Now, instead of getting ready to pack everything we brought down in December for our upcoming departure, we're deciding what we'll leave here: water aerobics equipment, sun visors, canned goods, bird feeder. And what changes we'd like to make: window coverings, Arizona room lamps, recliners, table and comfortable chairs for the deck. What we'll bring down next year: more plates and silverware and towels, framed pictures - and Larisa, our cat! We live in the no-pet section of this large park, but cats are known to live indoors.
Here's how I described our winter residence recently to a blogging friend:
"We found the Voyager RV Resort two years ago. We were at our timeshare in Sedona and an old friend and her husband, who were already staying at the Voyager, invited us to come and look at the place on our way back to the Tucson airport. We did. They gave us 'the tour' and I said, 'Art, I want to spend time here next winter.'
The winter population of the Voyager is about 2,500. There is a myriad of activities - discussion groups, physical activities (dancing, biking, hiking, pickleball, tennis, swimming, golf, you name it), a book group, two writing groups, crafts (quilting, silversmithing, leatherwork, lapidary, etc), music (bands, choruses, handbells, ukulele, etc), shows, field trips, spiritual studies, games (bridge, dominoes, mahjongg, poker, etc). Ages 55 to over 90.
I like to be busy so I do multiple activities. Sometimes Art goes with me. But many people are quieter. A friend in water aerobics told me this morning, 'I do this and read, plus bike and hike. That's it.' So whatever you want to do, you can.
The community is strong and very friendly. We wave to everyone as we walk or bike or drive down the street.
We have been here nearly three months. We have had two days of rain, three days of wind and about three days of clouds. Otherwise it has been sunny. Daytime temps range from 50s to 80s, depending on the year (this year has been quite warm, last year was colder than average). It's the sun I'm after, so that's fine.
People live in RVs or park models (trailers) or houses. Some people own their residences and others rent, either from the resort or from a private owner. Our landlords used to live in our park model, but they bought a larger manufactured home on the other side of the resort. Our place is 13 x 34 with an Arizona room and laundry shed, so we live in about 650 square feet.
This place is full of life and energy. A great community of seniors from all over North America." We feel very much part of the community. We got a lot of support in January when Art had a cardiac arrest. Here's what I wrote in the March newsletter:
"A very large 'Thank you' to all the people who helped my husband Art when he experienced a cardiac arrest on the pickleball court on Saturday, January 25th. To the person who called 911, the men who lowered Art to the ground, the man who used the AED to revive him, and those who stayed with him until the EMTS arrived. To those who asked about him, visited him in the hospital, and greeted him on his return, and to the many who supported me. We are grateful to be part of this community."
We leave on Monday for six days in Sedona and then a four-day drive home. It will be very good to be back in Washington. But in the winter, there will be no seasonal affective disorder for me, no arthritis for Art. And he won't fall on icy stairs (two broken ribs) or a slippery driveway (torn rotator cuff). A good deal all around!