Dan and I had a lunch date today with six friends. It was cheery, full of conversation and good food. I should mention all of us in the lunch group are older than 72 with two in their 80s and Calvin is in his 90s.
Our friend Irma from Clinton set it up. We only drove because it was our turn. Irma, Dan and I often hit some of the local four star eateries: Poor Farm at Clinton, Conrads at Overbrook, Berryton UMC meal night and of course our Stull UMC meal night.
This time we picked up our friends and traveled to Pioneer Ridge Retirement Center in Lawrence where Judy resides. Before we settled in the restaurant, we took a little tour of the facility. There is a huge meeting room available for residents for no charge, there is a workout center where the machines are electronically matched to each residents arm band, and there is a room with big screen TV, pool table, fireplace and a nicely stocked bar. I think owners of these facilities are seeing us baby boomers coming!
Dan and I had the mushroom cheese hamburger sandwich, some of the others had mac and cheese and chicken salad sandwich. The portions were for people who are sedentary, but it was all very good. They have waitresses and a chef.
Irma, retired BSN, made an interesting observation. She said a retirement center like Pioneer Ridge is a community within a community. Most residents know and watch after each other. They eat and socialize together, but have their little apartment when they want solitude. By combining resources, they bring in lecturers, show movies every day and takes trips in their bus.
One of the residents out and about we instantly recognized. Judy introduced us to a published author. So, you have people who are well known by their accomplishments, others who are well known because they are good listeners and others who just make people laugh. Just as it is as we live in our wider communities.
The transition from home to a retirement facility comes more easily for some than others. It seems to me that the most happy residents today were with a group of friends. In the end, as we grow old, it might be our friends, not our doctor, who are able to make us feel the best.