Nov 14, 2015

How Does It FEEL to be a Snowbird?

I have always wondered if I could really describe what it feels like to be a "snowbird". I am not talking about a person that owns a second home or travels all winter. I am talking people that fly south every winter to the same landing area. They are very like the Sandhill Cranes that have followed the same flight path since the beginning of time.

Our Arizona home!
It is a pattern repeated every year by thousands of retired people around the world. They all begin to get restless as the weather changes. That "other" home calls their name. I talk about this often here on this blog.

Unlike people that go on vacation to the same place every year, we go home to the same place. There is a lot of difference. I suppose you need to do it before you will ever understand. It really isn't about the climate or the fancy frills but describing what is it about is very difficult.

Oddly enough, the people that fly south often talk about how young they feel when the come to their winter home and how they miss all their warm weather friends when they fly back north in the spring. They are more isolated. It is just not the same.

So when we arrive here in the fall, we all gather together in the middle of the streets or near someone's home to catch up on all the news. We know each other's children and even grandchildren in some cases. It is like a family reunion only without the squabbles. When we want privacy, we just go inside our park model or condo. Everyone has a respect for personal space, at least there I live.

We hug a lot. There is something so wonderful about the human touch that keeps us happy. Even the very elderly get a lot of attention. I talked with a lady with a walker the other day. She was getting out her Christmas decorations and we chatted over a flower growing beside the road. Being alone does not need to happen.

There is something about being around age-mates that keeps us feeling youthful. We all move at about the same pace and share a common bond. We dance and play cards. I work in my tiny flower beds and my friends golf. Some read and others write. I suppose that is why we find each other interesting.

It might be cooler this winter or warmer or windier or even rainy. We don't really care. Home is home...we snowbirds are just very lucky in that we happen to have two place that are equally as welcoming. I like that.

Stay tuned. The 2015-6 season has just begun. The birds will be flying in by the hundreds. They will come from Canada and all corners of the United States. I am very excited about that.

Have a wonderful day.



Joan Stommen said...

Great post, Barbara! I know lots of seniors who so this, but never hear them talk about it.....other than warm weather! Your words; "there's something about being around age-mates that keeps us feeling youthful" I just love! So very true! The things we oldies
do are so varied and adventurous....yes, we're interesting....I
like this too! I'm not a snoebird, but reading this gives me admiration for those who are! Thank you for this peek into your Arizona home life!

Barbara Torris said...

Joan, thank you for your comment.

Retirees are very hesitant to take the next step toward this type of life and I understand why. I suppose that is why so many wander around in RV's for years. The adventure of that life is wonderful but when they are full of travel, they will find that living with a group of people they can grow old with is very ful
filling and wonderful.

Bonnie said...

What I would like to find is summer escapers! Our home is in AZ and we'd like to escape to a community of other AZ or hot climate folks ...sort of the reverse of what the snowbirds do. Know of any concentration of desert dwellers that go north for the summer?

Olga Hebert said...

You have captured it so perfectly!

Linda Myers said...

I am so envious! We don't leave for our winter home in Tucson for three more weeks. And you have nailed the experience of neighborhood. Where we live there are many activities and each year I get to choose what I'll do again, what I'll let go, and what I'll pick up. Such choices!

Actually, for me, it's not the warmth I'm seeking, but the light. It can be 40 degrees and sunny and I am still happy.

Jo said...

Michigan is a destination with which I am familiar. There are many parks there for summer only residents. You can bring in your own camper, motor home or buy one there and just drive in and out between May 1 and Oct. 31.

Jo said...

Snow bird life never appealed to me because of moving bi-yearly. However, as soon as it was feasible, my man and I headed to Florida and became year round residents. For all the reasons one would assume. The warmth, the sun and the community. We plan to stay.

Barbara Torris said...

We often call those people "sunbirds".

Barbara Torris said...

I need the light too Linda. I understand how the lack of light can make some people's lives miserable. See you soon.

Barbara Torris said...

Jo, In fact I am a little bit envious of the feeling of freedom that you have found. I would not give up my Oregon life for anything but if things were to change in someway we would move south year around too.

Thank you for stopping by.

Barbara Torris said...

Olga, thank you for stopping by to comment. You sound like you understand this life totally.

mike casady said...

Would love to be an AZ snowbird, but we can't wrap our brain paying for lot rental for the six months we wouldn't be living there. We would be interested in any thoughts/advice about this. (We don't have an RV so would love to buy an older park model in a senior park.)

Barbara Torris said...

Mike I am writing about your question today. Check back. This is a good question.

mike casady said...

Good! Looking forward to it!

Eileen Hopkins said...

This sounds so lovely. I live in a summer resort community in Canada that attracts over a thousand Canadian snowbirds seeking relief from their cold prairie winters. I have heard them express the same sentiment. In fact I spoke with my sister last year who snowbird-ed here for the very first time and they were more excited about all the wonderful people they were meeting and how much fun they were having than they were about the warmer weather! It truly does seem to create an EASY sense of community.

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