March 2010
We predicted that March would be warmer, drier and busier than February.  We were partially
correct.  It did get a little bit warmer and we had a little less rain.  However, just like much of
the country, we continued to have a cooler and wetter winter than normal.  March was
definitely busier than the past several months.   Our neighbors, Bob and Linda Kanable
ventured during the month of February to New Orleans for Mardi Gras and for some other
adventures in Texas.  They got our month of March off to a rousing start with tales of their
adventures.
The residents of Palm Creek continued to show off their creative efforts.  First up was the annual concert put on by the Palm Creek Chorus.  It was a great
performance including an appearance by Elvis and the Village People.  Next came the outdoor showcase of the Woodshop Workers.  From tiny to large, their
projects showed an amazing amount of talent and interest.  The  various fine arts groups held a show in the park's ballroom with a fantastic display of watercolors,
oils and photography.  And later in the month there was an "Artists and Crafters" show where a few of the people who had previously shown their work, were
joined by some of the independent artists and crafters in the park for another display and sale.  The annual Palm Creek Car Show showcased the restored
automobiles of some residents as well as owners from outside the park.  
When we lived in the Toledo, Ohio area we had some great next-door neighbors...in fact, they are still great friends...and made our area the destination of a
"spring break" trip.  Dick Lehto arrived on a Sunday from Las Vegas after enjoying some of the playoff games in Las Vegas prior to the big NCAA March Madness
Basketball Tournament.  For several days, Dick and Tom played lots of golf and Dick joined us at our neighborhood salmon bake dinner.  On the following
Thursday, Liz arrived from Toledo and we continued a great visit with two days of Cleveland Indians Spring Training Baseball games, more golf and a tourist day
in the Phoenix/Mesa area.  Our first Indians game was at the Goodyear Ballpark against the Cincinnati Reds.  I think the biggest cheer from all the fans came
when they played "Hang on Sloopy" on the PA system.  (That's the "official rock song" of the State of Ohio and is played at all the Ohio State football games!)  We
also went to HoHoKam Stadium in Mesa for the Indians game versus the Chicago Cubs.  There were certainly a lot of fervent Cubs fans there, but the Indians won
both of those games.  Best of all, our friend Liz had ordered our tickets on-line weeks ago and we were extremely surprised and pleased to find them all under
shade covers (on 80* sunny days)...good work, Liz!    
             
We made a few other stops in the greater Phoenix area with Dick and Liz.  Their daughter, Tricia, has been accepted to the Southwestern School of Naturopathic
Medicine and will begin her doctoral program there in the fall.  We stopped by to check out the campus and get a feel for what she will be doing in the four-year
program.  It didn't seem quite right, but from there we went to lunch at "The Heart Attack Grill."  This interesting place has been featured on various TV shows
and we decided to check it our for ourselves.  The ambulance was waiting at the front door, the waitresses were dressed in nurses uniforms (well, sort of) and
the cooks were in surgical scrubs.  When we were seated we were dressed in a hospital gown and a band was attached to our wrist.  The limited menu was fairly
tasty, but certainly not the healthiest  --  it was a fun meal!  We hope it was a help that, from lunch at the Heart Attack Grill, we went to the Mesa Market which is
acres and acres of "flea market" that took several hours to walk all the aisles.
We've been sort of "home-bodies" this year and haven't made many side trips away from Palm Creek.  The season was 'getting away from us' so we took a
day-trip with neighbors Cathy and Peter Nichita to Sabino Canyon near Tucson, about an hour's drive from home.  We rode the tram from the Visitor Center to
the end of the canyon and then walked back down as far as we could without having to wade through the creek that runs the length of the canyon.  Because of
all the moisture we've had this winter, the streams are all flowing hard and high.   It was a beautiful day and gorgeous scenery.  We topped off the day with a
great dinner out at a steakhouse.   We made a second trip to Tucson to pick up a new cooling unit for our refrigerator, after having been without a fridge for a
week and researching all the problems and solutions.  So far, so good!
