November 2013
Since we had arrived at our winter site at Palm Creek Golf and RV Resort in Casa Grande, AZ in mid-October, we were pretty well settled by the time the population in the park
took its big jump forward at the first of November.  Mary was on duty at the host station and was quite busy helping to check in the arriving residents.  It was great to see
friends and catch up on each other's summer activities as we met them on the tennis courts, golf course and around the park.  The park staff had been working fast and
furious to finish up summer projects that "enhanced the amenities" as management called it.  There were projects large and small that truly have spruced up the park from
new flags on the golf course to a major renovation and new construction of our "bistro" and patio that adjoins the pool and golf course.  Half of our tennis courts were
completely rebuilt using a "post tension" process.  The park sponsored our "Fall Welcome Home" party on November 9 and there was food, drinks and live music in the newly
renovated park.
The weather we had most of the month of November could not have been better.  We had gorgeous sunny days in the 80s and cool evenings.  There was no need for heat or
A/C most of the time.  The golf course, having been re-seeded, had opened the back 9 early in the month and the front 9 re-opened in the middle of the month.  Although the
greens were a little bumpy, we enjoyed being out on the course in the sunshine.  Slowly our neighborhood became home to old friends and a few new ones and happy hours
were once again the daily ritual.  We continued catching up on our various doctor and dentist appointments and made a couple trips to the Tempe, AZ campus of Arizona
State University where Tom participated in a movement research project at the ASU Center for Adaptive Neural Systems.  The project, entitled "Interactive Multimedia for
Movement Therapy in People with Parkinson's Disease," was a long name for Tom getting to spend several hours doing movement activities similar to playing video games
while using laser pointers as a computer tracked his movements. It was quite interesting!
Before we knew it, Thanksgiving was approaching.  Our neighborhood gang organized for its annual turkey dinner.  We had two turkeys cooked on the BBQ and an enormous
buffet of side dishes and desserts.  Our usual contribution is pies...this year there were two pumpkin and two pecan.  But, for us, the best part was that our daughter Ann,
son-in-law Matt, and granddaughters Coffey, Close and Merrick, drove from Texas to joins us for the holiday.  They arrived on Wednesday night and we met them at
Culver's...one of their favorite places to eat that doesn't have any outlets near their home.  They "crashed" at a nearby hotel after the meal and the 12 hour drive.  On
Thanksgiving morning the McCurdys came to check out the park and we gave them a "complete tour."  Tom and Matt then played the back-9 of the golf course with Coffey as
a caddy while the rest of the girls took a long walk and bike ride in the sunshine.  We gathered with the neighbors in late afternoon for one of our rousing games of
"Bean-bag Baseball" while the final dinner preparations were underway.  Finally it was time to eat and as always we were amazed at the variety of tasty food on the table.         
                                 For some reason, the McCurdys had not brought bathing suits but wanted to take a dip in the huge Palm Creek pool.  So, our ultimate Thanksgiving
adventure began as we arrived at Walmart a little after 7pm shopping for new suits for the five of them.  Just as we got to the doors, they were closed!  We waited in line for
45 minutes while watching the constant stream of departing shoppers pushing carts overloaded with TVs, vacuum cleaners and toys.  When they finally admitted us to the
throng of shoppers we were directed completely around the perimeter of the store before allowed to head to our desired department.  Ann hit the clearance racks while
Matt headed to the checkout line to await a turn.  Fortunately there were store employees keeping track of checkout lines and directing shoppers to the ones that were
moving.  Matt was calling the girls to get to the checkout within about 15 minutes and we were "out of there" with a motley collection of tops and bottoms suitable for each
member of the family...a good thing that the hosts of "What Not to Wear" TV program weren't around!!!     Back at the park, the heated pool and warmer hot-tub, provided
some exercise and relaxation for the active bunch.  Tom and I were great supervisors!
The McCurdys were off early the day after Thanksgiving, heading to the Grand Canyon and beyond...a big road trip and more adventures for their long weekend.  We got back
to our "usual"...golf and sewing and enjoying the time outdoors with the neighbors.   The next few weeks will be busy with a little Christmas shopping, organizing for our road
trip to Texas for the holiday and Mary will be heading to Michigan for a visit with her Mom as she resumes a more normal schedule while recovering from a broken hip.  
Towards the end of the month we broke the string of 72 days with no measurable rainfall with 3 straight days of rain and now some cooler temperatures.  We guess winter has
come to the dessert!
Residents gathered in the Palm Park to enjoy food and
drink along with some music.
The renovated food service area was crowded with booths offering
sandwiches, drinks, chips and ice cream.
New pavers, a shade structure, and fire pits added to the
ambiance of our patio.
At one end of the patio they built a large fireplace and added
comfy lounge chairs.
Our neighbor Cathy celebrated a birthday with her Snickers Bar
"cake" at one of our happy hours.
We had some beautiful days, nights and
sunsets this month.
For the first time in a long time, the guys beat the gals at "bean bag
baseball"  Tom's on third, Matt on second as Harry pitches to loaded
bases.  Who's on first?  Jim!
There were 8 Canadians, 2 Sweedes, and 11 Americans gathered
around our Thanksgiving table.
We dearly miss our friends Dennis and Connie.  Connie always got
the turkey leg...but this year Peter took care of it in her honor!
We were certainly "happy campers" having our granddaughters, Merrick,
Coffey and Close, join us for Thanksgiving at Palm Creek.
The family couldn't resist the call of the pool.
The hot-tub felt good after they climbed from the pool into the cool
evening air.  Note the lifeguard on duty to the right!
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