Sunday, February 19, 2017

Another fun-filled two weeks with roller coaster weather

The time flies around here and now I’m trying to catch up with two weeks of activities for this post. Generally the weather has been a roller coaster ride, but mostly on the upside. The rainy weather in California is causing us to have some above average rainstorms around here and as I write this on Sunday, Feb. 19, it is pouring out.
One of the planes flying over my head

Yesterday, it was warmer in Michigan than it was here, although it was unusually warm in Michigan and just a little below normal here.

Before I recount our latest fun here, let me bring you up to speed on a dream that Joan recounted to me one morning recently. Her dream, more like a nightmare, was that I had kidnapped a baby. Yes, I kidnapped a baby. She didn’t know who the baby was or why I kidnapped it, but what she was most upset about in her dream was that I didn’t bother to bring any diapers or formula for it.

During the dream she was handed a warrant, but she didn’t know the nature of the warrant or what happened next because she woke up. Somewhere in dreamland I’m probably doing some serious prison time.

When last we met here on Grandma’s Recess we had just visited with our Michigan friends visiting in Phoenix and then on Tuesday (April 7) I went on a pretty serious hike up to the summit of Wasson Peak, the highest point in the Tucson Mountains.

This is the same hike that darned near caused me to faint a few years ago, but not so this year. Because of our new eating plan and my 35-pound weight loss the hike was still pretty tough, but a fun trip nonetheless.

We had lunch on top of Wasson Peak and unlike it usually is up there, it was very pleasant and calm.
Tuesday night we attended the pot luck dinner in the park and Joan brought the jello salad that our grandson Griffen thinks is pretty tasty. So did the folks at the potluck as we came home with exactly none of it.

Wednesday (Feb. 8) was Market Days and we did a quick trip through and bought nothing but a few raffle tickets for some beautiful items that will be auctioned off next month. On Wednesday night the resort concert was “Sons of the Pioneers,” which is the same group that has been touring for more than 80 years. Roy Rogers was one of the original members of the group and there have been many dozens of singers and musicians since, but they stay true to music and sound that started the group. Despite Joan’s dislike for country and western music she enjoyed the cowboy music she heard that night.

On Thursday we headed over for the lecture only to find out that the Internet Security expert from the University of Arizona was home sick with a virus. Not the computer type, but the one that makes you sick to your stomach.

I’m not going to bore you with the volunteer work that we do here other than to say that each week Joan volunteers several hours as a receptionist at the health clinic at the resort and I probably spend a total of 3 hours setting up and taking down tables and chairs with a group of really nice men for various functions, concerts, church, state parties, etc., in the ballroom.

The other things I won’t keep repeating are Joan’s weekly Bible study, polymer clay and aquacize classes. Ditto for my Bible studies and trips to the fitness center. We both also attend church services each Sunday. Highlights only from now on.

Friday, Feb. 10, was a quiet day, filled with exciting things like doing laundry and picking up mail and just enjoying the weather in the Old Pueblo, as they call Tucson here.

I’ve been struggling with a little annoying neck and upper back pain, a result of trying to do much weight work in the gym, so while I headed off to a massage therapist, Joan spent much of the day supporting the local Tohono O’odham Indians at their Casino del Sol.  She came up about even and we had dinner at the little diner before returning home to the resort so we could attend the resort’s talent show.

Because my massage finished earlier than Joan was ready to be met at the casino I drove out by Davis Monthan Air Force Base and spent an enjoyable hour watching some civilian pilots flying vintage war aircraft train with some of the regular fighter pilots at the base.

The casino parking lot was packed, but mostly because the show “Wheel of Fortune” was running a contest to find new contestants for the nationally televised show.
The wheel of fortune bus

By the way, my neck and back pain is greatly reduced since the massage.

The newspaper and television stations said this was a requirement for certification for these civilian pilots if they wanted to perform at or around regular military aircraft at air shows around the country. I had a P-51 fly about 500-feet over my head at one point. What a unique sound they make.

This will surprise exactly nobody, but I did not have a part in the show (other than setting up chairs for it) but we had a really fun time as there are some very talented folks in the park. The acts ranged from comedians to the hula so a pretty wide range of acts.

