July, 2011
Once again, we followed our recent tradition of spending July parked at the J & D Campground in Catawissa, Pennsylvania to be near our granddaughters, Coffey, Close and
Merrick and, of course, their parents.  To celebrate the Independence Day holiday we had our usual "picnic in the park" dinner at the Bloomsburg City Park while listening to
the Catawissa Military Band's holiday concert in the bandshell followed by the annual fireworks display.  The weather was perfect for the outdoor event and the town always
sponsors a terrific evening.
With the holiday weekend behind us we moved, full-swing, into softball season.  Our two oldest granddaughters play on separate teams for the Columbia County Rampage.  
Practice sessions, league games and tournaments for both teams take a lot of co-ordination of meals, transportation, attendance and attention to the details of the rest of
the family schedule.  In addition to softball, Coffey has cheerleading and band practice and a regular baby-sitting job.  Close has a frequent baby-sitting job as well.  Merrick,
the youngest of the three girls, has horseback riding lessons several days a week, too.  Our campground is right next to the girls' school, so we are handy for pick-ups when
things are going on there, and we were able to help out when Ann and Matt's work schedule and dual events made things a little tight.  Fortunately, the actual softball games
and tournaments were usually in the same town-often at adjoining fields.  Of course that had nothing to do with the hot and humid weather that prevailed the whole month of
July.  Fortunately, Ann and Matt have a big 10x10 canopy that we can move from field to field and set up camp.
Our son-in-law needed to go to Abilene, Texas on a business trip, so Ann went along for a short get-away.  We moved into the house for a couple of days to monitor the
schedule up close and personal. Our stay coincided with the US premiere of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II".  It took a lot of work but by the time Coffey and
Close left the house for the midnight showing, they had chosen the perfect costumes for the big occasion.  A good time was had by all.
We managed to do some of the more usual things during our stay in Pennsylvania.  Ann's family came to the RV to take advantage of the pool on some of our hot and humid
days, and we enjoyed making S'mores afterwards.  We helped out with a few chores around the house - just to let us remember what it's like to be homeowners.  And we
had a few other fun adventures, including a trip to Hersheypark to ride the roller coasters and play in the waterpark.  One day Mary and Ann took the girls bowling. (Mary
came in last on the scoreboard!)
To end the month our refrigerator returned to its agitating self....for the third time in 16 months, it decided to stop working.  After lots of phone calls and trying various
things, a new cooling unit has been ordered.  As we head into August, we have extended our stay at J&D and are awaiting the arrival of the part from Tucson (under
warranty) and then will need to arrange installation.  The contents of the fridge were taken to Ann's house as we share many meals there anyway.  And then her oven gave
up the ghost!  Life is always an adventure!  
The family, ready to share a picnic dinner in the park.
Ooooo!
Aaahhhhh!
Wow!
Meanwhile, back in Arizona at our winter home of Palm Creek, the winds were a-blowing.  The area experienced several "haboobs" over a period of several days.  We
experienced a very minor one a couple of years ago, but this summer the weather has created some really wild conditions.  Our friends who stay in Arizona year-round tell
us there was little damage - just a lot of clean-up.
The big "haboob" (intense dust storm) rolling in over the homes and golf
course at Palm Creek on July 5.
Close at bat.
Run, Close, run!
Catch it!
Close, the medal winner!
Coffey at bat.
Safe at first base!
Merrick watches from her vantage point, high in a tree!
First place for the U-12 Columbia County Rampage in
the ASA Ref's Tournament in Milton,PA.    We also
attended two other tournaments in which both girls'
teams played.
Merrick and her pal, Little Bear, enjoy time in the rink and on
paths through the woods at the Bear Gap Riding Center.
Coffey as Bellatrix Lestrange and
Close as Luna Lovegood -- both
big Harry Potter fans.
Tom and Matt resealed the playset and the deck in the
backyard.
S'mores and a story from Grandpa around the campfire.
Merrick trying out some roller
skates at a birthday party.
Looks like it could be a "spare." for Coffey as we hung out
at the bowling alley.
At the "Sweetest Place on Earth"...Hersheypark and
Chocolate World in  Hershey, Pennsylvania
It was 96* with nearly matching humidty the day we
visited the park...time for an ice cream  break!
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