Long Time Coming…….

I didn’t realize that the end of May was my last post.  It’s not that I haven’t been doing anything fun or exciting, I just haven’t found the time to sit at the computer for any length of time and write.  It’s now July,  it’sTexas, and it’s hot out, so it’s a great afternoon to get caught up on life over the last month.  We haven’t gone on any special trips, but we certainly have been busy.  We’ve been here in Sun City for about 9 months now, and we’re still as active and having fun as we were earlier this year.  June flew by with all of the activities, events, parties and game nights.  But now we’re into July and as I kept hearing people say, now in the month of July and August things are getting a little slower.

But to fill in for the game nights, events and parties, I have now started to partake in the wonderful sport of golf!  Where do I begin.  Golf is truly a love, hate relationship.  It’s maddening when you go out and you get bad shots, missed putts, or just do something really stupid, but then it always seems that last hole or that last putt is the best of the day and you want to come back for more.  You always think I ‘ll do better on the next shot, or the next hole.  It’s amazing how you keep fooling yourself.

This Sun City has 3 beautiful 18 hole courses with driving ranges, chipping and putting greens.  They’re very nice courses and for many it is the main reason for moving here.  You can always get a tee time, it just might not be exactly when you wanted it, but they do try hard to meet everyone’s request.  Of course, like anywhere, someone is always not happy or satisfied.  It is so convenient to leave your clubs on your golf cart in the garage.  You put on your golf shoes and less than 5 minutes you’re on the 1st tee.  You truly can be spoiled very quickly.

If I haven’t said it once, I have probably said it each post, and I still feel this way, living here is like life on a big cruise ship.  You have to be careful though and pick and choose carefully what you want to get involved in, because you can easily take on too much and get burned out very fast.  I am finding it best to try something for a while, see if you like it, if not move onto the next thing.  You can always keep what you like but keep filling in the time with one of those new activities.  Your day can fill up very quickly.

So although some game nights have been stopped for the summer, we now have a weekly neighborhood pool party, not only is it a great place to cool off, it’s a really nice place to sit and visit, how refreshing.  I have to say for any person or couple thinking of retiring, and you want to stay active and get involved, then please don’t hesitate to check out an Adult community in your area.  I have learned since I quit working last August that you can be prepared financially, and be secure in that path, but if you don’t have a hobby or special interest you will be shocked how long a week can be.  You can’t eat out every day, you can’t shop every day.  Think of all the hours that you have sat in traffic to and from work, and all the hours you have worked, now look at that time and figure out what you’re going to fill it with.  You can’t sit on the computer every day, it’s certainly not healthy, so when you are financially planning your retirement, if you don’t have a passion for something or a hobby you want to pursue I strongly suggest you put that on your to do list so when that magical day comes and you leave that office for the last time, you’re not staring at unlimited hours of nothingness, but looking at activities and being social.

So 9 months later I’m still a fan of Sun City.  If that ever changes believe me you’ll be the first to know.  But for now and the foreseeable future I’m a big fan!  Shortly we’ll be taking a driving trip to NM and I hope to be able to provide you some great insights of places to see and things to do.  We’re off to Santa Fe and the Taos area, hoping that 8000 – 10000 ft in elevation will provide us a little change from the 100 degree Texas weather.  July 4th has come and gone, and the lazy days of July and August are in front of us.  Enjoy the summer, and I’m  looking forward to our vacation travels, will keep you posted on the roads we travel.  Until next time as the song states “Happy Trails”………..

 

Advertisements

I just realized that it has been a long time since I wrote my last blog.  When I started writing in August last year, it seems like I had time every day to sit down and write.  Actually I was looking to fill my time so writing here was helpful to fill that time.  It also was helpful in transitioning to this new life.  Today is Saturday, you can certainly ask me what the date is, but I sure don’t know.  I’m still OK with knowing if it’s a Monday or a Tuesday, etc…, but that’s only because of all the game nights and different things we do that the days of the week are not forgotten, but the date, that requires a calendar.  But if you ask me what we’re doing on the first Monday of the month, or the third Wednesday of the month, or the fourth Thursday evening, I can tell you.  I’ve learned to use that function on my Outlook calendar very well.

