February 2008                                                                                                                                 return to our "Home Page"

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Whew!   What a month!

For starters...Mary had a dream.......she woke up and it was snowing...she had to put on a parka and boots and a warm hat and gloves and go outside to shovel snow.
Oh, no!  It wasn't a dream!  It was for real.  It was cold and windy.  She looked out the window and everything was white.  Small voices were shouting with glee "It's a snow day!"
At the end of January we'd had a call from our daughter in Illinois.  Our son-in-law was going on a business trip and Ann wanted to go along.  Could Grandma come babysit?  Mary accepted without hesitation, but Ann and Matt didn't tell her that there was going to be a blizzard and school would be cancelled.  Actually, Mary had a fun week, February 1-8,  in Illinois being part of life with the three granddaughters...school, dance lessons, swim lessons, scouts, homework, and games with a little bit of housework, laundry and cooking thrown in for good measure.  Grandpa held down the fort in Arizona, but checked in regularly by phone.  After several visits to Pennsylvania, our son-in-law Matt has accepted the position of "Process Engineer" at the Newspring plant operated by Pactiv Corp. in Mt. Carmel, PA.  The family will hopefully be moving to the area sometime this summer.

It took a little bit, but Mary remembered how to opeate the snow blower.  This was the second round of clearing for the day.
Coffey, Merrick and Close decided to "dress for dinner" on the snow day.  They decorated the house and threw a party.
We always seem to be far away on Close's birthday, February 14, so the party was in honor of her upcoming 9th birthday...complete with a cake and candles.

Once the babysitting chores were over, Mary returned to her "regular" schedule at Palm Creek.  First off, on the first day of her return, February 9, we toured the show put on by the Palm Creek artists using various painting methods.  Then Mary was off to participate in a tennis tournament to benefit breast cancer research.  No prizes, but good fun, a free lunch and good tennis (and a big swing in weather conditions!)  After playing tennis, Mary got home just in time to be a part of the neighborhood's February celebration...we had two more birthdays - giving us reason to add some dinner and dessert to one of our frequent gatherings.

Our neighbor, Linda Kanable, had several of her water colors on display at the art show.
Later that evening we celebrated her birthday. (It was one of those big ones with a zero at the end!)
It was also Peter Nichita's birthday and he got a Mickey and Minnie poster bringing him best wishes. He and Cathy had to give up a trip to Dinseyland after Cathy broke her ankle.
The ladies playing in the Breast Cancer Tennis Tournament were treated to a tasty lunch on the pool patio before they went to play.

We couldn't pass up yet another good meal so we were off on February 10 to attend the Tennis Club Sunday Brunch.  As usual the good cooks in the group brought plenty of tasty treats to enjoy.     Several days later our "happy hour gang" gathered to say good-by to our next-door-neighbors, Jim and Paula Jones who were heading back to the Buffalo, NY area to get their greenhouse and plants ready for spring (and from the looks of the weathercasts, they were just in time for one of New York's infamous blasts of winter.) Valentine's Day found us visiting with Ohio friends Ed and Judy Lichtenburg, Gwen and Bob Fraser and some of the neighbors in their area here at Palm Creek to say good-by to the Frasers as they moved on in their winter travels.  We think those two couples took the winter weather with them because from then on the weather improved a little more each day.

On February 15, our "visiting schedule" began.  Mary's brother Bill Close and his wife Beth arrived for a short stay.  They had flown from Toledo to San Francisco, rented a car, and were making a tour of the southwest.  They stayed with us for two nights and we thoroughly enjoyed their visit....we just wished it could have been longer.  Our friends from Las Vegas, Bonnie and Don Wolfe, arrived on February 18 in their Southwind motor home.  They parked at the Fiesta Grande RV park nearby and over the next several days we had a chance to catch up on their adventures, make some tourist jaunts and share some meals.

