It’s been awhile since I’ve actually written a blog article. Another strange year, to be sure, and I did spend some time writing and publishing my new book Dealing With Sh*t: Becoming Your Badass Self: Fry, Lorrie K: 9798746815446: Amazon.com: Books I’d be much obliged if you purchased a copy. If you like my brand of writing style, I have no doubt you will enjoy the newest in my line of “Sh*t” books. (not about poop, in case you were wondering)
Anyway, I have been quite busy. The Colorado winter was long and cold this year. In March, we had an enormous amount of snow. When you are retired, you naturally spend more time at home. Now, I don’t mind this, being a homebody, but I do like to get out and walk. Not bloody likely with 2 feet of snow and more coming. So we traded snowballs for cactus.
I had been feeling anxious and restless throughout the early months of the year. You could blame it on the snow and cold, or blame it on the viral insanity. I suppose those things are true, but it was more than that. I felt an urgency to leave Colorado. My lovely, beautiful, 5-year-old home in a great neighborhood with food and drink and shopping all within a 5 minute walk began to feel like a prison. I was constantly on edge with keeping up with maintenance, not that it needed it, but you have to keep things up to avoid bigger issues later on. My Sweetie was usually off working on a project, so I took care of things. I had plenty of entertainment at home, as well as an infinite amount of information to be found online. But something felt “off”. I longed for some fun. I longed for less responsibilities. I longed for warm weather. There is nothing quite as nice as a swimming pool, beach, patio, bistro or afternoon cocktail in the sunshine, providing it’s not too hot. We have friends that were already living in Arizona. We had made several visits in the past few years, but I wasn’t that excited about it at the time. Still in my stress-filled work coma and couldn’t appreciate the good points. But suddenly, it seemed the place to go.
In April, we took a road trip to Phoenix to see if we wanted to relocate. We took a few days and drove around, and decided that the Sun City/Sun City West area was the place to be. Plenty of things to do, shop, eat, drink and be merry – or my newfound slogan “getting jiggy in the desert with the old people”. We did some digging into the real estate, and a couple weeks later my Sweetie flew down for a couple of tours. He picked the house I hoped for, on a golf course with a beautiful view from 2 sides of the home. He made an offer and it was accepted. Then began the real work. If you have ever moved, you know that it is a great deal of work, stress, time and money. Thankfully, we were both retired and had the luxury of time. Add to that, the listing and selling of our then-current home. People traipsing through trying to get a good view of the home, but with moving boxes stacked everywhere. But it happened, and it afforded us the home, the move and a renewal of our new home.
We went from a 5 year-old home to one built in 1973. Very interesting. Now, I love mid-century modern so this was just right. A three-story home to a ranch, which is wonderful, to say the least. The prior owner had maintained the home quite well, and it has some very cool characteristics, which we are preserving. If you want to know anything about these homes, look up Del Webb and Sun City. Loads of storage, big windows and patio doors open to the outside – and get this – big clothes closets. Yes, really. Although, it was a little short on space for my shoes, but most places are short on space for my shoes. I believe I’ve written about them before.
It began as a beige box. Beige walls, ceiling, trim and carpet. We ripped out the carpet and installed laminate flooring. We painted everything white, except for accent walls in this happy yellow color, incidentally called “Smiley Face”. (The original Smiley Face was created in 1963 – a true mid-century modern icon.) It kind of makes me feel like I’m at a beach; my favorite place in the world. Talk about re-VITAL-isation.
My anxiety and restlessness came from a serious need to release a lot of my responsibilities and learn to play and have fun. I wasn’t really having that in my Colorado life. Colorado is a beautiful state, and Denver is very vibrant, but it is all primarily oriented towards the outdoor life. Nothing wrong with that, I had done plenty of outdoorsy things. But, when you are older, you just aren’t feeling the need to pitch a tent, load/unload a camper, hike or any of that stuff. Not that older people CAN’T, but I and my Sweetie were true urbanites. If you know anything about Sun City/Sun City West, then you know it was designed for the over-55 crowd. I have seen more 80-somethings, who are healthy and active, in the 6 weeks I’ve been here than I ever have before. If you get bored here, you are probably dead. There are 8 rec centers, and probably as many golf courses (I’m not a golfer) in this city, with plenty to do at each. I’m loving the walking pool. Like a water-filled rat maze and you walk in a current. Great exercise in 100+ degree temps. And then there is Bell Road. If you can’t find a place to shop, eat, drink, get services of any kind, then you just haven’t left your house.
Have I said yet that I love it here? Let me count the ways. I feel as though I am beginning to blossom and really enjoy life. Sure, we’ve been very busy and tired from working on the house, but that is short-lived and will soon be done. And then it’s “party on, dudes”. I think it’s about time for an afternoon cocktail.