You would think all we do here at Palm Creek is eat!  It just may seem that way from reading our blog, but we do try to play golf or tennis every day. Then, with
activity behind us, we gather with friends around the table.  The month of March always brings the "final gathering of the season" for our various groups such as
the tennis club and our various volunteer groups.  Our neighborhood group will find any excuse to get together for a meal.  One of our favorites is the night that
Dick Wells brings out all the salmon he has saved in his freezer from his fishing trips last summer.  The rest of us add the side dishes and the pounds of salmon
get grilled around the neighborhood in various ways for a delicious dinner.  Originally planned for February, this year's dinner had been postponed because of
bad weather.  
On St. Patrick's Day, Mac and Lil Kryzanowski cooked up some Irish Stew lots of green stuff and once again we gathered for a great dinner.  Towards the end
of the month our neighborhood cooks were at it again...this time with ribs cooked in several different flavors.  Of course, they were served with all the
trimmings prepared by all the neighbors.  Trying for 'lighter fare,' Mary's ladies' tennis league had their last match of the season and headed off to McDonald's
for hot fudge sundaes.
The month - and the "season" had to end eventually.  The park held their "end of the year celebration" called "Country Days."  A crowd gathered for pulled pork
sandwiches, beer and some entertainment.   The parade of vehicles leaving the park was sad but inevitable.  We'll be looking forward to seeing friends again
next fall.  We'll be among those sticking around for a while yet, however, so come back soon to see what we're up to.
Linda picked up quite a collection
of beads and feathers while in
New Orleans in February.
The Palm Creek Chorus performed with a theme of "Thanks
for the Memories" with music from all the decades.
"Elvis" and the "Village People"
made surprise appearances.
Connie Shafer enjoyed showing her beautiful efforts of the
winter at the annual "Fine Arts Show"
Projects large and small were displayed at the Woodworkers
Show."
If you make lots of projects, you
need a place to display them...so,
build some shelves!
One of the "antique" cars at the car show...we remember
these, they can't be antique!
Tom and Mary, Peter and Cathy enjoying the day at
Sabino Canyon.
Luckily, we didn't encounter any of the inherent
dangers.  Mountain lions are spotted there
somewhat often.
The water was flowing swiftly and our tram had to
cross bridges with water flowing up over the hub
caps.
"Crested Saguaros" are
somewhat rare - often caused
by a lightning strike.
We always have lots of fun with Liz and Dick and look
forward to another visit with them soon.
The Cleveland Indians and the Cincinnati Reds share the
year-old stadium in Goodyear, AZ.
The Indians won their game against the Chicago Cubs at
their home field, HoHoKam Park in Mesa, AZ.
We seen the Heart Attack Grill on "Diners, Drive-Ins and
Dives" on the Food Network, so we had to check it out.
The waitresses were very attentive
to our needs.
The fried-in-lard fries were served buffet style.
We wore our hospital gowns and wristbands like
good patients.
A limited menu is offered and its all free if you
weigh over 350 pounds!
Tennis club members Ted, Bob and John cooked
up some great burgers and dogs for the tennis club
members' final social gathering.
Dick Wells is a great fisherman and fantastic host
for our Salmon Bake night.
We had our choice of several "flavors" of salmon
and enough to try them all...yummy!
There were about 30 of us gathered at Dick and
Alice Wells' place for the dinner.
We wore green and ate a green dinner on St.
Patrick's Day.
Our rib dinner was preceded by the remote
control auto race...size didn't always dictate the
outcome.
Having ribs cooked by several cooks around the
neighborhood once again gave us a variety of
choices and plenty of fun at our rib dinner.
The Palm Creek Ladies Tennis League had a great
season in spite of several weeks of games "called on
account of rain."
The crowd gathered in the parking lot for the
"Country Days" festivities.....
and lined up for sandwiches and at the beer
wagon...
and took in the music, singing and dancing
entertainment.
This became a familiar site during the last several
days of March.  We look forward to getting together
with our friends again soon.
On the last day of the month the winds began and March went "out like a lion."  Tom was busy inside removing cabinet doors and shelves to once again
pull out our washing machine.  Luckily, a neighbor (and retired electrician) was able to get us back in business.  Here's hoping that April will be a little
less hectic!