Friday, January 15, 2016

Still haven't found them

I'm two weeks into my stay here in the Villages, and still no swingers. I haven't seen one golf cart with the flag on it. Plenty of other stuff, like "Muffy and Biff" decals, Green Bay Packers flags, and even one emblazoned with the names of 15 cats. That crazy and wild senior thing is a myth, likely propagated to get more press (any press is good press, right?), but with 114,000 people and growing this place hardly needs more exposure.

The Villages has it all -- every hobby, every sport, every interest is covered at one of the rec centers or through the lifelong learning college. So far I've found four different uke groups, not to mention other mixed strings music groups to play with, and these people are serious players. People drive around in golf carts, and the community is designed with this in mind, with many trails throughout the properties. Live music plays every night in three town squares. This is truly Disneyland for seniors.

In between activities I'm finishing a few knitting projects. This one is my favorite baby sweater pattern.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Looking for Salacious Stories in the Villages

I'm in Florida. The Villages. We decided to "test drive" the largest retirement community (over 100,000 residents) in the world, so, anyway, we are renting a place here for a month.

When we told our Minnesota friends of our plans we got some unexpected reactions. "It's a promiscuous place!" and "Everyone is cheating there!" were common retorts when I casually mentioned we were going to stay at The Villages. Then I found a few references online, like this one and this.

One friend suggested I hunt down the real story so I can write about it.

Well, I haven't seen much evidence of the swinging life (yet). Husband did see a team called "the swingers" on a list of bowling leagues at the local alley, but I suspect that has more to do with the use of arms in the sport than what they do after the game . . .

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Ten Stitch Blanket

This is Frankie's pattern, available here. I made this one to be a baby activity, car, or stroller blanket.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Why whining in the internet age is not allowed

My father-in-law spent about 80 percent of his time doing things that take little effort today. Here's an entry from his journal, dated February 27, 1971:

"I wrote Mrs. Sterna a letter last evening and so, since Arlene has to mail her package to her mother, a cotton embroidered dressing gown, because the U.S. has just put an embargo on cotton goods and the stores can't mail them, we went to the post office on Calle Independencia and Belen. The process of mailing the gown, though cumbersome, was not as bad as Spain. We first went to the postal aduana, which is luckily located in the same building as the post office, and there got the package weighed and told, how much postage would be required (weight seven tenths of a kilogram and postage, airmail of 23 pesos, or just under two dollars). We had to go next to the post office to buy the stamps. Then we were sent back to the same man at the aduana again with a small green declaration ship, asking the contents of the package, its weight, and its value. We filled that out, but had, first, to go to a specialist who has glue and sticks the green form on the package since the form has no glue on it. Then to our first man again, who laboriously filled out a form giving both addresses, the nature of the contents their value, etc., and then he gave us a stub. The mind boggles at what one would have to go through in case the package got lost and one tried to trace it or to get a refund for its value."

Monday, November 9, 2015

More bad photos -- the dashboard series

My mom took these, as Dad was always the driver. Mom was legally blind (childhood bout with scarlet fever), but that didn't stop her from doing anything, including taking photos of a clean dashboard, the second one to show off the compass that Dad always had mounted so he wouldn't get lost.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Family Photo Legacy

My 90+ father recently joined the assisted living crowd. We are cleaning out his old place, and I've been tasked with sorting through his snapshot collection.

Innocently clothed in drugstore processor envelopes are images of holidays, vacations, weddings, reunions, new babies, funerals, and my mother's apparent favorites: Dimly lit church basement dinners depicting unknown seniors as they tuck into meatballs and jello.

Nowadays we delete bad photos from digital cameras and smartphones soon after they are taken. Back in the day you paid for processing (and my dad always took the discount double print deal), and depression mentality meant that every picture was precious and saved.

Overexposed? You can still see Aunt Louella's body shape.

Heads cut off? You can identify Uncle Joe by his shoes.

Out of focus? It's impressionist art.

Clearly, my parents never met a photo they didn't like.

Anyone up for a "mass quantities of bad photos" challenge? I'm so there.

See the examples (of some of the better photos, I might add) below. Was the pic of the beautiful red brick on the side of the store ruined when those people ran in and lined up? Can you find the bull in the shadow at this bullfight?