January 2013
The arrival of the Happy New Year found us warm and cozy in the RV at Palm Creek in Casa Grande.  The weather was not the greatest, but better than places in the north.  
Around noon on New Year's Day we drove up to Phoenix and shared a great traditional New Year's dinner with our friends Dick and Liz Lehto at the home of their daughter.  
We had a delicious meal and an great visit.  We hope they'll be able to return for Spring Training.
Once the holiday was over we were "up and running" on a busy schedule that got turned upside-down when Mother Nature decided to give us an Arizona version of winter.  
We had some beautiful days interspersed with quite a few days of wind, rain and cold.   Many of our outdoor activities were cancelled or postponed and we dressed in many
layers including our "long johns"...are we really in Arizona??   Luckily we've managed to escape the flu bug and we've kept busy with indoor activities.  
Mary spent some time with the Papercrafting group one afternoon learning how to use their fancy computerized die-cut machine.  As a result, she made some paper doves in
many colors which were sent off to Texas.  The doves, inspired by the company logo, now grace the wall of our daughter's new Abilene office of Visiting Angels.
Although his birthday wasn't till later in the month, our tennis buddy Gar Wildeman was surprised a few days early when he arrived to a gathering he thought was a tennis
social only to find a live band and fifty or so friends singing Happy Birthday to him.   Gar is often the life of the party and it was fun to have him on the surprised end for a
change....good work on the part of his wife Marg.
One evening Mary joined the quilting group for a "Quilt Till U Wilt" night.  When the ladies arrived at 4:00 they were each given three pieces of fabric and told to design an 8"
quilt block using any pattern and combination of the fabrics they liked.  Within several hours the blocks were hung on the wall, a delicious Italian dinner had been cooked and
served by several members and a good time was had by all.  At one of the weekly meetings of the quilt guild, a quilt made for our Cancer Awareness Week raffle was
"unveiled" to members and to our neighbor Marilyn who had donated all the related T-shirts used to make the quilt.  
Looking ahead to the possibility of lousy weather, last fall the neighbors had reserved a clubroom once each winter month for a neighborhood gathering.  This month we
gladly gathered inside for delivered pizzas and some fun and games...an indoor happy hour that was enjoyed by all.  The park management "lucked out" several days later
when we had at least a sunny, but cool Saturday for our traditional "Welcome Home" event.  All of the clubs and organizations in the park had a booth to publicize their
activities.  An "Eagles" tribute band provided some familiar tunes from our past and we enjoyed free food provided by local sponsors.
A Tennis Club "Sunday Fun Day" had been postponed because of lousy weather, but we finally "got it together" and enjoyed playing some unusual games with a variety of
partners.  We followed that with a delicious soup, salad and desert potluck dinner.  
We don't often attend the park sponsored concert evenings, but one night we chose to attend the performance of Kenny Miller.  He's sort of a look-alike for Kenny Rogers
and provided us with a great evening of music from Roy Orbison, Marty Robbins, Elvis and Kenny Rogers.  
It was a little different gathering that we attended in Phoenix.  The Davis Phinney Foundation sponsored a "Victory Summit" for people interested in "Living Well with
Parkinson's Disease."  We were among about 1000 people who enjoyed a day of gathering information about the latest info on Parkinson's, participating in some fun physical
movement activities and listening to a bit of inspiration from Davis Phinney himself.  Mr. Phinney was an Olympic and professional cyclist and a sports broadcaster who was
diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson's and has since established a foundation to help others with the disease.  We had attended a previous Victory Summit in Tucson
several years ago and knew that this would be a great day.
By the end of the month, our weather was getting a bit nicer, but the guys in Tom's golf league swear that the golf course must have some sort of deal with the weatherman to
make their Thursday golf days at Robson Ranch, in particular, somewhat of a torture to the senses with lots of wind, cool temps and a bit of rain.  But, they have persevered
and had some decent rounds of golf.    Friends from Pennsylvania passed through on their way to California and we enjoyed a fun evening with Marilynn and Bob, and Palm
Creek friends Jeff and Elaine and Judy and Ed. (I forgot the camera that night...sorry guys!
)  Jeff and Elaine caught us near the pool room one evening and challenged us to a
couple games...but they are seasoned players so all we got was some good fun and practice.  We closed out the month with the start of Cancer Awareness Week in the park.  
The record-breaking torrential rains once again allowed us back outside and Mary played in the Tennis Club's Cancer Awareness Tournament...for the good of the cause as
she didn't win any prizes!
We definitely have more adventures planned for next month, so "come on back, 'ya hear!"
Liz and Dick,their daughter Trisha and friend Ethan
hosted our tasty New Year's Day dinner.
A wall hanging of doves now graces
our daughter Ann's office.
Various friends and neighbors sang songs and read poems to
our friend Gar in honor of his birthday.
Sashing and borders will be added to the Sewing Guild's
creations and the quilt will be donated to a local charity.
The ladies showed off their handiwork - a quilt made from
T-shirts collected from various Cancer Awareness events over
the years.
Do you think Dennis and Connie were excited to win one of the
games at our neighborhood get-together?
The Tennis Club was just one of many booths at the
Welcome Home party in Palm Park.
The Eagles Tribute Band played to a great crowd.
Our friends Penny and Elaine dished up corn dogs
and chips to the party-goers.
We even played games with three persons
on a side...pretty confusing!
There was certainly a variety of soups, salads and
deserts to choose from.
Food certainly brings out a crowd!
The Phoenix Convention Center hosted us and about 1000 of
our "closest friends" for a day.
Davis Phinney was there in person, but the large screen helped
us to see him much better.
Kenny Miller entertained Palm Creek residents for an
evening...pretty much a Kenny Rogers look-alike.
Tom watched as Elaine worked toward cleaning up the table.  
She's a pretty good player!
Record rains turned our golf course into a "chain of lakes."  
Kayaks anyone??
It was a record breaking month...in January we set a record for  1) the most consecutive days with below freezing temperatures  2) the warmest January day on record  3) the
largest recorded rainfall in a single January day.  What a roller coaster!


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