For those of you who never listened to Garrison Keilor’s radio program, A Prairie Home Companion, featuring weekly updates in Lake Woebegon*, you may now have to catch it on YouTube archives. Keilor recently taped the last of his weekly tails. All of the fictional characters residing in the fabled Lake Woebgon have been layed to rest. For forty-two years, the town that time forgot came to life on National Public Radio.
It is a giant leap for me to even think about replacing that eclectic town filled with Lutherans and their pot-luck dinner lifestyles with the capers and characters at the “Creek” but nothing will stop me from taking a jump-in. Names will need to be changed to protect their identities…
The “Creek” is an actual place. ** I am fortunate to have ‘discovered’ it and blessed to have been able to find and purchase my piece of paradise within its boundries. It is a vitrual gem among 55+ Deed Restricted communities. The “Creek” is filled with fabulous folks and fun activities for everyone and anyone willing to participate. It is complete with gentle hills and mature live oak trees dripping with Spanish Moss. My yard backs up to a creek which meanders through the community.
The Fourth of July event was well attended. About half of the population in the “Creek” spends the summer months up north in a variety of places. For those of us who make this our one and only full-time residence, life goes on. There are two clubhouses at the “Creek” because Phase I was developed first and Phase II at a later date. The clubhouses each have a stage, a kitchen, Bingo set-up, and a pool and is centrally located within each phase; more to provide a balance of population than anything else. Everyone is invited to events regardless of which clubhouse/phase hosts. For major events, a rotation has been established. This year Phase II planned and hosted the festivities for Independence Day.
The celebration was expertly organized. The first event was table trivia to determine which table would be first to file to the food tables. Our table tied for first with another table. The winning answer was Clayton Moore to the question “What was the name of the actor who played Lone Ranger?” There were age related “Olympic” activities ranging from the first among three male contestants to successfully thread a needle to who could put a ball, with a kid sized plastic golf club, into a cup across the room. That challenge was for men and then women. I took home a winning medal; along with my relay partner. She race walked across the floor balancing half a sphere on a star-shaped wand. She handed it off to me; I immediately dropped the ball. The rules required that I take a giant step backward, pick up the ball and then continue. It was wand to wand with the next lane; the last few feet I stepped it up to my, “I-gotta-pee-really-bad” pace and finished by a narrow margin! My first olympic win!
Tuesday morning started off with a water aerobic work-out in Phase I pool. Sometimes we giggle and jabber so much we miss the transition from one exercise to the next. Our philosophy is, as long as we keep moving it doesn’t really matter. My main partner in escapades and I had planned to check out an Asian Farmer’s Market in Tampa.*** Count this outing as my first. It is literally a warehouse version of Costco. Literally. We entered via loading docks. The fresh meat and produce are always available – seven days a week. Unlike other neighboring Farmer’s Markets which are open only on weekends. The bulk produce and meats are kept in a cold area. How cold? you ask. So cold that I, who rarely feels a Florida chill, was relieved to have brought along a sweater (as suggested on website). My buddy had a fleece jacket, long pants and wished that she had gloves and a hoodie.
My large purchase was two individually flash frozen, vacuum packed servings of salmon. Even better pricing was for an asparagus clump – $1.99 – which I bought. Although fresh produce is available by the case it is also priced per pound for those of us who only need five or six bananas. My croney companion was eagerly in search of breadfruit.# They were out of it. She eyed the jack fruit ## and thought it was the bread fruit. I, on the other hand, am a non-Asian expert on jackfruit. At one point in a previous life relationship, we had a jackfruit tree in our back yard. It was just about analagous to a money tree. The tree was prolific; the fruit grew to over twenty-pounds – well over. The Asian population in the area were drawn to the fruit like bees to a hive. We gladly sold it to them for a dollar a pound after a little bit of markeresearch. That was in 1986. I was pleased to see the price per pound at Sanwa Market in today’s prices is still just over a dollar a pound. I also noticed the stem which oozes latex was sealed with blue something to keep it from sticking everywhere. In the ice cream freezer, there were jackfruit bars offered. Curious as I am, refrained from purchasing them…maybe next time.
Wednesday morning Phase I opens the clubhouse at 8:30 for weekly coffee/donoughts. It is the closest socializing thing we have to Lake Woebegon weekl end pot-luck suppers in the basement of the Lutheran church. Following coffee service, prior to committee updates, everyone stands to Pledge Allegiance to the flag and sing, America the Beautiful. Summer months the attendance sparse, but still a great opportunity to catch up on everyone’s news – g00d or bad. Following coffee the BC Mart is open for an hour. The Mart is a perpetual garage sale with hours only on Wednesday and Saturday. The sales go into funding social committee events. Very efficient recycling of residents’ belongings they no longer want or need.
Thursday and Friday morning more water aerobics. Friday afternoon I met Caryl Dennis #* a local but internationally known psychic. I am always drawn to the metaphysical. I learned that my color is violet and that I am highly intuitive. She also gave me tips on how to develop my intuition and be comfortable with it. The other things we discussed may or may not be reveled in later posts… Caryl told me about a lecture the following evening at the Agartha [email protected] in downtown Safety Harbor. I invited my neighbor and my regular croney to attend the lecture as well. The topic was the history of the little Florida town where time stood still …sort of.
The best news of the day – remember the alien my sister, Jackie had growing from her left breast? It was successfully reduced with chemo therapy and removed surgically. Her surgeon cleared her from his follow-up. No sign of cancer on images or in blood. She is nothing short of a miracle! Home health care has been cancelled, the hospital bed will be taken out of her family room soon. She even took a short drive by herself on Friday! She will be coming to the “Creek” for the winter. I have her noodle for water aerobics and her room ready to sleep!
Today, the long-awaited delivery of consignment shop furniture arrived. Great store. Home Again Fine Furniture Consignment (put it all together .com) You can no doubt relate to running into a store for just one thing? The front end of the store is Bare Wood Outlet (.com). I’m looking for shelves to display all of the photos of ancestors I have collected. Struck out on a shelf but hit pay dirt on furniture! Imagine Alice in Wonderland or Dorothy in Oz – yeah that was me. I wondered around from piece to piece with my mouth open and my eyes as big as saucers. I took out my phone. Texted my sister, Barb (who bought a place across the street from me). Then I snapped photos and sent them to her so she could “shop” for a sofa.
I selected a few pieces for my living room. Inquired about delivery availability, settled up and waited for today! Now I have actual furniture instead of extra beds in my living room. The delivery guys took the beds across the street to Barb and Alan’s place. Bed by bed, my place is looking more like a home and less like a dorm. One of the pieces delivered today is a sleeper sofa. I special ordered another piece (different story) which is expected in August or September for the family room. That is also a sleeper sofa. I want to make sure I have place for my kids if they all decide to visit at the same time.
Sunday (tomorrow) I plan to stay after Unity service to find out about a woman’s group consisting of like-minded women.
Oh, I completed my training for volunteer opportunities. Good thing I’m retired; I am way too busy to work!