In my last posting, I spoke of retirement. I also mentioned that Americans want to live by themselves as long as possible. Many choose to live in the same house where they raised their children, but others prefer to move, often to a warm climate to live among other retirees.
The Mystery Guest Blogger and I live in such a place. In fact, you have to be age 55 or older to own a home in our community. We live in deep south Texas – about 5 kilometers from the border with Mexico. The weather here is quite similar to Huê’s – except the humidity is not quite as high. Most of the other folks who live here have moved from the upper mid-western area of America, and many of them found this to be a nice place to retire when they vacationed here in prior years. (Be sure to click on the map to see a larger version.)
Our little community is a “retirement home park”, separate from the rest of our city, and it has a gate to restrict those who come in and out. All the homes in the park are a distinctive type of house called a “mobile home.” No – that doesn’t mean our home is ready to roll down the highway – it means it was built in a factory, then moved to its present location where it was set in place permanently. This is our home, which has been modified with an extra room added on which we use as a library.
And this is a comfortable place to live. Across the street from us is a golf course. No – not a professional course. This course is designed for old people. The longest hole is only 150 yards, and the course is so short there are no par ratings. Nobody cares – golf is just an excuse to spend time with friends.
There’s a pool as well – actually there are two of them. To the left of this pool is the social hall, where folks gather for parties, card playing, billiards, quilting, or any of a myriad of other activities.
At this time of year (summer), only about a quarter of the homes are occupied. The rest of the owners are “Winter Texans” – folks who live in these homes only during the winter months when their homes in the upper mid-west are cold and snowy. They will begin arriving in late November-early December, then the park will be full – and busy.
And all the folks here do not want to be a burden to their children – they want to live by themselves as long as possible.