Ignoring the Rules 2.0

 

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…

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  1. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    I am constantly running into people who live at The Villages.  I don’t now what they’re doing “up North” but it seems to have something to do with grandkids.

    • #1
  2. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Front Seat Cat: I envy women whose husbands do the cooking – even if it’s heating up water….

    My wife won’t let me near the stove.  She says I use seven pots to boil water.

    • #2
  3. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    I am constantly running into people who live at The Villages. I don’t now what they’re doing “up North” but it seems to have something to do with grandkids.

    I’m not in The Villages – I won’t disclose the locale because it’s crowded enough…….

    • #3
  4. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    I am constantly running into people who live at The Villages. I don’t now what they’re doing “up North” but it seems to have something to do with grandkids.

    I’m not in The Villages – I won’t disclose the locale because it’s crowded enough…….

    From what I hear, The Villages is crowded enough.

    • #4
  5. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    You will love the book I plan to review in a few weeks (if Epoch Times does not want it). It is a comedy set in a 55+ community, with the theme that rules are made to be broken, and if they don’t allow you to break them, change the rules.

    • #5
  6. GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Malpropisms Reagan
    GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Malpropisms
    @GLDIII

    If I could only get my wife to share the cooking, bill paying, groceries, banking chores, etc (and certainly none of the maintenance and repairs). She claims to do most of the cleaning and organizing, but given that 90% of what inhabits our residence is hers, I don’t see that as equilibrating division of labor.

    • #6
  7. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    Your life sounds wonderfully pleasant. Lately I have been thinking about living somewhere where the beach is nearby and has beautiful sun warmed sand.

    As far as husbands who cook, why not sign the two of you up for a cooking class? It’s not important a guy can cook up everything under the sun, but a knowledge of how to cook 3 or 4 delish meals is something most people can attain.

    • #7
  8. Quietpi Member
    Quietpi
    @Quietpi

    Front Seat Cat: Men retire – women don’t.

    LOL!  A great deal of my time, for the past nearly 40 years, was spent interviewing people.  Often, when I interviewed an older a wiser lady, when I asked for occupation, the response would be “retired housewife.”  It would always elicit a chuckle from me, and something like, “really? Do housewives actually retire?”  They always got the joke.  

    Wait a minute.  Joke?

    • #8
  9. JustmeinAZ Member
    JustmeinAZ
    @JustmeinAZ

    Front Seat Cat: 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.

    You forgot making sure that the master bedroom comforter set has every possible matching pillow that goes with it. And, oh yes, keeping track of all Rx appointments, labs, etc. My husbands doctors all know to talk to me, not him. He just will not ask any pertinent questions.

    My whole working life I always yearned to be a housewife  and now I am.

    (We live in a similar retirement community in Arizona. You’ve never seen so much white hair in one place)

    • #9
  10. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    I’ve never committed a serious enough crime to be sent to Florida, and I hope to keep it that way.  If we had to move  south for health reasons (and I hope we never do) I’d probably try for some place in Texas where we spend a few weeks  each winter.  It doesn’t exactly feel like home, but we already like going back to the familiar places.  I’m always glad to get back to our current home in Michigan, but since we already have a start on getting used to the environment in various Texas places, that’s where I could imagine going.  And the bicycling on the roads is pretty good, even though Texas doesn’t have a reputation as a bicycling destination.

    Back in Minnesota it seemed a lot of people retired to Arizona. Here in Michigan it seems that people gravitate toward Florida. At one place on the Gulf Coast where we usually spend a week, it often seems there are more Minnesota license plates than anything else.  Maybe I haven’t completely eradicated the Minnesotan in me. But my wife has no interest in going back to experience howling blizzards followed by -20F to -30F calmness, even though I suggest we could just make a short visit for old times’ sake. 

    • #10
  11. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    You will love the book I plan to review in a few weeks (if Epoch Times does not want it). It is a comedy set in a 55+ community, with the theme that rules are made to be broken, and if they don’t allow you to break them, change the rules.

    They stole my theme! Can’t wait for your review!

    • #11
  12. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    I’ve never committed a serious enough crime to be sent to Florida, and I hope to keep it that way. If we had to move south for health reasons (and I hope we never do) I’d probably try for some place in Texas where we spend a few weeks each winter. It doesn’t exactly feel like home, but we already like going back to the familiar places. I’m always glad to get back to our current home in Michigan, but since we already have a start on getting used to the environment in various Texas places, that’s where I could imagine going. And the bicycling on the roads is pretty good, even though Texas doesn’t have a reputation as a bicycling destination.

    Back in Minnesota it seemed a lot of people retired to Arizona. Here in Michigan it seems that people gravitate toward Florida. At one place on the Gulf Coast where we usually spend a week, it often seems there are more Minnesota license plates than anything else. Maybe I haven’t completely eradicated the Minnesotan in me. But my wife has no interest in going back to experience howling blizzards followed by -20F to -30F calmness, even though I suggest we could just make a short visit for old times’ sake.

