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We just moved. I’m in a new neighborhood, a new town, same state – thank God (for Gov. DeSantis). It’s a 55+ community because me, my husband and our cat are over 55. He picked the community – when we cashed out in spades selling our old house, and our real estate agent told us about our current town. We like it here, but it’s been less than two weeks. There’s construction – because half the country is moving to Florida – and older folks.
I have nothing against grey hair and golf carts. Personally, I like Ultress and Preference by L’Oréal – it does wonders, but that’s just me. The next-door neighbor brought us a triple chocolate cake. He has brown hair and two adorable pooches. They gave us a snapshot of the nearby neighbors and I was impressed.
They seem to jump in and do projects – scarfing up free lumber from the dumpsters and building things as needed, including a ramp for a disabled neighbor and insulating garages from the Florida heat. Older people know how to build things and how to budget. They bike, kayak, walk, and hike, we noticed. The amenities center had a lively water volleyball game taking place when I visited, an outdoor painting class, and bocce ball and tennis games in action.
I guess we’re semi-retired. My husband has not yet reached retirement or social security, but we’re doing admin for his former company. He’ll pursue other employment if that fizzles out, but here’s a comment on retiring. Men retire – women don’t. They ask what’s for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Women – even the retired types, still cook, clean, pay bills, shop, and hold a part-time gig if the bank account requires it, and ours does. Sigh…..I envy women whose husbands do the cooking – even if it’s heating up water…
Anyway, someone told me Mick Jagger’s “girlfriend” lives in one of the communities in my new town. Wow! I haven’t spotted him yet, but if I do, I’ll send a picture. My guess is he’s eating more oatmeal like the rest of us to keep his cholesterol down and probably driving a golf cart.
It’s been stressful making a major move at this age, but I can’t complain too much because I have a pool for the first time in 19 years in Florida. We went to pool school and decided we’d probably screw it up and needed to have a maintenance company. More expense, but I plan to get plenty of exercise in it and use the other wonderful amenities here. My cat drank out of it – it’s a saltwater pool.
This community is much bigger than what we’re used to. The HOA has rules that you learn from others because they don’t tell you everything – like the blind and shutter company. It’s hotter and sunnier here, so we selected a nice bamboo blind, but it has to have a “white linen” backing to comply. That’s like telling someone you have to wear black socks for the rest of your life!
I’ve already decided I’ll be starting a new club called “Retired Women and Reality”. We can talk about plants and books and share recipes, but I plan to have a red pill button, that we can press when we need a dose of reality and maybe an escape route – like lunch with wine and tapas, or a place to vent and share a laugh.
Rules for (semi) retired women? Has anyone written those yet? We manage all the family photos, remember the birthdays, send the Christmas cards, dust off the handed-down heirlooms, host the holidays and special events, buy the food and cook, register the new appliances, call the plumber, pick up the favorite take-out meals, fluff up the guest rooms with scented candles and special bath soaps, and heap love on all – family, friends, guests, and pets.
I’m ok with those rules – I may have had a hand in writing them. I like it here. These 55+ people can tell the younger crowd that it’s ok to buy a grill and eat meat, that there are not as many genders as you’ve been told…that shedding your electronics and going outside, planting a garden, taking a swim or a day trip in the great outdoors is much better than virtual reality.
Whatever stage of life you are in, enjoy it. Rules are made to be broken…Published in