Christmas Day

We’ve waited all year for this day and it’s almost over.  The planning, the shopping, the anticipation, it’s there every year whether you want it to be or not.  It’s a wonderful time of year no matter where you are, who you’re with or what you are doing.  Sometimes we put too much pressure on ourselves and sometimes it is rather sad and depressing for some.  It’s not fun to be alone and sometimes the Holidays makes being alone even more difficult.  Over the years I have had small family gatherings and I’ve also enjoyed the larger get-togethers.  What I remember of those large affairs was that I was really tired by the end of Christmas Day and did not look forward to the next day which was usually a work day.  I’m now at a time in my life since we have chosen to move away from family that it’s just my husband and I.  We still enjoy the family and I do have to say I love Skype.  If you can’t be with someone it’s the next best thing.

This morning we talked with family and actually was able to watch the kids open their presents, it was like sitting in the family room with them, was really nice.  Then after that visit we went on to the next daughter and we were able to see all the Christmas presents the grandkids received.  I know the little ones get up early because they want to open gifts but next year we need to join another in their living room when they open gifts.  It is wonderful.  You get to enjoy the time, but not the mess and fuss and all the work.  So after about 2-1/2 hours on Skype this morning we then took a walk.  It was a nice afternoon in the 60’s but it was certainly quite windy.  So we were able to get in a very long walk and then the cold front came in.  We were hoping to walk more, but the cold came in too soon.  From the low 60’s to the low 40’s in less than an hour.

What was special for us today is that today is the only day that the golf courses are closed in our community and we are allowed to walk the cart paths.  Except from a distance we have not really seen the golf courses so today we enjoyed walking holes 1 – 5.  It was quite nice.  Although we did enjoy this time, if I wasn’t so tired and getting hungry I would have really enjoyed continuing the walk because I really wanted to see more.  What this means now is that I guess we better get out our clubs, go practice so we can play a round and see the whole course, it looks very nice.

What follows are a few photos of the course, I hope you all enjoy whether you are a golfer or not.

Golf Course 015 Golf Course 017 Golf Course 019 Golf Course 030

Holes 3, 4 and 5 of the Legacy Golf Course.  One of the three golf courses in the community.  It was quite hilly, quite scenic and enjoyed looking at how the neighbors decorated their yards (yes I was peeking into the backyards!)

Golf Course 026 Golf Course 029 Golf Course 025 Golf Course 033

I was quite surprised at how many trees have lost their leaves.  There are more varieties of trees in this area, not just live oaks, and there was some nice color on the trees a few weeks back.  We have had a few frosts so all has gotten brown.  I am quite surprised how 90 minutes up the road from where we used to live that it is actually a little colder up here.

Today we opened our presents, had a nice dinner, talked with family, had a lovely walk and enjoyed our new community.  I enjoyed the day.  Don’t get me wrong I miss our times with the family so I’m grateful for Skype, but after all those years of hectic running around crazy, the quiet time isn’t so bad.  We’ll see the family we’re just waiting for warmer weather up north, and their visits here early next year.

To one and all, Merry Christmas and to pleasant memories of another Christmas past along our road we are all traveling……….

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Texas Courthouses

Today was relaxing!
My first activity of the day, after a nice relaxing breakfast, was a massage. I am a true believer in massage therapy and have given myself a gift once per month by having a massage with a licensed therapist. If you have never had a massage, I highly suggest it. It is great for your body and is relaxing and therapeutic. I figure I’m worth this one treat each month. I had a great therapist in New Braunfels and finding a new therapist is as hard as finding new doctors and a place to get your hair cut. I have been enjoying massages for about 15 years now so I guess you can say I’m picky and know what I expect and want and if I don’t get it I look elsewhere. Another benefit of living in Sun City is that they have 2 therapists right on sight. I had my first appointment today and I was rather impressed. I usually don’t find the right one the first time and I’m not quite sure if I won’t experiment a little with trying others, but I was satisfied enough that I made an appointment in January. So as you can see, my day started off very good.

