I have newfound respect for people in retirement.
Thanks solely to social media, my partner’s 66 year-old father, in the last couple of years, was able to reconnect with his childhood friend who now lives in Canada. During winter months though the friend lives in Florida — Dade City to be exact. Not far from Orlando, we made the trek to see him and soon found out he lived in a senior citizens community. Surprised is an understatement. It was a million miles away from any impression of an old folks home I had before.
As we drove around his neighborhood, we saw a collection of small, medium, and large RVs, campers, mobile homes, house trailers, and even some Meet The Fockers buses. I especially loved the classic Airstream campers that were everywhere – I could only imagine how much those cost. It was great to see all these laid out neat and organized, and numbering enough to form a whole community.
Since we visited on a Sunday, we got invited to ‘an ice-cream social’ at the nearby community hall. I didn’t know what to expect. Once we got there I was a bit out of place — I felt like an interloper. The hall was the size of a warehouse and entirely full of retirees, with everyone happy or at least seemingly happy to be there. Ice cream night is popular apparently!
It’s been forever and a day since I can say I was one of the youngest people in a room.
Not only was there ice cream, there was also entertainment! A live jazz performance – and a good one at that – sang to a huge part of the crowd that stayed. I didn’t realize retired baby boomers in Florida were so musically-inclined. The show lasted a bit too long for my comfort but I certainly couldn’t walk out while everyone else stayed to listen.