Well, we finally had our first New Resident Night after suspending them for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

While I understand how some people may still be somewhat reluctant to venture out in the public, this VHA program has always been extremely popular, and we wanted to bring it back with all the reasonable safeguards in place. It was nice to see folks and to welcome new, as well as experienced residents. The turnout was incredibly good. 

I, like most of you, dis-covered a lot of ways to cope with the separation and isolation of the last year. One way I dealt with it was by doing a lot more reading, and I found that I enjoyed it probably more than any time in my life. In my career, I had to read a lot of things, but most were trade/ technical textbooks and periodicals, legislative agendas and proposals, or other work-related pieces. In retirement I can now read anything I want so I have read novels, historical books, and I am even reading what is the Bible but written more like a novel, which is remarkably interesting. 

But I need to also mention a local writer whose column in The Villages Daily Sun is worth seeking out. Nancy Wood is a former counselor and minister who writes a great piece every Sunday in the Lifestyle section. While she probably has written this column for some time, I think I just discovered it over the last year while in lockdown. She writes about life events and makes observations that are inciteful and practical and that we can all relate to. She is never “preachy” but always uplifting. The title of her column says it all – On the Bright Side. 

Interestingly, Nancy recently wrote about The VHA Annual Awards Night where we recognized individuals and organizations whose contributions add to the richness of our community (I was privileged to be able to present one of the awards). Nancy was in attendance and she wrote about the event and how much she enjoyed it. Regrettably, I did not get a chance to meet her that night. I sure wish she had introduced herself – I would have loved the chance to thank her for her great words I read every Sunday. Maybe the opportunity will arise another time. 

Stay safe and healthy!
John Dean