Sunday, January 12, 2014

Our snowbird life in Tucson

This is our second winter at the Voyager RV Resort in Tucson. We're renting the same place this year. When we passed through the entrance gate, a deep familiarity washed through me. It felt very good.


                           Looking down 4th Street from our driveway



We were introduced to the Voyager by my college roommate Ann and her husband Larry. We met  their friends last year. We met other people through the activities we pursued. And we're doing a few different things this year, and we have met new people doing those things. Almost everyone is from someplace else for the winter, and it is very easy to make friends.

Here's what we've been up to so far.

Two dances - one on New Years Eve and one last night (January 11). At home we don't dance. Here, the music is good, full of oldies. We sit with friends, get up and dance to the irresistible songs. It takes less than five minutes to walk to the ballroom.

Water aerobics. I started last year in a simple class and continued once we got home. I can tell I'm stronger now. I bought my own weights last week, finally, at Sports Authority. I take the easy class on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and the more vigorous one on Tuesday and Thursday. Six minutes to get to the pool on foot. These classes are at 8 a.m. and because the sun is shining I am able to get out of bed that early.

Current events discussion. This one can be aggravating because participants are on wildly divergent places of the political spectrum. Last week we talked about raising the minimum wage and about discontinuing unemployment compensation. I should say we debated and challenged. It's a place where politics isn't something we don't talk about. I will never be a conservative.

Great Decisions. This is a weekly discussion on foreign affairs. I volunteered to facilitate our group this year rather than just participating. I'm a little nervous about the first meeting next week because my role is new, but I know most of the people from last year, and I have done facilitation, and I am a mediator. We have one difficult participant and I am thinking about ways to keep him from dominating the conversation. Probably people will have to raise their hands to be put on a list to speak. I'm glad for the challenge, though.

Line dancing and two-step dancing. We start the two-step class this afternoon, and the line dancing starts tomorrow. We did both of these last year so we know what to expect. I bought dancing shoes this summer and they were wonderful on the dance floor last night.

Handbells. I got promoted to the "varsity" ringers. I love the sound of bells and I don't even care whether we ever perform for anyone besides us. We will, though, at a resort concert in March. It had been 30 years since I played bells before last year. I still remembered.

Pickleball. This is new for us this year since Art was recovering from broken ribs last winter. We took the beginner class this week. Even though I did a face plant on the court because I lunged forward to return a serve, I suspect we'll do this more often. On pickleball days I'll probably skip water aerobics.

Reimagining God - a discussion group for people on a spiritual journey. After I talked to the facilitator she invited us to a fascinating lecture in Tucson, and to her very progressive Methodist church last week. We are exploring progressive faith communities this winter.

Native American flute. We took the beginner lesson last weekend and have been practicing enough that we no longer sound like dying cows most of the time. Yesterday we went to the beginner flute circle. We learned some new techniques and I wasn't too nervous as we went around the circle playing for each other.

Bicycles. We brought ours this year. Our Prius usually gets 43 miles per gallon on the freeway. This year, with the drag from the bicycles on the back, it got about 30. We probably could have rented bikes cheaper! Mine had a flat tire but it is now in good condition. We went for a short ride yesterday and Art fell off his when we got back to our driveway. We need to be careful! I don't foresee taking off-resort rides, but it is quicker to get to the activities on the resort. Feels good to be back on a bike after having it hang on the wall of our garage for six years.

We are busy, but not frenetic. Except for water aerobics and pickleball, our other activities are once a week.

A friend visited the resort this week. On Thursday the three of us took a four-mile hike in the desert and then to a fabulous Mexican place in downtown Tucson for lunch.



My sister Alyx and her husband Virgil are flying in this afternoon. They live in Anchorage and are pining for some sun and warm. They will get it here!

15 comments:

BLissed-Out Grandma said...

Wow. I always picture people in snowbird communities just lying around enjoying the sun and warmth. You force me to see an entirely new picture. And it's wonderful! Good for you, taking on so many activities, both physical and mental.

Olga said...

You certainly do stay active and involved. The winter will fly by.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

It sounds absolutely wonderful, Linda -- so much to do and see! I'm with you about the political discussion groups: I'll never be a conservative either and my blood pressure can't take some of the stuff I hear around here! How wonderful that you're among friends and family and having an excellent adventure in a place that has become happily familiar!

Linda Reeder said...

I really enjoyed seeing photos of where you live. As I follow your adventures I like to have mind movies.
You've got a great line up of physical and mental exercise going on there. But then I wouldn't expect anything less of you. You are amazing.

Bob Lowry said...

What a list of activities! My heavens. I live 2 hours away and may need to take up part time residence to have my brain and body stimulated to the degree you are.

Have a great time this season.

Meryl Baer said...

Sounds like a permanent vacation. Starts one thinking about retirement living alternatives...

Out on the prairie said...

Loads of fun it sounds, I need to try this out

Arkansas Patti said...

Now that is an amazing list of activities and are far more interesting than my mental image of shuffleboard. All of those will keep the body and mind in shape.
I will have to Google pickleball however.

DJan said...

This sounds like fun! Right up my alley, too. Except for the pickleball, which I too will have to google to see what it is. You sure look happy amongst all that cactus, Linda! :-)

Retired English Teacher said...

I am envious in a good way. I wish I could have this adventure in the winter. I really do. My husband in not interested in moving to Arizona in the winter, but I would do what you are doing in a heartbeat. Have fun, Linda!

Tom Sightings said...

I can do some ballroom dancing and some Latin dancing, but not line dancing ... can't remember all the steps. I was in Tucson in 2012 and loved it; can't wait to go back.

Dee said...

Dear Linda, I'm so impressed with all that is offered by and in the community in which you are living for the winter. I'm such a stick-in-the-mud type of person that I wonder if I'd venture out and do all you choose to do--whether the event takes place only once a week or more. The thing is that I so enjoy writing the novel on which I'm working and researching it and reading that I'm just content to laze at home. So you truly inspire me to get out and meet more people. Thank you for that.

I've been away from blogging for many weeks and so I've missed all you've posted during that time. If you have any postings you'd especially like me to read, please let me know. Peace.

Cynthia from Shoreline said...


Great news about the bikes. Bikes are happiest when they are not on walls and a happy bike wants only to make you happy as well. Keep the chain oiled!

Great blog! Thanks for the real-time report of places that exist beyond Seattle's gray blanket...

Perpetua said...

Wow, that sounds like enough activities to last all year, let alone through the winter. I'd never, ever get my DH to join in with any of that, so it's probably as well this kind of resort community isn't on offer over here. :-)

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

"Thoughts from a Bag Lady in Waiting" has been included in the A Sunday Drive for this week. Be assured that I hope this helps to point even more new visitors in your direction.

http://asthecrackerheadcrumbles.blogspot.com/2014/01/a-sunday-drive_19.html