Swan Lake Glossary

IMG_8459Welcome to Shel Harrington, the Oklahoma Women Bloggers Blogger of the Month for June! Shel is a Family Law attorney in Oklahoma City, originally from Michigan (ya hey! I do love my fellow transplanted northerners), and her favorite thing to blog about is how NOT to get divorced.

She also blogs on a site about the trials and tribulations of growing older and keeping fit. She’s got a great sense of humor and I know you’ll have fun learning more about Shel this month!

School’s out and we’re on the south side of Memorial Day – summer has unofficially arrived! Many will be perusing travel magazines in search of the perfect summer vacation local. Those of us at this certain age don’t need to figure out where we want to go. We’re headed home to visit our senior citizen parents in neighborhoods that have streets named after tropical birds or exotic plants. These places are generally not included in the tourist books, so it’s up to us to navigate for ourselves. Let me help you out with that. If  your next vacation is taking you to the land of sunshine, beaches and retirees, here’s a glossary to help you interact with the natives.shel post 1


  • Dr. Phil Nap – When I first heard this term, I assumed that Dr. Phil had shared some psychological benefits from taking an afternoon power nap. I was mistaken. A “Dr. Phil Nap” is when the woman turns on Dr. Phil which results in the man going to take a nap.
  • Flexible Meal Time – Breakfast at 8:00 a.m., lunch at noon, and dinner at 5:00 p.m. The flexible part? If you miss those times you may microwave leftovers at your convenience.
  • Dancing the Night Away – The posted description of a scheduled event at the clubhouse. It’s usually on a Friday from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Dancing to the canned music is optional.
  • Go Carts – Short for “go get the golf cart” – the major mode of transportation in the neighborhood.
  • Noodling – Floating around the pool on a brightly colored styrofoam cylinder that was purchased at “the Walmart.” (Not to be confused with any sort of fishing, cuddling, or pasta making) When not in use, it is shaped like a rainbow in the back of the golf cart.
  • “It’s 10:22” – Bedtime. That is the precise time the newscast has finished up with current events and the weather. The night has officially ended.
  • Christmas Parade – A procession of decorated, lit up golf carts meandering through the neighborhood which stop periodically for the occupants sing Christmas Carols and accept liquid cheer. It does not have to be December for this to occur.
  • “We have a commitment” – Lawrence Welk is on so don’t even think about calling or dropping by.
  • Swan Lake Salute* – The gesture made by residents when they encounter each other. It consists of cupping a hand behind their ear and generally coincides with an uttered: “ay?”

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*Added by my 90-year-old, Swan Lake resident father after he reviewed my list. I thought it was a helpful addition.

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  1. Peggi Tustan says:

    Love it, Shel! It’s a sign of true community when they create their own language. I’ve lived in my neighborhood 31 years, and we definitely have an Old Brooklyn (neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio — not N.Y.) dialect. 🙂

    By the way, Dad looks great for 90. My father will be 95 in July!

    • Thanks for visiting me here, Peggi! Ohio, aye? I was raised in southern Michigan – we were practically neighbors!

      Who knew 90 could look like that? My folks have REALLY changed how I think about aging. Happy almost birthday to your dad – I hope he is doing well.
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