This afternoon we did a little adventure learning more about our town we now live in. As mentioned in previous posts Georgetown has a quaint square and a very nice Courthouse right in the center. Today we participated in the Williamson County Courthouse tours. Every Friday and Saturday, all year-long they provide free tours of the courthouse. The tours start at 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 and start in the Williamson Museum across from the Courthouse on Austin Street. The tour guide was very knowledgable and we enjoyed her tales of some of the famous people and activities that occurred within the courthouse. I’m sure if you go on more than one tour you might even hear some different stories.

One surprising thing we learned is that the Courthouse can be rented for weddings and parties. There are two chambers and a meeting room and a balcony. And you can rent the entire second floor for under $400.00 an hour. Of course you must add catering, music etc… but how cool is that. They remove the benches and setup tables, but the judge’s bench and some items remain, it sounds like an interesting place to have a party and I think it’s nice that the public have an opportunity to use the building. The Courthouse was completed in 1911 and is the 5th courthouse for the County. The first two were basically log cabins, the 3rd courthouse they do not have photos of, and the 4th Courthouse lasted from about 1877 – 1920 and it was explained that it was basically falling apart, so much so that it could not be salvaged. So in 1911 the Courthouse was completed and with many changes over the years, it was not refurbished to it’s 1911 glory until 2006. On the Tour they point out what is not original due to new safety laws and some changes that just could not be put back to the original format.

It’s a beautiful Courthouse and since it Christmastime they had the biggest tree in the center that exceeded 2 floors with ornaments hanging from the ceiling. It was a pleasant afternoon and glad we were able to take time to learn more about what Georgetown and Williamson County has to offer. Our next stop is to see old town Round Rock. We have learned there is more to Round Rock than Dell, I35 and shopping and we’re going to find it. I hope you’re having fun traveling down your road. I know it’s a hectic time of year, pace yourself and enjoy your travels. The season will be over before we know it and we’ll be waiting another 11 months for all the activities to start again. Happy Travels and Happy Holidays.

Community Activities

I finally did it! It only took at least 5 years of saying I needed to do something and I finally did – I attended a Yoga class.
One of the great benefits of living in Sun City is the convenience of working out and staying fit or getting back in shape, whatever you need to do.
There are no excuses any longer. You can’t say it’s too far, can’t say it’s too expensive and you can’t say it’s not the right time. For anyone who wants to participate in a group class like yoga, zumba or even types of water aerobics the first classes usually starts at 7:00AM and the last class is 7:00PM.  Now if you can’t find a time between those hours to attend at least one class two or three times a week, then you really don’t want to get into shape.

There are 2 beautiful fitness centers in the community. They have 2 outdoor pools and 3 indoor pools. They have a wide variety of state-of-the-art aerobic machines along with all kinds of weight machines. You can have a personal trainer or you can go on your own. So if you’re not a class person, or you’re not a water person, but you just want to do your own thing than these machines were made for you. These are open even longer hours so again there should be no excuses to get off your butt and start moving. For years I sat behind a desk, was always too tired or didn’t have enough time so the best I did was go for a walk in the neighborhood, and that wasn’t on a regular basis. It is now attainable and I am looking forward to setting up a schedule that will allow me to excercise on a regular basis. Remember we’re not getting any younger and it’s for our own good, so I’m going to make the time.  Of course seeing one self in the  mirrored  classroom should be enough motivation to keep my butt moving.

In addition to starting my first class, we attended our first neighborhood game night. We played Cribbage. With very little lessons we joined our neighbors who have been playing this game for quite some time. They have an opening and we joined in. It’s not a hard game but it is fast and you better know how to add cards quickly to either 15 or 31. What’s nice is that it seems most game nights are setup with couples so there is a total of 3 other couples and us and we will rotate to each of our homes once a month. You really have to watch your calendars because everything seems to be scheduled by “the first Tuesday of the Month”, the “second Wednesday of the month”, etc….. So you need to make sure that you don’t double book yourself. Not all groups meet in December so in January we are scheduled to sub for Mexican Train night, setup with another group for game night where the host picks the game and a possible 4th night to play 31, which I have no idea what that is. These are all couples based and all right in walking distance, can’t get any better than that.

