Thanksgiving at the Clubhouse

Our Thanksgiving at the clubhouse was enjoyable. We sat at a table with our friends Larry and Dottie, Wayne and Linda, and new residents Ed and Mary from Connecticut.  We had such a good time talking, we were the last ones to leave.

As you can see by the top photo, there was plenty of food and the turkey was great.

Petty good crowd on hand, but since it was residents only this year, there were some empty spaces where more tables could have gone if they had allowed family members like last year. Maybe next year they will.

Thanksgiving at Village at Deaton Creek
Thanksgiving at Village at Deaton Creek

Sure was nice to come back home and not to worry about washing dishes! Since I started my race walking training for the National Senior Games in June 2017, I didn’t care for second helpings anyway.  Mary Ann prepared a white chicken chili for a late dinner and that was great. By the way, Mary Ann shared 5 things we were thankful for and living here at VDC was on both our lists! How about that.

On the way out I spotted the great Christmas tree in the clubhouse lobby.

Christmas tree
Christmas tree

Up next will be the Holiday Parties.  There is one for our street, one for our section, and one for the community.

Also I spotted this on “The Daily” section of our web site.
Adult Gingerbread House Decorating Night – December 12, 7PM – Free 
Bring your neighbors and turn up the holiday magic with a fun-filled evening of Gingerbread House Decorating. Bring your own gingerbread house and decorating supplies (icing, candies, gumdrops, etc.). RSVP at the front desk.

Well this sounds like a photo opportunity in the making! I will have to pop in and see what is going on.

I am trying to get Mary Ann to take this class at the clubhouse so we can get a discount on our auto insurance, but haven’t convinced her yet. AARP DRIVER SAFETY CLASS – THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8 – 9:00AM

Another photo op is:
Breakfast With Santa, Saturday, December 3, 9:30am

The Austins and It’s Showtime do such a good job lining up talent for us.  I bet this is going to be good.  I need to talk with my ticket agent (Mary Ann) about getting us tickets to this.
It’s Showtime Presents On Saturday, December 17 at 7:00 pm, Lindy and Greg will perform.  The Austin’s  saw this couple on a cruise and were so impressed, they wanted to bring them to VDC.

We already got our tickets to the New Year’s Eve party. We saw Butch and the Buckheads a few months ago and then were good!
New Year’s Eve Celebration! December 31, – 9pm – 12:30am
DANCE PARTY: This event will be upstairs only, the ballroom will feature Butch and the Buckheads, returning to VDC for another amazing performance! If you love a great dance party, THIS is the place for you! Dance, Dance, Dance!

Mary Ann says she heard The Everly Brothers tribute show is coming soon and she wants tickets!  We will have to track this show down and get her some tickets.

Plenty of Activities going on this Holiday season here at Village at Deaton Creek.

PS: this morning I thought this was a red bird (cardinal) on my neighbor patio railing but when I zoomed in, I see it is lovely rose.

Rose
Rose

 

 

 

 

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Home for the Holidays at a Del Webb Community!

One of the things we like about living in a Del Webb Active Adult Community is the Holiday dinners, potlucks, and individual holiday parties! Also the special holiday community events.

We signed up to go to the community Thanksgiving dinner at the clubhouse, just like we did last year.  The clubhouse is set up with tables of 8 and the entire grand ballroom will be filled with people enjoying the fellowship and food on Thanksgiving day. They invite you to decorate your table if you wish. For a small fee, the community provides wonderful turkey and we all bring a dish. The food was excellent last year!

Our friends Larry and Dottie will be at our table and so will 4 other people. It’s a good way to meet your community neighbors.

Many people may not be able to be with their families for the holidays. We didn’t have kids ourselves and went to Mary Ann’s mother’s house for many years, then to our nephew’s house on occasion and to our friends home a few times too.  But staying home with our community family is a delight, after not staying home for so many years.

Thanksgiving only starts off the holiday party season. Then we have a holiday party for our street, an Overlook section holiday party and a couple of community holiday parties at the clubhouse. Then last year we were lucky enough to get invited to 2 or 3 holiday parties at homes of our community neighbors.

Many seniors can feel isolated or left out during the holidays but in a community like this, there is no reason to feel like that at all.  It is something to look forward to and celebrate.

