Who you calling a snow bird?

We are staying at Val Vista Village, which is a 55 and older community. That means I'll be legal next year. (giggle). The rules are - as long as one of you is 55 or older, you are welcome in the park. So, I'm holding on to Jim's coat tails. I TOLD you I was a trophy wife!

Now don't go filling up your pretty little heads about (yawn) this being a retirement community and all, filled with doddering old people pushing around walkers, or riding around in scooters. It's true, we might have a couple of them around, but the majority of people here are very active. In fact, my one sister kidded me that they are probably in better shape than me!

I hate to call this a campground - it's more of a resort. There are a total of 1500 sites - most are for park models that stay here year round; then there are the RVers, and there are even small apartments you can rent.

There are five pools here, one indoor, four outdoor.

Four hot tubs, tennis courts, bocci ball, shuffle board,

pickle ball, stained glass shop, woodworking, just to name a few. There are card tournaments, dance lessons, and can we talk about the dances? Usually every weekend there is a dance. On Tuesdays they have a "Watering Hole" which consists of either a band or DJ. They provide the popcorn and you bring the booze. It's true that it starts early - 4-6 pm! AND it's true that many people might be ready for bed afterward. Not me and my group. We usually party afterward.

They also have Music in the Courtyard a few times a week for free. We just sit and listen to the music. We can order food from the outdoor cafe right on sight if we prefer.

We have met a lot of friendly people down here, and our group has gotten quite large. The majority of our friends are from Canada, with maybe 25% of the group from the US. Our ages range from 54-67. It's a lively group. Nobody acts their age. Course I don't see them all first thing in the morning! LOL!

I usually go to water aerobics in the morning. I remember my neighbor inviting me to join her. I thought, "Why would I want to go and do that?" The two very most things I hate: 1)bathing suits and 2) water. You may remember that I'm afraid of it.

Anyway when I told her my fears, she said, "Oh, c'mon Pat. There are 80-year-old women in the pool doing this. If they can do it, so can you."

Well, geez, when you put it THAT way. And so, that is how I got shamed into doing water aerobics.

The first day I went, and stumbled along, trying to follow the teacher. We exercised for about 30 minutes then stopped. I let out a big, "Whoo-hoo! I made it!" and the lady next to me said dryly, "Get real, Pat. That's only the first half. We're just taking a break."

Oh. I knew that.

When I told my sister about the water aerobics, she made some snarky remark about the movie Cocoon and how the old people were in the pool trying to get young again.

I know the first day I came home from class I need a nap!

This is a very active park, and you can do as much, or as little, as you want to do. They have golf leagues, softball leagues, and even bowling leagues. The oldest woman on the bowling league turned 95 this year and is still going strong!

One day Jim and I had just returned from buying me a new bike. I was standing outside next to the bike, when an older gentleman, who was our neighbor down the street, sauntered over.

"It must be your birthday," he said.

"No, why?" I asked.

"Well, I see you got a new bike."

"Yeah, well I needed it."

"It's a pretty fancy bike," he said.


He went on, "It's got a lot of bells and whistles on it!"

I said, "It was under $100, and we just bought it at Target!" He just made me laugh. Later, I called up my twin sister and said,

"You know, men used to lust after your TWIN, now they're just lusting after my SCHWIN."

It's unusual for us to be down here in Mesa this early in the season, and it's not very crowded yet in the park. Our friends are drifting down couple by couple. Most arrive by the first week of January.

I've felt a little discombobulated since we've been here, but now I'm feeling better. We went to the library today. YEAH! This is the only place where we are considered upstanding citizens and are awarded a library card. Since we don't have a home, we cannot get one anywhere else. I love the library, and it felt so good just to walk into one, read the titles of the new books, search the computer for books on shelf, run my hands over the books, read the first couple of pages, and grab a handful of books to check out. We have arrived.

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