Because I have been remiss in keeping notes, some things we have done I can’t remember even after just one week. We did got shopping and to the final day of the Tucson Gem Show on Sunday (Feb. 12). The most significant result of that trip was that Joan bought a bunch of cheap beads to use in her jewelry class.

Because the “Easy” hike leader is taking care of a friend recovering from surgery it fell to me to lead the hike on Monday (Feb. 13). I took the group to the Gabe Zimmerman trail a little south of here. It is an easy, but scenic hike on part of the Arizona Trail. The folks seem to enjoy the 4.5-mile trek. I’m hoping that Brad is back tomorrow so he can lead the hike again.

Monday night was again Meet Me at Maynard’s and this time we took an alternate walk which led us to 4th Street, a hang out for students from the University of Arizona. We found a little kitchen gadget store and purchased a potato chip maker that we wanted to try. It worked so well we are planning on going back and getting a couple more for friends and family who are also on the same diet we are.

When I woke up Tuesday morning for my big hike, I was greeted with cloudy skies and the threat of rain. I met in the hikers’ room and we discussed options as the rain was pouring on the mountain we wanted to hike on. So we headed south to where we thought it might be clear, but found that the rain was so widespread we could not avoid it. Instead we went to the less traveled DD Trail and spent some time together. (DD stands for Dunkin Donuts). I had only decaf tea so I didn’t wreck my diet with a tasty fritter.

Tuesday night again we attended the pot luck and Joan’s watermelon salad was such a big hit that she has to bring several copies of the recipe to next week’s dinner because a few women wanted the recipe.

Wednesday was another quiet day in the park until we headed to Wednesday night’s show which was “Dream Lover,” a tribute to the music of Bobby Darin. The singer, Robert Shaw, is one of our favorite performers who come here.

Although I just said I wasn’t going to mention it, I did lead the Men’s Bible study on Thursday morning. The lecture series continued Thursday with a University of Arizona geologist, who has been working for years on the Mars lander program. He brought with him stunning photos and videos of the Mars surface and a very interesting presentation on what they are finding there. An hour and a half well spent.

A new friend of mine in the park wanted to go on a hike with me on Friday. “Doc,” a retired veterinarian from Iowa is a really nice man and he sometimes hikes with the Tuesday group. He wanted a slightly less challenging hike than we usually do on Tuesday so we went to Sabino Canyon and did a one-way hike on the Telephone Line Trail.

Back at the park I got cleaned up and on Friday night we headed back to the ballroom for the Mardi Gras dinner and a performance by the Wildcat Jazz Band. This is one of the finest groups that comes to the resort and it was a fun evening. We sat with some new people at our table and made some new friends.

On Saturday I again set up the Michigan information table at the coffee and donuts event in the ballroom. We are just letting Michigan folks know about the party that Joan and her friend Marcia are putting together on March 6.

Because the weather was crappy on Saturday afternoon, we decided to go to the movies and we saw “Hidden Figures,” the story of three African-American woman mathematicians who were critical to the success of the Mercury missions and later the Apollo missions. A great movie, if you haven’t see it.

Our time in Tucson is often spent catching up on movies we missed during our busy schedules back home. So far, in addition to “Hidden Figures” we have seen “Allied,” “The Accountant,” “Deep Water Horizon,” and then with weather still bad on Sunday we saw “Patriot’s Day.” All the movies so far have been really good.

I think I mentioned in previous posts that we like to go the Century 12 theater on Kolb Road because the tickets are only $3 ($1.50 on Tuesday). In fact, I already mentioned that we saw “Allied” but that was the movie I took Joan to on Valentine’s Day. So call me cheap but my Valentine’s Day date only cost $3. I’m nothing, if not cheap.

To back up a little, I took Joan to the Valentine’s Day dance on Saturday night (Feb. 18) for a total cost of $12. But we had a great time, sat with our friend Kathy and husband, Ron, from Toronto, Canada and met two couples who were spending their first winter in Tucson.

The couples both said they were having a great time here at Voyager and while they planned on traveling more, they all said they were coming back here next year for a least a month. I told them that Voyager is like a human mousetrap. They bait you into coming here one time and then you are caught and don’t want to leave.

I apologize for the low amount of photos and I'll try and do better. I've been working a lot on my Navy newsletter and have not taken as many photos as I usually do.

1 comment:

  1. I hope we can join you again during a future visit! I love it there!