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Community, by Fred Sparling

Galloway Ridge boasts many talented and creative authors and writers. We are a community full of thoughtful, generous, and accomplished retirees who have chosen Galloway Ridge as their home. Residents exchange stories, share experiences, and continue to learn from one another.

Fred Sparling, a resident since 2014, describes what living is like at Galloway Ridge through this colorful short piece called Community.

Please Enjoy!

All 400 passengers on this gilded ship come from different places and backgrounds but have elected to take a final great voyage together. The trip will be long, averaging around 10 years. Eventually, we will of necessity debark, entering a realm shrouded in mystery, fearful to some and joyous to others, the subject of repeated analysis in religion, novels, and poetry. The ship is well maintained, is led capably, and has superb chefs on board. First-class health care is available. The ship is firmly moored to the land in a bucolic setting. It is the passengers who are traveling; their final journeys are guided by their hopes and their fears, each ultimately alone but comforted by spouses, family, and friends. By community.

Staff members do a wonderful job in every conceivable way in helping us on our journeys. Activities and programs of many kinds, some led by staff and some by passengers, are arranged onboard or offshore in the community. We can seek personal help as we age and can move to a closely tethered smaller ship if we need more assistance before we reach our final destination. But the primary joys come from our fellow passengers who are a remarkably talented bunch.

There is a general but unspoken agreement we are especially interesting people. Of course, there is no external evaluation to confirm this judgment, but we are confident in our self-assessment. By design, none of us is young, each has lived a long life and has accumulated many experiences and a modicum of wisdom.

The population self-assembles into many different small groups. Some are quite separate in attitude and belief, especially those based on political views, but things always remain civil. The wider world, unfortunately, suffers terribly from this problem, probably stemming from our deep history as members of different tribes, once separated by space but brought together into a much smaller modern world.

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