I still plan to drive over to Athens Georgia and have a meal with my two brothers. It is still important to keep in touch with our families but it is just nice to have an option of our own,  of spending some holiday time with our Deaton Creek family.

Also see my prior post: An Age To Be Grateful Not Just on Thanksgiving

More Holiday Activities

Many residents have family and friends over for a day or several days during the holidays. It’s ideal because they can go for a walk on our community’s many sidewalks or nine miles of wooded walking trails. Many families with members of all ages like to play bocce on our four bocce courts. For some reason, teenagers love to learn how to play pickleball and are quite good at it. Small grand kids can play at the grand kids playground or splash around in our indoor pool.

The community has special family events like the Spring Family Fish Day, holiday cookie exchange, build a gingerbread house day, meet Santa day, and the annual Easter egg hunt. For residents holiday special events include the huge New Year Eve party at the clubhouse with a band, the Saint Patty Day’s party, Valentine Dinner and Dance,  Fourth of July Pool Party, Pet Parade, End of Summer Dance, Veterans Day ceremony, and the rocking Halloween Costume Dance Party. There are holiday trips also like the Christmas at Greenbriar, Country Christmas in Nashville  and a trip to the Biltmore House in Asheville at Christmas.

Mary Ann and I feel grateful to have found our home at Village at Deaton Creek. We love the lifestyle and our family of friends right here in our own community.

COMMUNITY THANKSGIVING DINNER,
THU, NOV 24, 1PM
For those of us at Deaton Creek unable to be with
family for the Holiday, we will once again have our very
own Deaton Creek Family Dinner! VDC will supply all
the turkey and the rest of all the traditional fixin’s will
come from all of you who attend, Pot-Luck style!
When you get your ticket for this event, let us know
what you plan to bring (Mashed Potatoes? Veggies? Dressing? Gravy? Rolls? Pumpkin Pie? Salad?) so we will know all the traditional (and some untraditional) goodies are available for a real Thanksgiving
FEAST!
Nobody should ever spend the Holiday alone, so please
encourage the friends and neighbors you know who
will not be with family, to attend this annual event. And
PLEASE, make enough food for 10-15 or more
people for the potluck. This will ensure a terrific
Thanksgiving Feast! If you are unable to make any-
thing, please still attend! If you need any assistance at
all, including transportation, just let us know. We will
get you here and home safely. You can also decorate
your table and bring your own dishes and silverware,
any time after 4pm on Wed, Nov 23, and be sure to let
the Front Desk know. If you are single, you may bring
one guest with you. Tickets are now on sale for $6.

Bocce Ball Tournament

Fall Bocce season is over. The 400 members of the bocce club had our playoffs this morning in cool windy weather, then went to the clubhouse for the bocce luncheon that 260 members enjoyed. We played in the tournament but lost our first game to a lady who couldn’t miss.

Bocce Spring season starts again March 13th. We have a Fall league and a Spring league. Both last approximately two months.  We have 23 leagues of 8 two person teams,  plus stand by players. We play one hour per week during which we play two games with different teams.  During the season, we play each team twice, then tally up our standing to see who goes to the playoffs.

The top team from each of the 23 leagues then go to the playoffs, which were today. The team that won, Robert and Sue Fox had to win 4 straight games and did.  Then we went to the bocce luncheon at the clubhouse and started planning for the Spring season.

Here are some pictures from  the Village at Deaton Creek Bocce Playoffs.

We had a big crowd to start the day, but it was windy and cool and the crowd thinned out.

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Using a can to measure is ingenious! This is the championship, so you need to measure to make sure who is closest.

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I like the lady with the blanket! Good idea.

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You have to be good to roll the bocce ball that far and get that close.

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Some discussions going on about who is closest.

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Wow, this lady gets down low and has a smooth delivery. No wonder she is in the playoffs.

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I shouldn’t say this, but I heard this lady is over 90 and is one of the best players. Gives me hope.

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Veterans Day Ceremony

This morning I went to our Veterans Day Ceremony at Village at Deaton Creek, a Del Webb Community. Our community has about 350 men and woman who are veterans. You can see by the photo at the top, there was a great attendance at our Veterans Day Ceremony.

