An overview of our retirement plan

May 7 – A few months ago, my father and his wife moved into a retirement community on the southwest coast of Florida.

They live in one of approximately 800 mobile homes and own one of approximately 800 golf carts. That’s right – 800 golf carts.

Nobody walks anymore.

On a recent visit, I found out that you have to have a golf cart if you want to be in the “in the crowd” senior category.

I found this reassuring, as my eyes and ears don’t work as well as they used to.

Now I know that if there comes a time when I can’t drive a car, I can travel by golf cart. I’ll just stick a slow moving vehicle sign on the back and drive off. (Don’t laugh. Remember the old man who drove his tractor across the country to visit his brother? Desperate times call for desperate actions!)

Yes, loyal readers, I got a glimpse of Hubby and I’s not-so-distant future, filled with simple, everyday retirement-style activities.

Let me explain what I now think is a typical day: we get up at 6:00 a.m., have oatmeal, toast, and coffee for breakfast.

We then take a shower and change.

In an attempt to lose some weight (not a lot of weight, in case I get sick I’ll have something to fall back on) I’ll drive the golf cart to the pool for what I like to call” whales in the water” class.

I am grateful that my husband takes his boat and goes fishing most days, rather than sitting around the house and commenting or making suggestions on everything I do.

After my aquatic exercise class, I’ll put on my “What happens at Grandma’s, stay at Grandma’s” t-shirt, my white capris and my velcro tennis shoes and head to the clubhouse. for a lively game of bingo.

Before I know it, it will be lunchtime. It will take me a good 10 minutes to get in the car because I have stiff legs and I am very small.

Luckily for me, Florida has the largest population of people under five feet old, so everyone understands why I sit on a cushion to see over the steering wheel.

Then I’ll put on my wrap-around sunglasses and drive slowly and carefully to Publix, most likely with my right turn signal on.

Once inside, I’ll partake in the delicious samples handed out by other old ladies who grew bored with retirement and found part-time jobs. These samples are enough to keep me going until dinner.

While walking the aisles, I may accidentally steal someone else’s cart, if it looks anything like mine. I’m told this happens frequently and you just have to “go with the flow”.

After lunch at Publix, it will take me an hour to find where I parked my car.

I will be back home around 2:30 p.m. to get ready for dinner at the local restaurant. People start lining up for early birds around 3:30pm but my husband and I will want to get there at 4pm as we are late eaters.

Dinners are popular at the restaurant as we can take home a doggy bag for lunch the next day, along with an extra bun, crackers and several packets of sugar.

At 5 p.m. we’ll be home and sitting on the couch watching the news and the weather.

At 6 p.m. my husband dozed off in his recliner and we’ll be in bed by 8 p.m.

On many days our schedule will include visits to various doctors. When you’re retired, I understand that you have to set aside a lot of time to regularly see the family doctor, the podiatrist, the urologist, the gynecologist, the dermatologist, the neurologist, the ophthalmologist and the dentist.

We also have time to listen to the alumni radio station while sitting in a long line at the pharmacy. (Wait a minute! We’re doing it now.)

Waiting for test results is also a time consuming task. Waiting for the doctor to call can take days. Luckily, I’ll have a free flip phone with big buttons, courtesy of the government, so I won’t have to sit by a landline all day. Instead, I can sit on my screened-in porch and wave to passers-by in their golf carts.

I can not wait !

While in Florida, writer Shelley Terry visited her former pastor. He said that at her age she should be thinking about the afterlife. Star Beacon staff members noticed that she did this all the time. She walks into another room and says, “Now what am I here after?” Email him at sterry@starbeacon.com.


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