Yesterday I joined Team Reach, an App for Buttonwood Bay Snowbirds containing running comments by residents, a list of upcoming events, random photos contributed by residents, a list of members (176) and a message capacity to some or all members. What’s odd about my admission to this fold is that when we arrived here last November, I declined to Join because I knew I had no intention to participate in the social gatherings of the members of Buttonwood Bay. It wasn’t because I don’t enjoy the people here (I adore chatting by the pool or along the laneway when tricycling or in the occasional private confabs we’ve enjoyed). My reluctance was primarily motivated by the experiences we have had at other resorts (most recently Longboat Key and before that Hilton Head Island) where the gatherings were predictably noisy, involving alcohol and food I didn’t care for and most importantly people with whom I had no immediate or foreseeable currency. This I know sounds decidedly curmudgeonly but the frank reason is I have by design abandoned venues which are predominantly of a persuasion contrary to my own. Certainly I know that by the application of some effort I can acquaint myself with anyone but I am unconvinced of the utility of the effort at this late stage of my life.

All this apparent foresight – or at least a good deal of it – was this morning quashed. While perusing the site generally I discovered how easily one can add a photo to that particular section.  This was especially meaningful to me for two reasons; one, for the past five months I have on occasion sent photos to the group leader (who initiated my first acquaintance with Team Reach) but without any response whatsoever; and two, the photos (a number of which I added) represented my way of connecting with the site, a way which for me felt worthwhile.

What makes my alliance with Team Reach partly comical is that I initiated it not at the beginning of our sojourn here but rather at the end, just as everybody around us is leaving to return home.  Most of the residents here linger for less than six months as we are doing.  Once again from past experience we are familiar with the stock three month limit of the season for most people.  The two residents on either side of us have been here for five months and are now preparing to pack and leave. Accordingly the photos which I added this morning to the Team Reach App were those which portrayed empty and somewhat mournful snaps of the local environment (such as the one below).

I also transformed an existing Team Reach photo to one with a frame (the featured image above for this entry), capturing a number of members on a visit to the “sand bar” on the ocean side of Key Largo.

This small personal event is illustrative I believe of a broader scope; that is, there are many people such as myself who derive particular connection through their own preferences and expressions. Recognizing those preferences and expressions is a matter of dual exigency; that is, the individual and the group have an obligation to contribute. I consider it fortuitous that things have evolved this way notwithstanding their tardiness.