So not here yet a month, and we have attended a neighborhood party, the neighborhood Christmas party, cribbage night, a Sun City music presentation, book club meeting, attended the New resident orientation, attended the fitness orientation and have taken 2 yoga classes. In addition has been all the unpacking, decorating and cleaning activities. January will get even busier because adding to this will be the 3 additional game nights, the street block party (which will be our house), the Ladies luncheon, Men’s luncheons for my husband, more exercising and hopefully a dinner or two out. Once it warms up were back in the yard to keep attacking the weeds and pulling out plants, and we’re getting close to finalizing our color choice which means my husband will be adding painting to his list.

We moved here for the activities and I’m glad we are starting out as I had hoped it would be. I am happy that we have made this move, it is as good as I had hoped and I am hoping it will only get better once we get to know people better and start meeting even more people the more activities we participate in. Our road is widening and I’m happy we have chosen this road to travel down.

Week Three

This Monday we will be here 3 weeks. In some ways it seems like 3 months and other ways it seems like we just arrived yesterday. We have accomplished a lot in 3 weeks but we still have had time to enjoy ourselves. Most things are put away, the Christmas decorations are up, so now it’s time to start looking at the big projects. It’s nice to be able to buy new, but buying resale you can find some good prices on homes. This time we bought a resale, and although it is certainly livable, and some people might not change a thing, we are getting to a point that we will start looking at the big projects that need to get done. Some we will do ourselves, but others will require getting some type of contractor in here.

Although it is nice to be able to come in and put your own colors on the walls, it’s still a lot of work to do. The house has no color. Every house in Sun City is painted the famous “Sun City White”. Let’s just say it’s not very uplifting, and rather boring. Especially when you get a room painted it makes the rest of the house look dull. We have the master bedroom and bath painted so now we are anxious to move forward with getting the rest of it started. This is not going to be a small job and you really want to make sure you pick the right colors because this is a job that you don’t want to do for a lot of years once done.

Painting is one of the jobs, then there is getting stonework done for a grill, and the biggest job, changing and improving the landscaping. The landscaping really sucks! But what to do first and how quickly really depends on when we can get quotes and once picked when they can start. I foresee that maybe at our first anniversary of moving in we hope to have most of the projects done, but we’ll see. We moved here to enjoy the “fun stuff” and that is what we are going to do, and somewhere we will fit the work in.

Sun City is place to come to be with similar aged people, people who want to have fun, and hopefully people who you will find some common interests with. Once you attend the orientation programs it is really up to you to get going and get involved. You do need to have some of your own initiative. The activities are there, you personally need to go out and get involved. No one is going to pull you out of your house and say “hea, join our group”, but you need to make an effort to find out what time the activity is, and be where they meet and be socially adept to join in. You make of your stay here as enjoyable you as you want. If you don’t want to participate in group activities, be sociable with your neighbors, and volunteer to get involved, then don’t move here. If you’re happy to sit inside, stay on the computer all day or watch TV, and maybe meet with friends once a week, then you can live anywhere.

Our realtor was very helpful as she lives in the community to help us realize that it is not only the Community Association that is important, but your neighborhood. Each section is broken out into Neighborhoods. Some larger while ours is on the smaller number size. I believe we have gotten very lucky to have purchased in a rather active neighborhood. We have heard that purchasing in some older communities people are disappointed by the lack of involvement, but so far, I think we did pretty good. Our neighborhood is only 3 years old, so no one has gotten tired of “doing stuff” and considering this is a retirement community, they are rather on the young side. Many people buy new homes as most believe the newer communities are the most active. I do have to warn you, as we have been warned, don’t over commit, it is so easy.

As of today we are already involved in 3 different groups for game nights in a month, and I have joined the neighborhood book club, which is also monthly. Our neighborhood consists of 3 blocks so we have a monthly block party, and Howling at the Moon monthly party that the entire neighborhood participates in. We have 3 annual neighborhood parties, of which we just went to the Christmas party, which was very nice. Each block is responsible for handling a year, so every 3 years our block is responsible for the Christmas party. I have already joined a yoga class every Wednesday and I can tell already that I will certainly be joining more excercise groups. It’s close, it was fun and not that expensive, it is so nice that everything is so convenient.

