I recently visited with a friend who is probably a decade or so older than I am. He and his wife recently moved to a large senior citizen’s neighborhood. His rationale was simple: The availability of regularly scheduled activities, opportunities to interact and connect with neighbors whose primary focus is to stay active and the sense of community makes the setting ideal. Of course, it doesn’t hurt his feelings that the environment also includes three 18-hole golf courses. Reportedly, there is something for everyone as long as you meet the criterion of being at least fifty-five years of age. That is the minimum age requirement for a homeowner. He even describes the neighborhood church as an ideal setting. He commented: “We really like it”.
I didn’t ask about the style of worship or whether the music is traditional or contemporary. Where I attend, traditional hymns are the order of the day. Just this past Sunday, the lady whose leads our music mentioned a dear friend from out of state who occasionally visits. She said of her friend: “The music we share here fills her eyes with tears. It is a trigger for her that brings to memory-treasured time shared with grandparents and other extended family members from long ago and far away. She and her husband don’t get any of that at the mega church they attend in the Northwest. Their standard fare is for the stage to be covered with musicians playing guitars, a set of drums to help you get with the beat and the words to the songs plastered on a gigantic overhead video screen. Somehow that all falls short of what her friend longs to find and experience when she attends church. I guess you could say it is different strokes for different folks.
I had lunch yesterday with a pastor who absolutely loves the experience of preaching. He is a very effective communicator and he uses more than one forum to share the Word. In fact he mentioned a recent sermon that included a power point presentation. He reportedly has learned a lot over the past several months. For one thing, he’s learned to somehow manage to avert a panic attack if his sermon isn’t totally thought out, notes prepared and presentation ready for delivery by 5:00 p.m. on the Saturday before Sunday. I replied, “You’ve got to be kidding! If you had said the target window for a potential panic was 5:00 or 6:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, it might agree with you. Give yourself half a day and why would anyone worry?”
I’ve shared it before, but it continues to be true. I have been in the same church setting for decades and for the entirety of the time I’ve been here, I’ve been one week away from having nothing to share. Somehow in the midst of the commonplace and everyday living, I discover the thoughts I feel led to share. Couple that with the fact the family of faith is longsuffering and patient and it makes the perfect church environment for me to attend.
My friend that moved to the senior citizen’s neighborhood expressed regret that he didn’t do it earlier. He said: The homes in this neighborhood are spaced fairly close together. The home I moved out of wasn’t like that. I’m finding I really enjoy the experience of walking down the block and seeing any number of people with whom I can talk. I look at there dog and say: “Cute dog”. They respond: “Do you want him?” I answer: “No thanks.” He smiled.
Apparently his personality and temperament is such that he has hit it off well with his neighbors and other residents in the picturesque community. Of course, he was doing standup comedy at the age of six. I’m making that part up, but I intuitively know that it is true. He said of himself: “I was one of seven siblings. We didn’t have any money so it was important to have a sense of humor.”
He said: “It really is true. In our new neighborhood, every time you hear a siren someone says: “There goes another golf cart on the market.” Of course, he also says that “EMS” is referred to as taxi service. He says of their community, it really is nothing more than a waiting room or holding place. “One day at a time” he says. “Whose to know what a day can bring?”
Maybe I’ll feel differently when I’m a decade or two older, but for now I’m not in a frame of reference that I’m ready for an exclusive senior citizen neighborhood. For one thing, I’m not a game player. If I thought dominoes were in the offing in my future, I’d go ahead an call the taxi service (EMS) and have them haul me off.
I also don’t play golf. Isn’t the definition of insanity walking around with a golf club looking for a little white ball? Okay, so I’ve just offended half of you. My apology! It may be sour grapes on my part. Not all of us have the eye-hand-coordination to make golf work for us.
The General on the other hand would be right at home in a neighborhood with a constant stream of activities she could add to her calendar or her “To Do List”. Can you imagine? She’d sign us (plural) up for all kinds of outings and be on my case to get off the computer and get ready to go.
Of course, setting at my computer hasn’t always served me well. I received an email this week from someone I didn’t know wanting to assist me to get back in the publishing business. I was a little alarmed when I saw the introductory line to his communication: “I am reaching out to you because you are a former Tate Publishing author. I wanted to make sure I got in touch with you and gave you the same opportunity that many Tate Publishing authors have found useful. As you may have heard or seen, recent news from Tate Publishing indicates that as of January 17, 2017 they have suspended operations”.
That was all disturbing news to me. So what do you do next? Who’s to say? Reportedly, the first step is to take possession of my print ready files…” For $600 the new company will remove and reissue a new ISBN and Barcode and remove any reference to Tate on both the cover and interior files. I’m assuming that is $600 for each book.
Maybe being an author was simply a pipedream? I’ve got a closet full of books I’ve never had time to market and if by chance, miracles of miracles, either book should prove to be something someone desired, there is no way for additional copies without going with the new company. Maybe I’d be better served to take up golf?
All My Best!