Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Friends, family, fellowship, excitement, and a dose of reality

It's funny sometimes, it takes an outside viewpoint to remind you of all the things you tend to take for granted.  We had a wonderful visit from friends John and Diane, who spent several days with us.  They were so impressed with our winter digs.  It took them to notice all the folks that went by with a hello for us to rerealize what a unique and pleasant place this is.  The friendliness and camaraderie is palpable.  Being nomads, most of our travel time is spent with just Jan and I, interspersed with a short chat, a smile or hello, and once in awhile an impromptu cocktail visit.  Here we are surrounded by a huge number of not only acquaintances, but friends.  And although Jan and I don't participate in a lot of activities, we still have that loner stigma, there is an absolute plethora of things to do.  We have been experiencing the profound enjoyment of friends, family, and fellowship. 

Our nephew Walker came in to visit his dad, BIL Tom for a few days.  It was nice to see him and catch up on his life, Tom got him playing bocce with us, and Walker even took first in one of Tom's poker games.  

As I said, John and Diane came to visit, we had a great time, introduced them to several friends, enjoyed many cocktail hours and meals together, and I even got John playing bocce.
Diane, Moi, John, and Jan

Nice spot for lunch with great friends
Having dessert around our fire

The park here has a huge competition every year called Senior Games, anyone can sign up to compete in an amazing number of activities, from shuffleboard, tennis, pickle ball, ping pong, putting, trivia, golf, etc, but the biggie is bocce.  First off there is mixed bocce competition, then men's bocce, and women's bocce.  But the event of the season is the face off between the Men's champions and the Women's champions.  We joined at least 175 other people watching the very hotly contested match!
Half of the audience

And the other side
Who won?  The women did, and it was quite a game, the score went back and forth several times, but the women won the match!  In the history of the men vs women match, the men have won 7 times and the women 6 times.  

Jan and I have been working on organizing and arranging all our fishing gear to be ready for next season, ordering supplies that were used up and I have been tying flies so we'll be ready for the summer.
A few hoppers, called Chubby Chernobyls I tied
All this really gets us excited about the upcoming fishing season!  And believe it or not we only have 5 weeks here left.

We even took time out to make homemade pizza, you know I had to get some food in here somewhere:-)

As you know, we really love our lifestyle, but as I have touched on before there are some disadvantages that go along with all the wonderful parts of it.  One of them concerns medical and dental issues.  We have addressed most of it by moving almost all our doctors to Florida.  We spend 4-5 months here so it makes it easier to have our exams and surprises taken care of here, and it has worked out very well.  Thankfully, even with my several issues, we have always been given the go-ahead to go a year between visits.  We still have one doctor, our dermatologist, and our wonderful dentist in the Atlanta area.  We keep our dermatologist there because we like him, he is familiar with us and we only need to see him once a year.  But our dentist, now that's another story, we love him!  When we moved to Atlanta 20 years ago we met him and have been going to him ever since, and when we've had challenges with our schedule, he has accommodated us.  But most important, we trust him, have had nothing but excellent results from all procedures, and chicken me is totally comfortable and trusting of his work.  Sooooooo.  I just broke a tooth.  When you travel and are far, far away from your doctors or dentist, obviously depending on the severity of the problem, you are going to have to get attention where you are, and over the years, there have been times we have had to seek medical help wherever we were.  In fact, many years ago, when we had first started full-timing, I broke a tooth, and at the time we were in L.A., that would be lower Alabama, near Fairhope.  We were 350 miles away from our dentist, and figured at the time the trip up there, trying to squeeze in, wouldn't be worth it, so I called around and found a local dentist that could see me.  It turned out I needed a crown, so I had the new dentist do it, with a very new technology where I had a permanent crown put in, in only a few hours.  Success.  But it was not to be, after a few months, my tooth was getting sorer and sorer, and I was miserable.  I made it work until we got back to Atlanta and our dentist removed the offending crown and replaced it with another, no problems since.  Now, I'm sure this was in fact a fluke, I don't think the new dentist did anything wrong, but it sure made me, a nervous dental patient think twice about what to do if anything would happen in the future.  Fast forward to my now broken tooth, suffice it to say, I have an appointment in Atlanta, and will drive up the 540 miles, get it taken care of and drive back, and it will coincide with our visit to Atlanta in early April to get my permanent crown.  Yes, Doctor Bill, me, is assuming I will need a new crown.

I am in no way saying this would be the solution for everyone, just saying this can be a real consideration when traveling and especially full-timing being in many faraway places.  Give some thought to how you will handle these unforeseen medical or dental events.

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