February 2013
The culmination of Palm Creek's Cancer Awareness Week was the beginning of our month of February.  Various groups within the park held events during the week and on
Friday evening volunteers lit over 2000 luminarias and lined the entrance drive and the central Palm Park with the glowing symbols.  Just before sunset there was a brief
remembrance ceremony and parade honoring Cancer survivors, fighters and those who lost their battle to the disease.  As darkness surrounded the park eight hot-air
balloons fired up their burners and treated the crowd to a colorful "glow."  Park residents enjoyed hot chocolate and cookies as they walked the grounds and bid on items at
the silent auction tables.  

On Saturday evening the tennis club held an "awards dinner" ending the club's several day Cancer Awareness Tennis Tournament.  Mary participated in the tournament this
year, but didn't come out on top.  But the purpose of the event was to raise money and we helped with that!   We enjoyed a tasty lasagna dinner and participated in the silent
and live auctions afterwards.  The tennis club is proud to be one of the largest single contributors to the park's fund raising effort with over $3360 raised.
During the first week of the month we had some really nice weather, but then some winter air returned to the desert.....so we left!    We'd planned it previously, but our timing
was good as we headed to Marco Island, Florida.  There we met with Mary's brother and sister-in-law and Mary's Mom who had flown down from Michigan.  They were kind
enough to share their rented condo with us for a few days as we celebrated Mom's 90th birthday.  We definitely enjoyed the time being together along with time on the beach,
some fantastic meals out and a little sight-seeing.  It was a short trip...not enough time to see the many friends we have in Florida or do much exploring, but a great birthday
celebration.
We brought some warm weather with us back from Florida, but it didn't last long.  After a couple of warm sunny days, winter returned...bringing us lots and lots of rain.  We
were in one of the luckier areas of Arizona, however.  You might have seen some photos on the news from areas where the rain turned a little more white.  The good news is
that the desert is turning green and we're hopeful that the wildflowers will have a plentiful and colorful season this year.   
After the several wet days we were back to normal with park activities.  As a member of the Quilting and Sewing Guild, Mary got busy to finish up items for the annual Quilt
Show.  The guild worked hard to keep up their reputation in the community for having a great show and seems to have succeeded.  
Besides putting on a good show, the guild
raised about $5000 to help fund their charity activities and keep the wonderful sewing center operating.                 Another day several more groups in the park put on their
showcase.  We are always amazed at the amount of talent here in our park as we check out the displays from the woodworking shop, the Photo Arts Club and various painters,
jewelry makers, potters and more.                                                        
Residents in the park coming from Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Pennsylvania gathered on a Saturday night for a
chicken dinner and enjoyed the music provided by a local musical group while sharing hometown stories.   
It sure seems like a lot of our events center around food!  Once again we gathered with the tennis club for a meal.  This time it was to celebrate the end of the club's Member
Tennis Tournament.  We didn't play in the tournament, but we didn't turn down a fun dinner to celebrate with those who did.  Several days later, considering the lousy weather
we'd had this month, the neighbors gathered for an indoor happy hour and pizza dinner.  Somewhere in the month we attended a concert by Monica Heuser who performed a
great Patsy Cline Tribute...music from the past, played Pegs and Jokers with a monthly group, checked out new model homes at an Open House at a nearby development and
perused the stuff available at the park patio sales.  There were a couple trips to Phoenix for shopping thrown in for the "fun of it."  February ended up being pretty busy for
us...and March looks like it could be much the same.
Luminaries lined the main road into Palm Creek.
Eight balloons lit up Palm Park in the center of the resort.  The
next morning they took some residents for a ride.
Tom's tennis buddy, Mike, auctioned off items for the Cancer
Awareness fund raiser
The birthday dinner...just one of some wonderful meals and
restaurants we enjoyed in Florida
The view from our balcony...a little different than Arizona!
Sunset looking west across the Gulf of Mexico.
On a trip near Everglades City, we weren't fast enough with the
camera to get the action..the large alligator caught a smaller
one in his mouth.
After he flipped it back and forth like a wet towel, he had bitten
off the head of the smaller one for a tasty lunch.  The rest he
later pulled into the water to save for another meal.
It was lunch time when we stopped at the smallest post office
in the US in Ochopee, FL. so the door was locked.  The office
serves three counties and also is a Trailways Bus depot.
Apparently alligators aren't the only wildlife in Florida.
Drivers need to always be on the lookout.
Some of the traffic must be slower or faster than others.
40 miles north of us, the Arizona Diamondbacks field
on opening day of Spring Training games.
40 miles south of us Tiger Woods and his pals were
playing in the Accenture Match Play Tournament at
Dove Mountain.
One of the classy resorts in Phoenix.
I-10 in Phoenix.
There were many different sizes and styles of quilts on
display at the Palm Creek Quilt Show.
There are lots of creative and talented ladies in the quilt
guild.
Some of the woodworkers focus on furniture pieces,
others on more artistic, detailed and smaller pieces.
The photographers seem to do magic with their
cameras, catching all sorts of wonderful creatures and
scenes.
Our pottery studio is jammed with people this time of
year and the kilns work overtime.
A number of the park residents work in lapidary to
shape and polish stones, then move to the silversmith
lab to create beautiful jewelry.
We didn't have too many spectators at the tennis tournament
finals, and those that were there were really bundled up for the
wild and windy weather.
Several hours later, dinner brought the members together to enjoy
a great meal and present the awards.
The weatherman keeps telling us it has been a very unusual winter.  
We agree!       Come on Spring!
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