Being leery of moving to a 55+ community, I am only 60 after all, I have found this is just right for me/us. We have reduced our carbon footprint to half, we have reduced our mortgage to half, and we have met some of the neighbors. Some are incredibly friendly while others are hunched grumpies.
Being a dog owner I have the extra advantage to meet fellow owners and chat. We are a very friendly group as we take after our four-footed companions, with a happy hello and wag of our tails. Our leashed companions are a good starting point for our introductions. "Oh how cute." "Be nice." "What are their names?" "Oh, I am ____." (Our identities an incidental just like when we had our children at the park. "I am so-and-so's mom").
Here are the folks in our little community: Doreen with her tiny Yorkie girl, Tiffany. Lives next door and I am charmed by her British accent and her incredible twinkle-in-the-eye whit. Carol, on the other side, more practical and definitely plays by the rules. Ruth and Gordon, also new additions to the neighborhood, Pug owners with Pugsley and Peppa (father and son bullies). Fidel and his wife a few houses up and happy walkers/owners of Mickie Jean, a cute little black and white mix with her skip in her step. Pam and her Schnauzer, Sadie. Vivian, from South Africa and her Schnauzer, Bungie that has the cutest hoppity-prance you have ever seen. Susan, another Brit and her gray-faced pug. All met while on our walk-sniff, pee-sniff, bark-sniff rounds in the early evening. I have even met some without a canine companion, Sally with her sprig of rosemary in hand, just out to get a stretch of the legs and some fresh air.
So, here is the lesson: Want to get to know more of your neighbors.....get a dog.