We've been living in our park model in Tucson for six weeks, but high season is just starting and so are some of the many activities offered at this 55+ RV resort, the Voyager. Here's what happened this week in the lives of the two snowbirds in this household.
The second annual Voyager Light Opera is producing Guys and Dolls (Jr) and will have two performances the first week in March. I did a few high school and summer community musicals and I knew how time-consuming and mind-absorbing they are. But my husband Art had never experienced the delight of the stage. I asked him if he wanted me to sign him up and he said, "Whatever." I took that as a yes, and he is now Angie the Ox, attending six to nine hours of rehearsals a week. We have scheduled our entire winter season around these rehearsals. If an extra rehearsal is called, Art is committed to attend, so I rearrange our plans. Art appears to be enjoying himself, and I am happy about that because this is the first time in the three years we have been coming to the Voyager that he is participating in an activity without me. Last year he was recovering from a cardiac arrest, and mostly all he did was read.
I had my first handbell practice on Tuesday. I learned to play handbells over 30 years ago, and it had been over 25 years since I'd played when I got here two years ago. This year I'm playing four notes in the bass clef (G,G#, A and A#) rather than the four notes I played in the treble clef (D, D#, E and F) before. I'm grateful that reading music is like riding a bicycle - you don't forget how to do it. The biggest problem I have with handbells is figuring out which of my three pairs of glasses works best for reading music that's two feet away from me at eye level. We'll have two performances in late March - one at the nondenominational Sunday service at the Voyager, and another with the Voyager Show Choir.
Also on Tuesday we met up with a group of people who traveled from the Voyager to a Methodist Church in Tucson last year. This church had a very, very progressive minister and, though Art and I are not Methodists, we enjoyed the services. But the minister retired in May. The new minister came to the Voyager to meet with the group and said we could ask him any questions we wanted. And we did. Most of the group members are spiritual seekers and we wanted to find out whether the new minister is liberal enough for us. Art and I are still undecided.
On Wednesday I met with our former landlord (we bought their place last March after renting it for two winters) and we went over the home inspection report they'd had done when they bought the park model in 2007). We wanted to know which of the inspector's suggestions had been carried out. They all had.
Also this week I talked to Gary, who washes windows, and got an estimate for the outside windows. It was much less expensive than at home in Seattle. And the painter, Tammy, came by to talk about ideas for making our home brighter. There's a paneled Arizona room that has never been painted. We want everything to be brightened up and for the park model to feel comfortable and welcoming. When we were renters we took it as it was. Now we get to make it our own. The windows will be washed on Thursday and the painting will happen in February.
I'm a facilitator for one of the five Great Decisions (conversations about selected foreign affairs topics) groups at the Voyager. On Wednesday I picked up 20 "briefing books" for my group.That program starts next week.
Then I went to Current Events, an energy-filled event each week. Participants run the gamut from Tea Party conservatives to flaming liberals, with a healthy infusion of reasonable Canadians. We talked for over an hour about the current low gas prices - why they're low and what the various outcomes of the low prices might be. Most of the participant are way more knowledgeable than I am and I always learn. I especially like this group because I'm a political moderate and I want to understand the thinking of conservatives.
On Friday I started back to water aerobics, after taking a few weeks to recover from last month's pneumonia. It always surprises me how quickly I lose conditioning when I miss regular exercise, but I know it will return.
Next week? Monday we go to the first gathering of the Reimagining God group, an interesting and engaging program for seekers. Tuesday I start my eight-week conversational Spanish class while Art goes to beginning line dancing lessons. Wednesday, Art will do his vendor booth at Market Daze, selling our book about Viet Nam and talking to veterans who come by.
Friday we'll take an hour-long drive to Willcox, Arizona, where the sand cranes winter. Willcox has a festival every year, and we'll be taking a tour at dusk, watching the birds return to their nests from a day foraging in the fields. I understand the cranes are beautiful.
At home, Art and I are taking a MOOC (Massive Open Online Class) in microeconomics, and I'm taking one separately on Genetics and Evolution.
And I am on Level 678 in Candy Crush!
We have a variety of activities but we have plenty of downtime. Fortunately!