Snowtirement


Audrey and Jay were having a wonderful time visiting their long time friends Bob and Mary at the home they moved to six months ago in Village at Deaton Creek, an Active Adult Community North of Atlanta.

“I love the way you have decorated your home, it looks like a model home! I am sure you had some help, didn’t you?” asks Audrey.

“Yes, we sure did. There is a designer woman we met at the Vendor Fair here that we really liked. She helped us, especially with the paint colors, rugs and even some furniture. I cannot believe we are buying furniture at age 67!” replied Mary.

Audrey exclaimed, “Love the floor plan especially the sun room and it’s all on one level. No Stairs!”

After the tour of their home, Bob and Mary gave their friends the community tour and included the large clubhouse, called the Activities Center. It was impressive with the gym, indoor pool, craft rooms, library and huge ballroom where Bob explained they love to go to concerts.

“We really like it here and have made the adjustment but still feel like we are on vacation.”, Bob beamed. “It really is like living on a cruise ship!”

“We’ll get a quick lunch before you go; I know you need to get on the road with questionable weather on the way.”

“There is a place next door at the Reunion Golf Course Clubhouse that has a wonderful patty melt with potato fries.”, Bob suggested. Off they went to a late lunch and more discussions of how living in an active adult community is. After lunch on the way out to the car, everyone was surprised to see it was snowing. Well it is January but this was unexpected. Back at Bob and Mary’s house, there were quick goodbyes and a promise to get together again soon. Bob gave directions of a short cut back to Alpharetta via Friendship Road to Peachtree Industrial Blvd. “You will not have to get on the expressway and it’s not a bad trip.” Bob offered.

Audrey and Jay hit the road to snow flurries coating their Honda and began to discuss their visit.

“They sound like they are having the time of their lives don’t they. I have not seen them this excited in a while. I wonder if the excitement will wear off?” wonders Jay.

It sounds so exciting. Bob has taken up race walking and bocce and thinking about learning pickle ball even. He says he and Mary take a cardio class a couple of times a week. Mary says she has made a new friend and just had a day outing for shopping and lunch. She also plays Hand and Foot, a card game with the women on her street. “They sure are active; I guess that is why they call it an active adult community.” offered Audrey.

“Jay have you ever thought of moving to a place like that, an active adult community?” inquires Audrey.

About that time it was really snowing hard, mixed with sleet. Visibility was becoming bleak and on Peachtree Industrial they hit a bump, which was an ice patch and the car swerved around and came to a stop on the shoulder.

“Wow, this is a hazard to drive in and not safe!” says Audrey who was driving. A quick check of the radio weather confirmed roads were closing around Alpharetta and all points north.

“There is a motel up on the right. Let’s head over there and see if they have a room, Audrey, before it is too late and we get stuck out here.”
They make it the short distance on the slippery road to the motel and are able to check in a room, as others are doing the same.

“Looks like we will be staying tonight to let things blow over until it clears tomorrow by noon.”

A call to Bob and Mary and to their daughter lets everyone know they are safe.

“At least the motel has a restaurant next to the office and the manager tells me they will stay open for the guests.” reassures Jay.

After four hours in the room watching the storm coverage on TV and then getting some rest, they were ready for dinner. The diner was open and they take the short breezeway walk over to enjoy a leisurely meal. They order a bottle of red wine.

“Jay, I think I would like to look into living in an active adult community like that, when I retire. What do you think?” Audrey asks.

“I don’t know. I have some reservations about communities like that.”

“Please tell me what they are?”

“Well is that where you want to end up?” ponders Jay.

“I don’t think of it as ending up anywhere, just a move for a more meaningful life.”

“I just don’t think I’m ready for that. Did you see all the white hair in that group of card players in the clubhouse? That is scary.”

“Jay you are now 65. Our good friend Bob and Mary are 67. Those people in the clubhouse were nice when we spoke with them. You have gray around your temples and I know you get highlights when you get your haircut. Gray hair makes no difference to me, at all. You should see mine if I didn’t have my C&C.” Audrey declares.

