It has been almost one year since I moved into my home in a 55+ senior community in Watsonville. While a lot has happened in the world this past year, perhaps not surprisingly, not so much has happened in Bay Village aka one of the “adult villages.” Streets remained quiet during the holidays as we forged through what seemed to be the longest winter with COVID-19. Neighbors smiled from behind their masks and waved as they took their daily dog walks. One neighbor has a four-wheeled bicycle lit up with multiple safety lights He pedals by silently at night--almost like a mirage in the heavy fog--one of the few vehicles on the road.
Spring came not a moment too soon. At long last, people began coming out of their homes. More bicycle riders and dog walkers. Neighbors worked on outdoor projects and in their gardens. I began looking for a gardener who could help me “zero-scape” my front yard. Both Mindy and I had expanded waistlines from the long, dreary winter countered by endless naps and snacks. We were both anxious to get out in the yard and play. She managed to get back to climbing on the roof to watch sunsets overlooking acres of empty agricultural fields.
The farmers planted new raspberry plants in late Spring. Within two months they were nearly full-grown plants. Soon the “hoop houses” (as one neighbor refers to them) came up in the matter of few days. My view of the mountains was pretty much obliterated by the giant, dirt-white, plastic canvas designed to protect the plants and keep them warm during our cool evenings. The hoop houses will remain up for eighteen of the next twenty-four months (according to a neighbor who has lived on our street for many years) until the process starts all over again.
I still love the peace and quiet of the neighborhood. There’s no traffic or parking congestion (yet?). No parties or loud music. I can hear the distant roar of cars racing around the track on weekend nights at the Fairgrounds, but it’s basically white noise. When I take walks in the neighborhood, it’s interesting to see such a wide range of ages that make up “seniors”; from those jogging or on long bike rides to those using canes or walkers and the unseen elders who are housebound. And while I am among those still working full-time, my retired next-door neighbor gets up even earlier to hit eighteen holes of golf.