February 2011
February is always a busy month for the "snowbirds" here at Palm Creek.  Our population increases to the point that the park is almost 100% occupied, meaning that we have
about 3500 residents. Combined with all the other RV parks in the area, that makes for lots of traffic in town.  But, there are many days that we never leave the park...and just
ride our bikes to participate in our activities.
Our first major event this month was the annual Cancer Awareness Project.  There were activities lasting a week to include tournaments at most of the sporting venues, a soup
supper, a 3 mile bike/walk/run event and a special evening with 4000 lighted luminarias, hot air balloons, music and food.  The weather at the beginning of the month was much
colder than usual and when Mary arrived at the tennis courts to play in the Tennis Club's Cancer Awareness Tournament, the winds were howling and the temperature was
barely above freezing.  But, it was for a good cause and it was all for fun, so the games began.  The tournament matches were played over several days and at the end of the
week, there was a pizza party to recognize all the players.
With much of  the women's tennis schedule being shifted to the afternoons this year, Mary has been able to participate more in the Sewing Guild, which has many activities in
the morning.  The group has close to 200 active members and there are always classes, activities and projects offered to keep the ladies (and a few men) interested.   Last
month we told you about the ladies making dresses for little girls in-need.  These dresses will soon be shipped to Haiti.  This month's "Quilt-Till-You-Wilt" night had a pillowcase
project.  Mary was one of a group of 40 or so ladies who made about 150 pillowcases which will be donated (with new pillows) to each new resident of the local abuse shelter.  
Then on February 19 the guild members showed off all their talents by putting on the annual Palm Creek Quilt Show.  Several hundred items were on display ranging from king
sized quilts to table toppers, clothing items, wall hangings and art quilts....amazing what can be done with a little thread and needles!
February is usually the month that the Palm Creek Residents take time to show off their various talents.  This year was no exception, and we enjoyed the displays over several
days showcasing the fine arts, quilting and pottery making.  There are so many activities available to the residents that there is not enough time to participate in them all.  At
the end of the month we enjoyed a performance of the Community Playhouse...watching some of our neighbors and tennis buddies perform in "Virgil's Family Reunion."
A second tennis tournament was on the schedule later in the month.  This one was the Palm Creek Tennis Club Annual Club Tournament.  Mary partnered with her friend Nancy
Restum.  They made it through two rounds before loosing.  But, they had fun and then didn't have to play in the nasty weather that returned for the last two days of the
tournament.
In Tom's never ending quest for a great bargain, we celebrated Valentine's Day by stopping by the "Open House" at Robson Ranch south of Casa Grande.  We were treated to
chocolate covered strawberries and flutes of sparkling apple cider, skewers of fresh fruit to dip in a chocolate fountain, fresh flowers for Mary and a photo taken on the patio.  
We even checked out the model homes and picked out our favorite....but no purchase was made!
Are we going sledding or playing tennis?  Ear muffs,
gloves, and winter coats were the dress code for Gail,
Helen and Darlene when they played tennis with Mary in
the Cancer tournament.
At least the sun was shining, but the wind and cold
weather at the pizza party found us gathered around the
big heaters.
Maintenance staff dutifully covered all the flowers each
night...the hanging baskets looked like witches hats and
the planters wore giant shower caps.  As they say, "It's
been an unusual winter!"
We had 3 beautiful balloons for the
"glow" at the Cancer Awareness
evening.
These are just a few of the 4000 luminarias that lined the
drive from the front gate to "Palm Park" in the center of the
resort.
The Palm Creek ladies made almost 200 pillowcases to
be given to the local family abuse shelter.
Our neighbor Linda Kanable is a talented artist who
displayed her work at the Fine Arts Show.
Happy Valentine's Day celebrated at the Robson Ranch.
The Palm Creek Ballroom was a busy place on the day of
the annual Quilt Show.
Many hours of work went into the individual quilts.
The star quilt is one of two made and displayed by Mary's
friend Mona.
Many different styles of work
were displayed at the pottery
show.
The cast of "Virgil's Family Reunion" had a great time
portraying a family from back-country America.
Our neighbor Connie played the
matriarch, Eloise.
Nancy Restum from Brighton, MI was Mary's partner in the
Palm Creek Tennis Club Annual Tournament.  They were
all smiles after winning their first match.
Well, they "looked good" in their matching outfits, but they
were still eliminated from the tournament after the second
match the next day.
Bill and Carole Loll are part of Mary's extended family in
Jackson, MI. They stopped by for a visit while traveling in
Arizona.
Don and Bev McGovern, former Palm Creekers from Kelowna, BC
hosted us for lunch at their Gold Canyon winter home.
Its always fun to visit with Tom's cousin, Joanne Blair and
her husband Don who also live in Gold Canyon.
We always enjoy visits with friends and family that we haven't seen for a while, so we were quite pleased to hear from "extended family" from Jackson, Michigan.  Carole and
Bill Loll left home in January and we were glad to get a call from them and have them stop by for a visit.  On another day we made a trek to Gold Canyon on the far east side of
Phoenix for a fun visit with former Palm Creek neighbors Bev and Don McGovern.  It was great to catch up with them and enjoy lunch together.  Before heading home we made
another stop to visit with Tom's cousin Joanne and her husband Don Blair.  It's always a joy to see family!  At the very end of the month we were hosts to friends Bonnie and
Don Wolfe.  Former Toledo residents, Bonnie and Don now live in Las Vegas and for the past several years have passed through Casa Grande on their winter RV "tour" of the
southwest.  Again, we enjoyed catching up on their news and taking in a few local "events."  
We can count on a great time with Bonnie and Don
whether we meet them in Toledo, Las Vegas or Casa
Grande as we all travel in our RVs.
It was a gorgeous afternoon when we went to watch the
skydivers...a planeload every 20 minutes or so made for
a colorful sky at "SkyDive AriZona" in nearby Eloy, AZ.
You can also skydive indoors at "SkyVenture AriZona"
which has a giant wind tunnel that imitates the freefall
from the planes.
These guys were practicing maneuvers in the tunnel.  
The military as well as private citizens keep the place
busy seven days a week.
March is already looking very busy, and the weather forecast is finally looking better.  We already have lots on
the calendar as our season here at Palm Creek winds down, so come back again next month.
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