Peace and quiet!!! That's life at Palm Creek in the month of May. The resident population has diminished greatly and traffic in the park is almost non-existent. What activity there
is, happens early in the day. Checking out the construction progress (or the lack of progress) on the park's major expansion project is a daily ritual of many of the residents. At
this point it appears progress is slow. The sewing room's three sections still sit in a parking lot, with it's former space cleared and graded awaiting the ballroom expansion. The
golf course putting green has been ripped up with palm trees and irrigation removed awaiting a new pro-shop building. The patio overlooking the first tee has been broken up
and removed awaiting the bistro enlargement. A several blocks long row of planted oleanders has been removed in anticipation of new streets being constructed. All of this is
necessary and preliminary to the bigger projects. It just seems to the observers that it isn't happening very fast. The project manager was introduced to us during the last week of
the month and they tell us that things will really start happening soon.
We're still keeping up with our golf and tennis, but our players group has shrunk! Thanks to rising temperatures, our tennis buddies gather at 7:30am and on golfing days we're
usually on the first tee before 7:00. Our tennis games are a "round-robin" and with a couple extra players, we can take turns taking a rest after several games. Thanks to only a
few groups of players on the golf course, we can walk and play nine holes in about an hour. The golf course yearly maintenance is on a different schedule this year - which we
discovered one morning when we arrived to start a round around 7:00. Workers (who report for work at 5:00am) had aerated the course...leaving little mud "turds" all over the
front nine. Ooops...we headed to the back half of the course. A couple weeks later the same thing happened to the back nine, so it was back to the front, although it was still a
little muddy. The greens and tees are still green, but the fairways are turning brown. The course is still quite playable, however, and the cost of $0 (free!) is worth it!!!
Several times a week we find our way to the "San Tan Room" in the park's activity building. Thanks to all the construction projects going on, its the only room available for any type of
indoor gathering. There is something going on there most of the day and evening and we have learned to share the space and move furniture around. Early in the month some of
the residents decided they wanted a little more added to their activity calendar, so a meeting of summer residents was called to make some plans. The group started a "Tapas
Tuesday" event...every Tuesday at 4:00 we bring appetizers and our own drink and "meet and greet." The treats are tasty and there's no need for dinner afterwards! Trips to some
events outside the park were organized and some dinner plans at local restaurants were made. Pretty much the same people (sometimes we're part of the group!) gather in the same
place for daily poker games, Saturday night card bingo, occasional morning coffee and donuts provided by a sponsoring vendor, or a meal. Its always a good time!
We managed to "Escape the compound" several times during May. Early in the month we went with about 50 Palm Creek residents to attend the City of Casa Grande Planning and
Zoning Commission meeting. It was a quiet, civilized meeting and our group's presence made a statement that we were in favor of the expansion plans that the park was
requesting the city to approve. Permission was granted!
One day we went to the Phoenix area and the corporate headquarters of "Silver Sneakers." Tom has been taking Tai Chi for a couple years here in Casa Grande. His instructor was
asked to bring several of her students to the Silver Sneakers offices so that they could film an informational video to use in their promotions. We had a fun day being part of the
production....quite interesting to see the equipment they used and the process involved in the filming. They tell us Tom should be part of 'viral video' soon. :-)
Last month we went out to Harrah's Ak-Chin Casino to see a performance by "Herman's Hermits." This month it was an evening with "Jay and the Americans." More nostalgia.
We made a trip to the Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles, found no lines of people, and at a cost far greater than in Ohio, became real residents and registered voters of the
State of Arizona. We're now legal!!
We talk about construction at Palm Creek being slow...but on the outskirts of the city of Casa Grande we have a construction project going on that is supposed to bring thousands
of jobs and new residents to the area. Its been 'in the works' for several years now, but a huge facility is now bing constructed. Every once in a while we drive out to see what is
happening and now can finally see some progress.
|The sewing room and a recycling area used to sit in this spot.
|Our putting green isn't 'golfer friendly' any longer
|There will be no sitting on the patio to enjoy a golf course view for a while.
|The wood floor in the ballroom was ripped up and hauled away.
|Our friend Sue found us on the #6 tee early one morning.
|This is what we found on greens and tees one day when we arrived...the
circles are rows of "plugs" pulled from the ground. Then a lucky worker got
to come rake them all up.
|We always have a few friends on the course - even
in the early hours of the day.
|Anyone have some ideas for excitement this summer?
|Free coffee and donuts is an incentive to gather in the morning.
|Yum! A chicken dinner catered by a local restaurant started off our
Memorial Day Weekend.
|A new summer couple brought along their Karaoke equipment and
"got us going" at "Tapas Tuesday."
|Joy and Natalie got into the act right away.
|Tom took a turn as they passed the microphone around the room.
|Instructor Kim with Tom and another student showed off their Tai Chi
skills for the camera.
|The camera man had several different cameras working at the same time
with an assistant in charge of lights and music.
|"Jay and the Americans" sang lots of 'golden oldies' for us.
|Its hard to see from the highway, but the Phoenix Mart is a huge
L-shaped building - the dark part on the right goes east and west, the
lighter on the left goes north and south.
|We also made a visit to the Arizona Department of Motor
Vehicles....we're legal residents now!
Among the many chores taken care of here at Palm Creek in the summertime is the trimming of the almost 3000 palm trees in the park. The maintenance supervisor says his goal is
to do 60 trees a day till they're finished. Whew! We've been in our new house a year now and they just have planted the palm trees on our lot. Tom watered them faithfully for
several weeks until the workers returned to put in a 'drip system." I think we had rain for a few minutes one day early in the month...and the result was a pretty rainbow. The TV
weatherman told us that in 121 years of records, it has rained on Memorial Day in Phoenix just 6 times...the last in 1992.
|If you look closely, you can see three climbers in the palm trees -
with chain saws on their belts. Not our idea of a fun job!
|We came outside early one morning to find some
holes dug and palm trees delivered to our yard.
|Several hours later they were all planted and the fronds tied up -
which they leave for several months.
|A little rain often brings a rainbow to our neighborhood.
|One evening we thought we heard gunshots...but discovered that
graduation at the nearby high school was
celebrated with a really nice fireworks show.
Yes, its definitely summer in the dessert! Cactus blooms are beginning to wilt....right along with the humans. We do love our air-conditioning!
|You may not want to touch them, but the cactus
certainly have beautiful blooms.
|It really was only about 101* outside, but the
car had been parked in the sun for several
hours when we returned to it. It was down to
103* after a 20 mile drive and a trip through the