Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Not All Who Wander Are Lost
June, 2019 - Mount Denali, Alaska

Thursday, March 26, 2020

What a Difference a Month Can Make

It's been about a month since my last post, and things have certainly changed. Not just here, but all over the world. It's crazy how fast life can take a drastic turn.  We're doing just fine, and hope that is the case for all of you.

Yuma had its first reported case of the virus this week. There are now four cases. Our resort was very proactive, and shut down all buildings and activities on March 16th. The golf course is open with an honor box to pay. We've been playing some golf, doing chores on our place, quilting and lots of reading. The library closed down about a week ago. Thank goodness for eBooks and our Kindles.

I will share a few events that happened before the shutdown. On March 1st, we had a block party for our street. We think about 50 people attended. It was such a success, we are already planning next year's event.

Our neighbors Nancy and Everett introduced a critter racing game. It's a take on horse racing with betting using cards. Each card cost a quarter, and if your critter won, you got a $1.50 payout. Dice were rolled to advance the critters. Everyone really seemed to enjoy the game.

Kevin and neighbor Brent were in charge of moving the critters.

Several of the ladies sold the cards and handed out winnings.

Kevin and some lovely neighbors look happy with their winning cards and critter number four, the teddy bear.

On March 7th the golf course hosted a drive, chip and putt contest. I was a volunteer. In the driving contest, there was a 3 foot metal rooster in the fairway. If you hit it, your name was put in a hat for a drawing to win it. Out of 90 entrants each hitting 3 balls, only one lady actually hit the rooster, so she won it.  It was a lot of fun. Next year we are going to enter the contest.

In January, 2019 I planted an orange tree in our backyard. This year it was loaded with blossoms. They sure did smell wonderful. It is advised to pick off most of the fruit in the first few years so the tree can develop a stronger root and trunk system. I'll be leaving some of them on the tree though. I can't wait to have fresh oranges.

A few weeks ago we had quite a bit of rain. Yuma only averages about 3 inches a year. We had almost that much in 2 days. It doesn't take long for flooding to occur, and the washes to fill with water. As it stopped raining, this beautiful rainbow appeared over the foothills.

This season our park opened a stained glass studio. I took a starter class and made this feather. The $5 fee was a bargain.

The weather has been cooler than normal for March. That's actually a good thing as we've had most days in the 70s. Perfect daytime and sleeping weather. We have frequent pretty sunsets.

I continued to attend the woodcarving lessons. This season we made a wood spirit out of cottonwood bark. Here's my finished product. Next year we are supposed to be making little fairy houses out of the bark. I also made a Santa ornament which is not quite finished.

Since things came to a screeching halt, I've been painting our metal porch ceilings. We have a front and back porch. They had yellowed over the years, so I'm refreshing them with white paint. It's not much fun, but it looks so much brighter and nicer as you can see in the picture. I'm almost done.

Kevin's working on rebuilding the doors of our shed. They had some rotted pieces on them. We also tore up the outdoor carpet on our front porch. It was just plain nasty. We're using our RV mat over the plywood that was under the carpet for now. In fall we plan to replace the plywood with TREX boards. That will be so much nicer looking and cleaner.

We do not have a stay at home order yet in Yuma. Bars and restaurants are closed except for take out and delivery. Most stores are still open. We are pretty much sheltering in place other than playing the occasional round of golf with friends. The good thing about golf is you aren't really close to anyone, and we get lots of fresh air and sunshine!

The only other adventure we've had is grocery shopping. What a zoo. Luckily, we were pretty well supplied with paper products and cleaning supplies. I don't understand this hoarding business. Several of our Canadian friends and neighbors left earlier than planned, so we were the recipients of food they didn't want to throw away. We're set for quite some time.

We wish you all the best, and hope the virus passes quickly. I feel so bad for families who are losing income. I'm also so grateful for all the workers in the medical field including our daughter-in-law Cathryn.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Golf Tournament and Other Happenings

We continue to stay quite busy here at the RV resort as we enjoy some really beautiful weather. At the end of January, we participated in the annual 5K run/walk inside the park. Believe it or not, a few people actually run. We walk with most of the rest of the participants. It's fun, and afterwards the park provides cookies, fresh fruit, and beverages.

We've also attended a few concerts. This was a CCR (Credence Clearwater Revival) tribute band. They did a great job, and it was fun to hear the tunes from our younger days.

