Tag Archives: Woodstock Georgia


th-1.jpegThe other day I was at my gym (NO, this is not the beginning of a joke)…

I began thinking about how my gyms and memberships had changed so drastically over these coming of age years.  So drastically that I really had to laugh at the whole gym thing.

In Woodstock, we have quite a few very nice and ‘expensivey’ gyms close by the house.  We have LA Fitness, Lifetime Fitness, Golds Gym, One Life Fitness, 24/7 gym, and many other smaller storefront gyms. I could really walk to a few BUT who wants to walk and get exercise when I can join a gym and pay good money to get exercise?

I have had lots of gym memberships over the years beginning at 40 when we lived in Phoenix. I loved it.  The gym was new and it had childcare!  Praise the Lord!  I could go exercise and my children were happy!  All was right with the world.  I was happy.  They were happy.  We always had a McDonalds run afterward.  Really doesn’t get much better than that.

That was the year I thought my body would start falling apart!  WHAT?  Was I kidding??  At 40 your body starts to fall apart??  What a joke.  Can you say NOT!  Anyway, I loved the gym and I loved working out at 40.  Thinking about that workout now, I am getting very tired.  I think I need a nap.

When we moved from Arizona to Marietta, Georgia I joined another gym.  A few years had gone by.  MANY years had actually gone by.  Somehow my energy level had wained a bit.  I wasn’t that much older (or was I?) so what was going on?  The exercise was more difficult and I didn’t enjoy it much.  I needed a diversion.

For the next years, I was in and out of gym memberships.  I would join and maybe go once a week and then the weeks mounted between visits!  I wasn’t feeling it at all.  After paying for a gym month after month I yelled…”Enough!”  I hate this.  The thrill was gone.  Too many people were so serious about weight lifting and running on treadmills.  I started noticing that the majority of the members were actually younger than me.  OMG.  Was I getting ‘older’?  Say it ain’t so…

There was a tennis period when I lived and breathed only tennis.  People, never mess with tennis in the Atlanta area.  ALTA is serious business.  Tennis was like a gym membership.  I may even get back on the court IF my knees are up to it?  Who am I kidding???

We are now in the here and now.  My husband actually signed me up for a membership at a…wait for it…a GYM.  All through the holidays as I was enjoying all those holiday goodies, as well as lots of vino, I knew a gym would, once again, be in my future.  All I can say is “Damn” (again).

Planet Fitness.   It is very much like going to an Early Bird Special for Senior citizens minus the food of course.  Their motto is “The Judgement Free Zone”.  I think I have found a home.  ‘Young people’ at the front desk make you feel welcome, warm and cozy even. There are 30-minute circuit rooms including an intense one that is for anybody but me.  A trainer 24/7 but I have yet to actually see him.

As gym memberships come and go through the years, for this one Senior Classer,  I realize that my main goal now…is to just keep this body moving at all costs.  Very simple really.  Just keep moving it!  OMG, the pain.




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Unknown-4.jpegUnsure why it is but I have a newfound love of trains.

My children still tell me that one of their best vacation memories was the trip we took on the Crescent from Atlanta to New York City so many years ago.

The sleeping quarters were cramped to be sure but we never hesitated to laugh over it…then and now.

Living in downtown Woodstock, Georgia, the train tracks were just about in our building’s front entrance. I came to just love when a train would slowly crawl down the tracks.

When I was lucky enough to be relaxing in the park-like atmosphere across the street and a train would blow its whistle, my spirits would rise and excitement grew.

I was like a child.  More to the point I became like my grandchildren when they, too, saw a train.  Eyes would light up and a broad smile would appear as they pointed to the train!  It was the highlight of their day.  Maybe, just mine.

The barricades would come down as if shouting “STOP” and “BEWARE”.  Bells would ring.  Be careful all train lovers.  Relax, enjoy, watch and listen.

Whistles would whistle and the conductor would look ahead but once in a great while he would do a bit of a wave to the children who congregated near the barricade.  The climax of the experience to be sure since every child would believe that the conductor waves a special hello to them only.  Most certainly the children believed this and, perhaps, many adults as well.

Today, the day after Irma sauntered through the Atlanta area, I hear train after train moving through Woodstock.  Whistle after whistle.  Six so far.  They were backed up I suspect in Atlanta and must make up for lost time.  The trains and their conductors rested yesterday due to weather conditions.

