We moved south to the land of perpetual sun and into an over 55 community, right on a beautiful golf course. It was quiet, but the quiet was deceptive.
Our first morning we were shaken by a horrendous thud against the house. We ran out to the patio. Right above my husband's chair was a huge hole. A golf ball hit the side of the house with such force it bored through the stucco and into the interior support mesh. We promptly moved the patio furniture to the other end of the patio - hopefully out of the line of fire.
After coffee we took a walk around the neighborhood. Tire tracks appeared during the night. The black marks rose up over the curb, bumped along the sidewalk for several yards and then finally regained the road. Evidently some of our neighbors had night vision issues.
Most cities have bike lanes. This community had golf cart lanes. Yes, golf cart lanes along every roadway, and designated golf cart spaces - right next to the handicapped spaces in every parking lot. These electric vehicles were silent, but their sudden appearances were deadly. They shot out from alleyways, drive ways and intersections at lightening speeds - far faster than their drivers ever attempted in a full size vehicle, and that brings me to the grocery store.
These Daytona 500 drivers dropped to a pace slower than the desert tortoise, and kept to the center lane, preventing faster traffic from passing. If you were unlucky to get behind a health conscious senior, you had two choices: turn around and go another way, or pull up a chair, and have a cup of coffee while they read the ingredients on every item in the isle - on both sides. And, I am not kidding.
On Christmas Eve the community had a parade. A hundred and twenty-five golf carts, decked out in lights and playing Christmas carols, wound up and down every street and cul de sac. It was a sight to see. I mentioned something about ships in the desert, and got an elbow in my ribs from my husband.
While having lunch one afternoon we overheard two elderly gentlemen discussing how to leave a tip for the waitress. They couldn't figure out the change. After the waitress eventually rescued them, we watched to see which vehicle they climbed into and which direction they went. We went in the exact opposite.
After all of these incidents we weren't too surprised to hear this small community had a higher accident rate than the larger city to the north - Tuscon.
Early one morning, my husband met another retired gentleman at the dog park and they soon compared community experiences.
The gentleman concluded, "You know I've just got to get away from all of these old codgers. They are driving me nuts and what's even scarier, I am an old codger!"
Well, there are different degrees of old codgers...the Cognitive and the Not So Cognitive.
We moved a short time later into a mixed community. Kids ride their scooters and bikes up and down the side walk in front of our house. Young people drive too fast and leave skid marks at the stop sign. That's okay. The center isle at the grocery store is very rarely blocked and we have yet to see one tire mark on the sidewalk.