Monday, May 10, 2021

We're not 55...Can we stay?

 After the shock of selling our home so quickly we had to find a place to stay.  Still no sailing experience and lots of stuff to sell.  We had become avid desert riders (Thanks to the Teason's for that) over the years, owning a CANAM X3, and we had a rather larger toy hauler that we could live in.  Lucky for us we were in Arizona, and there are tons of facilities we could choose from, or not?

Turns out many of these places are 55+ - we were/are not.  But a quick search of the fair housing laws and we found out that as long as more than 50% of occupants were 55+, they could keep their designation and we could stay.  So we found this cool place called the Arizonian.  Big lots for our  "stuff" and we could ride in the desert right from the park.  It was perfect and after closing, around June of 2018, we set up shop.  What a crazy place to live!

The management welcomed us with open arms (well some of them), full year payment up front that helps.  I figured we would stand out a bit so I asked the manager if there was a rule book, her response was classic.  "Honey you are moving into a 55+ community.  If you are doing something wrong there will twenty 80 year old people in golf carts telling you what it is - no rule book required."  Man was she right!  I had several run-ins with the local "governing seniors," but we also met some of the best people ever.

The first folks we met, in the dead of summer, was Ken and Mary.  We turned into quick friends and are still friends to this very day.  They tried vey hard to help keep us out of trouble, but sometimes it was not in the cards.  We met tons of couples, even couples near our own age. In fact, turns out we were not the youngest couple in the park.  It was an interesting time, at least until about 730PM - LOL.  Lots of great people that turned out to be supportive of our plan.  In fact, most were very adamant that we go, go now while we are still young - don't wait. Remember that Tim?  We do!!

This move set up several steps to come.  First, if we can't live in a trailer, which is likely bigger than a boat we can afford, then this will never work.  It also allowed us to to complete our downsizing and start saving money 💪.  We met lots of great people and made lots of memories we hold closely today.  It was also going to be easy to transition, because we were basically renters.  Drop the trailer off at consignment as we left town, simple.  Wrong!

PRO TIPS for 55+ (if you are not 55+):

  1. There are park politics and you are not welcome in them.  Similar to a prison, except smiling senior citizens.  Be careful, they can be dangerous.
  2. I recommend staying away from morning coffee in the "hall," lots of complaining - no action.
  3. Use all the facilities and meet all the interesting people that come from all over, even other countries.  It is so much fun.  We tried pickleball for the first time and got the 💩 kicked out of us.
  4. Ask before you do anything.  Then ask again.  Then ask other people. See manager statement above.
  5. Be prepared to drink 😈, mostly day drinking.  But fun nonetheless. 
  6. Never, ever leave anything outside your lot after dark.  It will likely get hit by these mysterious rolling UFO's called golf carts 💀
I know, what about that sailing.  It's coming up next.  Did we really start with no experience? We did indeed.  Was it super scary?  Sometimes!  Do we recommend people jumping in to this lifestyle?


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