Sunday brunch offered the tennis players more delicious choices.
We miss our friends Jim and Paula Jones who have headed back to New York state.  They tell us the tulips are starting to come up.
Mary's brother Bill and his wife Beth made PAlm Creek one of the stops on their three-week vacation.
We took Bill and Beth to see the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument.  It's been there since around 1300 AD.
With our friends Bonnie and Don Wolfe we visited the St. Anthony Greek Orthodox Monastery near Florence, AZ.  They dressed the ladies in long skirts and head-scarves.
The main chapel at the monastery is one of seven built since 1995 amid beautiful gardens and plazas...a true oasis in the desert.
The insides of  the chapels have marble floors, intricate woodwork, lovely art work and gold fixtures.
The many garden plazas have beautiful fountains and sculptures.  The grounds are cared for by the 43 monks who live at the monastery.

A friend of ours is moving from the park next season and Mary has agreed to replace her as a volunteer in the Palm Creek Activities Office working a four-hour shift once a week.  On February 23, Mary went for some training and found out that the office really is a busy place, and as in any place dealing with the general public you really get to meet all sorts of interesting people and field some interesting questions and comments.  Once her training was over that day, we attended the Palm Creek Quilt Show.  Several of our neighbors had items on display and are part of the wealth of talent residing here in the park.  The next day was the Palm Creek Pottery Show.  Again, the talent was quite extensive.  Both shows attracted many viewers.
Sunday the 24th found Mary on a bus trip to Scottsdale with 100 or so others to see "Menopause, the Musical."  A hilarious afternoon was had by all!

The many quilts made by our Palm Creek residents filled the park's ballroom for the show.  There were numerous designs and patterns.
Not all the pottery pieces were pots and bowls.  This one was rather exotic.

The Second Annual Tennis Club Pentathlon began on Monday, February 25.  Mary partnered with her tennis pal, Rita Yates, to compete in the five events...lawn bowling, horseshoes, pickleball, golf and tennis.  They did one event each day of the week.  They can't say they did a fabulous job, but they sure had fun!  The weather for the week was fantastic and Mary and Rita made their best showing in the lawn bowling competition - taking second place in the ladies division.  The competion was topped off with awards and a pot-luck dinner on Friday night.  Rita and Mary discovered that it's best to be dead last.....they got certificates for food at a local restaurant while those in the middle of the pack just got applause!

Which ones are mine? Who's closest to the little white "jack?" These things aren't round!
Despite their inexperience, Mary and her partner, Rita, were awarded second place in the lawn bowling event.
Women winners of the Palm Creek Pentathlon were 2nd-Connie and Bonnie, 1st-Penny and Marg, and 3rd-Penny and Rhoda.
Second place in the men's division were Skip and Ken, 1st-Steve and Rick, 3rd -Dick and Dick.  Fun times for all!

In the middle of the Pentahlon week, our son Reid returned from his winter stay in Mexico and Costa Rica.  Having missed a connection in Houston he had to spend the night there.  His kayak arrived with him, but his bags were delivered later by a courier.  We are enjoying have him spend a few days here before he heads up to the Salt River NE of Phoenix to work there for the next 6 to 8 weeks and hope that he'll be able to come back on some of his days off.  (We'll tempt him with home cooked meals, electricity and hot water and some golf games.)  Reid shared some of his adventures with Tom's golf group at the Robson course and at our get-together with neighbors and when we took a "field-trip" to a neaby park to visit with former neighbors, Jim and Pat McGrath. (I forgot to take photos here!)

Along with all the "extras" this month, we managed to keep up with our regular golf, tennis and Tom's bridge games.  Most exciting for Tom was his round on February 11 with several of the neighborhood men when he got a "Hole-in-One" on the 12th hole here at Palm Creek.  They tell us his photo will appear in the coming month's newsletter and the trophy is on order.
We finished out the month with fantastic weather and are looking forward to a pleasant, busy and exciting April as well.  Be sure to come back and see what we're up to.