November 2012
Time certainly goes by quickly...its hard to believe that its the end of November already as we write to share what we've been doing this month.  The weather in Arizona has been
"picture postcard perfect" this month with warm and bright sunny days...each and every one of them!  Its been a month with lots of activity and celebrations - some happy and
some sad.  Early in the month we shared in birthday celebrations for a couple of friends.  Our neighbor Harry invited the neighborhood gang to a happy hour and pizza dinner to
celebrate his big day.  It was one of our first neighborhood get-togethers of the season and we enjoyed seeing everyone again.  Several days later our tennis buddies gathered
to join in John's celebration.  We hope they both have many more birthdays.  Sadly, we also attended some Memorial Services sharing wonderful memories of one of Tom's former
bridge partners, Kay, and another for one of our park golf staff, Gerry.
One of the hard parts of being away from family is sharing in the accomplishments and activities of our grandchildren.   Our oldest granddaughter plays in the Wylie High School
Marching Band "Pure Gold" in Abilene, Texas.  They won their regional competition and were to compete in the State Finals at the Alamodome in San Antonio.  Its a really long way
from Palm Creek to San Antonio, so we decided we couldn't make the trip to watch the competition.  Our son-in-law and youngest granddaughter were making the trip from
Abilene, but our daughter and middle granddaughter were at home tending to Close's softball injuries.  Technology to the rescue!  The competition was broadcast via "live
streaming" over the Internet.  With computers and cell phones we were all able to watch and communicate with each other during the whole live performance and later in the
day, the awards presentations.  Pretty neat!
Its always fun to see friends and acquaintances when we return to the park after the summer.  The park plans a big Welcome Home Party in November and again in January when
many of the residents arrive.  This month's party had a beer-garden theme for the "party in the park" and there were brats, sauerkraut and beer on the menu (along with some
other items).  There was a polka band, too, but I think they played a lot of 50s and 60s music as well.           The tennis club had a mixer and social hour on a Sunday afternoon to
bring all the returning players together.  A good time was had by all.
Before we knew it, it was time for Thanksgiving.  Once again the neighborhood residents joined together for a "potluck" meal.  There were 18 of us gathered on a charitable
neighbor's patio and enjoying the perfect weather while sharing a delicious meal.  Half of our group was Canadian...they had their Thanksgiving in October, so they were getting
a second chance at the tasty turkey and all the trimmings!  Apparently we all had a good time as an acquaintance who lives a couple blocks away told us later that they got on
their bikes and rode around to see where all the noise and laughter was coming from...it was our group!  Part of our preparations for dinner was to clean off the charitable
neighbor's patio.  They don't arrive in the park till January, and leave a car parked there all summer.  The car started!  Tom pumped up the tires, cleaned out the spider webs,
washed it up and moved it out of the way for dinner.  Summer in the desert is a "little dusty!"  A Thanksgiving "picnic on the patio" was a fantastic treat!
Cotton growing season has come to an end and once again the field behind our wall was buzzing with activity (and a little dust!).  The huge picking machines were gathering the
cotton and dumping it into the big trailers.  When the trailers are full, they get dumped into the "module makers" where the cotton is tamped down over and over with a hydraulic
press until they have a bale large enough to fill a semi-trailer and weighing about 22,000 pounds.  It was a pretty noisy and dusty few days while the farmers got the job done.
We've pretty well established a weekly routine now that many more people have arrived in the park...picking up plenty of tennis matches and rounds of golf.  Mary's team even
won first place on one of the Ladies' Day events.   Tom has continued his shifts as "golf course starter."  Mary has spent plenty of time in the sewing room and worked as a "host"
at registration and in the Activities office.  Happy hour gatherings pull together on an empty site next to us, but the days are getting shorter and it really cools off when the sun
goes down.  We've enjoyed some beautiful sunsets and a full moon at the end of the month.  To get us in the Christmas spirit, on the last day of the month, we had a parade to
show off some of the residents' decorated golf cars and the park's float that will participate in the city Christmas parade downtown in December.  Guess its time to start some
Christmas shopping!
Neighbors that had arrived in the park at the beginning of
November gathered on Harry and Marilou's beautiful garden
patio to celebrate Harry's birthday.
Here's the birthday boy (and our occasional golf buddy),
Harry,  toasting his day!
Our tennis friend Patti held the cake for her husband
John to blow out his candles at another celebration.
Live streaming on the Internet, conversation by cell/speaker
phone...the next best thing to being at the Alamodome for the
performance.
The Saturday staff in the Activities Office...trying to look like they
belong in a German Beer Garden.
Cathy, Sherin, Mary and BJ.
The beer garden (also know as Palm Park) welcoming the
returning residents.
Some of the accumulation on a car left in the park
over the summer...yuk!  (It's all clean now, Alice and Dick!)
The Thanksgiving Feast table...yum!  A fantastic and
enjoyable day was had by all.
One of our neighbors climbed his ladder to check out the cotton harvest
on the other side of the wall.  Its a pretty interesting process.
Looking east at the end of the day...
Looking west a few minutes later.
The Palm Creek float for the Casa Grande city Christmas Parade was built
this year by the Pickleball Club.  Santa's elves learned how to play the game.
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