A New Life! Retirement at its Best 88

Community Music School Raleigh

Last week, we were invited to the recital of graduating students of the Community Music School in Raleigh, of which our son Dennis became the first Executive Director last September. A variety of music from violin, flute, piano, percussion, harp, trumpet, guitar and voice filled the evening, which was held in a beautiful Episcopal Church in Raleigh. One student had attended CMS for 9 years and played a piano concerto from memory to a standing ovation. Another student graduated after 6 years and is also continuing his music education. There were too many excelling students to mention. A reception afterwards in the Fellowship Hall offered the opportunity to meet members of the Board and other parents. Everyone we met was delighted with Dennis’ talents and personality. It was another evening that filled our hearts with pride.

Because that whole week was filled with evening recitals there was no time to celebrate Dennis and Stephanie’s 20th wedding anniversary. They were dead tired from weeks of extremely hard work and could finally take a break during Memorial Day weekend. They came to Waltonwood for the Sunday brunch, which was very good this time.

With recent temperatures around 95 degrees it was impossible to give Lani the daily exercise she needs. So yesterday afternoon I took her to the Club and walked her twelve times around in the cool air of the first floor. I figured everyone would be taking a nap, and indeed, I did not meet anyone, except for one old lady who opened her door and quickly pulled her walker back inside, saying, “Well, I almost had a visitor.” I was glad she did not start screaming at the sight of a little black monster that ran up to her at full speed. Lani’s leash walking is getting better; at times she is pulling less. But I still wear a black leather glove on my left hand to protect it (the hand, not the glove). My lower right arm is a sorry sight. Other than a 1.5″ scar from a squamous cell carcinoma surgery and bruises that appear from nowhere and stay for a while, there are teeth marks that inadvertently get doled out by rough play with Lani and long red streaks that appear from her nails when she tries to jump into my lap. Having her in my lap, if she is calm, is a wonderful time to cuddle, which we never had with any of our other dogs. Mike’s lap is bigger, and she likes that too. We didn’t have a puppy since 1965. We had a Chow puppy in the Netherlands when Annemieke was two years old, and the second baby would soon arrive. At that time, my lap was full, and laps were not something that Roy, our Chow, liked in the first place. Too close for comfort! He was a dog with Personality. Our last dog, Isabelle, was two years old when we got her, in Prescott, Arizona, and it never occurred to us to lift a 70 pound Rottweiler in our lap, even though Isabelle would have loved it.


Next week I will give a Keynote Presentation at NC State for OLLI. I will have to practice with my iPad and in front of the mirror for a while to make it perfect. Dennis showed up in his lunch hour yesterday to make sure I had sufficient Memory in my iPad and MAC. I do, so technically there is nothing to worry about.


Waltonwood is organizing a Luau at the end of June and I have been asked to dance, based on the fact that I danced at Christmas and everyone loved it. Caroline, the favorite entertainer here, who comes once a month, will be the MC, the rest is up to me. Since I know that people who have no knowledge of the Hawaiian language can’t understand the meaning of a Hawaiian dance, I have searched through my CDs and files, and I found three dances in the English language. I decided on two of those, and one short one in the Hawaiian language, which I will explain beforehand. Holei by Dennis Pavao is one of my favorites; I remember dancing it at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, where we were staying when we lived on the Big Island. We did that once in a while to celebrate a birthday or anniversary or when it had rained for too long in Hilo. That afternoon, we came to have cocktails on the Lanai, where a live band was playing for a group of tourists. When they started playing Holei, I got up and danced; of course I was wearing a mu’u mu’u, being a “local”.  Musicians love it when someone dances to their music, and it was especially a surprise for them to see a “haole” (not a native Hawaiian) dance their song, and an old one at that (the song, not the “haole”). Because it is about ten years ago that I danced hula (I had to stop because of a Morton’s Neuroma on my left foot), I have to start practicing, also in front of the mirror. Too bad we don’t have a full length mirror in our house. I have to resort to the guest bathroom – at least for my hand and body motions. The feet will follow automatically. I got rid of the Morton’s Neuroma, which took about eight years, and I can dance again! Whenever I have a chance, enjoying some quiet time with Mike at night, when Lani is in her kennel (like the baby is in bed for the night), I put my feet up and use a set of Yoga Toes, gel toe separators, which I have had for years. 1 Pair orthopedic toe separators Silicone Yoga Holes Toe Stretchers Pain Relief for Bunion Gel Toe Separator 5 sizes 2U1218Heaven for my feet, to spread my toes as if I have been wearing slippahs all day instead of tight shoes. Why am I telling you all this? Because my future blog posts will be shorter than usual. Practice will take the place of writing until I have time again to sit down at the Mac!

It’s a Wonderful Life!

Until next time,




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