January – February – March – April 2014 – Apache Junction, AZ
After a big influx of neighbors arriving after the 1st of January the resort is almost full - it is great to see everyone again. This year we purchased season tickets to the 2014 Arizona Lecture Series and enjoyed attending the lectures every Monday night with our friends Mike and Barb. We enjoyed talks by Teddy Roosevelt and Wyatt Earp along with many good lectures on the history of Arizona and its many colorful characters.
In January we had a really nice visit from Rex’s mom and his Uncle Ike. During their visit we enjoyed a mid day cruise around Canyon Lake on the Dolly Steamboat. We enjoyed seeing them both again and showing them around our area and they enjoyed a brief respite from the cold winter in Ohio.
We also had an afternoon visit from Sylvia and Gayland who are wintering in Casa Grande. Nancy and Sylvia worked together at CSU in Fort Collins for many years. It was great to see Sylvia and Gayland again and hearing about what they have been doing the past few years.
In February our resort manager, Mary, held an RV Early Bird Party to encourage the RVers to reserve their spots for next season. We had a great game show named Let’s Make a Deal - Price is Right – Wheel of Fortune with a charming host named Monte-Bob-Jack (skillfully played by Rex).
Mary was the sexy co-host named Fanna Blue. Here Monty and Fanna are helping a contestant decide whether to take the prize offered or the one hidden behind the curtain. Everyone had a great time and some very nice prizes were given away (along with a few stinkers) and the party was a great success with record numbers of RVers reserving spots for next season.
Our good friends from Colorado, Bob and Jean and their Greyhound Tess, visited us for a few days at the end of February. It was great to see them again and we enjoyed spending a few days visiting. We spent one day driving in the Superstition Mountains and another day we visited the Queen Creek Olive Mill where we enjoyed a tour of the pressing mill and sampling the olives, olive oil, and flavored vinegars. We also enjoyed a great lunch outside under the olive trees while we listened to a band.
We were able to have dinner with our friends from Oregon, Doug and Barb, while they were in the area the first part of March. It was great to see them again even though we visited them in Oregon at the end of September.
Nancy’s sister, Carol, visited from Colorado for a week in March. Carol spent most of her time at Nancy’s parents place but we did get together with her a number of times. We picked her up from the airport and she stayed with us the night before she flew back so we could take her to the airport. We enjoyed seeing Carol and visiting with her.
Two days after Carol left our granddaughter, Mariah, flew in from Colorado for a week visit during her Spring Break. Mariah just wanted to relax and unwind from school while she was here so we didn’t plan a lot of activities. She enjoyed spending time at the pool every day and soaking up the great Arizona sunshine.
Mariah especially enjoyed standing in the tunnel while fish, sharks, turtles and rays swam over her.
Mariah joined us on the Monday night lecture series and was excited to ride in Mike and Barb’s 1930 Model A. Mariah and grandma having fun in the rumble seat – unfortunately, there was not enough room for grandpa so he had to follow in the Jeep. We enjoyed a talk about Mattie Judd, the trunk murderess, who killed her roommates and hid their bodies in a trunk.
We really enjoyed Mariah’s visit – she is growing up so fast and is such a beautiful, caring and capable young woman. She earned her CNA certification from Front Range Community College in December and after she graduates from high school in May is planning to attend Front Range Community College to work on a nursing degree. We are very proud of her and are looking forward to attending her graduation in May.
In April we took a couple of photography classes with our friend Donna, who is a professional photographer. We are learning a lot about the features of our camera and how to take better pictures. On the night of April 14th we sat out on our patio and watched the blood moon until 2 am. Donna showed Rex how to photograph the moon. They both got a lot of great shots. Rex was excited to learn how to change shutter speeds and exposures to get some good shots.
While we were watching the moon we discovered that a cactus across the street was blooming. This cactus only blooms at night but we were able to get some great pictures very early the next morning.
It seems that only one flower at a time blooms on this cactus but they are beautiful and worth getting up early to see.
Another beautiful cactus blooming on the next street over from us - this blossom is almost bigger than the small cactus. We are continually amazed at how beautiful some of the blooms are but you have to be quick as a lot of these blooms only last one day.
The Saguaro Cactus are blooming earlier than usual this year – we think it is because we had a much warmer winter. The Saguaros are usually just starting to bloom when we leave the first part of May but this year they started blooming in April. Nancy was hiking in Usury Park and saw this Saguaro with a large number of buds and many blossoms already open.
Nancy’s parents again joined us on Easter for our last resort-wide dinner. The resort provided the hams and we all provided a dish to share. We enjoyed great food and fellowship with friends and family.
Nancy’s parents have decided that they will not be coming back to Arizona next winter. At their ages, it is getting too hard to travel with the 5th wheel and take care of their property here. They have put their property up for sale and have sold their car. It will not be the same here in Arizona without Nancy’s parents and we will miss spending our winters with them but we will see them when we travel to Colorado every year.
As our friends and neighbors start leaving for the summer we are amazed at how fast the winter went. Besides both of us working we did some volunteering for our resort: we ushered at 4 concerts – The Tokens, Nashville Review, Goldwing Express and Simon and Garfunkel Tribute; served food at the Welcome Home Dinner, Buckles, Brats and Beer Dinner and Dance, and the Going Home Dinner; and helped cook and serve at the monthly Pancake Breakfast. As the saying goes – time flies when you are having fun!