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Going Home and the Words That Help

As many of you can relate to, family is our priority this week. M is assisting a loved one as he begins the long road of recovery from a serious illness. And I am jetting off (well, planing off actually) to visit with the dear inspiration of the following post which I have revised a bit since its recent publication on the Oklahoma Women Bloggers’ site. Depending on your destination, this could prove very helpful on your next trip!

Going Home and Words That Can Help

Summer may be winding down, but there’s still time to get a quick getaway in. Many will be perusing travel magazines in search of the perfect summer vacation local. Those of us at this certain age don’t need to figure out where we want to go. We’re headed home to visit our senior citizen parents in neighborhoods that have streets named after tropical birds or exotic plants. These places are generally not included in the tourist books, so it’s up to us to navigate for ourselves. Let me help you out with that. If your next vacation is taking you to the land of sunshine, beaches and retirees, here’s a glossary to help you interact with the natives.

Dr. Phil Nap – When I first heard this term, I assumed that Dr. Phil had shared some psychological benefits from taking an afternoon power nap. I was mistaken. A “Dr. Phil Nap” is when the woman turns on Dr. Phil which results in the man going to take a nap.

Flexible Meal Time – Breakfast at 8:00 a.m., lunch at noon, and dinner at 5:00 p.m. The flexible part? If you miss those times you may microwave leftovers at your convenience.

Dancing the Night Away – The posted description of a scheduled event at the clubhouse. It’s usually on a Friday from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Dancing to the canned music is optional.

Go Carts – Short for “go get the golf cart” – the major mode of transportation in the neighborhood.

Noodling – Floating around the pool on a brightly colored styrofoam cylinder that was purchased at “the Walmart.” (Not to be confused with any sort of fishing, cuddling, or pasta making) When not in use, it is shaped like a rainbow in the back of the golf cart.

“It’s 10:22” – Bedtime. That is the precise time the newscast has finished up with current events and the weather. The night has officially ended.

Christmas Parade – A procession of decorated, lit up golf carts meandering through the neighborhood which stop periodically for the occupants sing Christmas Carols and accept liquid cheer. It does not have to be December for this to occur.

“We have a previous commitment” – Lawrence Welk is on so don’t even think about calling or dropping by.

Swan Lake Salute* – The gesture made by residents when they encounter each other. It consists of cupping a hand behind their ear and generally coincides with an uttered: “ay?”

Going Home and the Words That Help* Suggested by my 90-year-old, Swan Lake resident father after he reviewed my list – I thought it was a helpful addition! (Doesn’t he make 90 look good??)


  1. Made me smile reading this, and yes Tony does make 90 look good, great picture of him.

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