Do Not Annoy or Molest the Alligators

| June 6, 2017 | 0 Comments

Florida has a generous amount of alligators.

Guessing game…where am I? There is no upper age limit for women on wearing short shorts or for men who cut the sleeves out of their tee shirts. Gnomes, pink flamingoes and leaping dolphins’ main habitat is front yards of homes. There are billboards that flash noting how long it will take, at any given time, to get to the nearest hospital. My brother has a large pond is his backyard area that has a sign instructing residents with the words “Do Not Annoy or Molest the Alligators.”

Really. I am serious, and I am wondering if the sign is indicative of an alligator molestation epidemic in…you guessed it -Florida, home of the “eccentric.”

I just got back from there and each time I visit, I realize that despite the heat, the humidity, the pop up showers odd critters and strange laws, I do always come back recharged. There is something about the coast of Florida that soothes the soul.

My brother is a senior who loves to dance and he has found his mecca. The gulf side, where he lives, has a string of lovely beach towns that have in common, besides the beautiful beaches, many little bars and restaurants that have live music. The ones he took me to were frequented by other seniors, who showed up tan, in sandals and summery clothes, looking happy and ready to dance the years away. They all seemed to know each other as fellow dancers out for a good time. One place had a sixteen-piece swing band made up of folks from all walks of life who just loved to play their music together. The room was open on three sides, the night air cooled the warm dancing bodies and the joy on everyone’s face made growing older not so bad.

The key to retirement is substituting something that fulfills and pleases whenever possible. Of course, health and finances have a lot to do with how joyous retirement is, but if both are in place, it can be a wonderful time of life. Many, many seniors are drawn to Florida to be able to afford to have that wonderful time. My brother was here in San Diego for many years before moving to Indiana. When retirement time came for him, his desire was to return here, who wouldn’t want that. But as often happens once you leave, you can’t afford to come back. This is an expensive place to live, and for most the golden years are usually the end to that much incoming cash.

Florida, with its abundance of affordable senior living choices, was the answer for my brother and he, as a new Floridian, is fitting right in. He has a convertible, which while I was there, we kept the top up and ran the air conditioner. He has a community pool, which while I was there we visited once and not until late in the day. He has a Walmart very close and he knows the senior day when the bagel store has lower prices. He does not have a gnome in his front yard.

I grew up spending all my summers at a beach on the east coast. My favorite memories are of those days. I wore short shorts and tank tops too. I was as brown as a berry. Heat and humidity were nothing to me. Summers were sultry and lazy and fun. Maybe Florida whisks this senior back to those days. Maybe I come home relaxed and recharged because those special days are triggered by all that heat and humidity and bare clothes. In Florida amongst all my senior peers, watching them dance, maybe I am sixteen again. No, I am much older, old enough to know not to molest alligators.

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