Last week was a Styx tribute band. The guitar player on the right actually toured with the original band for eight years. They were also good. Unfortunately, the ticket sales were not that good. Styx was popular during the late 70s and early 80s. Maybe just a little too recent for most people here to know their music. I only knew about half of the songs, but it was still a good show.

Every Wednesday afternoon I attend woodcarving. We are currently working on a wood spirit carved out of cottonwood bark. The group is growing, and we are filling up our room every week.

We continue to enjoy plenty of golf. In early February we played in the night golf event. It was so much fun. They do a great job setting up the course with solar lights and glow sticks at night. The glow in the dark balls are fun to watch as they sail through the night sky. Random teams are assigned, and then we play 9 holes in the afternoon, have a chili supper, and then play another 9 holes after dark.

Here's Kevin with Janet, one of his partners.

It was a full moon that night, Here it is rising over the foothills on hole number six as we played the afternoon round. It sure helped us see later in the dark.

Last Wednesday we played in the mixed couples event with friends Rick and Cynthia. We had a great round and lots of fun. We even won some cash!

Yesterday was the annual Fortuna de Oro Golf Tournament. Teams are again picked randomly. It's a great way to meet new people, and have a great time. Here's my team. We lucked out with an afternoon tee time. The morning group got soaked with some rare rain showers. It usually only rains about once a month during the winter.

Each year there are more men signed up than women. The organizer of the event chooses some of the men to be "special ladies" to even out the teams. It's quite a big deal with many of the men wondering if they'll get picked. This year our good friend Syd was chosen. He makes quite a striking tall woman. He's on the right in his pink afternoon golf outfit. There is a dinner after all the golf has been played where these "special ladies" dress up in their evening attire. Since this has been going on for several years, there is quite a selection of wigs and outfits for these guys to choose from throughout the park.

Here is the group all dressed up for dinner. The laughter and fun we have is amazing.

Although we play a lot of golf, it's not all we do. For example, last week the Three Amigos tequila company had free taste testing. I like it better mixed in a margarita.

I also try to get to the quilting room as least once a week. We had a group lesson on the paper piecing technique. Here's the hummingbird I made. I think I may make it into a pillow.

In the last few years several of the park models on our street have been sold. A group of us get together Friday nights after the golf scramble and have dinner, trading off on the hosting duties. Our group is called The New Kids on the Block. Ha, ha.  This past Friday we had a Mardi Gras themed dinner with hurricanes to drink, beads to wear, and a King Cake for desert. The sunset was spectacular.

Cynthia does a great job of getting Kevin to smile for photos!!

So, as you can see another month of fun times is coming to a close. In March people start leaving. By May it is pretty much a ghost town.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Loss of a Very Dear Friend

We are so sad to say that our very dear friend, Richard Patzer, passed away last week. He and his wife of over 50 years, Wanda, were in Florida in their motor home enjoying some warm weather. Dick loved RVing and camping. He got sick, and Wanda took him to the hospital where they discovered a brain bleed. We're so very sad for Wanda and his family.

We've known them for over 25 years, and spent many fun times together in the camping club we belonged to, on several wonderful vacations, in Yuma and Wisconsin. Dick was such a fun loving guy. He loved to play cards and games. Wherever Dick was, fun was happening.

Here are some pictures of memories we have and trips we took. The first three photos are of a cruise we took in January, 2012. It was Dick and Wanda's 45 wedding anniversary year, Al and Joan's 40th anniversary year, and our 35th anniversary year. Dick won the bean bag toss championship.

Last winter they spent a few months in Arizona. We had some great times including a trip to Phoenix for a Brewers Spring Training game.

In 2015 they rented a park model for a few months at the resort here in Yuma, and we had a great time.

In the summer of 2000, a group of friends visited Georgia and South Carolina.

In 1997 a group of us went to Disney World. Dick had sprained his ankle, but that didn't stop him.

These are just a few of the many wonderful memories we have. We loved Dick, and he will be missed by all that knew him.

Here at the resort in Yuma, activities continue. Last Saturday we attended a show by comedian, Tom Briscoe. He was great.

On New Year's Eve in downtown Yuma, they drop the lettuce ball. We didn't attend, but I thought it was funny. Yuma is referred to as the winter salad bowl of the country because of all the produce grown here, so the lettuce ball is perfect.

On Sunday we competed in the Canada/American Golf Classic here at the resort. We had a great time, but lost a close competition with our neighbors Brent and Jan from Manitoba. The Canadians won for a third straight year.