“What is a C&C?”

“Cut and color!”

“Do you have any other concerns?”

Jay continues, “Well I know Bob and Mary say their neighbors are real friendly, but I like my privacy, at least in my own home. I do not want people just dropping by without calling.”

“Jay, Mary told me that never happens. Neighbors always call and respect your privacy. There are lots of get together at homes of neighbors and friends in the community, but you usually get an invitation with an email RSVP. Mary says friends are easy to make, everyone is in the same boat. They meet you half way. The houses are close together. However, did you see how Mary’s backyard is very private backing up to the woods and different elevations from the neighbors on each side? I couldn’t even see any neighbor’s home.”

“Anything else?”

“Yes, I have heard there are cliques in neighborhoods like that. Difference price homes in different sections. Audrey, I do not like feeling looked down on if we don’t buy into the section with the largest homes.”

“Mary says that most of the time you don’t know what section people live it. Some of her friends live in the villas, the smallest homes. People are retired for the most part and are not trying to impress anyone. Besides just because you want to downsize to a smaller home doesn’t mean you couldn’t afford a larger home. Large homes are not necessarily nicer. Now Mary says people do get to be friends with the people sharing the same interests and activities. That is where many friendships start, so you are not just friends with your neighbors. Bob and Mary have made several friends from playing bocce with them for instance. Mary has made friends with several at the card games.”

Jay took another sip of wine and pondered her answers. “Actually I did observe some positives that I thought were negatives. The houses are much larger inside than I thought. Bob said his house is 2,777 square feet. That is bigger than our house now. I do like that they built the houses to be energy efficient with the Hardie Plank siding, extra insulation, and efficient appliances. I know this is the kind of stuff we guys look at, but it’s important to me. I could not believe how reasonable the HOA fee is and it includes lawn maintenance, so I can free up my weekends. I used to look forward to cutting grass but no more. Money wise, Bob and Mary will save a bundle on their taxes when they turn 70 and get an exclusion from Hall Country School taxes. ”

“You are right Jay and another thing is safety. Safety is no longer a worry when you live in a gated community, where the comings and goings are noted. We will have peace of mind when we up our cruise schedule.”

Jay counters “But I don’t want to become old before my time by surrounding myself with a bunch of old people. I still think of myself as young! There are no kids or younger people around.”

“Darling, you are too funny! The whole concept of an active adult community is to keep active and younger the longer you can. That is why there are so many activities. Just think of the gym, the pools, the sidewalks for walking and Mary says there are nine miles of walking trails. You sure cannot go walking very far on the sidewalks down in suburbia. So physically, you have many opportunities to get and stay fit and younger looking. Mentally, Mary says the people are very interesting and engaged. They have forums, lectures, lifelong learning courses, day trips as well as interesting clubs and groups. Bob says he is taking creative writing course, something he is enjoying learning. Maybe he will write a novel one day. There are plenty of children nearby; did you see all of those Pediatric and Orthodontic offices? Besides child and grand kids can come visit and even stay awhile.”

“Look the snow is stopping.” Jay looked up at the weather channel on TV and sees “Snow Clearing By Tomorrow AM in Atlanta.

Audrey continues “Well is it good to have this discussion. I know I am retiring this year and we need to do some strategic thinking about our future. I just want us to be happy. I saw a web site listing Active Adult Communities, so why don’t I do some research and we can visit some during our weekends this Spring. I heard most have a “stay and play” program where you can stay in a model home for 2 or 3 nights with full access to the clubhouse and activities, just to get a feel for how living there will be. They even give you use of a golf cart! What do you think Jay?”

“Yes, I will go but I am not making any promises about moving anywhere. My mom wanted to live in her home as long as she could and I thought I would follow her example, but maybe there is a better way.”

“Oh honey, thanks for having an open mind about this. It will be a fun adventure for us this Spring. This will give us something to look forward to and be like a mini vacation.”