The end of May will be nine months since I worked full-time and almost 7 months that we have lived in Sun City Georgetown.  If there are any people who read this and are thinking of retiring in the near future or are already retired and looking for something new, I will suggest go on-line and look for Adult communities.  They are all over the U.S. and not just Sun Cities.  Lennar has some 55+ communities, and Pulte of course has Del Webb and you don’t have to move South or away from your kids because I wouldn’t be surprised if there is not one near you.    If you are a social person, like group activities, like to golf or play tennis, into crafts, pickelball, game nights, socials, and live music events, this is the place to be.  Our previous neighborhoods were multi-generational and very seldom did you get together with your neighbors.  Everyone was too busy running here or there, working, shopping, cleaning, etc…..So even when they were home they didn’t have time to visit except occasionally.

If anyone ever watched Desperate Housewives with all the drama going on, I will say that Drama does exist.  I can happily say that is all that is similar to Wisteria Lane.  No murders, no crime, but when you have many older people with time on their hands, I will be honest and say there is drama.  Is it so horrible that it negates the good stuff, absolutely not.  But I would be remiss if I didn’t point out the negative.  There are the ones that want to be the leaders, there are the ones that form their little groups, there will always be someone who doesn’t get along with someone, that’s just the way of the world.  But although some of this exists, it is so mild and does not affect the overall mood and fun of the neighborhood.  What it does do is bring up some funny stuff and if you can laugh about it and move on, then that’s OK.  You know we have lesser years now than we did before on this earth, so the petty stuff, who cares.

I know living on this street that I could call anyone, anytime and ask for help and they would be there.  It’s nice knowing that if you had to your neighbors would be here for you.  In today’s world that is a really great thing.  There are no screaming kids, no toys left in the yards, no swing sets and no 4 or 5 cars sitting out.  Are there rules here, of course there are rules, but those are what makes the neighborhoods look as nice as they do and for us one of the reasons we moved here.  We don’t mind rules, as long as they are practical and for everyone.  I know for some the rules thing is offensive, but overall I believe in rules and believe if not over done can be good for everyone.

It’s now summer in Texas.  Going to be in the mid-90’s all week.  Some people have already left for the summer and others will be leaving over the next month.  We hear that June – September is rather slow here as many people go on long vacations or to their home up North, so we’ll have to see what happens over the next few months.  I can tell you thru the end of May it has not slowed down.  I am not one to sit and watch TV, or read a book for a long period of time so being here and being active is right up my alley.

I am going to say one last thing about aging.  I know I’m one of the younger ones here in Sun City, being in my 50’s.  I have a new outlook of what I want to be when I’m 65 or 70.  I have heard the saying that “the 60’s are the new 40’s” and I truly, absolutely and completely  believe that.  I have a new goal in life to be as fit and in shape as many of the 70 year olds.  Many run circles around me and are in much better shape.  I have never seen so many ladies that I would never have guessed they are as old as they are, and no they have not had surgery.   I have a few years to get working on this, and I sure am.  So for today this is it, I’m motivated and going to work out.  The road I’m traveling today is the work out road………

 

Good Friends and Good Food

It’s come and gone and all that planning and setup is all in the past. As I have mentioned previously our neighbors have been very welcoming and I felt that we should show our appreciation so we decided to have an Open House for the Neighbors. All Neighborhoods in Sun City are designated by a Neighborhood Number, we happen to be neighborhood 60. Relative to some neighborhoods ours is on the rather small size. It doesn’t matter the size, it’s the quality of the neighbors and I think we hit a winner. So out went all the invites and to my surprise the majority responded they would be attending.
We have some single men and ladies on our street and except for the singles not attending all the couples in our neighborhood responded. So once that was all added up we were up to 50 people. Yes, that does seem like a lot of people, but it’s amazing how you really don’t need that much space to accommodate 50 people. The actual day of the party we had a few that could not make it, but the total attending was 45 people, not a bad showing.   We have a rather large garage and on a scale of 1 to 10 for cleanliness ours is probably a 9. This is my husband’s domain and he sure does like a clean and organized garage. So it was an easy decision to include the garage as an option to include in the space we would use for the Open House. So after deciding that the bar would be setup in the garage and the food would all be setup in the kitchen we had a plan.

