February
2010
As predicted, our calendar for the month of February was a busy one.  Both of us maintained our daily commitments of either golf or tennis, our volunteer
activities, weekly card games and frequent afternoon get-togethers with friends and neighbors.  And  then we threw in a few special activities...
Each year Palm Creek sponsors a Cancer Awareness Week.  Most of the organized groups within the park participate in some way to contribute to the overall
theme of the event.  Mary and her partner, Marg Wildeman, competed in the Women's Tennis Tournament.  On Friday evening, February 5, about 4000 luminaries
were lit, lining the half-mile boulevard from the front gate to the park, and around the walking paths, at the center of the resort.  We walked the paths enjoying
the soft lights and music along with hot chocolate and cookies while visiting with friends.
Don and Bonnie Wolfe, our friends (and former Toledoans) who live in Las Vegas, have visited us several times over the years here at Palm Creek.  We had
dinner waiting for them on their arrival in Casa Grande on February 6th.  It was great to have almost a week to catch up with them and enjoy some time together.  
The four of us attended the annual "Running of the Gourds" at the Pinal County Fairgrounds.  The variety of sizes and shapes of gourds is totally amazing - and
what the artists and crafters can do with them is even more amazing.....carved, painted, crafted into wall hangings, lamps, Christmas tree ornaments....you name it!
 
Next on our agenda were some family visits with some unusual highlights.  First was the 11th birthday of our granddaughter, Close Ann.  We were at the
neighborhood "happy hour" celebrating Valentine's Day - which is also Close's birthday, when our cell phone rang...inviting us to share cake and ice cream and
sing Happy Birthday.  We quickly went back to our RV, booted up the computer and with the magic of "SKYPE" we were able to sit right at the table and share
the celebration.  It's hard to believe she's 11!                Our second family visit was a surprise visit by Mary's cousin, Vonjia and her husband Scott Thorson on
February 16.  Vonjia and Scott live in Anchorage, Alaska and we hadn't seen them since we visited there in 2001.  They were on a little R&R trip and had flown to
Phoenix the week before, where they picked up their Harley-Davidson motorcycle and had taken a road trip to Southern California and the Palm Springs area,
Las Vegas and back to Casa Grande.  We enjoyed sharing family news and each others' latest adventures on their overnight stay.
Mary and Marg Wildeman of Fort Langley, BC survived a
play-off to win first place in the Cancer Awareness Tennis
Tournament.
Many of the 4000 luminaries in the park on our Cancer
Awareness evening had been decorated by residents in
honor or memory of family and friends affected by cancer.
Don and Bonnie Wolfe, up close and personal, with one of the
mascots at the "Running of the Gourds."
Tom and Don checking out the "raw" gourds for sale.  What
could they do with these???
Just one of the examples of what can be done with a gourd....a
little carving and a little paint can do wonders!
Bonnie and Don surprised us by showing up in their new RV...a  
40 foot - 2007 Monaco Diplomat with four slides...pretty classy!!!
Sharing the birthday celebration with Close Ann and the McCurdys
via "Skype" on our computer screen.  Our view of them is
at the top of the screen and what they see of us is in the small
picture at the bottom.
Scott and Vonjia rode off into the sunrise, heading to
Scottsdale after an overnight visit with us.
As you might imagine, the population of an RV park is constantly changing.  Over the past several years our neighborhood has had its share of new residents
and some of our favorite friends have moved on.  We had a reunion of sorts one afternoon when three pairs of former neighbors all stopped by at the same
time.  That called for a big "happy hour."  We all enjoyed visiting with Art and June Nelson, Judy Grove and Arne Hawkins, and Bev and Don McGovern.
The official "season" is winding down here at Palm Creek.  That means that all the folks who have been pursuing their hobbies have created projects to
show off to the rest of us.  We really have a lot of talented and busy people here in our park.  So, the showcase events have started.  First was the "Quilt
Show."  Besides making lots of quilts for family and friends, these ladies have made numerous quilts and matching pillowcases that have been donated to
Veteran's organizations, the Neonatal unit at the hospital, and the local Abuse shelter.   Unfortunately, we didn't win the beautiful quilt that was raffled off at
the show.                  The Pottery Workshop always puts on a lovely display as well.  The crafters in this group made everything from jewelry, to wall art, to
functional kitchen and dining ware to just plain decorative pieces...in all sizes, shapes and colors.  They even offer a number of pieces for sale. (But, living
in a 350 sq. ft. house on wheels, we had to pass on purchases.)
Another group of residents enjoy performance arts.....and our playhouse group put on a production called "Live! An Old-Fashioned Radio Show."  We
were the live audience for episodes of some of the old favorite shows we used to listen to on the radio.  We watched as the performers changed their
characters with their voices, added sound effects and helped us imagine the adventures of "Sgt. Preston of the Yukon," "The Bickersons" and "Baby
Snooks and Daddy."  And what show would not have been complete without those commercials for J-E-L-L-O, Pepsodent, Doublemint gum, and Hamm's
beer?
The circle grows as more neighbors arrive.  About 25 of us gathered to
visit with former neighbors.
We've never gotten very close to them, but these guys have "buzzed"
our happy hours several times lately with their "motorized tricycles
with a kite."
This is just a small part of the Palm
Creek Quilters display.
Again...just a small part of the displays of the
Pottery group.
This is the work of one of our
tennis buddies, Rex Fetzer.
Our friend, Connie Shafer, played Baby Snooks, and
her mother was played by a tennis buddy, Rita Yates
"on the radio."
Connie has performed with
the playhouse group for
several years and really
enjoys it.
Like much of the country, we watched quite a few of the Olympic Games broadcasts on television.  Being surrounded by Canadians here in the park,
we were aware, not only of the US perspective, but that of the Canadians, especially those who live near the Vancouver area.  We've learned a lot
more about hockey and curling, especially, in the last several weeks.....complete with 'play-by-play' explanations during the broadcasts.
We gathered around the Canadian's outdoor TV screen to watch,
cheer and learn the details of the gold-medal curling match.
We had almost 4" of rain in February...almost twice as much as
they had in all of 2009.  At least we didn't have to shovel any of
that white stuff....and we had a beautiful rainbow one day.
We're looking to a warmer and drier month of March...and we
know it will be a busy one!
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