There is, at some point, a line whereby good taste moves into bad. There are value meters operating in everyone’s head at any given time with rating needles moving from one to ten, good to bad, up or down simultaneously within many categories. The Happy Trails Resort is above 5 but less than 10 on most of my scales. Yard decorations at Happy Trails, however, score ten and a half.. There are carved wooden bears that welcome you with open arms. There are pink flamingos that have eschewed the Florida Everglades for dry desert vistas. There are little plastic ducks circling the inside of birdbaths. There is Golf Ball Man waiting for his next shot, cow skulls painted like a woman’s nails, plastic flower gardens, wooden birds whose tails rotate as wind direction changes. Makeshift clotheslines reach across carports and golf carts are pulled into driveways as the preferred mode of transportation. Such devil may care decorating brings the best and worst  from Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Oregon, Washington, California. Saquaro cactus stand tall and in the evenings look like silent sentinels waiting for an Indian attack. There are stories from residents of bobcat sightings and unwary house cats being carried off in the clamped jaws of coyotes, never to be seen again. Ages here hover around 70 and real estate signs pepper each street. Few snowbirds stay through the summer with heat over a hundred and ten degrees. Those that do come out only in early morning or late evening. The rest of the day they spend checking stock portfolios, calling kids and grand kids, and fixing light meals in microwave ovens. When you get old you don’t want to move randomly or carelessly. You want to hunker down in a gated community and keep a loaded pistol on your nightstand.
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