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Finding Friends at Bingo

Dear Aunt Bingo:
My husband, Larry, passed away some years ago and my kids are all grown and scattered around the country living their busy lives. Because of this, when I reached retirement age in 2017, I decided to make a huge change and sell my house and move to Arizona—a place Larry and I had travelled to several times and had discussed maybe retiring to one day.
It was a really big step for me: The town where I lived was all of eight miles away from the town where I was born, and I had lots of friends and wonderful support in Michigan. But I also had spinal issues, back problems and achy joints that made six months out of the year really hard to manage. My doctor strongly recommended that I move to a warmer, dryer area for the sake of my health and wellbeing.
I discussed the idea with my kids, who were all for it, and with my friends in Michigan, who hated the idea of seeing me leave but understood I’d be healthier if I did. Plus, as one friend said, if I didn’t like it, there was nothing wrong with packing up and returning.
My kids helped me shop for housing. I chose one of the condo developments relatively close to Phoenix because I wanted to be near a city, but not too near. I was super nervous when moving day finally came, but within a week I was in my new home with all my stuff and pretty relieved and proud that I’d made such a big change.
Every day I would venture out to get familiar with the area and get more comfortable with my new home. Overall I was happy with everything, except that I began to regret that I hadn’t chosen one of the senior community settings, which had built in activities and places for meeting people and making new friends. I was getting a little lonely.
One day I picked up a small community newspaper at the food store, which I figured would have listings for things going on around town. One of the first ads I spotted was for Bingo right up the street from me. I hadn’t played Bingo since forever, and decided to go.
It turned out to be a small charity Bingo in an activity hall and there were a lot of players my age. I bought my Bingo paper and dobbers and sat at an empty table. After several minutes, two ladies came to my table and asked if the seats were free and I said yes and they sat down.
One of them asked me if I was new to the Bingo hall because she didn’t recall seeing me there before. I said that I was new to Bingo and the area and explained that I’d just moved here. They were very kind and welcoming, and it turned out that one of them lived in the same condo development I did.
We chatted throughout Bingo and walked together back to the development afterward. I was very excited and happy when they invited me to join them for lunch the following day. And just like that, thanks to a quick trip to Bingo, I met two of my dearest new Arizona friends who are helping me settle into my new home.
So I am writing today to share my experience and encourage people who want to meet new people and maybe make some new friends to take a look around the Bingo hall. It worked for me!
Connie F., Arizona

Dear Connie:
Congratulations on your new life adventure!   
As I’m writing this, it is cold and gray outside and there’s a foot of fresh Northeast snow on the ground. Needless to say, it makes me want to pack my bags and grab the next flight to sunny Arizona!
Your letter makes an important point—along with chasing those cash jackpots, Bingo really is a great opportunity for getting out of the house, doing something social and possibly making a new friend or two along the way. I highly recommend it! —Aunt Bingo

Share your views! Write to Aunt Bingo c/o the Bingo Bugle, P.O. Box 527, Vashon, Washington 98070, or email her at Be sure to include your name and address (you can request that your name not be published), as typically she will not include anonymous letters in her columns.

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