Sunday, September 16, 2007
Would you believe I have already booked my December flight to Florida and made arrangements for the shipment of my car? It seems like I just came back and here I go again.

JetBlue image by Drewski2112

I was dragging my heels, didn't want to even think about it, but when I spoke to friends that go down every winter, they had already booked the plane and transport company. I had to take action!

Once I made those arrangements I started to think more positively about it, even bought a pair of shoes with velcro closures so I wouldn't have to unlace and lace my sneakers at airport security.

I've been going to Florida for many winters now and it gets harder and harder to go back and forth. There's going to come a time when I just won't want to do this anymore or just won't be able to do it.

While I was thinking this way, this is what happened.....

About a month ago I received an invitation from Brooksby Village which is an Erickson retirement community. I was invited for lunch and a tour of the facilities.

Brooksby Village

You name it, this place has it: A Bank, pharmacy, hair salon, grocery store, library, chapel, computer room, swimming pool, health club, planned trips and many classes... and that's just off of the top of my head. I was so impressed I wanted Steve to see this retirement community.

Well last week we had an appointment with the Brooksby councilor. When we approached the security gate, the guard greeted us with a hardy smile and gave Steve directions to the main building. That smile seems to be contagious because whoever we spoke to, wherever we went, everyone was very friendly and helpful!

As soon as Steve walked into the lobby he had a positive feeling about the place and asked, "How old do you have to be to move in?"

After our conducted tour, we took a trolley to explore the grounds on our own. Even the bus driver was very jolly and friendly. While on the trolley we got to talking to two ladies, both came from out of state. They have lived at Brooksby for over a year and are very happy there. One night for dinner they had filet mignon and another night it was lobster thermador. I don't eat that well!!

What amazed the two of us was that everyone we spoke to was very happy working or living at Brooksby. It reminded me of the movies "Cocoon" and "The Stepford Wives."

This visit has given me a lot of food for thought. Maybe...

I only said to Bob the Butcher on Saturday that blink ant it will be Christmas.
Do think that if it sounds too good to be true that it is too good to be true? Can that many people be THAT happy? But then again, they are all retired with no small children. Could very well be a paradise.
I have visited two places, one in Grass Valley and the other AirForce Village in San Bernadino, CA.

In each case, I felt like the folks that lived there had to justify their move by telling me how much they loved it.

In both cases, after spending a day, I realized all was not perfect in retirementville. The problems were about the same as anywhere else and included petty jealousies, gossip, and the building of cliques.

This is not to say that I would not choose to live in a retirement village. There were also many good reasons ie; security, meals, activities.

I too wonder about making a committment to moving to such a place. I would miss living in a neighborhood of folks of different ages. I think living with people all of about the same age, would limit one's view of live.

Like you, Millie, I will leave my options open. For now, my little town suits me just fine.
Only you can decide, Millie and I hope you would have the opportunity to visit and talk to everyone again. Would it be possible for you to make contact with someone who lives there and exchange letters or emails. If you break down a few barriers you may find out what really goes on.
i think that retirement villages sound great, but i remember when my mom worked at the brith sholom house in philadelphia and there were deaths and depression around every day....i think if it were me, i would rather live in an area with people of all ages...millie, you are still very young....happy new year and god bless you
What an interesting post with two different things! Every year, you seem to drag your feet through the whole process of moving. But then, when you're there you look pleased and content! But you're right, time flies. I feel like I read one of your posts about moving to Florida just a couple of weeks ago ;)
And very important: don't forget the Internet connection!
Now for Brooksby Village, what there, made you think of Cocoon?
I haven't seen the other movie...
someone just told me about your blog. I am so glad. Made me smile about your planned trip to Florida and shipping your car. How do you do that.
I am alone now and want to go to Florida. Have never traveled alone. I am about 10 years younger then you
Think I can do it.
I can personally tell you Brooksby Village was everything you girlfriend, who's a nurse, used to work there and loved it.
My daughter's aunt-in-law (Husband's aunt)is residing in the same type of residence in Chelmsford....the only thing she WHY she didn't do it sooner! She goes shopping with the van, they're always having parties, lots of socializing. EVEN my granddaugher, Kaela, loves to go visit Aunt Polly...because it's SO much fun
Yup, I'd definitely consider this, Millie. (And it's IN I lived 20 yr. ago, before moving to Florida)
BY the way...can't believe it's almost time for you to head south again!
Millie, just finished 30 minutes of reading your blogs.
I love them. You put a smile on my face.
Your pictures of you when you were younger look like pictures of me.
I know what my problem is.
I do not get out enough
Have been so involved in building homes and moving for years I did not make many friends.
I envy you so much.
Hopefully it is not to late for me.
Millie I emailed you and the letter came back and said your address did not go through. Is your email correct.
I would like to write you
Thanks to everyone who left comments about Brooksby Village, pro and con.