OK, can we have dessert now?

More information on Village at Deaton Creek

A History of Active Adult Communities in USA


AV Homes sent over this interesting graphic about Active Adult Communities. AV Homes is a nationally respected builder of award winning homes and 55+ communities. Founded in in 1970, AC Homes has built over 7,500 homes across the United States. You can find out more about the brand on their website: avhomesinc.com

It points out the Active Adult Community concept is 61 years old but a new generation of Active Adult Living has arrived. That would be for us, fellow baby boomers.

I live in an Active Adult Community and can attest to the great activities and lifestyle that is available. Don’t think you know Active Adult Communities until you go visit and check out firsthand for yourself.

history of active adult community

For more information: AV Homes

Boomers: Accept The Aging Process – A Little Humor Will Help

As a change of life baby, I was surrounded by older adults.  I was shy therefore I did a lot of listening while older folks told stories.  Also it gave much time to think about their age. I wondered how it would be like to be like them.  Well here I am.

Aging is a process that we all go through.  There is no stopping it.  We boomers just need to accept it.  I use my sense of humor to do this.  One day as a young child I asked my mom why she had so many freckles.  Her reply was, “Someday you will know.”  Well I know now.  Back in my 40’s I noticed freckles all over my arms.  I am here to tell you they have spread.  There is even a few on my face.  A friend of mine was seeing  an old down home doctor who was burning his off.    Now of course I had to inform him that he had  age spots.  We all get them.   There are many skin creams that help turn back the clock on aging and help fade them a bit but I just let mine do their thing because it is just a part of aging.

I have spent a lot of money at health clubs but my upper portion of the body seemed to go with gravity. The sports bra is certainly not the most appealing under garment when one is in that shape.  At least the stores have alternatives like lift and separate.  I do find those under wires are very uncomfortable.  At first I was rather shocked by this condition but gravity takes over as we age.  Some people go for breast implants and tummy tucks but I am not into pain.  So that is just not for me.  There are many professional cosmetic surgery physicians that specialize in plastic surgery and it might be a choice for some.

Now how about those eye lashes.  In my younger years everyone complimented me on my beautiful baby blue seductive Betty Davis eyes.  I recently noticed that my eye lashes have started disappearing.  There is nothing much left to put the lash lengthening mascara on any more.  Oh well, there is always sun glasses in the summer time. Beside that who needs make up.  The natural look is the in thing and more important is that I have eye site.  Hair loss is another aging process.  They do make the nice wrinkle cream fillers but it feels like wearing pancake dough.  I found a sure fire remedy for the eye brows.  Mine turned white therefore I  use a nice eye brow pencil to paint on a little color.  There is always a reason to be grateful.  We just have to reverse our thinking.  Science is always coming up with new things to help us to do that.  Of course we want to look our best.  Doesn’t every woman?  Age gives us wisdom as to how and when to make choices.

Now I know we don’t talk about it but it is all over television in the commercials.  There are many sales ads for Depends, gels and etc. Urinary incontinence is a bladder condition after menopause but can be corrected by surgical procedures if one chooses for a better quality of life. Men don’t think I am going to leave you out.  How about all those  commercials where the elderly couples are floating around in sexual bliss. Erectile Dysfunction can be caused by  prostate problems and other reasons related to age. I knew a fellow that took those pills but then his face turned red, had rapid heart beat and always got a terrible headache.  Again one must know that men with heart problems, pacemakers and such should avoid taking medicines for this condition.  Always consult with your physician and allow him to suggest your best alternatives. Make sure you read the label on side effects.  Now on the positive side though it brings back the act of holding hands and cuddling on those cold winter nights.  It is nothing new.  Everyone ages.  It is like the weather.  We can’t change it but we can change our attitude about it and seek help with our problems.  Always consult with your medical insurance companies to see if you have coverage for any procedures that you might need.

