Good morning, neighbors.
So many of us are lucky enough to call a retirement community home. It offers us myriad opportunities for continued growth, or if we so choose, the chance to sit back and enjoy amenities meant to invigorate or relax us. For me, it has been a bountiful experience to meet people and to get involved in activities that were out of reach when I was joyfully and diligently working at my career. It also provided a chance to grow beyond my ambitious dreams.
One of the more salient aspects of living in my community is watching the area reflect the changing population. When we moved here 16-plus years ago the average age was reflected in the amenities provided, but didn’t give us, in our late 50s, a very smooth transition to this new lifestyle. We were thrust into things more familiar to my grandparents. These were lovely times for those who had been here for many years. However, we found the pool and golf our best respites. Of course, we were still working so it wasn’t a great deterrent as we came home ready for those two activities, but not much else.
Fast forward to our current day, now in our 70s and fully retired. Our excitement over watching this community reinvent itself and evolve has kept us youthful and active. I started writing mysteries just before the pandemic gripped us and am currently working on my third book. What an incredible journey I’ve taken while doing this. With nowhere to market my novels, I was limited to family and friends getting the word out. Most community venues did not support authorship. However, in our more progressive community that has changed. I have several supportive places to cheer me on toward my goals.
The library, headed by director Tracy Skousen, has hosted local authors and has encouraged the residents to meet us. Her updated approach during the pandemic allowed us to use Zoom meetings to continue sharing our love of reading and authors, both local and established. PORA’s del Sol Gallery is incredibly supportive of all the talent in the community and welcomes all of the ways we express our aptitudes. Peggy Sue Kruger and her staff created a forward-thinking model based upon the much beloved Village Store. They have taken us from a general store to an upscale venue for displaying all the artwork and talent from the previous location at R.H. Johnson Recreation Center, 19803 R.H. Johnson Blvd.
Without change any neighborhood is destined to lose its vibrancy. I am still pleased when out-of-town visitors comment on how fortunate Loren and I are to be in the heart of lovely homes and such dynamic activities. They don’t let us forget that this community has enhanced our lives and vitality. Whatever we choose to do and however we choose to do it, this community has staved off boredom and premature aging for so many of us and I am grateful to be spending the remaining years living and loving my chosen end of years family and friends.
Linda Chamley Johnson
Sun City West