The pace of our life is so different in Florida than in Michigan. In Kings Point, Sun City Center, FL, we’re up and out early to get to the pool where we join with friends. There are dance classes and evening gatherings. There are spaghetti nights in Ruskin and dances at the Community Hall. We hang out at the pool on our “noodles,” exchanging small-talk. All activities are accompanied by the chatter of people who are special to us, the pleasant warmth of multiple friendships, and the feeling that “it doesn’t get any better that this.”
Here in Michigan, John gets more than enough of exercise working in the yard. I’m busy working on-line doing festival organization or web work, but that only exercises my enlarging butt. In Florida, I feel better because I walk a great deal. John gets lots of exercise with pickleball.
During these summer months in Michigan, it’s the social aspect of our day-to-day existence that is missing plus, this week, I’ve missed pleasant temperatures warm enough to encourage lots of lung-cleansing deep breaths. It’s been really cold (stay inside cold!)
Here, we have very little involvement with others.
The quiet/peaceful situation we find ourselves in here in Michigan is of our own doing. Most of it is really enjoyable. We usually love our solitude. But at the some time, we/I miss the social contacts we have in Florida. But if we want to create a social circle close to our Michigan residence, we need to work on it.
Neighborhood: We moved into our neighborhood 25 years ago. We were one of the first houses on our lake. That first Christmas we got to know all of our neighbors by hosting a party that included everyone. But over the years, the neighborhood has developed and all the sites around the lake are now filled (about 80 homes). The original folks moved out and were replaced by new neighbors we didn’t know and we’ve never met. For many years, we were working so didn’t have a great deal of time to visit and weekends were taken up with trips to the U.P. where we have a place. But now we’re retired. Most of our neighbors still work and they have their own lives. I don’t think those who live near us are a ripe source of friendships. They have their own interests. It’s possible that the neighbors aren’t good candidates, but this Thursday the subdivision is having a gathering and I’m hoping to go (although John may have other plans). We’ll see what happens.
Church: We have a bond with a congregation when in Florida at the United Methodist Church of Sun City Center. It has a wonderful music program and we feel at home there. We haven’t found a church in Saginaw that has had that impact on us, but we are going to see if we can find one where “fit” like we do in Florida.
Organizations: In Florida, we belong to a bunch of social clubs: Oldies But Goodies, Kings Point Ballroom Dance Club, Baby Boomers, and the Michigan Club. We take advantage of several dance opportunities a week including our Rockin’ Rendezvous Thursday nights, our Wednesday night Country Dance Club group, and other “get out and shake you’re booty” opportunities.
I’ve been trying to locate dances in the Saginaw area. I’m still looking.
Sure we have friends who have been important in our lives for years. Most are part of the music community. But the problem is that those Michigan friends are “spread out.” Getting together involves driving a distance. These great folks aren’t next door or even a few miles away. Most of our friends are half way across the state. We see those folks at music gatherings, but they don’t occur often. Between times, there’s a void.
Our Michigan social situation is in a “rut” that is hard to escape, but it’s time that we tried. I realize that my life is “on hold” during the summer months. I find myself waiting to return to Florida.
John, on the other hand has a more active social life here than I do. He has a close, near-by buddy/friend. They get together frequently, gardening, making wine, and playing music.
John also looks forward to working in the yard. It’s his thing. (But even he admits, each year he is more content during the six months when we’re in Florida.)
But we need to create a fun social life from April until October.
Maybe, when it warms up a little, we can host have a bar-be-que on our deck. We need to do something to wake up our social life!!