New Years Day dawned right
on time - after our celebration the night before in Waterville, OH.
After a great breakfast with our good friends and hosts, Kathy and Dennie
Dew, we were on the road....first to the Detroit airport to return our
rental car and catch a plane. In Phoenix four hours later, we were
met by neighbors, Cathy and Peter Nichita. We stopped for dinner
on the way back to Casa Grande and found our "home on wheels" waiting for
us. Mary had been gone for almost 6 weeks, and Tom, two. It
felt good to be home. It didn't take long for us to get "back into the
swing of things." Once we got caught up on laundry we were off to
a regular schedule of golf, tennis, bridge games and get-togethers with
There had been a similar
one in November, but management at Palm Creek decided that since it was
a success and there were lots of new arrivals over the holidays, that another
"Welcome Back Party" was in order. We feasted on hot dogs and beer
and enjoyed a sunny afternoon. Another celebration was held for friends
celebrating their 75th birthdays. The wives threw a great party with
friends and family members sharing great memories and tributes. The
tennis club had their monthly social gathering - more good food - and we
made certain that our playing pals knew we were back in town and ready
to join them on the courts. We also attended a wonderful Memorial
Service for one of our tennis friends, Bill Howisey, who passed away unexpectedly
last summer. Mary attended a fashion show afternoon with Marilynn
Reynolds, a Bounder buddy from Pennsylvania who has arrived in the park,
and we welcomed another Bounder buddy couple, Judy and Ed Lichtenberg,
when they arrived from Ohio. Closer to home, our neighborhood group
decided that since we finally had all returned to our little corner
of the park, we should have a barbecue. We fired up the grills and
brought a dish to share and enjoyed catching up with everyone's news.
There were also a few
"maintenance" items to be looked after. Mary made the rounds of doctor
appointments having the "annual" things taken care of. Meanwhile,
Tom supervised the work of "Miracle Touch Painting" when they arrived to
take care of the "boo-boos" that we got on the driver's side of the Dutch
Star last summer. They did an excellent job over several days doing
some sanding, smoothing, matching paint and applying color and clear coat.
To spice things up a little we went with a group of friends up to Apache
Junction to attend the dinner theater production at the "Arizona Opry."
We enjoyed a tasty roast beef dinner and fun evening of "Branson" type
music and comedy. The theater is owned and operated by twin sisters
who are also two of the performers.
Many years ago we went
on a Toro sponsored trip to Spain. One of the couples we spent time
with on that trip now live in California. At the time, Gale was the
Toro factory representative that called on the Toledo office. We
have kept in touch with them over the years but had not seen each other
since a meeting in Las Vegas, also many years ago. We got a call
from them one day saying they were in Phoenix as vendors at the P.F. Chang
Rock 'n Roll Marathon. We arranged to meet for breakfast on a Sunday
morning - and had a great visit. Several days later
we had guests for dinner at our place. Howard and Linda Payne have
a fantastic website all about full-time RVing. (www dot RV-Dreams dot com)
We have been following their site for several years and have corresponded
via e-mail often, even though we had never met them. They were staying
at the Picacho Peak State Park near us, so we invited them to stop by.
We had a great evening exchanging adventures and comparing our full-time
lifestyles. Hopefully we'll cross paths with both couples again.
Before we knew it, January had come to an end. It had started out a little on the cool side, but by the end of the month we were having temperatures "a little above normal" to quote the weather man. We'll take sunshine any day...and appreciate the misery of our friends and family back east as they have endured lots of ice, cold and snow.