    Florida and Texas are both fantastic so you won’t go wrong either way. Both have very nice folks. My dear friend/customer where we used to live up in the Panhandle splits their time between FL and Michigan.

    • #12
  13. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    You will love the book I plan to review in a few weeks (if Epoch Times does not want it). It is a comedy set in a 55+ community, with the theme that rules are made to be broken, and if they don’t allow you to break them, change the rules.

    Looking forward to the review, or at least a reveal of the title, when the time comes.  

    • #13
  14. Retail Lawyer Member
    Retail Lawyer
    @RetailLawyer

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    I’ve never committed a serious enough crime to be sent to Florida, and I hope to keep it that way. If we had to move south for health reasons (and I hope we never do) I’d probably try for some place in Texas where we spend a few weeks each winter. It doesn’t exactly feel like home, but we already like going back to the familiar places. I’m always glad to get back to our current home in Michigan, but since we already have a start on getting used to the environment in various Texas places, that’s where I could imagine going. And the bicycling on the roads is pretty good, even though Texas doesn’t have a reputation as a bicycling destination.

    Florida has by far and away the highest per capita bicycle fatality rate in the US, followed by the adjacent southern states.

    • #14
  15. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Retail Lawyer (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    I’ve never committed a serious enough crime to be sent to Florida, and I hope to keep it that way. If we had to move south for health reasons (and I hope we never do) I’d probably try for some place in Texas where we spend a few weeks each winter. It doesn’t exactly feel like home, but we already like going back to the familiar places. I’m always glad to get back to our current home in Michigan, but since we already have a start on getting used to the environment in various Texas places, that’s where I could imagine going. And the bicycling on the roads is pretty good, even though Texas doesn’t have a reputation as a bicycling destination.

    Florida has by far and away the highest per capita bicycle fatality rate in the US, followed by the adjacent southern states.

    Love to see the stats broken down by age.  I am pretty sure that when I was growing up kids made up most of the bike fatalities.  Now it seems to be men in their late 50s to 70s.  

    • #15
  16. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Retail Lawyer (View Comment):
    Florida has by far and away the highest per capita bicycle fatality rate in the US, followed by the adjacent southern states

    Interesting. Do you have any idea why that is? 

    • #16
  17. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Retail Lawyer (View Comment):
    Florida has by far and away the highest per capita bicycle fatality rate in the US, followed by the adjacent southern states

    Interesting. Do you have any idea why that is?

    Probably because a lot of us geezers have terrible balance.

    • #17
  18. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Retail Lawyer (View Comment):
    Florida has by far and away the highest per capita bicycle fatality rate in the US, followed by the adjacent southern states

    Interesting. Do you have any idea why that is?

    In looking for more information about this, I saw articles that said Florida, Texas, and California account for 40 percent of bicycle fatalities.  But of course those three states account for a lot of the people, too.

    In per capita rankings, Florida has the highest fatality rate. But there is as group that ranks the states fatalities as a percentage of “bicycle miles traveled” (BMT).  According to that method, Florida is only the 3rd highest. These are the 10 worst states according to that method:

    1. Delaware
    2. South Carolina
    3. Florida
    4. Louisana
    5. New Mexico
    6. Oklahoma
    7. Mississippi
    8. West Virginia
    9. Arizona
    10. California

    (Texas doesn’t appear on the 10 worst on per capita basis, either.)

    The ten best states on a BMT basis are:

    1. Massachusetts
    2. New York
    3. Illinois
    4. Pennsylvania
    5. Utah
    6. Tennessee
    7. Minnesota
    8. Missouri
    9. Arkansas
    10. Washington

     

    • #18
  19. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    I am constantly running into people who live at The Villages. I don’t now what they’re doing “up North” but it seems to have something to do with grandkids.

    I’m not in The Villages – I won’t disclose the locale because it’s crowded enough…….

    That would be telling.

    • #19
  20. Jim Kearney Contributor
    Jim Kearney
    @JimKearney

    That’s one old cat.

    Enjoyed reading your essay, and glad to hear the relocation is going well.

    Front Seat Cat: Men retire – women don’t. 

    Women retire, but with high energy. My (eSalon subscriber) wife and I are both retired. I shop, cook, and curate the TV. She paints watercolors (+ online classes/sharing) with the same drive and commitment once reserved for her career. 

    Front Seat Cat: our real estate agent told us about our current town

    Over the last couple of years, as rioters, looters, and thousands of homeless had their way with Los Angeles, I began researching getting out of Dodge.

    Now that seems slightly less likely. In a local election year, they closed the homeless settlement in our local park, and the Soros-ian non-prosecutor is facing a recall. I’m hoping we can stay because West LA’s summers are fairly cool, and California’s WFM-density maps out as the USA’s best. (No grilled red meat on our menu.)

