Thursday, July 28, 2011

Friends and Neighbors - Gay and Straight

Bob's "vineyard" in Milton, DE 

Okay, so it's not the Loire Valley of France.  My blogger friend Walt frequently posts pictures of the beautiful grape vineyards near where he lives in France.  That to me seems like another world.  Who knew that we had a grape vineyard right in our own back yard here in Milton, Delaware!

This is a picture that I took on this hot and muggy midsummer day morning at our good friend Bob's home in Milton, DE.  Bill and I stopped over for a visit this morning to "inspect" Bob's garden after he weeded it.
Bill and Bob in Bob's vineyard

Friends like Bob is something we have down here in Delaware that we didn't have when we lived in Pennsylvania.  As much as Bill loved our home in Pennsylvania, we didn't have a social network of friends like us, old and gay.  We're past our bar hopping days.  We're no longer looking for Mr. Right.  Either we found Mr. Right (I did with Bill) or we are living out the remaining years of our life as an older, single gay man.  I think I just outed Bob, oh well.

In Pennsylvania we had neighbors, some very nice.  I had straight friend, both male and female, also very nice.  But we had no gay friends.  I know straight people take having friends for granted but just imagine straight people if you were living in a predominantly gay community and the only straight people around were in the closet.  You didn't know who they were.  Would you feel comfortable living out your remaining years in that circumstance?

Well, no offense to my straight friends and neighbors in Pennsylvania, but I feel we have a more fulfilling and complete life now that we have a social network of mostly gay friends.  Oh, I have straight friends and neighbors here in Delaware who are just wonderful and I appreciate their friendship so much.  But both Bill and I need those friends with whom we can feel totally comfortable with and let our hair down (for those of us who have hair, I'm just using this term as a metaphor).

Escaping the high Pennsylvania taxes wasn't the only reason I moved to Delaware for my retirement years. To be near the ocean wasn't the only reason I moved to Delaware.  The slow paced lifestyle wasn't the only reason I moved to Delaware. The wide open spaces wasn't the only reason I moved to Delaware.

Nope, one of the main reasons I moved to Delaware was to have a more balanced social network of friends, both gay and straight.  That wasn't possible in Pennsylvania.

Rather than constantly having to be careful what you say around your straight friends, with gay friends and especially gay friends who are of the same age group, we can be as comfortable, relaxed and happy as any retired straight couple.

Delaware has a lot going for it, and being a very gay friendly state is just one of the many reasons I knew I made the right decision to spend my retirement years in this little state on the Delmarva peninsula.

It doesn't get much better than this folks.  


Pumpkin Delight (Kimberly) said...

Glad you found a spot with a good mixture. It looks like a beautiful place to be.

Anonymous said...

I almost want to move to Delaware. But then I remembered it gets cold.

Ron said...

Pumpkin Delight,

Delaware is perfect for me. Not too much snow, not too much extreme in the weather. I like the change of seasons. To me it is "Goldielocks" weather. Not too hot, not too cold, just right.

Ron said...

Jeff (aviewfromthemeadow)

Oh, it DOES get cold down here in Delaware. Especially in January and February. Not too much snow which is just fine with me.

Ur-spo said...

Payment treat about the grapes. I hear tell every state has at least one winery. Have you ever tasted wines made in Delaware?

Amanda said...

It sounds like a great place to live and I am glad it works for you. A lot of gay couples have settled in Palm-Springs and its area. Of course, California is more liberal than other states and
I am just so happy to live here.
Los Angeles, maybe not that great but it has more advantages than inconveniences.

Ron said...

As beautiful as Pennsylania is (and it is, Bill misses it terribly), it just isn't a gay friendly state unless you live in one of the big cities like Pittsburgh or Philadelphia (which I did). I just couldn't afford the taxes anymore plus I wanted to live near the water. Now I have a network of gay friends which I would never have in Pennsylvania and I have the wonderful salt air of coastal Delaware. I love these open spaces, I can breath here!

Ron said...

Dr. Spo,
No, I haven't tasted any wines made in Delaware. I really should because there is a very famous winery just down the road from me. I'm ashamed to admit that I have yet to visit it for some wine tasting. I may just do that this summer. I'll let you know how I fare.