In the spirit of my desire to meet different people from all walks of life and to try a wide variety of different activities and to participate in a well-rounded blend of different social events, on this past Saturday evening I went to a wonderful games night and pot luck dinner. It was sponsored by a gay friendly group of men and women from the Saint Petersburg and Tampa Bay area.
The event was held at a beautiful place called the Cordoba and Beach Park Clubhouse in an upscale condo development in Tampa. From the minute I walked in the door, I felt so welcome by this group of warm and wonderful people. It was so easy for me to connect in some way with everyone that I conversed it. These folks came from all walks of life and professions. There were some that were retired military (like me) or that previously worked for the Department of Defense in Washington DC where I previous lived when I was stationed at the Pentagon. There were some that were lawyers, doctors or in other medical professions, there were some with an information technology or advertising background and there was even a few folks that worked at the VA where I get my healthcare from and one that was a nurse who worked at the Moffitt Cancer Center where Terry previously received his care. They were couples that have been together for a long time, just like Terry & I had been and there were others that were single or windowed, just like I am now. Most of these folks reside in the greater Saint Petersburg or Tampa area and in my conversations, they offered me some greater insight about the area and let me know of some other activities that the group has planned in the next few months such as a kayaking adventure, hiking excursion, cheese and wine tasting party and attending next month’s Second Saturday evening Artwalk Gallery event in downtown Saint Petersburg (with complimentary hors d’oeuvres and wine of course!) There were also a couple of people there that grew up in Massachusetts within 10 miles from where I grew up and there was even a couple that moved here in the past year from the Dallas, TX area, just about 15 miles from where Terry and I previously lived. As I said, it seemed that I could associate in some way or another with almost every individual that I met there.
A girl at the social who was also originally from Massachusetts, told me about a sailboat event that happens each week on the Tampa Bay at a location very close to where I live on MacDill. She said I can participate as a crewmember on one of the sailboats and then after the sailing there is a really nice clubhouse at the marina where I can get a drink or two and participate in after sail social event there. This sounded really intriguing to me as I used to sail many years ago each Sunday on the San Francisco Bay with a nurse who had a sailboat who worked at the same Army hospital that I previously worked at right at the foothills of the San Francisco Bay back in the late 70’s. It would be fun to do this again here! My new friend said that she is going to text me in the next day or two all the details.
The food that folks brought was phenomenal and the deserts were to die for ! The host for this event even had orchestrated several raffles where a few lucky individuals (but not me) won bottles of wine and other unique and fun prizes. I really enjoyed the camaraderie of this group and will definitely be participating in other events with them. They were a really great group of people and the showing for this event was over 70 people!
At the end of the evening there was so much food left over. Some folks took back home with them the remaining food they brought, while others just left the items there to either be taken by anyone that wanted them or to be ultimately disposed of. Since there were so many desserts as well as main course dishes, I decided that after helping with the clean up of the clubhouse, I would take several of the unopened desserts and on my way back to MacDill Air Force Base I would offer them to the airman working overnight manning the security gates on the base and also to bring some desserts to the military policy and firemen crews on the base pulling standby duty. If was better to share these items with these deserving folks than to just see out the items in the trash. Needless to say they airmen and standby crews were very appreciative to me for providing them these treats and I felt so good about doing it in appreciation of their dedicated service to us all.
Have a great rest of your week.