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Friday, December 9, 2011

Follow the Yellow Brick Road - Day 9

"A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others."--The Wizard of Oz

Today is Friday, Day 9 of my trip to The Villages in sunny Florida.

I think about home, my small cat, Tux; Big Blue, Big Blue is my car; Little Red, Little Red is my other car, and grand babies, H and Z, not necessarily in that order.

I think about all of the above as I step out my front door, turn a key in Putt-Putt, Putt-Putt is my golf cart, and in a few minutes, by the time I've backed out garage and motored to Sumter Square, my brain is wandered into shuffle-hop-step-step-step for tap class, and where do I get a bucket of golf balls?

The sun is out.

The air is clear and bright.

There isn't a cloud in the sky.

I turn onto Buena Vista and head north to Spanish Springs, and Staples. I've run out of business cards.

I get lost.

A couple of times.

I drive in a circle, over and over, passing men sipping beer seated at an outdoor bar, and I'm thinking they're thinking as they point in my direction, here comes that white golf cart again.

One hour later, I arrive Spanish Springs. Alleluiah!

Next, I discover if I follow Main Street, turn right at the light, follow the golf cart directly in front of me, I will find Staples.

After I complete my transaction, I retrace my journey and search for the golf cart bridge crossing over Highway 441. Imagine a bridge spanning eight lanes of traffic erected specifically for Villager golf carts only. Is there another one like it in America? The world? As I drive over it, I wonder.

On the other side is The Village of Silver Lake.

I pass bark park, archery, and green golf course. Winding the shaded golf cart path, I discover Weeping Willows, tall oaks, and fat palm trees framing streets of tidy mowed lawns with neat homes erected on them. This is The Village where it all began in the 1970s.

This evening I attended services Temple Shalom. I am welcomed, embraced and made to feel more at home than I have felt in a long time.

Dear Diary, The Villagers are wonderful.

Here's my homework assignment from today. Hope you enjoy the following photos as much as I enjoyed snapping them.

Until this time, next time.

See you in print,

Linda Della Donna

"Anonymous" from New Jersey gave me directions to Spanish Springs. Thanks, "A," wherever you are!

I don't need a sign to tell me this.

A Villager fishing in a nearby lake.

Spanish Springs decorated for the Holidays.

Happy hour starts at 3 p.m. in The Villages.

I'm not certain what this guy is, but he's friendly and he let me get close enough to snap his photo.

I love these carts.

Those white rags peeking the center of these chairs are towels. They are for wiping chairs dry in case of rain. The Villages thinks of everything.

This is The Villages golf cart bridge. It spans Highway 441. Only in America!


There are more than 500 clubs in The Villages. And Archery Club is just one of them.

Meet Sammy

Meet Sammy's Person, Chuck. Chuck is from Chicago and moved to The Villages 6 years ago. "I love it!"

An amazing view of Silver Lake.

A manufactured home in Silver Lake.

Another manufactured home.

A neighborhood in Silver Lake Village.

This home overlooks the lake and it is for sale.

This manufactured home is for sale and sits on a great lot.

More homes in The Village of Silver Lake.

Welcome to Schwartz Park.

Serenity now.

The dock overlooking the water at Schwartz Park.

These manufactured homes have the most spectacular views.

A couple of retirees taking in the sights.

I dig that yellow car.

Veteran's Park in The Villages.

Veteran's Park Memorial.

Meet Connie. Connie is new to The Villages and lives over in Tamarind Grove. We met at Temple this evening. Connie is from Missouri.

Where I was this evening.
Say good night Linda. Good night Linda.

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