Sablonneuse suggested I e-mail and get acquainted with people who live there. Good idea.

The counselor at Brooksby suggested I come for lunch some afternoon, talk to the residents and look around on my own. I plan to do that.

Claude asked how "Cacoon" related to Brooksby - well in the movie the people lived in a retirement community and they found "that" pool that made them feel young again. That's the impression I got when I saw the residents - they were all so happy!!

In the movie "The Stepford Wives" they lived in a community where every thing was "perfection."

Claude: Guess I was too subtle- my point was if I stop going to Florida in the winter I would not be a happy camper. At Brooksby everything is there, the buildings are connected, plenty to do even if there's a snowstorm!
What is that stuff in the pool? Looks like giant balls of seaweed.
I live here at Brooksby Village and I chuckled at your comment about Stepford Wives. Actually, there are grouches here, some people have moved out here and is not for everyone. But people lead many different lives here. Some travel alot, spend winters in Fla. Others are busy out in the North Shore communities...volunteer readers at the schools, work at the historical society, some people are still working full or name it...
We do see a lot of people of different ages on the campus...visitors, special events, staff, waitstaff...we are all a community.
Anonymous: asked
re: Cocoon: what was floating in the swimming pool? - they were seed like pods that contained aliens that were in a tank for life support.

When the seniors swim in "the fountain of youth" they take the life out of the aliens and they become energized with youthful vigor.

Seeing all those happy people at Brooksby made me think of "Cocoon."

Thanks for taking the time to give me a more realistic picture of the people who live at Brooksby.

I'm sure it's not all peachs and cream, just like any other place.

That's normal.

Are you sure it will soon be time for your return to Florida again? I am like you, it seems you just got back a short while ago...Good for you for planning early.
super se blog!! bonne continuation
hi millie,

i just discovered your blog. thanks for the wonderful and inspiring read! i know it's hard to make a decision about moving. there's definitely a lot to weigh. i will be thinking about you as you make the decision. i do think it's a great idea to talk to people who live there. also, you might talk to some people in the local religious community to get their opinions. (ministers, rabbis, imams, etc. often spend a lot of time visiting places like brooksby and they might be able to give you some outside perspective.

thanks for your wonderful blog!
lingual x
I earlier met an 80 year old on net..she talk about her life style at brooksby village..She loves Walmart and she is able to get transportation over to Walmart which is next door.and talk to me abut lot of things in Brooksby to do..its really seems a cool place millie
I have lived at Brooksby village for nearly two years now and it was a VERY good move for my husband and I. Since he has Parkinson's Disease he was not able to do a lot of the things he used to in our former home. Since he is very much a "people person" there is always someone to talk to when we go to dinner or just "hang around" one of the lounge areas or even just sitting on the enclosed bridge between buildings. Lots of activities to keep us busy too and plenty of stores and malls very close to us so that we hardly use any gas in our car (and with the price so high this really helps).
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