Saul Levenson, President of the Military Support Club gave the opening remarks, acknowledging the veterans in attendance, many of which had their uniforms on. A special acknowledgement was made of the 10 WWII veterans who are residents of VDC, who were at the meeting.

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Saul Levenson, President of the Military Support Group

 

Mr. Levenson then introduced VDC resident Col Glenn Vogel, who was the guest speaker and who had an exceptional career in the U.S. Air Force. Glenn gave an excellent speech about what it means to be an American, both the responsibilities and benefits. He reminded us of the sacrifices of our veterans and to reminded us to tell them “thank you for your service”.

Col. Glenn Vogel
Col. Glenn Vogel

The Village Singers presented the Star Spangled Banner and several patriotic songs and the audience participated in many of them. Yes, they knew the words! There was a Pledge of Allegiance recited by all in attendance.

Village at Deaton Creek Choir
Village at Deaton Creek Choir

Next Captain Ron Jaeh reached out to those in the audience to recognize or remember family members, friends or fellow comrades who served our country. Many, many people recognized and shared a story about a family member, friend or comrade who served in the military. This was touching and you could tell just about everyone in the room had their life influenced by a veteran.

Captain Ron
Captain Ron

Afterwards,  Block ‘n Blade served a cookout lunch of hamburgers and hotdogs and more stories and experiences were told over lunch. Thanks to Block ‘n Blade for providing lunch and by the way, they have some excellent Brunswick Stew at their Flowery Branch store.

Veterans Day Cookout
Veterans Day Cookout

Reported by Robert Fowler, VDC resident.

By the way, the Village at Deaton Creek Choir did an excellent job. They perform year around at our community and at outside locations including  nursing homes and hospitals.  Can’t wait to hear their Christmas Carols next month.

Village at Deaton Creek Choir
Village at Deaton Creek Choir

 

 

 

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20 Ways To Help Your Neighbors

I have found one of the benefits from living in an active retirement community, is that residents can share help and support to and from neighbors in their community.

In a regular subdivision, most of your neighbors work, are busy with their kids and may be too busy to help. You can build your own help and support group but it’s hard to do with friends living all over and some still working.

Not so in a retirement community. Friends are living right in the community and have a mindset that we are all in this together. We need each others help and glad to offer our help and assistance when we can.

A single person or a couple can really benefit, especially as they get older, from having neighbors that will pitch in when needed with various types of help. This is a very helpful arrangement which solves a problem we all face as we get older. Heck, no matter what age you are, this is a good arrangement, to help others and they help you. Kind of like a support network.

We have only been living in our Del Webb Community for one year and I have seen these examples of help and support many times. You don’t have to be an expert to help, most of the help needed can be done by anyone.

  1. Drive to Doctors Appointments
  2. Pick up after leaving car for repair
  3. When you are not home, someone to get your mail, look out for package delivery, meet repairmen.
  4. Come to the rescue when there is a medical emergency.
  5. Help move, unload or pickup stuff. Moving a TV, unload a Costco purchase from your vehicle are two examples.
  6. Take to hospital for cataract surgery.
  7. Comfort after loss of spouse.
  8. Someone to talk and socialize with. Just pick up the phone, walk down to the clubhouse, or attend any activity.
  9. Share adult living tips like where to get prescriptions filled, where senior discounts are given, good local doctors.
  10. Neighbors borrowing at no cost temporary medical equipment like a walker, wheelchair, crutches, shower seat, etc.
  11. Traveling together either with neighbors taking a cruise or a group trip organized by the HOA or sometimes a neighbor.
  12. Going out for lunch or dinner with neighbors is a fun socializing event at it’s best. Helps get you and an friend out of the house! Also sharing tips about great restaurants in the area.
  13. Taking a food dish over to someone recuperating.
  14. Sharing Repair and Maintenance Vendors info. Since we all live in homes built by the same builder, and many times the same appliances, this is really helpful. Also info about how you can solve home problems.
  15. Walking on our neighborhood streets and parkway, sharing a hello and maybe conversation for a while is an uplifting way to start your day.
  16. Playing pick up sports like pickleball or bocce with a same day email asking if anyone wants to play today at 7pm?
  17. Help with technical issues like a computer mouse not working, a smart TV not getting the internet, or how to use wireless head phones. There is usually a neighbor who can help.
  18. Searching for a lost cat or dog.
  19. Also related, feeding and talking care of your cat or dog while you are away.
  20. Keeping an eye open for home security, especially when you are gone. The neighbors will notice when someone new is around.