We decorated our golf cart for the event.

Many others also decorated their carts and golf bags.

Here we are with our team.

This golf ball was lodged in a palm tree on the 7th hole.

Kevin with a few of the American guys enjoying pre-game Caesars.

A group of the ladies and Harry.

On Friday afternoons we play in a scramble. Each week random pairings are made. It's a lot of fun, and a great way to meet new people. Here was Kevin's team from a few weeks ago. Looks like they had a great time!

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

 We wish all of our family and friends a very Merry Christmas!!

We won't be heading to the cold north this year, and will miss being with our families for the holidays. It's so nice to have the technology to visit with them from afar!!! However, we won't be alone to celebrate Christmas. Tonight a group of friends are coming over to our place for an extended happy hour, and to sit around the campfire and visit. Tomorrow we are invited to a neighbors with four other couples for a Christmas dinner potluck and gift exchange.

Another month has flown by since my last post, and we continue to keep busy and enjoy life. A few weeks ago, we went to Los Algodones, Mexico with our friends Brad and Martha to stock up on Kevin's blood pressure meds, Kahlua, and to check out what bargains were to be found. We bought two metal sculptures to decorate the park model. A sun for in the bathroom, and some geckos for the patio.

We had lunch at one of our favorite restaurants there. The owner is a very nice lady, and took our picture. I laughed when she included herself. She's a great business woman.

On December 7th we went to a Journey tribute band concert at a neighboring RV park. These guys were very talented musicians. The singer sounded just like the lead singer of Journey. They need to work a bit on their showmanship, but otherwise it was a great show.

On December 13th, we took a bus tour to Phoenix to see some Christmas light displays. Tour West is a company that offers many opportunities to take bus trips during the winter season for all the snowbirds that come down to Yuma. This trip was advertised as one light show with over 10 million lights and another with 3 million. 

On the way we stopped at Southwest Specialty Foods, home of the Kick Ass Hot Sauces. We were able to sample some of the sauces as well as different flavored popcorns they produce. It was a cute place, and a fun stop.

We had lunch at Rudy's BBQ restaurant, and then made another stop at The Cerreta Candy Company where more samples were to be had. They had some very good chocolates, but at $16 a pound, we were happy to sample only.

As it turned dark we headed to the Festival of Lights show on the State Fair grounds. Included in our tour was the $20 per person admission. It was advertised as the fifth largest light show in the country. It was a combination carnival and light show. There were a number of rides and games and some food trucks. The lights were very nice, but it wasn't nearly what we had expected. Ten million lights sounded so much grander than it was. We spent about an hour looking at the light displays, had a snack and watched an amateur magician entertain the kids. Here are some of the nicer displays.

The entrance

Santa and the 50 foot tall Christmas tree

Jungle and underwater themes

Light fountain with Fantasyland canopy in the background

Chandelier under the canopy

Our next stop was the Phoenix Nascar raceway where there was a display of 3 million lights. It was a drive-thru exhibit with displays under the grandstands, on the raceway grounds, and all around the actual track. I think it would have been better in a car as the displays were at ground level, so we couldn't see them as well from the higher bus. Also, although we were going slow, I think even slower would have been better to see and take pictures. I only got one decent picture when the driver actually stopped. It was an impressive exhibit.

We arrived back home at 12:30 am. That's a very late night for this retired person!!

The weather has turned a bit chilly lately. Highs in the 60s and lows in the mid 40s. We continue to golf and participate in our other activities with a few extra layers of clothes. With the cooler weather come some clouds, which make for fantastic sunsets. Here are a few of those.

Country Club RV of Yuma had a Christmas open house on Friday with free lunch and tours of some of the new model RVs. Santa was there, and he told us we were both on the nice list, so we deserved a new RV. We were able to see one just like the one we ordered that will arrive in January. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you. We're getting a 2020 Grand Design Reflection 303RLS fifth wheel!! We ordered it in late October, and it should be here in a few weeks. More information to follow when it arrives.

We've also been to a few Christmas parties. Last night the resort hosted the annual Christmas dinner. They provide the ham, and the tables of 20 provide potluck items. We had a great time with some of our friends that I quilt with.

I finished varnishing the bowl I turned in November. Here is the final product. I'm happy with how it turned out. At some point, I may do it again. In the woodcarving group, I've been working on a Santa ornament. Slow going. He'll be ready by next Christmas!

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!