I use to walk 5 miles every day to stay fit.  I still walk.  The only difference is that I go at a much slower pace.  When my knees start crackling like rice krispies then I just snap my fingers and appreciate the fact that I can still walk.  A good stretch feels so good.  It also helps my friend Arthur, the name I have given to my arthritic aches and pains.  The Arthritis Association and your physician can suggest the proper means of treatment so that you can enjoy your retirement years.

Now back in the day, I noticed the older folks talked a lot about their bowels.  Then I went into the health care field and found out that was a big topic. It is one of the leading complaints in the Dr’s. office.  It was either constipation or diarrhea.  So there you go again.  Another reason to eat the right foods, drink water and  exercise.  It saves money too because those over the counter medicines can become pretty expensive.  If you are having any of these symptoms see your physician.  There could be bowel blockage or caused from many things like irritable bowel syndrome.  Don’t give up.  There are medicines and treatments out there.  We have fought before and we can still do it.

Feet can be a  big issue.  I remember the high heel spike shoes but that is just a memory.  Now I am so grateful for Dr. Scholl’s and the comfy sports shoes.   Just look at feet next time you go out.  Men have adapted to the sports shoes just fine instead of the designer pointed toed boots.  Plus look around we are right in style. I am so grateful for the pedicure places.  Whatever happened to those nice natural smooth feeling baby soft feet.   Don’t hesitate to see a foot doctor because again there may be underlying problems that can be corrected and improve your quality of living.

Watch out ladies and men for those hair colors on the market.  Make sure you do a strain test.  It may say it covers gray and white but I am here to tell you don’t expect too much.  I have a cosmetology license so it is a completely different subject to cover a full head of white/ gray hair.  Again though there are many good new and improved products that are coming out everyday for us. Now men, don’t worry because bald is now beautiful.  Please men just accept the aging process.  Combing ones hair from back to front and down is not very cool.  Also those hair pieces can be a drag.  I dated a fella once and didn’t know he wore one.  I almost cut a finger on a hair pin when I started to run my fingers through his hair.  Just think with less hair how much cooler you will be with vacationing in that nice tropical beach paradise.  Don’t forget the sun screen.  Those rays can be damaging to the skin.

Now may I suggest regular visits to the dentist with good dental hygiene and flossing.  When the dentist tells you this then listen up.  Another fellow I dated gave me a shocker when I found his choppers sitting in a cup smiling at me on my bathroom sink.  Gum disease can be prevented also as we age.  We just have to work hard at keeping healthy as possible.  Some things we can’t prevent and we will just have to  accept.  We can develop a coping skill that is positive and not give up. Sometimes we may not like certain things but we have the ability to accept them.

Now, I have gotten a little carried away here folks rambling on and on.  The point I am trying to make is, be good to yourself.  Accept the aging process.  Practice good health.  Accept your body as it is.  Accept and love yourself as you are.  Aging is a part of life that we ALL go through.  We can fight it or accept it as we enjoy the years that we have.  We can laugh or we can cry.  That’s a choice.  I like to laugh myself but a cry now and then helps to when it is needed.  It is okay to show feelings.  We are aging and that is totally normal.  I have found myself crying while watching a movie.  You might call it sensitive or you might just call it freedom to express a feeling.  Change is change and it always will be.  Love yourself and in turn love others. Smile and treat yourself with love and respect.  Guess what?  Those that love you will love you just as you are and those that don’t, don’t matter anyway.  Get out there folks.  Be who you are.  Exercise that mind.  Focus on what you can change and let the other stuff go.  Focus more on what you can change instead of wasting time on worrying about things that you have no power to change.  Challenge life as life challenges you.   Enjoy the journey with a cheerful spirit!  We are boomers and boomers don’t quit.  Worrying only zaps us of the energy that we need to enjoy our much due boomer years.  It is time to have real fun, freedom and some well deserved relaxation time.  So lets stroll into that over 55 retirement community and meet others just like us and play golf tennis, fish and let it all hang out.  Don’t worry about the young folks understanding.  They will be in our shoes someday.  It is your time to enjoy life right now.

Baby Boomers Health