March 2017
There is always a flurry of activity in March here at Palm Creek.  Snowbirds suddenly realize the days are counting down and everyone is trying to get in all the activities they
meant to see happen during the days here in the southwest.  At the moment we have no plans to depart Palm Creek very soon, but our Canadian friends
, especially, are bound
by US Government regulations concerning the number of days they are allowed to stay in the US.  So, all of our clubs, activities and organizations here in the park, along with
all the friendships created, schedule their "final hurrah."

We have mentioned previously the many talented people we have staying at Palm Creek.  Early in the month we attended the show put on by the artist's group.  As always,
there were many outstanding displays of work.   Another group displaying their talents of a different sort were the pickleball players.  Our local club sponsored their annual
"Duel in the Desert" bringing in players from all over this part of the US.  We watched some fierce competition!
All sorts of art were displayed...watercolors, oils, pastels, mixed
media......all beautiful!
Once again the pickleball players gathered at Palm Creek.
The empty lots behind our house became a
parking lot during the tournament.
Our friend Connie (in the dark purple) was a tough competitor in the
women's division.
Budweiser brought in the beer wagon for the week of the
tournament...advertising "Free Beer.....tomorrow!"
As always, where there are snowbirds hanging out, there is food, drink and parties.  In February Tom had been the winning bidder at the Tennis Club Cancer Awareness Auction for
some live entertainment by one of our talented tennis players.  Larry Marik, a member of the Nebraska Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, plays locally with the Central Arizona College Jazz
Band as well as in pick-up groups here in the park.  He plays many instruments and can put on a fantastic one man show as well.  So, to take advantage of our auction win, we invited
almost every one we know here in the park to enjoy a musical "happy hour" at the park's Bistro Patio.  It turned out to be a somewhat windy and chilly afternoon, but our 75 or so
guests had a great time.  We even celebrated a few birthdays.
With his wife, Mary Ann manning the computer, Larry played a
couple of his saxophones, clarinet and flute to provide some live
music for our get-together,
Our friends brought appetizers to share and
gathered around to listen and snack.
Almost every year, our buddy Dick brings a big cooler of frozen fish from his previous summer's fishing expeditions in Washington State.  This year was no exception, so our
former neighborhood gang gathered at one of the park's picnic pavilions for a fish fry (and some ribs, too
).  
While the fish cooked, there was a little
ping-pong competition going on.
We tried to be patient while the fish and ribs
were grilling on the big grill.
Then it was time to dig in, share the food, and celebrate
a few more birthdays.
Continuing on with the "good times"  there was the Quilters and Sewers St. Patrick's Day luncheon, a tennis club "happy hour" party, more balloon launches on a beautiful sunny
morning, and even an ultra-light over our heads.
Mary's table-mates at lunch wore their holiday bling.
Joyce and Lloyd Woods play dulcimers and sing as well
as being good tennis players.
When we hear the "whoosh" in the morning we go out to
see what color balloon is rising above our house.
One day it was a small "whirr" engine noise of an
"ultra-light" that made us look up.
Years ago when we were trying to learn more about computers and how to use them as we traveled around in our RV, we found a website called "Geeks on Tour."  Chris and Jim
Gould later came to Palm Creek and conducted classes here in the park.  Then we reconnected with them again at several RV rallies.  This month they returned to the park for a
short stay and held a few more seminars.  It was great to see them again, and especially to attend their class on using a "smartphone."

