January, 2010
We took to the air to start the new year.  We'd spent New Year's Eve at the home of our good friends, Kathy and Dennie in Waterville, Ohio.  Early on New Year's Day, they departed for San Diego and a
cruise to Mexico.  We later closed up their house and headed to the Detroit airport and our flight to Phoenix.  Our wonderful neighbors at Palm Creek, Peter and Cathy Nichita, picked us up at Sky Harbor
and we enjoyed a dinner in Phoenix before heading on to Casa Grande.  Cathy and Peter got us all caught up on the neighborhood happenings over dinner and the drive home.
It didn't take us long to get back into our normal winter routine.  Our only problem was that the mornings were cool, and our bike rides to the tennis courts were chilling, to say the least.  But, we "stuck
with it" and had some good games on the court and also some great rounds of golf.  One Sunday our neighborhood gang had three foursomes playing golf at Francisco Grande, the course built years back
for the San Francisco Giants.  We had a great afternoon.    Both of us have continued with our volunteer jobs...Mary in the Activities Office and Tom as a golf starter, and both of us helping in the library.  
Our park is almost completely full (1800 spaces) so the population has increased greatly and we keep busy at our posts.   
Since most the neighborhood gang had returned from holiday trips, we gathered one evening for a Mexican Fiesta.  As usual, we had plenty of tasty food to share and a fun evening together.   
We also attended a "social" put on by the tennis club with a 'soup and salad' menu....once again, a delicious meal!
Probably the biggest topic of conversation this month was the weather.  There had been a big storm on the day of our arrival in October and another, even bigger one, in December while we
were away.  But the during third week of January the TV news was a constant warning of wind, rain and snow....and they were right!  The Palm Creek 'natives' were restless as they were
rockin' and rollin' in their RVs and watching out the windows as the palm trees were bending and the dust was so thick we couldn't see 50 yards away.  The rains flooded the streets and golf
courses and in the high country, snow was measured in yards!!!  When it was all over, our patio, shed, car and RV looked like someone had thrown buckets of mud all over.  After several days
people were able to get outside and started cleaning up their sites, and then it happened all over again!!  We took advantage of a rainy day with no scheduled activities to head up to Phoenix to
run some errands and to go see "Avatar" in IMAX-3D.  That was quite an experience!!!   Finally, on the last several days of the month the sun was out most of the day and we were able to enjoy
gathering with friends for Happy Hours and to accept the challenge of playing golf with our neighbors Jim and Paula Jones.
To welcome new visitors to the park, they and all of the current residents were invited to the second "Welcome Home" party of the season.  We enjoyed a sunny afternoon of music, food and friendship
while we walked through Palm Park checking out each club, organization and activities' exhibit.
The Tennis Club had a busy month as well.  First off, we attended a "Soup and Salad" social welcoming more
players back to the park and enjoying a large buffet of homemade soups and salads.  At the end of the month
was the annual Palm Creek Tennis Tournament.  We did not compete, but did enjoy watching our friends
battle it out on the courts and attending the pizza party/awards dinner.
On the final weekend of the month we 'hit the road' again...but only as far as Tucson to attend an all day "Victory Summit" put on by the Davis Phinney Foundation at the JW Marriott Starr
Pass Resort. We enjoyed motivational and informational speakers and some great activities gearing Parkinson's Disease patients to "move it or loose it."   Mr. Phinney himself attended
the event and inspired the crowd of about 500 to keep active.
After attending the symposium in Tucson, we drove a little further south to Green Valley to see our friends, Art and June Nelson.  Art and June had previously stayed at Palm Creek and we
enjoyed catching them up on all the Palm Creek activities and seeing what they have done to their home in Green Valley since our last visit several years ago.  We were treated to a
delicious dinner cooked on Art's new grill.
It was a gorgeous day to tour the exhibits in
the center of the park and to gather for a
picnic.
Our friend, Elaine Spencer,
was on the  food crew.
One resident was promoting
the upcoming Chili Cook-off.
The neighborhood gang assembled at our
favorite dinner spot (Dick and Alice's
covered patio) for a great time.
Marilou and Harry
dished up the dessert.
Here's one of three long tables at the tennis
social.  Are you getting an idea that many of
our activities revolve around food?
Here are a few photos of our wild weather week...
Our neighbor's flag is always a
good indicator of the wind speed.
The sand caught up with the wind.
Several days later we could once again see the
wall and beyond to the semis on the freeway.
After the wind and sand, the rains began.  There
was a little water on the golf course, to say the
least.  The maintenance crew came to rescue.
And within a couple days we were back in business.
There were 500 of us "dancing in the aisles"
in the grand ballroom at the Marriott.
We really miss having June and Art Nelson
as our Palm Creek neighbors, but certainly
enjoyed our visit to their Green Valley home.
Already, it looks as though February will be another busy month.....We look forward to sharing with you later.
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return to "What we've been doing...."