The Blonde in the house and I are now ensconced in an Independent Living facility – which is not to be confused with an Assisted Living facility.
The main difference is that we still do everyday living things as we always did.
However, we do not have to get the lawn mowed, hire pest control, have someone check the AC/heat units, weed, sweep the outside, replace the roof, paint the house, clean the windows, and all sorts of other housekeeping chores, including making dinner every night – unless the Blonde wants to. I guess that you can call it “advanced retirement.”
Everything has a downside, and the main one is having to downsize and let loose of all sorts of items with big memories. Much lamenting has gone on in the last few weeks as The Blonde has memories on just about everything we have owned.
It is hard to give them up especially when you throw in the fact that the kids are not interested in the same things that we have cherished. It seems impossible to a certain person that they or just about anybody else for that matter does not want Hummel, Lenox or other memory filled objects. It seems the younger generation has their own thoughts on what is good – which they will find out one day that their kids also have different thoughts on the matter.
Many years ago, I attended mighty Thiel College in Greenville, Pa. One of my friends and fraternity brother from those days became a Lutheran minister. He and his wife visited us last week. They wanted to see our digs as they too have decided to join the Independent Living world although they are securing their piece of Nirvana in Pennsylvania. Actually, in Zelienople, Pa.! Now why someone would want to live in a town that most people can neither spell or pronounce is beside the point. Although, I do have lousy memories of the town as when I was small, my parents used to travel from the Pittsburgh area north to where my grandmother lived in Sandy Lake (easy to spell and pronounce.)
The big problem was that in those days, you had to take Route 19 to get there as there were no Interstates (Boy, we lived in hard times). Route 19 was two lanes, and you always got behind a slow-moving semi (they were slow in those days). In addition, when you pulled into Zelienople, it had one traffic light which stopped everybody – often for several changes which meant it took forever to get to Grandma’s. Actually, the same thing happened up the road in Evans City, but at least it had a great name.
Despite my jaundice view of the area, our friends are looking forward to the move and becoming independent. True my old fraternity brother did mumble several times that he was going to miss mowing the lawn. I informed him that he would get over that with just a little effort. It is true that grass in Pennsylvania is different from whatever it is that is on yards here in The Villages. I still think that even with Pennsylvania grass that I could get over not being able to mow it. I do kind of miss dandelions though – but not enough to worry about. Now, rhubarb growing wild, I do miss. My friend will probably be lucky enough to find some in the wilds of Zelienople while we have to pay an outrageous sum when we are infrequently able to find some in Publix.
Heck, if they find enough rhubarb, we might be persuaded to visit Zelienople and see what Independent Living is like way up there – but not in the winter!
Villager Barry Evans writes about “Life in The Villages” for Villages-News.com.