Sunday, January 11, 2015

A week in the life of a snowbird

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!


Terra said...

It looks like 2015 will be a good and productive year for you two. We retired about when you did. I hope you find a church to join where you feel at home.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Lynda, you and your husband are true inspirations!! I'm so glad he's feeling up to being more active this year and that you're so happily involved in Voyager life as well. It seems that snowbird living agrees with you totally! Our snowbirds here at Sun City Anthem Merrill Ranch (a bit north of you) really keep things hopping as well. Those of us who are full-timers can be a bit grumpy and/or unmotivated at times -- so it's nice to have a nudge from the more spirited snowbirds. Thanks for the inspiration!

Anonymous said...

Hi. I'm just wrapping up with my bout of pneumonia also. Should be a busy snowbird within the week. :)
I want to take up bocce as soon as I can. My dad was a master of it and I enjoyed sitting in the bleachers watching him play. Now? I'd like to try my hand at it. You never know. Maybe some of those bocce techniques may be in my DNA!
The resort we will be snowbirding at has two bocce courts and competitions.
Wish me luck!

Barb said...

Linda, you may want to look at a progressive Episcopal church if one is near you like grace st pauls. Or check out the progressive Christianity website. It sounds like you are jumping right in. Enjoy the next few months!

Arkansas Patti said...

Interesting that Art has discovered the stage. Hope he enjoys his experience and keeps it up. There are theater groups everywhere.
You both have dived right in.
I am envious that you will see the Sand hill cranes. They are my favorite bird. Love to hear their distinct call from high altitudes.

DJan said...

You and Art sound fully recovered from your illnesses, Linda. All of your activities sound really interesting to me, and I look forward to hearing more about your current event groups if you feel inclined. If you ever figure out the thinking of those conservatives, please fill me in, okay? :-)

Linda Myers said...

Regarding "seeking": I'm a Unitarian Universalist. Seeking is part of that spiritual community.

Rosaria Williams said...

Wow! You twould are fully engaged! Most impressive.

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

This community offers an amazing range of opportunities, and the two of you are equally amazing in your involvement. Also in your gaming! I quit Crushing in the 200s because I was buying my way out of too many tricky levels. Cheers!

Cynthia, Amsterdamned. said...

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the Genetics & Evolution course! You certainly have a wide range of intellectual curiosities. I can relate :-)
Enjoy the sun...

Sally Wessely said...

I'm tired just reading this, and a bit envious. Ok, I'm very envious. I love all that there is to do there. Amid the snow and cold here, I asked my hubby if he was ready to move to AZ for the winter yet. He says no.

I love that Art is acting. I love that you are seeking to understand conservatives. I love that you are reading music again and doing all those things that keep you happy. Especially, I love that you are feeling better.

Linda, the energizer bunny, this life was meant for you!