Following my husband's death in 2008, I moved from Tennessee to Florida to look after my parents. Now I'm living in a retirement community, making friends and trying new things. The most fun I've had has been ballroom dancing. So far, I've taken intro lessons in all the dances and now I'm starting intermediate. I hardly have time to read anymore but I manage four or five dances a week!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Newsletter aka The Year in Review

What a year this has been! I started out reading as much as I did when Bill was alive – about a book a day – however, I did add the physical exercise of walking the dogs twice a day because they no longer had a backyard. I also had to walk Mom’s dog, Lacy, because Mom had a broken foot which was finally healed by April.

I have also had to figure out what I like to eat versus what I had been cooking for the last 23 years. This became quite a challenge. It seems that I prefer salads, fruit, nuts and cheese. *snicker* I really don’t like to cook. *laughing*

I met a neighbor in February who encouraged me to get involved in some of the activities here in the community, particularly ballroom dancing. What a blessing. That month I learned the waltz and I’ve been dancing ever since. Now I know the basics of fox trot, cha-cha, tango, rumba, salsa, samba, East Coast swing, West Coast swing and bolero.

That same month I had a fence installed in back which gave the dogs a little area to run around in. Liz likes to go out and bark, so I installed a "bark breaker" that discourages the barking. Sandy likes to lay with his head resting in the doggie door hoping a squirrel will be foolish enough to enter the fenced area. *snort* Yeah, right.

In March I began going to the USA Dance Club, which is Ocala’s ballroom dancing club. I was so intimidated. The dancers were all experienced and I was so not. Different men would ask me to dance and I’d say I didn’t know this one but they’d get me up anyway saying they could show me. Bless their hearts. Now that I know better what I’m doing, I recognize what a generous act that is – asking a gal to dance who doesn’t know how.

Through ballroom dancing I have become part of a wonderful circle of friends. As much as we all love to dance, we also enjoy taking day trips together, like the one we took to Tarpon Springs, and getting together for parties. The members of this little group all live within 5 miles of me and we ride to the dances together since they all seem to be on the other side of town, at least 30 minutes away. Here we are. I’m second from left in this picture.

I met Dennis in May. He was recently widowed and wasn’t really ready to jump into another relationship but we kept running into each other at different venues and he felt he ought to pay attention. I wasn’t looking for a relationship either, but we had so much in common besides dancing like caring for aging relatives, a love of science fiction and similar spiritual beliefs. It was hard to ignore the connection. We are now dance partners and are dating exclusively. He’s a much more experienced ballroom dancer and he makes me look better than I am. He says I’m better than I think I am and a joy to lead. All I know is, I love dancing with him and people come up to us at dances and compliment us. Oh, and have I mentioned that we go dancing four or five times a week? Loverly. I’m lucky to read a book a month, now. Perhaps I should change my email addy and blog from byrdloves2read to byrdloves2dance. *chuckle*

In October I sold the house in Tennessee and in November I bought the house in Ocala that I had been renting. I’m really settling down quite nicely here in Florida. I love the sunshine, even in August, and especially now, in winter. Life is good – really good.