When is the Last Time You Went to a Drive-In
By: Karen J.
Co-Publisher, On the
Been awhile, huh? I refuse to even do the math on how many
years it's been for me. But I just got an email that said "a
group of us are going to a drive-in movie since it's been years
since any of us have been to one". That would be a group of
lesbians getting together to head out for a drive-in movie. How
cool is that?!?!
week we talked about how important climate and weather are to
our location decision. But as much as that affects our daily
lives, there is something even more important --- connections.
Personal connections --- our support system.
remember spending several months in Florida many years ago.
Almost all of the people living in this particular area were
seniors who had relocated from somewhere else. That used to be
everyone's dream. Work hard and save enough to retire in
Florida. I talked to a lot of unhappy people while I was there.
They missed their families and their friends. They missed the
grocery stores they'd shopped in for thirty years and the
familiarity of the streets and parks they knew so well. They
were living in what they thought would be paradise but all they
really wanted was home.
not saying that the best course is to just stay where you are
because it's familiar. But I do believe that it may be too late
to do a major relocation after you reach a certain age. What
age? Not a clue. It would be different for everyone. I just
think you need time in your new location to make it
like-minded people and connecting with the GLBT community gets
a little harder as we get older. At least, it seems that way
for me. In the old days, everyone ended up in the bars and
sooner or later you met whoever it was you needed to meet.
Times have changed and gay folk, especially the over-fifty
crowd, are finding new ways to connect. And this is a good
change. Just makes it a little trickier when you're new in
the Charleston Social Club!
able to connect with the gay community was high on my list as I
weighed the pros and cons of various locations around the
country. And then I happened upon the Charleston Social
"Gatherings of extraordinary
in 2003 by Lynn Dugan, a transplant from New York
Charleston Social Club provides a means for lesbians to connect
and get together for all sorts of activities. According to the
Charleston Social Club, located in Charleston, SC, USA, is a
non-profit organization for lesbians and all women who are
accepting of lesbians. We welcome women of all races, ages,
ethnic heritage, religious and spiritual beliefs, and physical
her newsletter, Lynn reaches over 500 women in the
Charleston area and allows them to plan events and schedule
get-togethers. I think this is simply brilliant --- and such a
service to the community!
doubt that it's a lot of work but I strongly believe every
community should have something like this. We'll be talking
more and more about the need for there to be a way for our
seniors to stay a part of the community. A service like this
one, besides being a means to connect socially, can become a
lifeline as gay baby boomers age.
If I end
up relocating to Charleston, the Charleston Social Club will be
what made the final decision for me. Check it out at
This is where this piece should end. Everything useful has been
such an issue for me that I have a bit more to say. Fair
warning --- the rest is personal and if you'd rather just stop
here, no hard feelings.
of you know, my partner died a little over two years ago
(actually 822 days...). If there is ever a time when
you need a good support system around you, right after that
kind of loss is it. I know that because I didn't have
to Houston because her parents were having significant health
problems. Almost immediately, that consumed all of our time and
energy. What was
intended to be a stay of maybe two years turned into ten, and
we never found the time to reach out and develop friends in the
community. I paid a huge price for that when all of a sudden my
partner was gone.
Please don't misunderstand, I have wonderful people in my life
and they did so much for me, but most of them live somewhere
else. And, since
then, I have made some great friends here, but not that many.
I've needed most of my energy for survival, so I haven't had
much to give.
--- yes, I do have one --- is that there is nothing more
important that having a good support system. Its not something
that you should ever take for granted or put off developing.
You can't wait until you move to Santa Fe (that's where we were
headed) or your job takes less time or you retire or.....any of
it. If you are fortunate enough to live somewhere that has
something like the Charleston Social Club, get involved. Or
join a GLBT volunteer organization or political action group.
Or start something --- contact Lynn and pester her for details
on how she got started. (Sorry, Lynn --- probably should have
asked you about that!)
older we get, the more important this becomes. Our needs
increase and our resources often dwindle. Life has a way of not
always working out as we expect. We had it all planned. I knew
exactly how it was going to be as we aged. I could see us
arguing about who was going to push who. We were really looking
forward to growing old together. But, that's not going to
to force myself to get out of bed most of those 822 days but it
is starting to get a little easier. I'm beginning to actually
get excited about exploring a new place, meeting new
people and becoming part of a community.
will be Charleston.
knows, perhaps they'll even do another drive-in movie outing
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McGowan, founder of Birds of a Feather, one of the communities
featured in our special report The Top Gay Retirement (or not)
Communities, has recently had her "EcoNest"
featured in Natural Home magazine. This is not roughing it
in the woods --- take a look!
are now seven occupied homes in the community ---
three "casitas", two "econests" and two traditional single
family homes. An additional single family home is under
construction and should be completed sometime this spring.
Recently, it was
announced that they have started the approval process for Phase
II and hope to have more lots available by the end of the
a Feather is located in the beautifulSangre de Cristo
Mountains of New Mexico. Right now, due to the downturn in the
economy, a few of the original lots in Phase I have just become
available for purchase. If this is something you might be
interested in, write to at Bonnie at email@example.com or
call (505) 757-2901.
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Fit in a Year - Week
This week we're thinking about small
changes to our
Diet = the
food you eat.
Has anyone taken soft drinks out
of their diets yet? How about just removing one or two
that you currently drink during the day and replacing with
water? If possible, use your own, refillable
container. If you really get serious about losing the
soft drinks and switch entirely to water, without changing
anything else in your life, you'll lose about 10 or 15 pounds
over a year's time, not to mention the piles of
Remember that your body is very,
very smart. When it doesn't get enough water every day,
it will start holding onto it.
It's like using a deprivation
diet. When you're only eating 1200 cal/day, your body
switches into starvation mode and your metabolism actually
slows down! That's definitely the way to burn
The other small change you can
make is to switch from white potatoes to sweet potatoes and
yams. Not every time you reach for a potato. Just
start with once a
My favorite way to eat them is,
of course, roasted. Just pop them into the oven with whatever
else you're roasting, skin and all. Easy. For a treat, slice
them into quarters--or thinner if you need to cook them
quickly--spread a cookie sheet with olive oil, get some oil on
the sweet potatoes, sprinkle them with sea salt and cinnamon,
and roast at 350 or 375, depending on your oven, until they are
to your liking. Probably 20-30