Well, we might as well get it over with. It is hardly a secret that I am not exactly a spring chicken. I live in a 55+ ACTIVE retirement community, located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas in northern California. We are halfway between San Fran and Lake Tahoe, and happy to be here thank you very much. Our community here in Lincoln prides itself on the word ACTIVE. To put things in perspective for you younger people, many of our residents are, shockingly, years older than the Rolling Stones (older than the actual ages of the Stones, not how long they have been rock legends) and these people are in great shape and holding, rather than being hit like a train by the passing years. So who cares about age? They don’t care. We don’t care. I don’t care. We could show those prune-faced Stones a thing or two, prancing and dancing all around the stage as they do, singing their faces off about getting no SATISFACTION… We can show you satisfaction.
For the past two years or so our community has been hit by a series of burglaries which seemed to be increasing in number as well as the threat of violence, and the local police department is stretched to the thinness of a potato chip in this California economy. The two cops can’t be everywhere all the time. So some retired cops, firemen, ex-military guys and amateur sheriffs formed a kind of volunteer security squad and it was not long until the thugs were apprehended. Oh of course there will be more thugs some day – but now we know we are ready for them. We are not sitting ducks here in this gorgeous, peaceful community. We are more like hawks, smart and vigilant and beady-eyed.
As far as retirement is concerned, we all feel that we have been blessed to be able to live here. It truly is a rare and wonderful place. A great emphasis is placed upon the arts, both in nearby local communities such as Roseville and also in Sacramento and San Fransisco. I am happy to be an art instructor at the Orchard Creek Lodge in Lincoln, teaching Mixed Media Collage to an energetic group of adults who are open-minded, creative and eager to try something that many of them have never done. I am consistently pleased to discover that people who have put the art experience “on hold” for the decades when they held high-powered careers are able to now not only enjoy this class but thrive and produce extraordinary, frame-worthy art. These classes feed my artistic soul as well as theirs; they make my days productive.
Research has proved that people who live long, healthy, productive lives have several things in common. One of the most important of these factors is simply a reason to get up in the morning – a way of remaining relevant. If it cannot be an art class it might be a computer class, a billiards game, a marathon, a garden that needs tending, a dog that needs walking, laps to swim at the pool, grandchildren to visit, a pot of soup to make, a day-long hike, a bus trip to the Bay, a friend to check in on or volunteer work to be done. And we see all of those here in our community and much more. We are not all as old as the Stones, but if we are not we want to be. Nobody talks much here about being hit like a train by old age. Attitude is everything.