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Living the lake life

April E. Clark
April in Glenwood
April Clark
Staff Photo |

I like to daydream about being retired. I imagine a lot of water aerobics, afternoon naps, and Early Bird meatloaf dinners at the local diner.

A girl can dream.

Solely based on the status my 401k, the chances of me retiring anywhere close to 65 is slim-to-none. Luckily in life, anything can happen to change that. Hopefully for me it’s in the next 23 years. The $90 million Colorado lottery story out of Rifle is factual proof that a golden nest egg can hatch when we least expect it.

I should probably start playing to increase my odds.

Then I slow danced to “True” by Spandau Ballet with a guy named Jerry. He happened to be driving by on his own golf cart.

Over the weekend, I sampled the life of a retiree at a recreational lake community in southern Indiana. The RV resort with 700 lots near Patoka Lake had everything I need in life. There were friendly neighbors who wave when passing by on their golf carts. There was a pool, putt-putt, hot showers, tennis and horseshoes. And my favorite: bingo on Saturday nights.

That’s one way to fund my retirement.

Not everyone in the RV park was retired, although they may have been daydreaming about it like me. There were many families taking the weekend to get away and enjoy a break from the routine of 9 to 5 and back-to-school homework. Kids rode their self-propelled scooters up and down the hilly landscape. Moms and dads traded their cell phones for card games and conversation with lake friends. I sent one text in an entire weekend.

I’m definitely not complaining.

Playing card games, riding around on the golf cart and waving, and floating on Patoka Lake on the pontoon boat were all part of a ladies’ weekend away with four girlfriends who earned every minute of it. Between them, they have seven kids, all 15 and younger, most heading into their teen years faster than their mothers would like.

Raising teenagers would force me into early retirement.

There were many highlights of the weekend, including a bunch of one-liners and inside jokes we began writing down so we could remember them all. Everyone ended up with a nickname. Security came by on a golf cart and suggested we keep our volume to a minimum after we sang along to “Believe” by Cher with a little too much fervor. Then I slow danced to “True” by Spandau Ballet with a guy named Jerry. He happened to be driving by on his own golf cart.

Spandau Ballet is hard to resist.

Saturday night, we ate dinner at one of the town’s few restaurants where PBRs were only $1.50 and the regulars didn’t seem to enjoy my Peyton Manning Broncos jersey. I ordered fried chicken livers, tricking one of my friends into eating one when she thought it was a piece of my fried chicken.

For the record, she did not think it tasted like chicken.

We sang “Pour Some Sugar on Me” in karaoke, which didn’t seem to impress the serious crooners in the bar who were no strangers to the Eagles’ “Desperado” and any song by LeAnn Rimes. I overheard a man tell another, “I only sing George Jones or John Mellencamp.” I had the feeling I wasn’t in Colorado anymore.

Mellencamp is like a national hero around these parts.

The laid-back culture of lake life spoke to me during the weekend. I liked the patios with fire pits and chairs circling them. I enjoyed the laughter coming from the porches with party lights. I even found a cute little white place with a screened-in porch I envisioned as a nice, relaxing writer’s get-away where I could listen to Cher and Spandau Ballet to my heart’s content. I liked the idea of having a place to get away to that’s far from fast paced.

And closer to retirement.

One place named their spot the Beerhive, and I was a little sad it was already taken. If I had a lake house, I might call it the Bumblebeer. Driving around on the golf cart, I also noticed the fun signage that comes along with lake lot ownership. Wind chimes and lawn gazing globes are also hot commodities. My favorite signs included “The best things in life aren’t things,” “It’s 12 o’clock somewhere,” and my favorite, “50 Shades of Blue.” That one was from a University of Kentucky fan. I originally thought it was a reference to retirement.

Where do I sign up?

April E. Clark sees herself chairing her retirement community’s social committee. She can be reached at aprilelizabethclark@gmail.com.


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