(A picture of the adjoining property which has been digitally aged using Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.)
I haven’t written much, if any, about living here at Homewood of Plum Creek since moving here six months ago. I wanted to give myself six months to get acclimated and settle in. In the last six months I have devoted myself entirely to adjusting to living in a Continuous Care Retirement Community (CCRC). I haven’t traveled or even been back to my previous home town in those six months. Basically I like living here, but it has been a culture shock. In many ways it has been like turning the clock back in time.
There have been three major changes that have taken some getting used to. These three cultural shocks have been associated with major differences in race, age, and activities. When we lived in the MD suburbs of Washington D.C. it was like living in a United Nations community. We were surrounded by people of all races and ethnic backgrounds. The White non-Hispanics were only around 18% of the population and I’m now living in a town where they are over 86% of the population and mostly of Germanic descent.
In the neighborhood where I previously lived, I was older than my neighbors. Here I am one of the youngest in the community. Where I lived before, I had to do all the maintenance or find and hire someone to do it. Here everything is taken care of for me.
While I wouldn’t classify any of the changes as being good or bad, they are certainly different, interesting, and require different responses and adjustments. My biggest adjustment has been one of filling my time. Since all maintenance is done for me, I have excess time on my hands. Even minor things like going to the store to purchase something takes a lot less time since everything is within about a 3 mile radius. Since we moved away from our daughter, her husband, and our two granddaughters, it also meant that we no longer benefited from close, almost daily, contact with them and are no longer occupied with family activities.
I have tried to spend a lot more time pursuing my hobby of photography but I am quickly running out of new and interesting things to photograph; therefore, I have spent a lot more time reading articles about photography on the computer. So far, I have done a lot more reading and napping. I even have two Kindles … one of the originals for reading text in the presence of bright light and a Kindle Fire so that I can read photography books with color prints. In addition to reading a lot, I have been doing more eating and drinking (coffee) and that is something I need to do less of.
They have lots of activities here but they are more suited to an older generation and I have only taken advantage of a few of them. Even the music played in the hallways of the main buildings and on the closed circuit TV is of an older generation and reminds me more of my parent’s time, but that is because many of the residents are the age of my parents if they were still living. Basically, I think that I need to look outside the community if I wish to become engaged in doing something different. I think that is what most living here who are closer to my age are doing. It is easier for them since they are mostly from around this area, have family and friends around, etc.
I really need to find something more meaningful to do and try to get out more … well at least as much as I can. I think I have walked and looked for pictures on most of this approximately 86 acres … probably time to expand my range. I’m hoping that will be the case this summer.