February 2014
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The "Super-Bowl of Tennis" had started at the end of January.  The final matches were held on February 1 with Mary's 49ers team facing Tom's Broncos.  The Broncos four
pairs came out on top, but it was not a run-away contest!   Later in the day, the tennis club members gathered for dinner and the awards ceremony followed by a wine auction.  
Proceeds from the wine auction went to Palm Creek's Cancer Awareness Project.

Other clubs at Palm Creek participated in the Cancer Awareness Project as well.  We enjoyed watching the lawn bowlers "do their thing" as they competed against each other.  
The finale of the Cancer Awareness Project was an evening in the park.  Volunteers had lined the entrance drive and Palm Park walkways with luminaries lighted in honor of
cancer survivors, victims and patients.   A group of hot air balloons surrounded Palm Park taking turns lighting up the night while residents enjoyed cookies and hot chocolate
and some live music.   Some of our talented residents had donated items for a silent auction.  And, the weather cooperated for a beautiful and colorful evening.
There is always something going on at Palm Creek......we don't have enough hours in the day to participate in everything!  But we did take in a few other activities this month.  
Mary attended the "High Tea" held by the Quilters and Sewers Guild.  The ladies gathered in the beautifully decorated ballroom to share tea and dainty sandwiches and
sweets.   Out at the ball diamond we watched a bit of the "over 70" tournament.  Teams from other parks in the area joined two of Palm Creek's teams in the fast-pitch
competition...with all players being over the age of 70.  No rocking chair sitting around here!                                                         Meanwhile on the other side of the park, the
annual tennis club member tournament was happening.  We watched our tennis friends compete against each other over a period of three days, and then joined them for the
chili super and awards night.        Not to leave out our golf adventures, we have continued to get in some rounds of golf each week.  We also attended a session led by our
golf pro to refresh our knowledge of rules and etiquette on the course.                                     Volunteers are at the heart of activities here at Palm Creek and to show their
appreciation, the management invited the volunteers to a morning coffee and doughnuts event on the patio.  It's chilly in the dessert until the sun gets high in the sky, so we
gathered around the fireplaces as we enjoyed our breakfast goodies.
One Saturday we drove to the north side of Phoenix to participate in a Parkinson's Conference sponsored by the Baehr Challenge.  We had a great day learning and hearing
the "latest" info from various doctors, enjoying a little humor, and listening to MLB ball player Ben Petrick who now also has the disease.  We always leave these events with a
bit of optimism and inspiration.
As we did in January, the neighborhood gang got together for an indoor happy hour and dinner one night.  This month we shared pizza and played games.  We scheduled
these monthly nights a year ahead of time because the winter weather has always been so unpredictable.  Not so this year!  But we gathered indoors, anyway!  We can't believe
the gorgeous days we've had, while our friends and family up north have suffered through a terrible winter.
The Palm Creek Quilters Guild has about 250 members.  They keep the park's beautiful and spacious sewing room busy from 10am to 9pm seven days a week.  Many of the
ladies do a lot of sewing in their home communities as well.  The members share their talents teaching classes which are held almost daily during the park's busy season.  The
annual Quilt Show was held in February and attracted many viewers from all over the Casa Grande community.  Two other parks in town held their quilt show on the same day
so if you were so inclined, you could "show hop."  As usual, the Palm Creek ladies outdid themselves and the variety and quality of their work was quite visible.  Mary enjoys
being a part of the group even though she has a long way to go to catch up with the talent.                                                The park's "Artists and Crafters" put on their annual
show on another day where we could witness the time, effort, and artistry of the photographers, woodcrafters, silversmiths and lapidary crafters.  There is so much talent in
this place!
It's a rare day when we both find ourselves without a commitment of some kind in the park.  When that happened one day towards the end of the month we put ourselves into
"tourist mode" and headed to Phoenix to tour the Heard Museum.  Somehow in all the years we have been coming to Palm Creek, we had not taken the time to visit this
wonderful place.  The Museum showcases the arts and cultures of the Native peoples of the Americas.  The building was constructed in the Spanish Colonial style with
several wings and courtyards and many beautiful galleries.  We enjoyed the visiting exhibit of Georgia O'keeffe work and took two different tours highlighting the museum's
permanent collections.  Especially interesting were the exhibit showcasing the 21 Indian tribes in Arizona and their evolution of art and culture through the years and also the
exhibit showing the history of the Indian boarding schools...a sad and depressing movement in the late 1800's and 1900's.
As we head into March the park will begin to empty out as residents head home, but there is
still a lot of activity going on.  We feel blessed to continue to enjoy our time here in Arizona.
Tom and his Broncos team were awarded first place in the
"Super-Bowl of Tennis"
Tom even got a beautiful (and no doubt, valuable) Super-Bowl ring
to honor the team's win.
Our neighbor Cathy was one of the many lawn bowlers supporting
the Cancer Awareness Project.
The honey bee lit up the park.....
..as did the circle of colorful balloons.
The luminaries lined about 1/3 mile from the gate to Palm Park.
The "Doll Club" made doll clothes for the centerpiece
display at the Ladies' High Tea.
Many of the ladies made "fascinator" hats like our friend from
Ohio, Judy,  to wear as we feasted on dainty sandwiches and
Palm Creek's Ballfield gets a lot of action
through the winter.
Our neighbor, John, was safe at first base.
The tennis tournament had some great weather
for their matches.
Penny and Glady collected our tickets at the chili supper.
Our golf pro, Mark, gave us
some tips on rules of the game.
Breakfast on the patio was especially
nice around the fire.
"The Need for Speed" skit was presented at the Baehr Challenge
Conference by Brian Baehr and friends.
Ben Petrick, former MLB player, was the keynote speaker
at the conference we attended.
Neighborhood pizza night attracted quite a gang of us to gather in
the "Saguaro Room" for fun and games.
Just one of the many quilts on display at the Palm Creek Quilt Show.
Over 30 "Quilts of Valor" with matching pillowcases are made
by our members and donated to patients at the
Tuscon VA hospital each year.
Many different types, sizes and colors of quilts
were exhibited at the show.
It's amazing what can be done with  pieces of wood.
Turning silver and stones into beautiful jewelry is another fine
art practiced at Palm Creek.
Courtyard sculpture by Allan Houser at
the entrance to the Heard Museum in Phoenix.
A combination of old style pottery and new glass art techniques
welcomes visitors to the "Native People of the Southwest" exhibit.
When Indian children first arrived at boarding school they were
stripped of their clothes and had their hair cut in an effort to make
the "more civilized."
One of our Palm Creek neighbors has his own somewhat unique
"recreational vehicle" which he launches in the early
morning from the ballfield.