Winter aside, we’ve entered a new season here at the beach. This one is not about cold, but about old, and is usually called the snowbird months. In past years there has always been a snowbird or two wintering in my place, and certainly that was an unquestionable benefit to me as a rent collecting owner. But this year is my first to be living in the midst of a snowbird invasion, and I find myself a little off balance. Such a profusion of walkers and three-pronged aluminum canes, I almost expect to find designated parking areas lined with Rollators and Mabis 500s. Then there is the increase in aqua and chartreuse beach suits, in an earlier time what we called ‘resort clothes.’ I always thought of them as last resort, but no doubt my own laid back and lazy look draws disbelieving looks.
I came upon a pair of colorfully clothed great grannies yesterday who had managed in going through a door to get the legs of their walkers tangled. At the moment of my arrival tempers were near the flashpoint, with one of the two making threatening gestures with her side-slung cane. My being somewhat more limber, disentangling the aluminum snarl was quick, whereupon the soothed octogenarians continued on their way to bingo. Stepping into the elevator I discovered that coaster sized large print buttons had been stuck over the original buttons.
On another day, answering a knock on the door I found an old gentleman needing help with the television next door.
ME: What’s the problem?
HIM: These dang words are coming on the bottom of the picture when people talk. Can you get rid of that?
ME: There’s a button on the remote that controls that. You may have hit it by accident.
HIM: Well, I can’t figure it out. We don’t have but four or five channels at home and they don’t have writing.
ME: Look for a button on the remote that has a ‘CC’ marking. That should do it.
HIM: That thing’s got more buttons than a typewriter, but I’ll study it a bit. Thank ya.
Several days before that conversation one of the newly arrived came asking if he could park his Reels on Wheels fishing wagon on my patio for the next three months, since it’s nearest the ocean. Mmm… No, I don’t think so. Anything else I can help you with? Moving one step closer to science fiction, he said that he had rented my condo one winter some years back and was wondering—now that we had met—if I might give him a rebate on his rental fees from that time four or five years ago.
Now I imagine returning home one day soon to find a big new sign affixed to the front of the building: ASSISTED LIVING — BEACH STYLE