These are some of the ways neighbors help each other, that I have seen in my community this year. I could keep going. There are many, many other forms of helping each other through friendships, sharing activities and events and in intellectual, artistic and even physical ways.

So when you visit a retirement community and look at all the facilities and amenities, just remember that the thing that may be most beneficial is something you cannot see: the help and support we provide each other as good neighbors.

 

First Impressions Can Be Wrong

We were told during our working years how important first impressions were. We needed to be groomed and clothed in the right way and of course have a positive attitude. They were right, it did make a difference, when in the fast paced working world, people would make hiring or purchasing decisions, many times based on first impressions.

As we grow older, now we can see that often times our first impressions are wrong.

First Impressions of People

I know and admire a lot of people who I didn’t get a good first impression about when meeting them the first time or two. I have even become friends with a few of those people that I was wrong about.

Therefore I try to remind myself of this problem with first impressions and try not to jump to too many conclusions so fast about people who I meet for the first time or two.  Sometimes you just get off on the wrong foot with someone. Remember the childhood fight with a kid who later became your best friend. Well we don’t fight now do we, but we can forgive.

When moving to a retirement community, you come in contact with a lot of people, some of which you will become friends with.  Don’t filter out people too fast because maybe they are from a different part of the country, maybe they are too formal, maybe they are older or younger, maybe they are a different race, maybe they are too competitive, maybe they don’t have the same religion or politics, maybe they are different than you.

Fortunately, I see that people in our community have a way of focusing on the positive and what we have in common, rather than any differences. We are in this boat together and love our community.

In the context of a retirement community or even a senor center, if you come in contact with people enough, say because you participate in an activity together or maybe even because they are neighbors, you will soon get to know the person a lot better. It is important not to write anyone off based on first impressions. Later, you may see your first impression was not correct.

First Impressions of Communities

One lady who I spoke with at an Active Adult Community in NC, told me when visiting communities to see where to live, she would sit in the clubhouse just inside the front door and see how many people came up to talk with her.  She said she visited the community where I now live and that the people were not friendly.

I know that’s not the case in my community, people have been and are very friendly to us during our first year here. If she had asked anyone a question about living in the community, they would have been glad to tell here. It doesn’t sound like she talked with anyone, just did a test to see who would approach her.

don't wait to moveIn scouting communities in which to live, yes visit the clubhouse and ask the residents questions.  All you need to do is ask. Also participate in some  of the activities,  because then you really get a feel for the people. Play a game  of  bocce or take a line dancing class or cooking class, like we did when scouting communities.

I honestly don’t think the friendliness of people will be a problem at any of the Active Adult Communities. People are people, but I think you will find people who live in an Active Adult Community are some of the most accepting, friendly, positive and interesting people around.

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Photos of the Week: Korean Night

Cultural Shows are Popular at Del Webb Communities

Korean Night at the Village at Deaton Creek Clubhouse

Tonight we went to the beautiful Korean Night! We spent an evening being entertained by graceful, traditional Korean dance and sampling some delicious Korean cuisine. Southeast Korean Dance Association of Atlanta performed several beautiful dances accompanied by Korean drum and percussion instruments. Gorgeous traditional costumes and graceful dance that we will never forget. We were served some popular Korean food, including Bulgogi, which is thinly sliced Ribeye meat marinated in a soy based sauce you will love and Jopchae, which is stir-fried sweet potato noodles with beef and vegetables, and much more. What great entertainment right here in our community.

Korean Food Samplings
Korean Food Samplings
Colorful Dancers
Colorful Dancers
Korean Fan Dancers
Korean Fan Dancers
Beautiful Korean Lady and Costume
Beautiful Korean Lady and Costume
Drummer in Korean Show
Drummer in Korean Show

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Photos of the Week: New Pickleball Courts

Today two new pickleball courts were dedicated and opened for play at Village at Deaton Creek. The pickleball club is growing and the two new courts were needed.