Open House 002
What we quickly learned is that everyone in the neighborhood is more than willing to help out and share. We borrowed tables and chairs, and even 2 heaters, just in case we needed to get the chill out of the garage. It was a beautiful day so by the time of the party at 6:30 the garage warmed up quite nicely. And I will say when you get 45 more people in your home that body heat really warms up the place.   Also, when you have this many people it is extremely difficult to provide all the food, and very expensive. So we provided the drinks and everyone brought a dish to share, either an appetizer or dessert. My counters were full, but what was great is that by the end of the evening most dishes were either empty or near empty.

Open House 003
So once all was bought, borrowed, setup, and food made we were ready for the start time. I truly appreciate the time awareness that the neighborhood has. When you say a party is from 6:30 to 9:30 people show up at 6:30 and the last person left at 9:30, now that’s a great thing. Besides we’re all getting older and don’t stay up late like we did when we were younger it’s nice that they respect the invite times.   I know we enjoyed the Open House and from the general feedback I believe all that attended had a good time to. It’s not what you cook or how it all looks, it comes down to the people attending and the fun that you all make together. I felt a part of the neighborhood before, but I feel even more involved and closer since our party. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, this is one party happy neighborhood. We’re enjoying our life here in Sun City and have absolutely no regrets regarding our decision to move here, or neighborhood has made this an easy transition. To our continued travels in and around Sun City and hope that your road choices are just as fun……..

You Think you have Seen it All!

Sometimes you think you have seen and done it all, but in reality we aren’t even close to seeing and doing it all.  But today I do have to say we did something that was a first for me.  About 20 years ago if you would have said that I would take time to watch something like this I probably would have laughed and said are you kidding.  This morning we woke up to a cloudy and rather cold morning.  The wind was quite strong so after having some absolutely beautiful winter days here in Central Texas, today was not so nice.  But we got in the car and drove to one of the other neighborhoods in our community, actually lucky Neighborhood 13 and we watched a Golf Car Mardi Gras parade.  Don’t laugh, it was actually quite cute.  I was surprised by the large number of golf cars that were decorated and the people (and dogs) that participated.

Of course, as with any Mardi Gras parade, there was candy being thrown, and the numerous different types of beads.  I am happy to say that I am now the proud owner of 42 different types of beads.  Actually I think that is quite a lot considering this was a small neighborhood parade.  But like with anything we have seen here at Sun City, whatever people choose to do, they do it with zest and zeal.  They give 100% to the decorating and although we had fun standing and watching the parade, the people in the parade were having an equal amount of fun.

I’m glad we went, another one of those firsts for us, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the year waiting to see what each new month will bring us.  One thing living in a community of this type is that it gives you an opportunity to try everything, whether you’re a beginner or advanced, all activities are open for everyone to try to see if they like it, of course, withe the hope that you will like it enough to want to become a full-time member and become fully involved in their activity.  I’ve only found one thing myself, so far, that I find I want to get fully involved and that is Line Dancing.  I have so much more to try, but feel I have to give the things I am trying now my full effort before I move onto the next.

The worst part of today is that I forgot my camera!  Sometimes I think if my head wasn’t attached I would forget that too.  I had no phone and no camera so I will not be able to share any of the photos, but I think imagining what a parade of this type looks like could be even more fun.  I hope your day was fun and you also had a chance to experience “a first”.  That can’t happen every day so when it does, it’s a day you don’t want to forget.  Hope the road you’re traveling is free of bumps and pot holes and you have smooth traveling in the week ahead.  Until next time “happy travels”…………

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.

