A New Life! Retirement at its Best 73


A big smile crossed my face when I walked into Trader Joe’s today. At the foot of the display table across the entrance I saw two buckets full of daffodils! Although the cut poinsettias on our side table are going into their third week, still looking good, I could not resist the temptation and bought two bunches: the first sign of spring! I noticed them as well the following day, walking on the trail in Wimbledon.

I so love arranging flowers. I still have a collection of vases, in various  sizes. My flower arranging really took off when we were living on the Big Island, with its abundance of flowers. I arranged large bouquets for our home and for church as well. In the jungle around our home I would pick various types of heliconia, monstera leaves and more, growing everywhere in the wild. For calathea flowers and a different variety of heliconias I had to go down a steep slope at the bottom of our property. Sometimes slippery due to the frequent rains in the Hilo area, the trail led down to a small stream. It was dark down below, and quiet except for the soft sounds of the cascading water. Shortly after we moved to the Big Island in 1990, I cut that trail through the jungly bushes down to the stream, because I had dreamed that I could sit in a chair by our stream and read books! Ha! It appeared to be a mosquitoes’ paradise! Even though I achieved some immunity for mosquitoes over the years, I always wore long pants and long sleeved shirts when I descended into the jungle. And I was not carrying a book but a machete and heavy duty clippers. Many flower stalks in Hawai’i are very large and I came home sometimes with just two or three heliconias over my shoulder. If you have not actually lived there, I don’t think you can have any idea of the beautiful delights of the thousands of varieties of flowers on the Big Island.

Now back to reality in Cary. I took a small vase with one of the bouquets of daffodils to a couple in Assisted Living with the joyous message of the coming of Spring. The other bouquet stands on our coffee table. You know, I still have the habit of buying two of everything. It dates back to my camp years I think, when everything was scarce and we never knew if we could get another pair of shoes, or socks, or underwear, or any kind of food. What a delight, what a privilege to now have so much of everything that we can share abundantly. If I buy two pairs of shoes, I will give one older pair, which I have not worn in a long time, away, and I do that with everything. If you figure it out, my possessions still grow!

So once in a while I go through all our closets and cupboards and fill some bags with things we don’t need any more. Our young housekeeper who comes twice a month has a large family and she will happily take everything I put in the garage. Now, if it concerns two boxes of Oreo cookies, or chocolate chip cookies, we usually keep them all. I like to be prepared for visits from the three grandkids, who will happily, over time of course, empty our cookie jar.

Loose Leash training

Lani is home after her stitches have healed, her donut came off and she had a nice bath at the Vet, and I started walking her on her new harness again. It is a struggle to put it on her, because she is wriggling in all directions, but I will get better at it over time. She is not pulling so hard any more, and last evening – it was still light when we came home from dinner – she was so good! Looking over her shoulder at me, sitting down, then walking next to me, that she got treat after treat, and I took her on an extra round around the pond. Well, all those treats and fast walking two hours before her bedtime did her no good. When she heard us getting up this morning the started barking and when I switched on the lights I saw she had thrown up all the treats from the night before. Poor thing, there was just a small dry area left on her pad to sit. Halfway through the morning the pad was clean and dry again and I had learned another lesson in caring for our puppy. Now, she has periods that she lays at our feet, or between us, quietly watching or sound asleep. She is going to be a model companion! Our million dollar Goldendoodle, Lani.

It’s a Wonderful Life!

Until next time,


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