Well, I am not really camping but, I am indeed happy. Nothing is ever perfect, but I would have to say that I am quite satisfied with where my life is at this point. Any fear that I had about being bored in retirement had have proven to be unnecessary! I started simply. I volunteered to walk dogs at PAWS. I did for a couple of years but took this past winter off and have not found the time to go back to doing it on a regular basis.
I am not there yet, but I am on the way to becoming a "Neighborhood Advocate", in other words, a loud mouth! I live in a neighborhood where people are encouraged to move elsewhere. A neighborhood that people tell new arrivals to the city to avoid. Some people look around and see insurmountable problems. I look around and see potential.
I attend updates for the East Village Growth Cell, the East Bluff Build It Up group, the East Bluff United Neighborhood Association meetings and the board of Senior Advance at the East Bluff Community Center. I have delivered 18 "Pride in Peoria is Picking Up" signs around the neighborhood in the last couple of weeks. I only have one left in supply.
I am most pleased with my involvement with the "East Bluff News" publication and the associated Facebook page. It has proven to be a good source of information for residents and people who are interested in East Bluff activities. Four editions of the newsletter have been published thus far. It was started with a small grant from LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation). The first edition was November/December 2014. The Facebook page was started last October.
There are plans for the redevelopment of the Wisconsin Avenue Business Corridor. There are empty storefronts that need to be filled, but there are also businesses that are doing well. We are starting to work with a consultant on "branding" the East Bluff in a way that emphasizes the potential for the neighborhood to be a great place to live, work and play.
We have only just begun!