Tuesday, March 03, 2009


If I thought trying to get through airport security was tough, I have now found something even tougher: a senior citizen gated community. Anyone who knows Tom and me knows that we are law-abiding citizens. We follow the speed limits, cross the street at crosswalks, and, as a rule, follow all the rules. But despite our valiant attempts at good, clean living, we have been busted for something every day that we’ve been here.

Our latest was this morning at 6:30 a.m. I noticed a white truck parked at the end of the driveway. We had carefully put our garbage and recycling at the end of the driveway like we were supposed to. (Tom had put it on the left side of the driveway, but I knew it was supposed to be on the right side, so I moved them. Then Tom had to move them again because he knew that they were supposed to be three feet apart, and I had put them one foot apart.) We thought we were all set.

So why was the white truck parked at the end of the driveway, and why was a man writing feverishly on some type of a paper? BUSTED! He was writing out an “educational notice” (not a ticket, he explained), telling us where plastic bags were allowed and where bags were not allowed. And Tom, being a little color blind, had gotten the green recycling bin mixed up with the brown garbage bin. This man’s job was to go up and down the street, check inside bins, and make sure everybody was doing it right.

If we wander into an activity area like the pool or golf club, we are carded. There are no body cavity searches—but we always have to carry our renters’ pass with us at all times because security has the right to stop us and check our identification. I guess that’s so illegal aliens, small children, or anyone under 55 can’t sneak onto the grounds and go swimming in their pool or play shuffleboard on their court. Very exclusive.

The sidewalks and golf cart paths meander everywhere. The only problem is that they look very much alike. Tom thinks that maybe the sidewalks are six inches narrower, so after walking on what we thought was a sidewalk and being told in no uncertain terms by a man on a golf cart that “it is illegal” to walk where we were walking, we are understandably a little skittish.

The Pied Piper has gone through this community and taken all the children and rats. Everything is very beautiful. The houses are beautiful, the yards are beautiful, the golf courses are beautiful . . . in a Stepford Wives kind of way. The rules are there, I know, to prevent the kinds of problems that people had with their neighbors back in their pre-retirement lives—hot rodding teenagers, barking and unleashed dogs, people who don’t take care of their yards, etc. In the meantime, Tom and I are cautiously feeling our way around, trying not to break the rules, here at the Pebble Creek Maximum Security Facility for Senior Citizens.


Anonymous said...

Wow. I loved your last line. I would go crazy living in a place like that. Keep studying the sidewalk and golf paths. This experience, as good as it may be, might make your home neighborhood seem that much more appealing. Even the neighbor dog Max! Or, maybe not Max.

Elaine said...

But what I really think is going on, is that you guys are outlaws! Putting the trash in the wrong place, in the wrong color bin, and walking on golf cart trails. You are running wild on a crime spree!

bd said...

Hhhhmmmm, the rose patch has thorns?