March 2011
As predicted, we hardly had time to sit and rest in the month of March.  We started off the month with the end of our visit with Bonnie and Don Wolfe who spent several
days in Casa Grande while on their winter RV tour.  The evening of March 1 found us sharing a meal and then walking the streets of downtown Casa Grande as we
checked out the monthly "Art in the Alley and Car Show."  There were displays by local artists, some live music, shopping opportunities and some "souped up" vehicles.  
We also toured the refurbished town theater that was built in the early 1900s.

The month of March is also the time when the activity groups here at Palm Creek "show their stuff" by having various shows to let us all see - and marvel - at what they
have been doing all winter.  First off was the "Woodworkers" show held on the lawn near the main pool.  Once again we were amazed at the craftsmanship and what can
be done with a piece of wood from pens to bowls to sculpture to furniture and more.   Many of those woodworkers joined others who paint, draw, sew, knit, crochet,
bead, etc, to display their work at the Artisans and Crafters Open House later in the month.  And, not to be outdone by those who work with their hands, the Palm Creek
Chorus entertained several evenings with their spring concert that was a tribute to all the old movie musicals.
Then, of course, we had more of our usual get-togethers centered around a meal.  The Tennis Club Awards Banquet had been postponed several times because of bad
weather (as had the tournament itself), but we finally all gathered to share pizza and pass out the medals on March 3.   The next evening we attended a gathering of  Palm
Creek residents coming here from the states of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania.  There aren't too many of us that come from that far east...but we had a
good-sized group and lots of fun comparing hometowns and travel routes and, of course, eating.   

On the 5th one of our neighbors had arranged for a group "adventure in eating."  Fourteen of us drove to the town of Queen Creek, meeting at a place called "San Tan
Flat."  As we arrived, we were assured that it was a great place to eat as there were literally hundreds of cars in the parking lot and it took the guys quite a while to find
an empty spot.   And since there were hundreds of cars...there were what looked like thousands of people eating and we were told it would be a three hour wait for a
table.   While we're sure it would have been fun to eat out in the corral next to a fire pit and the chuckwagon while listening to the live entertainment, we were quickly
"out of there."  Plan B found half of our group heading to a Chinese place down the road and nearby the home of some former Palm Creek neighbors.  We gave Arne and
Judy a call and they came for a visit while we ate our meal.  It was still a fun evening!    

For our 4th night out in a row, on March 6th we joined some of our Ohio and Pennsylvania friends, Jeff and Elaine Spencer and Ed and Judy Lichtenberg, to eat up the
leftovers from our four-state party several nights earlier.  The food was just as good and we once again enjoyed the company.   

