This morning when I went out on the lanai (porch for those non Florida residents) the view of the lake was enhanced by sunshine sparkling on the surface, smooth, untouched by the soft breeze barely rustling the palm fronds on the tree at the corner. The buzzing of the weed whacker working its way around the corner to the back of the building interrupting an otherwise quiet moment. I took a deep breath as I stretched out the early morning sleep and stiffness coughed a little from the diesel fumes, and muttered "Darn landscapers!"
But I didn't really mean that. After all, it is such a new experience for any of us recently retired folks to live in a community where the lawns and shrubbery and mulching and trimming are all taken care of by someone else. It's such a freeing thing, for those of us who once had to take care of our yards, not to have to worry if our schedules and the weather was going to cooperate with our plan to mow the grass. How many times do I remember my own grass half a foot high before I got to it because the summer rains fell consistently on weekends or after work making it impossible to mow? Yes, we pay for the privilege of watching somebody else do it for us, and occasionally I miss puttering around in the dirt planting the annuals or seeing the perennials coming up in the spring up north but on balance, it's something I never get tired of, arriving home to a newly mowed and trimmed yard or watching it all being done for us while I sip on an ice cold drink and Ed hangs out in the pool and we count our blessings.
When you think about it, that's just the opposite of the way I think about people. But that's another whole blog.
The people in our community are similar in a lot of ways, too. We are all of a similar age, mostly young retirees, removed from their homes and their families, looking for an easier and perhaps in some ways a more active life to live, one we can afford while not outliving our 401Ks. We have many people here from Canada, the Midwest, the Mid Atlantic States and even a few from New England. Getting to know some of their local colloquialisms and dialectic differences has been a lot of fun for me. Did you know that Jimmies means something entirely different in some parts of the country than it does in Massachusetts? I will let you look it up for yourselves. And, did you know that people who aren't from Massachusetts really think the word scallop rhymes with gallop?
Because this is a newer community, everybody here is new to the neighborhood and instantly have that in common. Discovering a new way of life and looking for that support system that many of us have left behind brings us together and makes most of us maybe even a little more outgoing than we once were socially.
|My friend Sandy Staves off the gator for me as I hit my tee shot!|
|One of our friends has a charity event every few months when we dress up teddy bears for patients undergoing chemo. She calls them Joy Bears and we all have fun dressing them and chemo patients have something warm and friendly to hold onto.|
|My friends Karen and Sue and I tried our hands at acrylics one day. Hmmm...|
|Family is often the topic of discussion, especially grandbabies!|
|Driveway party at our friends' place last night.|
|The man corner|
|The gal corner|
|Lots of conversation. In this photo, a Canadian, a gal from Wisconsin, a guy from Duxbury, MA, someone from Long Island, someone from France and someone from Indiana.|
Have a great day!