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FRED FIRST: The Glue of Community Does Not Age So Well

Living in place does not insure a lasting connection, as friends our age drop out of the picture. Will we experience new friendships close at hand in a retirement community?
What seems certain, should we stay housed where we are now, is that we are likely to become more socially isolated and alone over the coming months and years. That would not be good for our mental health.

But here’s the thing: Our friends are dying; they are moving away from Floyd; they are less able or unable to drive to see us; and some won’t recognize us when and if they got here.

Moving into a “full spectrum” retirement community under one roof, as I alluded to recently, makes it easier to make friends we will see at breakfast, who live down the hall and can ask their neighbors every day, which is Groundhog Day again, who we are.

And the other positive aspect to all this, for which I am very thankful, is that keeping in touch today versus just a generation ago, is easy. FREE long distance phone calls and even FaceTime calls are so easy. No quarters are required for the corner pay phone. No party lines (early Social media) are likely to pick up while we are Zooming across half a continent in real time.

Virtual is a poor replacement for REAL space and Face-to-Face, but we can make better and more regular use of hearing voices, seeing places and faces we left behind. That may ease the pain of separation and grief of loss, at least a little.

This coming tectonic rift we anticipate will motivate me to write every day, write from the heart, and write what I know. This was where I came in (as we used to say in the days of movie theaters). This was my mandate in 2002 with the first public words. It can be a driver for the final ones, as well.

So I will hope to make better use of this column / blog (as well as my space at Substack in some kind of synchrony). Fragments from Floyd is where I bared my soul starting in twenty years ago. Maybe I can extend its life until 2033. I guess we’re just going to have to watch it unfold, flourish or fade.

Sorry for any formatting weirdness (like two copies of the “featured image” that might persist on the blog site until I can clean that up.) “Don’t worry about quality, just get it done”. This was our daughter’s mantra in Occupational Therapy school, when, as in our present state, something to hand in was preferable to nothing.

There’s no shame in lowering the bar if it means some words instead of no words. I’ve set the standard low, my friends. You’ll just have to live with it.

– Fred First is an author, naturalist, photographer watching Nature under siege since the first Earth Day. Cautiously hopeful. Writing to think it through. Thanks for joining me. Subscribe to My Substack HERE

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