April is one of the best months here at Palm Creek....many "snow-bird" residents head back home and we have much less traffic in the park - and in town. Check-out lines at
the stores are much shorter and restaurants are far less crowded. Back at the park there are fewer game tables active and in the sewing room the ladies can leave all their
projects spread out on a table when they go home. Best of all - the golf course in the park is open for free. As the daily temperatures began to rise, tee times became
earlier. It's not easy getting out of bed that early for us, but we've been at the first tee around 7:00am many mornings. Actually, our daily temperatures have been quite
decent, with only a few days reaching in the high 90's and evening lows around 50. And to make life exciting, we had a few days of wind and clouds....but no rain. However,
the northern part of the state did get some snow and we got lots of photos from friends and family in the northern part of the country and Canada showing their blizzard
conditions. No, thanks!
Looking back at our calendar and photos, it seems like our month centered a lot on food! A member of Mary's sewing group and a group who played games together will not
be returning to the park next year, so Mary invited the group to our home for lunch one day. They had a great visit and enjoyed their lunch on the patio as weather
cooperated for the event. The sewing guild held their end-of-the-year brunch at the pavilion near our house and once again had great weather, a tasty meal and some fun
The park does not sponsor many activities in the summer, so a group of year-round residents has taken event planning into their own hands and has quite a few things
planned for us between now and October. First off was the start of our weekly "Tapas Tuesdays". Everyone brings an appetizer (Tapas-in Spanish) or dish to share and we
have a great visit. So far, our weekly get-together has drawn about 80 people....a packed and noisy room but with some great food!
|The "Pegs-and-Jokers Ladies" ...Patt, Linda, Holly, Pam, Sally and Joan
enjoying the spring weather.
|There were still a lot of sewing guild members in the park mid-April who
gathered for a tasty brunch.
|Did someone say "food"? The residents gathered to share their "tapas."
Mary's Tuesday evening card group also goes out for coffee on Sunday mornings. They usually go to the Starbucks inside a local grocery store. There are a few others who
share the same Sunday habit and there's usually some friendly conversation among the customers. One Sunday the ladies learned that a kind gentleman who is always there
with his caretaker is a navy veteran. A couple of the card players/coffee ladies are also sewers and it was decided that he would be a wonderful candidate to receive one of
the sewing guild's "Quilt of Honor." The ladies created quite a wonderful scene at the Starbucks as they presented him with a quilt.
|Our friend Hugh and his caregiver Denise were quite
surprised when we had our little "Thank a Veteran with
a Quilt" ceremony.
|Hugh will be 92 in October and other than his
years in the Navy lived in New York City until he
retired from driving buses and subway trains.
For a little diversion from our normal routine, we made a trip to Phoenix with our friends Linda and Wayne to tour the Amazon Fulfillment Center. We'd heard it was a great tour
that is only offered periodically, so when they opened reservations this spring, we signed up. Boy, what a place! The center we toured is not one of their fully automated
centers, so we got to see the workers in action gathering all the stuff we order from Amazon into one of 40,000 yellow bins that are whisked off to the shipping department on
various conveyors. The warehouse is the size of 13 football fields and is crammed with "cubbies" jammed with merchandise. We watched as they unloaded trucks from
vendors and bar-coded every single item as it was unloaded. The items are then placed wherever they fit in the warehouse into a bar-coded spot and inventoried via computer
as to where it is so that order pickers can find it and bar-code it again for packing and shipping. The bar code even tells the packer what box to pull off the rack and the
computer spits out a piece of that blue tape that fits the box exactly. The bar code also sends the box to the correct shipping area...overnight, 2-day or whenever it gets there!
We asked what happens if they lose electric power...they said back-up will send all the orders to another Fulfilment Center. Quite an interesting place!
We had a nice visit one evening with friends Carol and John, whom we met years ago at an FMCA Rally. They are full-time RVers originally from Indianapolis and live in a Dutch
Star similar to the one we had. Carol and John have been "work-campers" and volunteers at some great places around the US and spent this last winter at a wildlife center in
New Mexico. They have now connected with a company that leads RV Caravans to various places and were in Casa Grande to attend a "Good Sam" rally and give seminars on
travel opportunities. We introduced them to "The Thirsty Donkey", our local pub that sells their beer by the ounce for you to sample from 40 different taps(but forgot to take a
photo at dinner). We look forward to seeing them again!
|No cameras allowed at Amazon, but they took a photo of Wayne,
Linda, Mary and Tom and emailed it to us.
|Our friends Carol and John manned a booth at the Good Sam
Rally in Casa Grande.
'Tis the season for construction in the park. Once the "snowbirds" headed home, the earth movers arrived and houses started rolling in. We've heard various reports of how
many new homes will be built this summer, but they're off to a good start!. It is always amazing to watch the drivers park the new houses as they arrive - one half at a time - and
they do it making it look so easy. Usually it is done with a regular semi-truck tractor, but one morning we were fascinated as they disconnected the truck tractor and hooked the
house up to a smaller caterpillar type tractor that was all controlled by a hand-held remote control. Talk about "big-boy toys!" We'll be having another new neighbor soon, it
|A little to the left.......
||Yeah, just like that....a new house is put in place.
Not having little kids around the house, we didn't color Easter eggs, and we passed up the opportunity to attend a community celebration where 10,000 eggs were dropped
from a helicopter onto the football field. (Maybe we should have gone, just to see that happen!) But we did have a wonderful Easter dinner with friends at a home on the golf
course. The hostess had also hosted an Easter morning brunch earlier in the day for Mary's Sunday coffee ladies. (Mary forgot to take photos at the brunch). We're loving
being able to eat outside these days!
|No Easter eggs, but we did have some little ducks...
||...and some bunnies.
|Easter dinner with Cheri and Paul, Wayne and Linda, and hosts Larry and
Marilyn at their home on the golf course.
|Easter lily, Arizona style. The blooms only last 24 to 48 hours.
Of course there were a few doctor appointments, some physical therapy and Tai Chi classes for Tom, a few
tennis games and some sewing for Mary, and card games and golf for both of us during the month. We expect
those and some great weather to continue as we make our way through May. We're hoping to do some traveling
at the end of the month....so come back and check us out.