But the fun wasn't over.....on March 9 our neighborhood "happy hour" moved a couple blocks away to "Palm Park" at the center of the resort.  We gathered on the grass
for some delicious appetizers , a rousing game of beanbag baseball and to celebrate the March birthdays of Mary and neighbors Tedd and Mary Duncan and our newest
neighbor Ann Pettersson.  It was also Ann and her husband Ola' s anniversary.  They are from Sweden and came to the US last summer, bought an RV and are touring the
US for a year.  They are a fun couple and liked our group well enough to extend their stay at Palm Creek.  We had a great time with them and hope they can return in the
future.
Mary found time to attend the annual Ladies' Fashion Show and Luncheon and Tom attended a lunch for all the golf course Starters.  We had a big dilemma for the night
of March 13.  We were invited to three park sponsored dinners - the Host group, general Volunteers and the Tennis Club.  However, we declined all three and went with
the best menu of the night....our neighbor, Dick Wells' annual salmon bake.  Dick brings part of his frozen summer catch of salmon from Washington and shares it with
us....several neighbors grilling it and baking it in various ways and the rest of us providing the side dishes.  As always, it was yummy!
We were off to Phoenix early on March 14.  We picked up our former next-door neighbors in Ohio, Dick and Liz Lehto, and headed to the Goodyear Ballpark for a
Cleveland Indians Spring Training baseball game.  We cheered on the Indians during their win over the Oakland A's.  Dick and Liz returned to Casa Grande with us and
settled in at a nearby hotel until March 25.  We had a great time with Dick and Liz while they were here.  There was plenty of golf...the four of us played here at Palm
Creek and the guys played at nearby Robson Ranch with Tom's usual group.  One day Liz and Mary went back to Phoenix and spent the day shopping with Dick and Liz's
daughter Trisha who is living there.   On St. Patrick's Day we joined the neighbors for a "green" party and dinner and to celebrate another birthday.   On another trip to
the big city, we made a "tourist stop" at the Basha-Salmeri Gallery of Western American and Native American Art in Chandler.  An interesting stop, especially for the
guys, was at the PING factory.  On a first come-first served basis and for no charge, the pros there will take you into their indoor range, and analyze your golf swing and
physical size using some amazing machines.  Then they let you use various clubs to see what might improve your swing and game.  When you are all finished you are
given a computer printout of the clubs/shafts/heads they suggest you might purchase from a dealer somewhere.  They don't sell anything at the factory.  Tom felt he got
a decent golf lesson in the process.  Did Tom and Dick order new clubs?  Not yet!
Between golf games, we joined Dick and Liz for a visit with one of Liz' good friends from high school in Buffalo, NY.  Susan is now living in the Superstition Springs area
of Gold Canyon, AZ and we were treated to a fabulous meal and fun visit at her home at the base of Superstition Mountain.  Another day we were supposed to travel to
Green Valley to see Dick and Liz' other side next-door neighbors.  But the 60mph winds and blowing dust sent us to the mall instead.  The four of us participated in
Palm Creek's Day at Dillard's and picked up some bargains (but sadly, no door prizes), went to the movies and then spent several hours playing indoor golf on our Wii
game....a good way to spend a yucky day.  On the last day of Lehto's visit, we all went to another Cleveland Indians game at the Maryvale Ballpark for a game against the
Milwaukee Brewers.  Sadly, the Indians lost that one.  Afterwards we had some great food at a fun Mexican restaurant and dropped them off at daughter Tricia's home
for a last visit there before their red-eye flight back home.   It was a fun two weeks and we look forward to next year's visit.
Meanwhile, there are always fun events going on here at Palm Creek.  One of Tom's bridge-playing friends loves to entertain.  Once a year she has a card-playing
marathon at her home followed by a scrumptious meal.  Luckily for Mary, the non-playing spouses are invited for dinner.  Its always a fun day.  As an added bit of
entertainment this year we were surprised (especially in a gated community!) by an annoying bag lady asking for money.  She quietly wandered through the group
gathering bills in her old Walmart bag from folks responding to her cardboard sign. It took a while for her to be finally recognized by her own mother who was
celebrating a birthday..and presented with the bag of money and some balloons.
The tennis club had a new event this year..."A Black-Tie Affair."    It was held in the evening on the lighted courts and the members all dressed in funny "black-tie"
outfits.  One court was set up with buffet tables of appetizers and deserts and tables for various kinds of wines that the members brought for tasting.  Some of the
better players in the club played a singles tournament while the rest of us tasted the wines and grazed the food tables while watching the games.  It was a fun evening.
Old Bounder-days friends, Bob and Marilynn Reynolds and Gwen and Bob Fraser were here for a visit one day and we enjoyed seeing them again...and of course,
sharing another meal.  And to finish out the month we were treated to a night of Beatles music at the park's British themed "End of Season Party" where they served
Shepherd's Pie and Bread Pudding for dinner.    
Where has the season gone?  It seems like everyone just got here, and now they are hitting the road
again.  We'll be around a while longer...missing some of our friends, but enjoying a bit slower pace.
"Let's Go to the Movies" was the theme for the chorus
concert this year...they sang all the old familiar tunes.
Palm Creek residents enjoyed a sunny day as well as all
the amazing craftsmanship of the woodworkers.
Our buddies Judy and Ed Lichtenberg were the "hosts" for our
4-state party.  Ohio had a bold presence.  
Go Bucks!
There was lots of lively conversation during our "Plan B"
Chinese dinner.
After eating the "Ohio/PA leftovers, Jeff Spencer and Mary
cut the cake together to celebrate their shared birthday.
The Basha-Salmeri Gallery hais free and has a marvelous
collection of paintings, sculpture, baskets, and more,
highlighting the southwest culture.
The "katsinas" are delightful sculptures.
Tom got a mini-golf lesson while being fitted for proper PING
golf clubs using the indoor range and also a putting green.
There is some grass in Arizona!   The neighbors gathered in
the park for a picnic and birthday party
Ann and Ola Pettersson, our guests from Sweden,
celebrated Ann's birthday and their anniversary.
We tend to take over several sites and the street when we
have a neighborhood gathering...all the more space for a
game of "ladderball."
How many ways can you cook salmon?  We had about half a
dozen...and had to try them all.  Quite tasty!
Thanks, Dick!
We had seats in the shade, but there are always those who enjoy
the sunny lawn seats at the ballpark.
The ballpark mascot came out to visit
the fans.
Another reason for another dinner...St. Patrick's Day brought out
the Irish in the food and our clothes.
Neighbor Paul Theriault celebrated
his St. Patrick's birthday.
Residents of Buffalo, NY in their youth, Susan and Liz had a
fun reunion in Arizona.
We all enjoyed a great meal and the ambiance of the
Superstition Mountain neighborhood.
The Wii golf course proved to be a challenge for the four of us
on a dusty, windy afternoon.
The Maryvale Balllpark is the Spring-Training home to the
Milwaukee Brewers.
Here come the Indians - Cleveland style.  
We had a fabulous time with our guests, Dick and Liz, and
are already looking forward to their visit next year.
The bag lady begged for cash donations from the
bridge-playing group, then surprised her Mom.
Joe and Cathy Heintz welcomed their bag-lady daughter to the
party once she was recognized.
One of the tennis courts was turned into a party patio for the
"Black Tie Wine Tasting Event."  Three adjacent courts were
used for a singles tournament.
There were lots of categories and choices for
tasting during the evening.
Richard Wetherall won the gold medal and Rhoda Zaph took
the silver in the evening's singles tennis tournament while
the wine-sippers cheered them on.
The band "Apple" did a good job of helping us re-live the
days of the Beatles at our end-of-the-season party.
And we never tire of the Arizona sunsets.
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