I get this one? I didn’t hit anything; I only touched my arm with my thumb when I was soaping up in the shower.” They just appear, large and small bruises, on arms and hands and legs. I started getting them about five years ago. We get them probably because our skin is getting thinner as we age. They do not hurt, and everybody has them, so it does not matter. And in this day and age of tattoos it does not matter at all!

Spring Cleaning

Last week the pressure cleaners were here. They come once a year to pressure clean the roofs, the outside of the main building, the cottages and fences. Our turn was on Tuesday. We had moved the chairs, plants and doormat inside the garage and were ready when they came. They sprayed one time with a light chlorine solution, the second time with clean water. They did a pretty good job and our house and patios are clean! Just before our kids arrive!

On Friday, about 6 cleaning ladies and their manager came to clean the inside windows. And not just with a wipe, but there were bugs, dead and alive, between the screens and the glass, so after they understood how I wanted them to clean the windows and the screens, they did a thorough job. I am sure though, that none of them had ever done such a thorough cleaning job on any of the windows in the eight years of this facility’s existence. It takes a Dutch housewife to know how to clean, or so they say!

When the window washing ladies had taken off, two handymen and their manager showed up and went to work: taking the hardware off the front door and proceeding to paint it. All front doors were a dark green before; but they can’t get that color anymore, so now all the doors are painted black. With the doors of the main building finished last month, we were the first of the cottages to get the royal treatment. We were again critical, because it all would have to last a long time before another maintenance job would be due, so we asked to also paint the white door frame. The hardware came off easily, but when put back on, we could not properly lock and open the door. So someone else came to redo them. And the door itself still showed green in the grooves so it needed a second coat of paint. Someone came back to work on those final touches.

My sewing kit

Most Sundays, Mike and I ride the bus to church together with our daughter-in-law’s parents, who came to live here almost two years ago. Sitting behind them, I noticed that the hem of Mia’s jacket was hanging loose. And again, I noticed it later on when we had brunch at home. So on Thursday evening, after dinner, Mike went home and I picked up my sewing kit and walked back to Mia and John’s apartment in the main building. I had called ahead of time, and so the door was open. Together we found the jacket and I went to work. I love to sew and even to mend, and I am a good story teller, so the time went by fast, we laughed a lot and, using my sewing kit after a long time, I told them its story.

“In 1960 we were engaged to be married. In August of that year, Mike got an invitation from the Netherland-America Foundation to work in the US for a year on a Business Exchange program. He was going to leave on January 13, 1961. What a terrific opportunity! I thought of a practical gift for him, a small sewing kit, so that he could at least sew on a button if it came off. On December 24, riding the train to our parents’ home for Christmas, I said, “Here is a little gift you can use when you are all alone in New York.” He opened it and thought for a few minutes. Then he said, “Ron, why don’t you marry me? We can go to New York together!” We had a lovely wedding two weeks later, and I have been sewing on his buttons and hemming his pants and mending his socks for the next 57 years, not only in New York but in many places all over the world! I say: Good deal!

It’s a Wonderful World!

Until Next Time!





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