Cycle of Life

All of our life we can’t wait for the next big thing to happen.  When we’re very young we want to be like our older sisters or brothers.  When we’re preteen we want to be just like the older teenagers.   I remember well my Mom’s words, “when you get older you can do this, or you can do that”, so older became magical.  It was something as a child you were always striving for.  Then you became a teenager, driving age what an achievement, you were an adult!  What an accomplishment.  Then it was your first job, wow, you were definitely growing up.  That was good because as you grew older you were able to do more and more of what you were told when you were younger that you couldn’t do.  Driving, voting, drinking at a bar, OMG, how could it get any better!

Now thinking back my teenage years of the 70’s they were nothing like today.  I have no idea how today is, except for the conversations with the grandkids and they certainly seem different.  I thought I couldn’t grow up fast enough, now the kids seem to be grown up earlier and are missing even more of their childhood than we did.

Once you were in your late teens, “kids” were either going off to college, the Service, or to their first job.  I continued on to college locally and worked part-time, but I still lived at home.  So although I was an adult, I will still living under my parents roof and if I wanted to continue to live there I followed their rules.  Yes, there was a curfew back then, not imposed by the law, but imposed by my parents, and yes I obeyed, who would have thought otherwise.  Then P/T work turned into F/T work, dating and eventually getting married.

Even married there was the next goal.  At that time it was not geared toward getting older, but hitting other targets such as buying your first house, having children and setting your sights on their goals and aging.   Then the cycle started all over again.  While your children couldn’t wait to get older, you’re now starting to look and say, wait!  As they are getting older than I’m getting older and I’ve already hit 29 multiple times, when does it all stop!  As we know, it doesn’t stop, they cycle of life keeps going.

Some are lucky enough to be married to the same person all their life, while others it might take them a time or two to find the right one,  but during these times the kids are growing up and can’t wait to be older, and we’re saying it’s OK to slow things down a little, of course that doesn’t happen.  So as the kids go off to college and our hair is starting to turn grey (or get a little thinner) we’re now looking at the next stage in life, retirement.  The finances are reviewed more often, goals and targets are set, and the anticipation of now achieving that next stage in life – When can I quit my job and not have to work another day in my life – Retire!

I made that time and I’m now here.  I am now retired about 2 months – a whole 60 days.  I am far from being an experienced retiree  and have not even began to skim the surface, but I have learned one thing and it’s real important.  Once you know when you want to retire you need to have a plan.  What I mean is that you can’t quit one day and wake up the next and say what am I going to do now – it’s too late then.  If you have a hobby be prepared to embrace it.  If you don’t have a hobby but want to start one, be prepared to move forward.  If you want to ge more involved with your church, volunteer at the library or hospital, get these things lined up.  You can not and should not sit at home all day watching TV or playing games on the computer.  You didn’t go thru all the ups and downs and good and bad of life to get to this stage of  your life to sit on your ass and do nothing.  The 65-year-old is the new 45!  Do something with yourself.  If not you will become depressed and a mean and angry person.  People will not seek you out, you seek out life.

I know not everyone can afford luxury vacations, or 2 homes, but there is plenty to do out there that doesn’t cost much and will keep you healthy and happy.  This is our ultimate goal in life.  We have given and supported and sacrificed.  We have taken our lumps and dished it out.  We have worked those 60 and 70 hour weeks, been stressed about family and concerned about how to support them, it’s now our time to shine.  Retirement is our time to do what we want to do.  We can choose to do what makes us happy because  reality, if you don’t do it now, when are you going to do it.  There’s not that many “around the next corner” moments left so go for it, take that new road of adventure and enjoy it as much as you can.

Enjoy your travels, we deserve it, we should enjoy it and let’s hope our retirement road goes on for many years to come, enjoy your travels……..