We worked in the yard a little yesterday and really didn’t get much accomplished. After visiting with the neighbors, I only got about a third of what I thought I would accomplish. But that’s OK, it’s not like when I was working and time was limited and when you worked on something you had to get it done because who knew when you were going to have time again. There is a reason for this phrase “there’s always tomorrow”. My husband has a little issue with that but not me, interrupt me that’s my motto.

So as I said at the beginning, it’s been 3 weeks. With the tasks that we need to yet do, it feels like we’ve been here a short time, but the involvement with our neighborhood, activities and social scene I feel like 3 months. Our neighbors have been so welcoming. We have received more wine and cookies and more “welcome to the neighborhood” than ever before in my life. I can honestly say that I have never felt more welcomed then we have here, and considering the amount of times we have moved, that is quite an achievement. I hope that our relationships grow with our neighbors. I’m looking forward to the Ladies monthly luncheons, joining the woman’s golf league, learning how to play pickle ball, and participate in the Zoomers activities. I foresee my travels ahead to be exciting and to be very very busy. I’m sure we’ll hit a few bumps along the way, but I am hoping my road has few obstacles to block my way. Until next week, enjoy the Holiday activities and all the Christmas lights.

A Long Two weeks

It’s been awhile since my last post.  I finally have a few minutes to sit at the computer and get up to date on the last 2 weeks.  I can honestly say that I have never been so busy!  From the closings, to the actual moving to now the unpacking, it is endless.  I am so happy that I do not have to get up and go to work every day, as I don’t have enough time in a day as it is, I can’t even imagine how I would have fit work into this.

I can now say, the last box was emptied today – yeah!!!  We have accomplished so much, but by the end of the day my legs and back hurt so much, I can tell you after popping 2 Advil I sleep like a rock.  I remember when I worked the restless nights I would have thinking about the issues I was dealing with at work, my mind running and running and feeling my stomach in a knot.  Now my head hits the pillow and I’m out for the night.  So although I’m physically tired at the end of each day, it’s a good tired, I sleep well, and start each new day with new energy.  I really haven’t thought of work, or missing it.  I still get all the daily and weekly notifications from Monster and Linked In and a multitude of other job sites, I look at them quickly and delete.  I can honestly say I’m just not interested in getting a job right now.  This might change as we get to January and February, but the task at hand seems so big and is looming overhead that I don’t even think of it or want it.  To the workaholic I used to be, this is simply amazing.  I am a strong believer that things happen for a reason, and I feel from the day I quit on 8/31, everything has fallen into place regarding timing and this move.  We were able to visit family in Chicago, we found a nice home to move to and we had time to enjoy our previous home before leaving it.  The packing kept me busy and now the new house setup is definitely keeping us busy and will for some time to come.

The new neighborhood.  It seems that for the month of December things slow down a little when it comes to activities.  Many retirees either travel to be with family or family travels here to be with them so many groups don’t meet in December, but start again in January.  Again, timing that seems to be working out for us.  By end December we should be as settled as we can be, and we’ll be ready to start enjoying all the New Year activities, and let me tell you, there are quite a few.  You can be as busy as you want to be, and honestly could fill up an entire day going from one thing to the next.  We were able to attend the New Residents introduction meeting and all the clubs and groups were present to tell you a little about their activities.  My best analogy that I’m using is that you’re like a kid in a candy store.  Seeing all the different candies (clubs and groups) and you want to pick them all, but you know you can’t so you have to choose which ones to try now and maybe try the others later.  I can see how you can easily take on too much, too soon, and too fast.  We’re going to be here for a long time so if we try to do everything the first year, what will we do with the rest of the years.

