Barry Evans
Barry Evans

The Blonde in the house and I after an absence of about six years are ensconced in a house in the same village that we moved to in 2000. It is not the same house and not exactly the same neighborhood as many folks have left, but it is still good. We were discussing some of the differences and the people who have left for one reason or another. However, one couple after an absence like us are buying a house in the neighborhood.  Then there is the neighbor who moved to Arizona, stayed for a few months and is now back. This is obviously a good neighborhood.

Back then I did have the problem of the next door neighbor who was the perfect husband.  He made his wife breakfast, cooked most of the other meals, did the laundry and in general did all the things that make other husbands look bad.  There was no way that he would have ever been admitted to Husbands United (a secret society).  He is a very nice guy and golfer and it is a shame he is no longer in the neighborhood.  He and his good wife have transferred to the area in The Villages where the soaring eagles fly near Rt. 44. Once they moved he was fond of telling folks that he lived as far south as one could go in The Villages. Then, “boom” and the area below 44 exploded. Now, he is in the central area, which may one of these days become north central and then probably the historic side.

Also back at our first stay, we also had the perfect handyman across the street. He was a good help to guys like me (once you got past the ankle licking guard dogs).  If there was a problem that I could not fix, I’d just call him. He would either tell me what to do, or sigh and come over and fix it himself.  When that happened, he would mutter that it was quicker to come over and fix it himself. Besides, he said his ears would hurt when he would listen to my discussion of the ancestry of the badly-behaved repair that he was trying to direct me to fix.  He is still in the neighborhood, but now a couple of blocks away so that standing outside with a hammer or pliers in my hand is no longer a way of seeking his help.

That does not mean that I am off the hook from the good husband standard. Living behind us now is Captain Energy.  I look out our back and watch him mow the lawn, edge, trim everything, and blow the grass and whatever off his long driveway. Then quite often, you will see him pick up his golf clubs and head off to play a round.  He does not use a cart, or even a two wheeler that you pull around the course. Nope, he carries his clubs on his back all the way around.  Of course, he does not really need too many clubs since he usually either drives the green, or gets on with his second shot. All he has to do then is putt which is no problem.  Another guy who won’t make Husbands United (a secret society)!

The guy on one side of me is very industrious guy, I believe, but he does use a cart to golf.  He is also a very nice guy, and I am particularly impressed as I never thought I would live next door to a person with the same first name as mine. Then there is the gentleman on the other side and across the street.  He was here in the neighborhood even a little before us.  He does not mow his own lawn partially because it is one of the largest lawns in all The Villages. However, he happily comes home after a hard 7-8 hours on the softball field and accomplishes all sorts of work in his yard.  He also volunteers by selling buckets of balls for the American Legion at the Rolling Acres driving range.  I would be willing to sell balls too, but the American Legion won’t let me become a member.  No, I was not a bad guy. The problem is that I was in the Army during peace time – assuming you can recall that there was such a time.

I always felt that because it was us tough guys who were in the service at that time that kept the real bad guys from wanting to get involved in a war with us. However, that doesn’t count just as it obviously wouldn’t with the VFW. There is probably a veterans group out there that would take us peace time guys, but I just haven’t found it.

However, that is a minor issue.  What is important is supporting the guys who did fight for us.  Great hoorays for them!

Barry Evans writes about Life in The Villages for