May, 2008
The merry month of May began for us in Casa Grande, AZ. Palm Creek had certainly emptied out...there were times, as you would travel through the park, that you were sure you were the only person left living
on the earth.   But, then, a car would drive past or someone would exit a building.  And at 6:30pm there would be 20 or so players in the poker room.  The weather was glorious, so if you were up early enough you
might even have to wait in line to tee off at the golf course.  Golf at Palm Creek was free after May 1, so we took advantage of that almost daily, teeing off around 6:30am.   Mary was often on the tennis court at
that hour, and then would get in a round of golf as well.   A few of our neighbors were still in the park and we continued our afternoon get-togethers...often delaying until 5:30 or so in hopes that it would be a little
cooler.
Our friends, Char and Terry Eicher, along with friends Dick and Carolyn Stone, hosted a "Cinco de Mayo" get-together, bringing a few hearty souls together on May 5.   A main topic of conversation was "How
much longer will you be here?"   Even those who live at Palm Creek year round seem to take off for a month or two in the summer.   Palm Creek neighbors Judy Grove and Arne Hawkins  have built a new home in
the Del Webb development not too far from Palm Creek.   We enjoyed visiting their new place and think the community will be a great place to live.   We've toured the model homes several times ourselves. Reid
was finishing up his work-stay at the Salt River and had planned to visit us one more time before heading to Colorado.  But, his schedule really filled up so we arranged a meeting in the Phoenix area and passed
on the things he'd left at our place (along with a package of home-made cookies) before he headed north.   For the summer he'll working in the Buena Vista, and Summit County areas of Colorado for KODI Rafting.
Well, you can take only so much sunshine, warm weather and free golf.   So, on May 15 we departed Palm Creek and headed east.   Our first stop was for what has become our annual visit in Las Cruces, New
Mexico.   Mary's cousin, Geoff Close and his wife Bethann are always great hosts...letting us park our rig in the driveway of their beautiful home and always showing us a good time.  This year they have added a
library/office to their home - what a fantastic room!  And they recently purchased a RoadTrek motor home to park in their RV garage.  Maybe we can meet someplace on the road one of these days.
Terry, Char and Molly Eicher at Palm Creek
Arne and Judy in front of their new home at Sun City Anthem at
Merrill Ranch by Del Webb in Florence, AZ
Reid and Tom....whose beard has been on the river the longest?
Tom got out of the habit of shaving while in the Grand Canyon.
We look pretty wide awake for 6:30am!   One last round of golf with
neighbors Art Nelson and Arne Hawkins on the day we left Palm Creek.
It's "happy hour" on Geoff and Beth's patio in Las Cruces, NM
On Sunday, May 18, after several days in Las Cruces we just started driving...taking turns at the wheel as we headed on east.  Four days later, after some overnights in a rest area in Texas and casino parking
lots in Oklahoma and Missouri, we arrived in Pecatonica, Illinois and parked at the Winnebago County Fairgrounds.   We normally do not travel that many miles in so short a period of time.   But, first thing the
next morning, Mary was on the road again...this time to chaperone a fifth grade trip to the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, Wisconsin.   Mary's group was a challenge reminding her of her past life as a teacher, but
it was a fun day at a pretty nice zoo.  (She's still a little partial to the Toledo Zoo!)   Friday was "field day" for the elementary school.   So, since our daughter Ann had to leave for work around 5am, Mary started
her day (after getting up and over to the house by then) getting the girls up and ready for school and then watching the first and third grade classes compete in things like tricycle races, rubber chicken throws
and sack races....a fun day!
Liquid chicken??????
The monkeys Mary spent the day with at the zoo! Coffey
is on the right.
Close racing her tricycle at Field Day.
Merrick making her way
across the field in a sack.
Then, of course, came Memorial Day Weekend.  Small towns always make a big thing out of parades...and Pecatonica was no exception.  Fire departments from miles around sent trucks and crews.   The
American Legion, VFW, Viet Nam and Korean Veterans groups were well represented.   Several Shriners groups brought their mini-motorized airplanes and motorcycle squads.   There were scout groups and
school groups, dance companies, church groups and of course the high school band.   The county fair queens rode by, and we can't forget the many, many political candidates looking for votes.   The
granddaughters went home with as much candy as they do on Halloween!   In the middle of it all, Ann and Matt had several appointments to show their house, so it was cleaned up and the girls spent several
nights with us in the motor home to keep it that way :-)   It was all worth it as Ann and Matt accepted an offer and it looks like the sale will proceed quickly   They are feeling very fortunate considering the current
market conditions.
The last few days of the month went quickly, too.  There were a few dance lessons, ball games and practices along with all the usual "at home" chores to take care of at the motor home.   On Thursday our
daughter, Ann, flew to Pennsylvania to attend closing on the family's new home.   Grandma and Grandpa were left in charge of the house, dogs and children.   We managed the schedule with only a few "blips."
On Friday, since there was no school, we drove to the Midway Village Museum in Rockford.   Our main goal was to see the exhibit called "The Purse and the Person."   It traced the historical themes of the 20th
century through women's purses and their contents.   All of us found it fascinating to see the various styles, colors, and materials they were made of and then what ladies found important to carry in them.  There
were also exhibits of clothing, advertising, and lifestyle items of each decade.   We then toured the Doll House Museum and the 19th century village on the grounds.   We're not sure why we hadn't been to the
museum before, and are glad we made the trip before the family moves on.
The cardinals, this year, fell in love with what
they saw in the mirrors...what a mess!
A bagpiper unit participated in the Pecatonica
Memorial Day Parade.
It was "deja vu" while touring "The Purse and the
Person" exhibit.  Yes, Grandma did have clothes like
that  "back in the day."
Close learned how to milk a cow at the
Midway Village Museum.   The cow wasn't
real, but liquid did go into the bucket.
Ann and Matt returned to Illinois on Saturday morning and got right back into life at home.   The girls were off to dress rehearsal for their dance recital and the guys got to "chill out" at home.  Things will pick up in
the next several weeks as the big move will take place around the middle of June.
For those that are interested, we have posted photos of our April trip through the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River at
http://picasaweb.google.com/marywill45/GrandCanyonRaftTripApril2008
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