For sure I’m going to join the neighborhood book club, getting on a few sub lists for game nights, and hoping to join a new game group that is being setup.  Already signed up for 3 yoga classes.  I said I was going to do this and I’m doing it.  Now only once a week for 3 weeks, but it’s a chance to try yoga and hopefully will like it so I can sign up in January again.  We’re going to join the Country Western Dance group and I’m going to join the ladies 9 hole weekly golf group.  Sounds more like a fun group and for someone who hasn’t golfed in a long time, it’s a perfect way to get back into it.  We’re going to join a group called the Zoomers. We hear this is the “in” group of Sun City.  Sounds like they do a lot of activities from luncheons, day trips, even 1 and 2 weeks trips.  This seems to be the biggest group in the community and the most active.  My husband wants to join bocce ball, and is considering work working.  We both think Pickle Ball sounds interesting, so we might give that a try.  I think starting with these activities is a good way to see how things go.  Of course, we want to have time to use the state of the art fitness facility and the pools also.  They have a wonderful library, I don’t think I’ll every have to buy another book again.

So all those activities are the future.  For now, I’ve been stuck inside with my boxes.  For some reason the stupid Unpacking Fairy missed our house so I have been on my own.  The rooms are setup, the Christmas decorations up, the knick knacks in place, so only a few things left.  I can say that the “to do” list is now shorter than the “do” list I started with 2 weeks ago.  Not sure how much I’ll get done this week.  We have fitness orientation, Neighborhood Christmas party and we’ll be attending a show in the Grand ballroom on Thursday, and of course, my first ever yoga class.  Then on Friday I do want to go see the lights in the historic section of Georgetown since the shops are open late.  I can tell you I won’t be bored this week.  I sure would like to find some time to read a few chapters in my book, maybe the following week.

I hope your road you’re traveling on is being good to you and you’re enjoying it.  I’m on a new road, I have high hopes and I’m trying to see what’s around the next bend.  I’ll keep  you posted on what I find.

Almost a Week

On Monday we will have owned our new home one week.  Although we had a Holiday this week, Thanksgiving, it basically has been a blur.  From closing on two houses, packing up the last-minute things, going to a neighborhood farewell party, moving out of one house and moving into the next house the next day, and cleaning and painting and unpacking, these last 6 days are a blur of activity and being very very tired when going to bed.

Overall, based on some of the horror stories regarding moving and closing on houses, I guess you can say ours was uneventful, which is always a good thing.  The movers overall did a good job, with only 1 broken  yard plant pot, and some minor scratches on the furniture that can be touched up.  Putting things away I have broken two things, so the Movers have a better track record than I.

Our new home is a resale so it was previously lived in.  The more I’m here I really do like the floor plan, but regrettably it hasn’t had a good cleaning in quite a while, so not only is unpacking required, but before anything can be put away, a thorough cleaning must be done.  I think I truly have dish pan hands!  I have never washed and cleaned so much in one week, and we still have a lot ahead of us.

One of our new neighbors brought over cookies on Wednesday and that was really appreciated, they were homemade and was good snacking.  You need that sugar energy to keep you going.  Although it seems like endless work we do try to stop by 8PM, but that is a long day since we start about 8:30.  I would never have guessed how badly my feet hurt.  Although wearing shoes all day, it’s amazing that one’s feet can hurt so much.  I give all retail people a big kudos for I have no idea how they can stand all day long, every day.  I have been at it a week and every evening my legs and feet just ache.  I wonder how long it takes until your legs and feet just get numb and they don’t hurt any longer?

On Thursday we enjoyed a very nice dinner at Cracker Barrel along with many other people.  Since Cracker Barrel was about the only restaurant open in the area, it was a big hit with many people.  On Friday we joined the locals in Georgetown’s square, listened to Christmas carols and watched the Town Square come alight with Christmas lights.  It was all very small town and all very nice.  It was a nice way to welcome in our new town.  There were many people so we will be going back this week to take some photos and I will post later in the week.  As we get settled in I’ll start carrying my camera with me and start taking more photos to share with you as I progress down our new town roads.  Welcome to Georgetown, TX, I can’t wait to share with you all the things I find and learn about this area. Although only 90 miles from where we previously lived, it feels much farther, and is all brand new.  Enjoy your Holiday travels and be safe and happy when traveling the roads!

 

Closing Day and More!

It has arrived.  Months have gone by since we first started discussing whether we should move or not.  I know it goes back to about the Spring time frame.  You know, the conversations that starts out “what if…” and you make a comment or two, then nothing, then a short while later something happens and it comes up again.  Then the moment comes when you start talking seriously about, weighing the pros and cons, and then saying we should wait a year or two.  Then a little more time goes by and something comes up and now it seems maybe this is the right time.  So we talked and talked, thought and thought, and finally about May we decided that were going to move forward with selling this house and traveling down our road to our next chapter.

