A New Life! Retirement at its Best 81

Medical Appointments

It is amazing how many appointments are made here in this facility with people of the medical profession. The bus takes many people to their appointments when they are made on specific days of the week. Then there is Uber and people who still drive privately. Let’s do the math. Take me, for instance. I am in perfect health. During the year, I have checkups: 4x Primary (the doctor makes house calls once every 3 months to check my vitals ūüėä) – 4x Dentist – 1x ophthalmologist – 2x dermatologist – 2x Podiatrist. That makes 13 visits total for the year. I included 2 extra visits with the dentist because of my crown this year, but that is an exception. So, for a healthy person like me, that is an average of 1 visit per month. I am not counting the visits with the surgeon and Physical Therapy which I needed after my shoulder surgery. And I have no need for a Cardiologist.

Currently there are 150 residents. If they were all healthy and needed an average of 1 visit per day with a medical person, that would make 150 visits per month, which would come down to 5 visits per day for the residents of Waltonwood. However, about 145 people here are not as healthy as I am and need many more visits per month, also including a cardiologist and one of the hospitals. An astronomical number of health professionals is needed every day to keep all of our residents who are 80 and over alive! If you need care from so many doctors, there is hardly any time left to do fun things! So enjoy the wonderful, fun, delicious , beautiful, interesting things that life has to offer while you can, and try to keep healthy and fit!

Changing of the Guards

Three weeks ago, the General Manager came by each table at dinner time to tell us that our Activity Coordinator had left the company. Most of us had liked her, and through the grapevine we heard later that she and her husband went back to their family in Tennessee. So a happy ending there. Two weeks later, the Assistant Activity Coordinator who had taken over the responsibilities, was gone. We heard it from the bus driver on the way to church. Why? Well, she had hoped she would get the top position, but she was not fully qualified for the job. I happen to know that she had another part time job, so she was not totally adrift. One of the two handymen, whose work we really appreciated, will leave in six weeks or whenever the sell their home to go back to Vermont. Why? His wife does not want to live so far from her sons and grandkids anymore. And he had just come to love the beauty and the climate in Cary during the past three years! A new, pleasant Dining Room Manager appeared on the 18th, then left to the other Waltonwood facility nearby for some training, then appeared again. And during brunch this past Sunday, a tall, handsome young man did the rounds, introduced by the Chef as the new Kitchen Supervisor. This is a new position and we hope he will work out. New servers have appeared in the evenings, and one by one we get to know them. Knowing all ¬†this, it is amazing that our Waltonwood Cary during the Nation-wide Symposium of twelve participants at headquarters in Michigan came in first place for the “Lowest Associate Turnover” for the past year. Goodness! It must be difficult to work in a place like this. But yes, there are many people who complain about a lot of things; out loud in public and in the form of emails and phone calls to the General Manager. That said, we are very happy to be very independent, living in our beautiful cottage, surrounded by nature yet close to everything, with all the benefits this retirement place offers. We are happy and thankful and hope to enjoy it for many more years.

Mamma’s Quilt

We emigrated to the United States in August of 1972 with two daughters, 9 and 6, and an infant boy of ten weeks in a¬†portable, flowered bassinet. With us in the same plane, in a kennel, flew our 7 year old sedated Chow, Roy. We stayed in a motel on Colorado Blvd in Pasadena for a month, found a small home with a pool in the foothills, moved in and waited¬†while borrowing some garden furniture from a friend, until our crated furniture arrived from Holland. The girls went to neighborhood schools, Mike to his new job in downtown Los Angeles. With a company loan we purchased a car, a large yellow Gran Torino, which we called “The Yellow Submarine”.

My parents came to stay with us two years later, when we had added on a guest room for them. Mamma had mentioned that she wanted to make a quilt for our bed and asked what colors we would prefer. We chose beige, brown and blue. And what a gift she brought: A 6 x 8 foot quilt with a dark brown border. Looking at the squares, I recognized the patterns of many of our childhood and junior clothes! Flower squares of a favorite dress, polka dots of bathing suits, batik squares of shorts, skirts, tops, all the clothes she had made for us when Paula and I were little. Some squares I recognized as Mamma’s blouses and pants, and some must have been from skirts worn before my time.¬†What a labor of love!

We used the quilt in Pasadena for a few years until we got a king size bed. Then, in Hilo, our double bed with Mamma’s quilt stood in the loft of the Master bedroom for twelve years. The quilt came out of the closet when we had guests in Prescott, and now, 45 years after Mamma’s painstaking work produced this wonderful gift, we use it as an extra cover when it gets really cold in the winter. Over the years, some of the paper-thin squares tore; but because I am saving scraps from way back when, like Mamma used to do, I could replace them by hand with identical squares and the quilt looks like new. The story it tells is a story of love and memories.

It’s a Wonderful Life!

Until next time,



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