New Pickleball Courts
New Pickleball Courts
Playing Pickleball
Playing Pickleball

 

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Transition to Retirement

Retirement is the goal of most people and they can’t wait to get there. But actually retiring is a process that takes some time before we discover what retirement for us is really going to be like, on a real time basis.

For many, this newly retired period can be a very pleasant and exciting time, redirecting our time and energy into new pursuits. But even then, there is still a big transition from doing what we have been doing for a long time to something new.

The transition to real retirement can be a little scary and even disappointing to many people. Some may want to go back to the safety and security of their job, just to get out of the uncomfortable position they feel in their transition to retirement.  Retirement may not “yet” be what they thought it would be.

Many people have told me they gave up on retirement and went back to work. Most did this before one year had passed and they usually retired from something and not to something. The something missing was where to redirect their interests, passion and energy. Many did not try new things. They stayed home and got on their spouse’s nerves, did not socialize with people, lost their passion for anything and generally grew miserable. They knew something was not right and they were not living their retirement dream.

So back to work they went to ride a train they had been on for 30 years because it was comfortable for them and they just couldn’t work out the concept of retirement.  I really feel sorry for these people and wish I could help, but each person has to find their own way.

Each person does make the transition into retirement in a different way, but the successful ones usually find something they like to do and people they like to do it with.

In Mary Ann’s and my case, we did slide into retirement, cutting back on our home based business. Some do it by reducing their hours at work. Some by consulting. Part time retirement is better than it sounds, because it allows you to start the transition to the retirement process. I would recommend it.

Another thing we did was to get involved with our local Active Adult Center, yes sometimes called a Senior Center. I know it sounds bad, but there are some really neat “active” senior centers. I joined the walking club and enjoyed walking three days with a week with the guys. On the other days of the week we played Bocce with about 15 people who because our new friends too.

This gave me a great insight and that is: Activities in retirement bring you new friends!

With that understanding, after a few years at the Active Adult Center, we realized our big house with master bedroom upstairs was not good. We did consider moving locally, because we really did like the Johns Creek, GA area where we lived for over 30 years.

However we found out about Active Adult Communities and they seem to offer what we needed; that being a one level ranch style home, friendly neighbors and many, many activities that we knew would bring us new friends.

We now have been in our Del Webb Community for one year and love it! We are enjoying our activities and our new friends.

Now we love playing bocce, cooking class, pickleball, race walking, blogging, collecting, taking cruises, entertaining, reading, going to the gym, talking with people, concerts, going to community theater, trying new restaurants, visiting the local attractions and towns, traveling and checking out the events schedule to see what we can try next. It’s not about how many activities you can do, but finding a few that you have a passion about.

Recommendations for Your
Transition to Retirement

Doing: Try plenty of things. Do things you like. Be brave, try new things. You may find something you didn’t know you liked, until you try it.

“Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action.” -Walter Anderson

instaquote-05-09-2014-18-26-40Activities: This is key. Do activities you like with other people. In my case it started with taking dance lessons, walking with others, bocce games, but there are endless opportunities.

As they say, don’t just retire from something, retire to something. Let go of that job title mentality, in retirement we don’t care who you used to be, and you won’t either soon.

I would highly recommend doing some activities at your local Active Senior Center. Then you may want to do what we did and move to an Active Retirement Community where you will have more than plenty to do and many friendly people to do them with.

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Finally, remember even if you stumble, you are still moving forward. Most people make the transition very fast and love it.

  • “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” -Anonymous
  • “All great changes are preceded by chaos.” -Deepak Chopra
  • “If work were so pleasant, the rich would keep it for themselves.” -Mark Twain
  • “All our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them.” –Walt Disney

 

 

 

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Photo of the Week: Walking Club Group

Today we had the first walking club meeting at a NE Georgia Medical Center Brasleton. We start with discussion of walking techniques then walk three 1.1 mile loops. You can walk any distance. Beginners and advanced welcome. Speed walking/race walking also discussed. We will meet MWF at 8am inside the front hospital entrance. Open to the public but many people from Village at Deaton Creek attend.  Register for walking club Robert Fowler