We knew where we wanted to move so that wasn’t the issue, but we again went back to make sure we still felt strongly about the community and we certainly did.  When we left the Chicago area nearly 10 years ago we thought we would like to retire in an Adult/Senior community.  Prior to moving to Florida we traveled through many of the Adult/Senior communities throughout Florida and we decided we weren’t ready for that type of community yet.  I had many working years ahead of me, and although my husband was gong to retire I felt I was too young to move into this type of community.  So we purchased a home in an all age community and there we stayed for the time we were in Florida.

When we decided that Florida regrettably was not going to be our final destination, and we started looking at Texas, again we went down the road should we consider an Adult/Senior community.  Again we looked, and once again we decided not to.  Instead we had the opportunity to allow my husband to build his home that he designed and he lovingly was involved with from beginning to end.  It’s a beautiful home on an acre lot and is bigger than 2 people need, but we enjoyed the home and the area.

When we were making the decision about moving, the factor that was different this time is that I was quitting my job and not going to work.  With that new to the scene that changed our opinion and we did decide that now 10 years after our initial discussion it is time to move into the Adult/Senior community that we had been considering for the last 2 moves.

So today was our closing on our home in New Braunfels, and on Tuesday we will be moving into our home in Georgetown, TX.  We will be joining the other Seniors already residing in Del Webb’s Sun City in Georgetown.  It is a beautiful community; 3 golf courses, 2 indoor and 2 outdoor pools, tennis courts, and a wide variety of activities both within your neighborhood and through out the community.  We knew we would one day move to this type of community we just didn’t know when.  We both feel this is the time.

I will miss this home as my husband put his heart and soul into this home and he loved the building process and the results of all his hard work.  We put all the good we have found in previous homes and tried to come up with a home that met all of our needs and in some cases exceeded them.  It has upgrades that we never had before and probably will never have again.  Although we will be giving this up, we will always have the wonderful memories of our times here and also the memories of having been in a position to build this home and enjoy it.  We are lucky and blessed because I know many have this dream and it is never achieved, so I am leaving with no regrets and I am glad that life allowed us to enjoy the time we have had here.  If only we could take this house and move it to our new community, but of course that is not an option; hence the sale.

I know that Tuesday will be a difficult day for my husband, but I am hoping that as we get involved with our new home and community that although he won’t forget the home, but will start enjoying our new community.   I am calm about this move as I feel this is the right time.  It’s not like this decision came out of the blue, it has been thought about for 10 years and we did say that ultimately we wanted to purchase our last home in one of these Adult/Senior communities so to me it’s just turning onto the next street in our life and I’m looking forward to it.

Del Webb and Sun City are two words that have been around since the 1960’s.  The original communities were started in Arizona and now there are many communities throughout the U.S.  Not just in the warm climates any longer, but throughout the U.S.  It’s an active adult lifestyle.  It’s like going on a cruise.  You can take a cruise and lay on the deck all day and read a book and don’t get involved in any of the daily or nightly activities, and for some that’s great, but why go on a cruise.  Sun City is like a big adult playground and unless you want to go out and play, don’t waste your time.

Like with anything in life, you make of it what you want.  If I’m going to be by myself all day, take a walk and sit on my back porch and read a book,  we should have just stayed in our current home.  We can go a week without seeing anyone, and for a social person like me this is just depressing and boring.  But that’s not we want.  We want to golf, and socialize and be involved in activities.  Have a day that by the evening your exhausted but happy, not bored and lazy.  I am hoping that if our life in our new home is 1/2 as exciting as I hope it will be, then I will be 100% happy, and couldn’t ask for more.  Anything more than that will be a special surprise.

So we won’t be traveling down any new roads on vacations or long weekends over the next month or two as we have a lot of unpacking and settling in.  But what I will be bringing to you is our initiation into our new community and lifestyle.  Welcome to a new day and a new road, you’re never too old to start a new adventure.  Happy travels.