A New Life! Retirement at its Best 51

Clock work

I am so upset! Does not happen often, but I have reached the limit of my patience and just have had it! In the first week of last December I dropped off our antique Spanish clock at the home of a clock repair service here in Cary. It was a dark, tree-filled neighborhood, a messy place with clocks and parts of clocks everywhere I looked. An old man took my clock, told me he was the only, and the last good clock repair man in all of the Raleigh area, and he would fix it but could not make any promises as to when it would be ready. Perhaps three months or so. To make a long story short, it was not ready in March, and not in July, and then he said he had to go in for surgery again. First on his hand, then on his lung! I expressed empathy and understanding, but to no avail. Today he called back and said, “You can come and pick it up. I can’t promise anything until after the first of the year.” After some thinking I said I would pick it up. “Give me a couple of days to put it back together, call me and make an appointment.” Yes, in July he had told me he had it on the shelf already and was working on it. Then why not finish it? I feel so uneasy about the whole thing that I have asked our son to go with me when I pick it up. Just imagine he can’t put it back together, or does not give me back all the parts, or charges me for whatever, arrrghh! I will call him on Wednesday and arrange the pickup on Friday late afternoon so Dennis can go with me. And I will keep you posted.

Today I got a referral for a great clock repair man from a friend who had her grandfather clock repaired. I connected with him through phone and email and if I can pick up the clock this Friday afternoon I will drop it off at his place on Monday morning. He said, “Two to three weeks and you’ll have it back.” Music to my ears!

In the mean time I have arranged for pickup this Friday afternoon with Dennis. He will come straight from work and we will meet in the parking lot of a dentist nearby and continue in one car. Once in a while I feel I need a strong young man by my side to take over if someone thinks that little old lady is a pushover! Why did I not check out any other clock repair people in the area, you may ask. Well, his ad on Google was clever, alphabetically the first: Advanced Clock Repair Services. It was an impressive ad, in large print so I fell for it. Anyway, soon we will have our clock back!

Labor Day Feast

The kitchen staff went out of their way on Labor Day afternoon to prepare a wonderful barbecue feast for us. The grill and buffet were set up outside on the large deck adjacent to the dining room, a table with decadent brownies and cup cakes stood inside. There were cheeseburgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken breasts, green salad and potato salad, corn on the cob, and all the trimmings. I decided to try some amber beer (they did not have wine) and that actually tasted good.


Ever since we broke away from the table of eight we had been sitting at for dinner, we have enjoyed every night. The table of eight, I may have talked about it in the past, became too small when “members” came back from having been on a cruise and from the hospital, and instead of eight we had eleven contenders. It still is a race for a table every night, nothing has changed in a year! People want to sit at “their” table with their friends and they stand in line at the two entrances before the dining room is officially open. The ones with walkers stand in front, because they walk slower but they still want to get there first. That leaves a few chairs open at tables here and there for newcomers, and this way you never get to talk to them. Aside from the fact that we did not like to be “allowed” to sit at the table of eight only five nights out of seven in order for the others to take their turn, we did not like the subjects of discussion, most of the time dealing with health issues of them or other people in the room, ad nauseam!

With permission of the maître d’ we started a new table with another couple we met three months ago. They came from Arizona as well, and we connected easily. Now, the four of us share a round table of seven. Different couples and singles join us every night, and discussions are interesting and fun. We started taking turns bringing an unknown tropical fruit or vegetable to the table, to be explored (cut, tasted, smelled). One night Fred talked about the creation of black pearls in the Cook Islands, how a small piece of sand or shell gets inserted in an oyster through a crack, how the oyster encapsulates it while hanging in a net in deep ocean water, and how three years later the pearl is carefully retrieved and taken to market for sale. The next evening I brought the two outer shells of an oyster to show at the table. We got those at Taha’a, an island in Tahiti, where we had seen a similar process of creating cultured pearls. And… Mike bought a black pearl for me :-). The pearls come in many sizes and colors; I don’t know why they are called black pearls, but mine is a beautiful blue-green, the color of the ocean and my eyes. I am extremely blessed, I know, by having traveled to so many places and having received so many special gifts from the places we visited. They vary from a black pearl from Tahiti to potholders from Colombia to a wood trivet made in Pitcairn Island with wood from nearby Henderson Island. It was made and signed by Dennis Christian, one of the descendants of Fletcher Christian, who was one of the nine mutineers of the Bounty in 1787! They got stranded on Pitcairn Island, where a few years ago, when we visited, the population was around 55. Every year, on January 23, a replica of the ship, built by the islanders, is burned offshore to commemorate the day in 1787. Young people go to New Zealand for higher education and many return to their island. Why New Zealand? If you want to know more, Google it – it’s fascinating!

It’s a Wonderful World!

Until next time,


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