Dinner with my CondoSeniors — Daffodils and Pot Roast STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROBERT NEFF

Friday, Feb 24, 2017 — St. Petersburg, Florida.

Tonight was pot roast for eight. Would have been ten but one couple decided to visit friends in Cape Coral. Twelve seniors and family is nothing out of the ordinary for them!

To set the table, my CondoSeniors shared a great trick. Move the chairs away from the table.

On the dock below, our Canadians always gather for sunset. Usually it's a full house but the Snowbird Senior Hockey League has a match tonight.

When on the porch, always good to survey the water. Might see manatees.

Also, it's a good idea to turn around and see the sailboat going by. Top of the mast is higher than the floor.

Our Canadians arrived at 6 PM sharp with wine. But one had to go over to get the rest of the CondoSeniors because I forgot to tell them to come half hour early.

Would have not gone after them but they had the bubbly and orange juice for mimosas.

The feta spread from Trader Joe's is proof sampling works! Normally my CondoSeniors are very good about positioning the brand name for me.

The pot roast was on the counter My CondoSeniors were trying to imagine what life was like before crock pot liners were invented. Then they were trying to imagine what life was like before the crock pot.

Everyone had arrived and the gluten free pretzels were making the rounds. They are very popular and go fast.

"Walker" parking is along the wall. I am the parking valet too.

They kept asking if I took a picture of the daffodils. They bought them at Trader Joes. Everyone had a story a daffodil story growing up. One used to cut and share them with neighbors. Only thing, she never told her parents who always wondered what happened to them. That is, until one year, mom saw her cutting the daffodils.

The conversation is always lively. No shortage of conversation. One was born in 1950 and just announced that he got his first social security check!

Next story was about how they all graduated high school and still could not figure out Medicare, and how to do their taxes! One quipped, Don't think Congress can do their own taxes either. Another added, Probably don't know what Medicare GAP insurance is. If you live past 80, you definitely need it! Another added, Just get seniors and everyone on same healthcare that Federal employees have! Without asking, everyone raised their glasses!

One of the Canadian said their dad is best with iron. That was his job when they were growing up/ Said he was proud of it. Told a story about the time he put a crease in his girl's jeans. She flipped out and said, No one does creases! He still hears about that. Now he is retired, and only buys clothes you don't have to iron. He's trying to remember which decade he last ironed?

I was busy refilling everyone's glass. Had to cut short how much orange juice I used for each glass. that was the only carton. No worries on the bubbly,. They brought several bottles. If we run out, I just go to another condo and ask for a cold one.

When dinner was announced, I had to get the Divas' walker to go from the kitchen to the porch. Rumor was she had too much bubbly.

Salad is a normal start to dinner!

I'm back in the kitchen to put the pot roast on serving plates.

About a pound was kept in reserve in the kitchen. It ended up being put on the table. Didn't last long.

We were standing around dipping our bread in the juice. Till we were asked where were our manners. It was worth it!

I was asked to pull the cake out of the refrigerator. The baker was not thrilled when I slipped, caught myself before the top layer went flying onto the floor. I recovered. I thought the cake recovered and looked great. Obviously, the baker did not share my opinion.

My CondoSeniors bring over the Nespresso machine on the walker. I am in charge of coffee.

The cake was a big hit. If you want to see how it was made, read the story.

They weren't happy when I took off the top layer with the chocolate! I think they waited for me to take the shot before they poked me. They never miss. That is why it's blurry.

After dinner, they sit around the table and talk, while I do dishes. One of the visiting kids, who is my age, was explaining the paleo diet. I can't repeat the comments here.

Divas are 95, 93. Tonight they were explaining life on farm and how food was really prepared. Said their great-grand kids are clueless what farm-to-table really is.

The Canadians were telling us why Floridians use a crock pot and they use a dutch oven. When it is subzero in Canada, the dutch oven is on the stove, which helps to heat the house! That story made my CondoSeniors shiver. Had to grab a couple blankets.

One of our Canadian's kids told a story of mom taking her to Coyote Ugly in Nashville when she was 14. Could not get into the place. Had to stand by the door and watch her mom dance on the bar! Now that she is over 21, she wants to go back and dance on the bar.

Everyone's telling stories about their kids, grand kids and great-grand kids. I'm taking notes. The information comes in handy when you are at the bar.

In the shot below, the dishes are not out of focus. I was focused on the champagne flute. Had to finish the bubbly so the bottle could be recycled. Priorities!

One of our CondoSeniors is a recycling fanatic. The local recycling center knows when he goes back to Michigan and when he returns.

He comes around every night to pick up the empties. In this shot someone thanked him with whipped cream and extra dessert. He gets a lot of leftovers too.

This is my fridge. They shop and stock, cook every night and I do dishes. This is the least amount of room in refrigerator since I moved here! I bought the yogurt. I also bought the lingonberry jam from Ikea. It's in there somewhere.

BONUS PHOTO:  We gather on the porch to watch the storms roll up Tampa Bay.

Enjoy more stories and images of what I get to enjoy everyday!

Purchase Robert Neff's Photography online at Saatachi Art, Adobe Stock Photography and Fotolia. If you see a photograph that is not there, let me know. I can add the image.

Venice, Italy. 2007

Condo Seniors and Driving The Divas are trademarks registered in the US Patent and Trademark Office.

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Robert Neff
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