A New Life! Retirement at its Best 50

It’s Fall for sure!

Every morning when we wake up, around 5:30 a.m., it’s dark outside! Still warmer than inside, where we keep a cool 69 degrees during the night, the windows fog up; on  the outside! Soon, the early morning temperatures are predicted to fall down to the sixties. And on one of my daily morning walks I saw a few more mushrooms. The colors are amazing against the backdrop of the  dark leaves and tree trunk. On a wood fence I noticed ghost-like growths and a white cat. Amazing molds we also call mushrooms.


Going Dutch

We heard that there is a Dutch Club in the Raleigh area. Because we’d like to have some new contacts outside of the community where we live, we checked it out and went to their August meeting. They had their annual potluck last Sunday: Rijsttafel, an all-time favorite with Dutch and Indo’s alike. A traditional rijsttafel consists of white rice, which you put in the center of your plate, a sajur or vegetable soup to put on top, and a variety of side dishes to add around the rice. They can be fried bananas, chicken, sambalans like hard boiled eggs in a special sauce, pieces of meat in another sauce, serundeng which is toasted grated coconut with peanuts, krupuk, shrimp wafers, kripik, slightly smaller chips, made from nuts or vegetables, tempe, crisp or boiled bean wafers, lalap, lengthwise cut cucumber sticks and not to forget saté ajam, chicken on a skewer, served with peanut sauce. All mouthwatering for anyone who has ever enjoyed a rijsttafel. Because making all those varied dishes myself takes a long time, I only made it in the past on special days. like birthdays or when we had family over. I remember starting with the cutting of many onions three days ahead of the party!

Ever since we moved to Cary last year, our meals are provided at the Club, included in the rent. So I have not cooked a thing, but decided to go all out and make lemper, rolls of steamed, sweet sticky rice with a filling of shredded chicken, coconut and several spices. Hardly anybody makes it because it is so labor intensive. But a good friend in the Tucson area had sent me her recipe and here was my opportunity: there would be many people who would recognize it and enjoy it. I found a small Asian market within 5 miles from home and delighted in searching for the spices I needed but had thrown away when we moved. It took me over an hour, and it was so enjoyable! The familiar smells made me want to buy more things and start cooking again! I made 39 lempers a week ahead of time and froze them until the day of the party. The whole process took me a whole afternoon and a whole morning following. Closer to the day I went to the large Asian store and found banana leaves in the freezer. I decorated the two trays with banana leaves and put the lempers on top, and I was so proud of myself, because it was so authentic! Because most people had never been in Indonesia, this finishing touch went by them, but it was absolutely satisfying to me!

The following day our little Star was born, one of a litter of twelve, and the day thereafter we celebrated Mike’s birthday. The whole day was filled with cards, phone calls, FaceTime with friends and relatives in Holland, ending in a festive dinner with the kids and grandkids at Chuys, our favorite Mexican Restaurant.

We made another Dutch friend “on the outside,” who invited us for coffee and homemade appeltaart on Thursday morning. She lives less than ten minutes away, and we had a great time sitting outside on her shady deck, getting to know each other. It seems like life has become fuller than it already was. We still have not attended many of the activities in the main building, the “Club.”

Bad Hair Days

Often, when I look at other people around me, I see things that I think I will never do, not even when I will be in my eighties or nineties, as most of them are here. At any time of the day or night, I see women who have clearly sat in their recliners for hours, then got up and came to breakfast or dinner. They never combed their hair before they left their apartment. The back of their heads is flat! How unattractive is that! Even after my shoulder surgery, when I could not lift my right arm, I made sure to look in the mirror and comb my hair, including the back!

Thinking back to my shoulder surgery in April, I have almost the full range of motion back again without pain. I have stopped PT some weeks ago and am working diligently on strength, and on  stretching that last part of the scar tissue that still bothers me at times. Therapeutic massages help well, and so I say again

It’s a Wonderful World!

Until next Time,


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