january 2011
January 1 was our travel day, driving from our holiday stay in Ohio to the Detroit airport and then flying to Phoenix.  Our good friends Cathy and Peter Nichita
once again provided us with transportation back to Palm Creek in Casa Grande with the drive allowing us time to catch up on what we'd missed while gone for 12
days.  One thing we'd missed was some nasty weather...and when we arrived we were greeted with temperatures colder than the ones we'd left in Michigan.  As
we got back into the Palm Creek routines, the weather did improve and while other parts of the country were having winter storms, we were fortunate to have
some beautiful sunny days.  However, our mornings were chilly and the "dress code" was long pants and sweaters for a while.  The population in the park was
increasing and we found traffic on the golf courses and tennis courts a bit crowded.  We were happy to see friends return that we hadn't seen since last spring.
Mid-month found us getting involved in the annual round of doctor appointments and checkups, including a day-long visit to the Cleo Roberts Research
Institute in Sun City to participate in Parkinson's Research. It looks like we're good for another year!
Palm Creek held a "Welcome Back" party on January 16.  As they did at the one in November, all the clubs and activities had a booth to display their information
and to entice the residents to get involved.  Mary had been recruited by the Activities Office to watch over the "Pots of Petals"...big pots of flowers put together
by the landscaping crew and rented out to residents to spruce up their patios.
Our "social activities" picked up a little speed as the month progressed.  Mary attended a "Quilt Till U Wilt" night sponsored by the sewing guild.  They actually
didn't do any quilting that night, however.  The project of the evening was to make sundresses for little girls in need.  The sewing room was filled to capacity
and in-between chatting and sharing home-made soups, salads and deserts provided by one of the members, the ladies managed to complete a colorful array of
dresses.
A few days later we joined the Tennis Club for another soup and salad dinner...and as always, it was a tasty meal.  We enjoyed the opportunity to sit and talk with
our tennis buddies without having to keep a game going.  There was a lot of good-natured kidding from various groups of players who have been participating
in a "Team Tennis" program.  Each week the teams of 3 men and 3 women compete against each other.  Mary was a member of "The Crew" which started out as
one of the less successful teams, but managed to win a few more games each week.  Another Team competition will be held in March.
Tom plays golf with other Palm Creek guys in a weekly group at the nearby Robson Ranch course.  A couples group plays on Saturday afternoons and we
enjoyed being "subs" one week.  We also were challenged to a round with our neighbors Paula and Jim Jones one weekend.  Along with our regular tennis and
card games and rounds of golf, our days continue to be busy.
Tom has tackled a few other projects this month.  The water heater stopped working and needed some new wire and a part and a little help from neighbor
Peter...but we have hot water again!   Our shower has us working on a long term solution.  Things happen after your house is 7 years old!  We had bought a new
printer last month when the old one stopped printing.  But, the scanning feature still works, so Tom set up a work space in our shed with the scanner and his
old laptop and has been busy copying quite a collection of old photos that we were given last summer.  There have been a few laughs and recall of fond
memories along the way.  Since its working so well, he is hoping to do the same with our large collection of old slides.
Our little "neighborhood" group gathers most afternoons for a "happy hour."  It's not an organized thing...we just gather and share what we've been doing that
day and perhaps discuss the weather or what's going on in the world.  A group of the ladies decided they deserved a "Girls Day Out" so finished out the month
of January with a day trip to the "San Tan Village" shopping center in Gilbert, AZ for some serious shopping time and lunch.  A good time was had by all.
The calendar for February is already filling up.  We look forward to some busier days and some improving weather and maybe even some visitors.
We put a little music in our life the last weekend of January by going to the "Bluegrass Festival" at the local county fairgrounds.  There was quite a list of
groups that performed over three days on the indoor and outdoor stages.  As with any fairgrounds event, there were other performances, too, by a troop of
trained dogs and some talking birds and many choices of things to eat.  There was even a "re-enactment" of Arizona's only Civil War battle.
Neighbors Gail, Linda and Norann joined Mary in the
Sewing Room for the "Quilt Till U Wilt" night.
It didn't take long for the ladies to complete their
sundress projects.
About 35 dresses were made that night, with more
added since.  They'll be sent off to little girls "in-need"
soon.
One of the old photos that Tom
scanned...taken over 43 years ago..the bride
and groom and bridesmaid cousin Kathy.
This one was about 33 years
ago...Reid and baby sister Ann.
The Copper Union group played some wonderful
music for the enthusiastic crowd at the Agri-Country
Bluegrass Festival.
The Rusty Strings played with Palm Creek resident
Steve Arthur in the center of the outdoor stage.
The talking birds entertained kids and adults with
their tricks and humor.
The Arizona Civil War Council portrayed a Civil War
Battle in honor of the only battle fought in Arizona
during the Civil War.
Some of Mary's Sunday night card group gang enjoying
themselves.
The neighbor ladies enjoyed a tasty lunch on their shopping
day.
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