Exciting day and I wish my Grandchildren could be here listening with me.  I find I am the lucky one since we live close to the tracks.  There is no ‘wrong side of the tracks’ for me.  The closer the better.

For now, I will enjoy.  “I hear the train a coming’ round the bend…”*  Here comes another train!

I hear that sweet sounding whistle.



*FOLSOM PRISON BLUES by Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash

The Crescent on the Amtrak line runs from Penn Station in New York City to New Orleans making about 33 stops across 13 States with daily departures both ways.  Relax…it takes about 30 hours in total.  I highly recommend the journey from Atlanta to New York City.

Train travel in Europe is customary.  It is sad to think that in the U.S. it is not.  Amtrak has been close to closing down many of their routes.  In fact, the budget proposal is worrisome.  Many routes may be eliminated making cross country passenger rail a thing of the past.





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LESSON #34 – Downsizing…Way Down


We did it!  We took the plunge and FINALLY downsized.  Boy, did we ever.  We ‘graduated’ to a small one bedroom condo in the middle of a small walkable little downtown area of small town USA.  I think that describes our little town of Woodstock located North of Atlanta.

Population 23,865 (but who’s counting?), 30 miles to Atlanta, 30 miles to the North Georgia mountains and, hence, two hours from the lake house we will continue to enjoy, 35 miles from the international airport and 12 miles to a good hospital (just in case).

You may recall I shared our search for a home to be closer to our children and grands.  How long have we been looking?  For many moons.  Houses (with master on main), townhouses with lots of steps, retirement communities, golfing communities, log cabin communities, ocean communities, lake communities, riverfront communities, condos and more condos……I think that’s it.  It’s been a journey.

This journey has ended.  We FINALLY decided we did not want to take care of another lawn or a house and we were done.  NO!  Not another one. DONE with that. Nor did I want to clean a large abode. Again I say…..DONE!  Our better judgment took over.

We are in the middle of trying to settle in.  Also, I find that I did not sell enough nor   give away or thrown away nearly enough STUFF when we moved out of our home home.  PURGE people!  When you think you are finished.  Look again and purge some more.  Nightmare!  Goal now is to empty our storage unit.

It feels like home….NOT.  However, I love our little town of Woodstock, established in 1897, with its many restaurants, bistros, boutiques, home flavor bars,  flower shop, weekend farmer markets, nail and hair salons, artsy craftsy stores, amphitheater, 3 miles of walking trails with more miles to come,  free entertainment, festivals, fairs, a no fare trolley, a brewery, community theatre…….I think that’s it…..oooh and an Ace hardware.  The best part of this all is everything is within walking distance of our little condo.  We have always wanted to live in a small town and walk to everything important and here we are.  Not 100 percent truthful.  Fact is I always dreamed of living in Manhattan, a not so small town,  up above it all with an elevator directly to our flat!  Trump move over.  No such luck.  This may be second best.

Furniture.  Need some.  The prices of couches have changed since I last shopped for one and I have decided I am not buying a couch that will last longer than I will.  El cheapo..no.. but not too expensive either.  In between.  That is the way to go for me.  So, perhaps, in five years I can change it out for another.  Size of the furniture is important also.  No longer may I use that seven foot buffet that I loved so much in my last house.  Small scale.

But here I am.  The world is my oyster.  The neighbors are extremely nice, people on the sidewalks in our little town are very nice. Bartenders and hostesses may get to know us and say, “Hi Bob, Hi Leigh”…..”Sometimes you want to go to where everybody knows your name.”

So, now what?  Get settled and live.  Enjoy my children who are now living closer than before.  Take advantage of what my new little town has to offer.  Maybe take a course at the local community college which is also walkable!

BUT WAIT.  Truth be told.  I am feeling a little out of my element.  Not settled in my soul. Small decisions are difficult and I’m a bit unsure of myself.  Oh, who’s kidding.  A lot unsure of myself.  Is this what happens to those of us in our golden years?  Or is it because choices are fewer and time is of the essence and not for wasting on these frivolous unimportant decisions?  I wonder.

Wish me luck in our new home!


“You make what seems to be a simple choice:  

Choose a man or a job or a neighborhood–

and what you have chosen is not a man or a job

or a neighborhood, but a life”

                                               Writer, Jessamyn West




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