    At some point we’d like to visit the Sarasota area. The main part of town is shore adjacent, which sounds like Santa Monica without Marxists. We’re probably too citified for a sprawling suburb like Lakewood Ranch, but we’d look it over. Wondering if Morton’s Gourmet Market in the West of Trail area could make up for the loss of LA’s Gelsons and Bristol Farms.

    Florida’s east coast is also tempting. West Palm Beach, while politically imperfect, hosts yuge pro-Trump gatherings. My wife has relatives there and in Boca, and it’s close to the busiest gathering place for American Boomers, the Port Everglades cruise ship depot.

    • #20
  21. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    Retail Lawyer (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    I’ve never committed a serious enough crime to be sent to Florida, and I hope to keep it that way. If we had to move south for health reasons (and I hope we never do) I’d probably try for some place in Texas where we spend a few weeks each winter. It doesn’t exactly feel like home, but we already like going back to the familiar places. I’m always glad to get back to our current home in Michigan, but since we already have a start on getting used to the environment in various Texas places, that’s where I could imagine going. And the bicycling on the roads is pretty good, even though Texas doesn’t have a reputation as a bicycling destination.

    Florida has by far and away the highest per capita bicycle fatality rate in the US, followed by the adjacent southern states.

    Love to see the stats broken down by age. I am pretty sure that when I was growing up kids made up most of the bike fatalities. Now it seems to be men in their late 50s to 70s.

    When most of us were growing up, an adult would not be caught dead riding a bike.

    Now it is a lifestyle some adults use for their commute, and others use for enjoyment, to widen their social circle and to have road adventures.

    When I delivered pizzas one year, I had no problem with kids on bikes. If they did something dumb in front of my truck, they corrected the wrong movement quickly. They also had no attitudes.

    Adults were a different story. They could follow my blind spot, ignore turn indicators, and callously speed through both stop signs and traffic lights.

    My closest friend fellow driver clipped a bike driver one night. He went up in the air, came down hard  and an ambulance was needed.

    A police officer happened to be sitting in his patrol car when it happened. He actually ticketed the bike rider, saying, “Sorry your crazy stunt will cost you a stay in the hospital, but you had no business driving like a maniac.”

    The officer also gave my friend his name and badge number, letting her know he’d make the time to go to court on her behalf if the bicyclist decided to make trouble.

    • #21
  22. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Retail Lawyer (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    I’ve never committed a serious enough crime to be sent to Florida, and I hope to keep it that way. If we had to move south for health reasons (and I hope we never do) I’d probably try for some place in Texas where we spend a few weeks each winter. It doesn’t exactly feel like home, but we already like going back to the familiar places. I’m always glad to get back to our current home in Michigan, but since we already have a start on getting used to the environment in various Texas places, that’s where I could imagine going. And the bicycling on the roads is pretty good, even though Texas doesn’t have a reputation as a bicycling destination.

    Florida has by far and away the highest per capita bicycle fatality rate in the US, followed by the adjacent southern states.

    Then watch where you’re going and wear a helmet?

    • #22
  23. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Jim Kearney (View Comment):

    That’s one old cat.

    Enjoyed reading your essay, and glad to hear the relocation is going well.

    Front Seat Cat: Men retire – women don’t.

    Women retire, but with high energy. My (eSalon subscriber) wife and I are both retired. I shop, cook, and curate the TV. She paints watercolors (+ online classes/sharing) with the same drive and commitment once reserved for her career.

    Front Seat Cat: our real estate agent told us about our current town

    Over the last couple of years, as rioters, looters, and thousands of homeless had their way with Los Angeles, I began researching getting out of Dodge.

    Now that seems slightly less likely. In a local election year, they closed the homeless settlement in our local park, and the Soros-ian non-prosecutor is facing a recall. I’m hoping we can stay because West LA’s summers are fairly cool, and California’s WFM-density maps out as the USA’s best. (No grilled red meat on our menu.)

    At some point we’d like to visit the Sarasota area. The main part of town is shore adjacent, which sounds like Santa Monica without Marxists. We’re probably too citified for a sprawling suburb like Lakewood Ranch, but we’d look it over. Wondering if Morton’s Gourmet Market in the West of Trail area could make up for the loss of LA’s Gelsons and Bristol Farms.

    Florida’s east coast is also tempting. West Palm Beach, while politically imperfect, hosts yuge pro-Trump gatherings. My wife has relatives there and in Boca, and it’s close to the busiest gathering place for American Boomers, the Port Everglades cruise ship depot.

    I hope California cleans itself up – I feel sorry for the residents there – especially the high drug, crime and homeless population.  Yes – it’s the home base of Pelosi and our stupendous VP Harris.  They hide behind high walls in their McMansions while they create tent cities and hand out free needles.  When will things change?  They don’t have the communities and the citizens’ well being and interests at heart.

    • #23
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