We've been living in our new house for almost a year now.  There is one occupied house across the street from us, but then four or five empty lots between our end houses and
all the houses at the other end of the block.  We've met most of the neighbors but haven't had a chance to get to know them better, so we all got together for a pot-luck one
evening.  Ric and Sandy across the street from us have finished off their patio in fine style and we had a great evening.
Chris and Jim thoroughly enjoy teaching and being the "Geeks".
Their seminars were a "packed house" all week at Palm Creek.
We had a gorgeous evening for our get-together
with our new neighbors.
The Tennis Club's annual season ending event is a "Saturday Night at the Courts."  This year we were treated to an "all you can eat" pizza and salad dinner and entertainment by a
very popular local musician.  The "Pizza Man" brings his ovens and cooks the pizzas on-site.  'Bunky' packs various local establishments on a regular basis, and it was fun to have
him share his music and his memories with us.
Another gorgeous night and yes, more food!
Bunky sings and plays several instruments and had lots of tidbits
about music and musicians to share with us.
He got the tennis players back on their feet, but
without racquets in hand.
Back in the old neighborhood there were more birthdays to celebrate (seems like many of us have March birthdays) and refrigerators to clean out.....a good excuse for another
pot-luck dinner as we sang Happy Birthday over and over and gave hugs to our departing friends.
We all took a turn at "marshmallow golf" before sharing
our dinner.
Yum...we had lots of dishes to choose from as we
tried to learn about everyone's summer plans.
Our friend Ola comes from Sweden to spend the winter
with us and led us in a drinking song.
Tom has been golfing each week at the municipal golf course with a great group of guys from Palm Creek.  This is Tom's first year with the group but they have been playing
together for quite a few years and end their season with a little tournament and banquet.  The wives were invited to the dinner and the men took care of getting the "takeout"
food.  We had a fun time hearing the golf stories and sharing the meal.
The Blue Shirts came in third.
The Red Shirts placed second.
And the White Shirts were the winners of the coveted trophy.
As the park residents were organizing and packing and checking their calendars, the park put on their annual "season ending party."  We always take a chance on the weather
for these big events as with so many people, they must be held outside.  We lucked out this time, and had a gorgeous afternoon for the event.  About 1500 people came to eat
prime rib sandwiches with all the trimmings, listen to the music of "One of These Nights" (an Eagles tribute band) and do a little dancing.
 

One of the best things about our 16 years of RVing is all the friends we made from all over the US.  In 2009 we met a couple at an FMCA Rally and have kept in touch and crossed
paths several times over the years.  Carol and John are full-timers from Indiana, living in a Dutch Star and were in southern Arizona to attend an Escapees Rally, an FMCA Rally
and a Newmar Rally. (wouldn't you know that after we sold our RV that the rallies would happen convenient to our location!)  So, we invited John and Carol to come see us and
our park in between their events. We had a great visit and loved hearing about their travels and their experiences as volunteers at several different National Parks and Wildlife
Refuges.
The food line moved swiftly and we found a seat with a group of
friends to enjoy food and music.
The music could be heard all over the park...taking us back
to our "younger years".
We had a great visit with Carol and John.
Last month, Sun Communities, the owners of Palm Creek Golf and RV Resort, announced a "major expansion" of the facilities here in the park.  They have some mighty big plans and
major changes for the upcoming months.  One of the biggest changes, that has been needed for some time, is to double the size of our "Ballroom" where most of our entertainment
and major indoor events take place.  The area needed for the ballroom expansion is now occupied by the Sewing Room in a self-contained building.  So, the Quilters and Sewers
were given notice....pack up and move out by the end of March!!!  Mary has been serving on "the board" of the group for a couple of years and was part of the group that made the
highly unpopular decision to close down the sewing room on March 25.  The board then spent some time cleaning out their storage area and packing up all the supplies and
equipment owned by the group.  The president was highly organized and all went very smoothly.  The park found a space for the sewers to be housed for the summer, and the
temporary sewing room was open for business on April 1.  Now the sewers are anxious to see how quickly the former facility - a triple wide manufactured building -- is taken apart,
moved to its new location several hundred yards away in the park, and put back together in usable condition.  They tell us that and the new ballroom will be ready by November 1st.  
We'll see!  There are quite a few other changes in the works, so it will be fun to watch the progress this summer.
On the last "Open Sew" day, the ladies brought a potluck dinner to
feast and sew right down to closing time at 9pm.
The next day, the room was dismantled and packed into two groups.
The park provided the sewers with one of those metal storage
pods out in the parking lot.  So we recruited a .......
......few strong husbands to help us move lots of tables and chairs
and many boxes out to the pod.
The next day we loaded some pick-up trucks with some of the
stuff and set up shop in another building for the summer.
Meanwhile in Michigan, there was a St. Patrick's Day celebration
attended by our granddaughter Evelyn and her cousin Conner.
And we continue to enjoy the Arizona sunsets.
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