Monday, March 31, 2014

3/28-3/31/14 End of Season Party

(Arizona City, AZ)

My dear friend Bonnie Larson had an end of season party on Friday night.  It was open to the whole park,,,those that are left and there were probably about forty five of us.

Bonnie has a pretty large lot so it was easy for everyone to bring chairs and find a place to sit.





Everyone brought some kind of appetizer or salad or desert and Bonnie made a very large crock pot full of Sloppy Joe and she provided the rolls.



I love parties like this because you know everyone there and moving from group to group and picking up the conversation if effortless.

Bonnie and I had our Wannadinger sticks made and ready for this evening.   After everyone’s Sloppy Joe dinner had settled the charcoal was lit and everyone was ready to make another one or to make their first.

Ray, intent on getting his Wannadinger just right.


Peggy found that spinning it back and forth between her palms worked best.

Nancy didn’t waste anytime in getting hers ready, she had heard about the Wannadingers and couldn’t wait to try one.

Peggy was very pleased with her handiwork.


Deb had hers ready in no time!

It didn’t take us long to figure out that chairs around the fire pit were needed!


I don’t quite understand it,,,,but there’s that smile again!  All of the men have it!

We had different flavors of pudding, apple pie filling, cherry pie filling, fresh strawberries and sliced bananas to fill the Wannadingers with.

Bev anticipating her first ever bite of a Wannadinger.  She loved it!

See,,,,that smile again!



I put this picture of Hanne on our park’s Facebook page and got lots of favorable comments.  I don’t think it was so much the photographer as it was the subject.  Our friend Hanne.

Needless to say, it was a fun time with friends.  Good food, good weather, great people, how can you go wrong?

Saturday brought an afternoon at the pool.  Afterwards I went to Pastor Dale’s house as I had something to give him.  We celebrated his 75th birthday after church one day and I took pictures, of course, and I made a photo book of the occasion.  I also bought one of those birthday cards that gave all kinds of fun facts about the year you were born such as wages, average rents, cost of a new car, a stamp, gasoline, who was President, who won the World Series that year and on and on.  I filled in the pages with these fun facts.  Carole, his wife filled me in on all kinds of family history and I added that too.  He was quite pleased with this gift which in turn made me quite pleased.  These two are just the greatest!

Sunday brought our last church service for this season.  Before the service, about 55 joined together in the Cantina and had a pancake breakfast.  Can you believe it,,,I forgot my camera!  Al and Carol Winters made the pancakes and sausage and others in our little church brought fresh fruit or supplied the coffee or signed up to bring something easy, like I did, the paper plates and napkins.

I’ve taken on the responsibility of preparing everything needed for Communion.  As soon as I finished eating I set to task as it was being offered today.  It helped that I had set all the cups in place yesterday and I only had to get the juice poured and the bread set out today.

I have really enjoyed these Sunday mornings and am going to miss them this summer. Both the services,,,,and Pastor Dale and Carole.

Friday, March 28, 2014

3/28/2014 The Best Readers & “FRIENDS” EVER!

(Arizona City, AZ)

I have been writing this blog for seven years now and you, my readers, my friends whom I’ve never met, never fail to surprise me.

I heard from long time reader, Lou, after my post yesterday about the one year anniversary of my dad passing on.  He suggested that I Google a poem called When Tomorrow Starts Without Me.

Lou, thank YOU so much for this.  I had never heard of this poem before and I really needed this.  It truly spoke to me, so much so that I’m going to print it here.

When Tomorrow Starts Without Me
by David Romano
When tomorrow starts without me,
      and I'm not there to see;
If the sun should rise and find your eyes
      all filled with tears for me;
I wish so much you wouldn't cry
      the way you did today,
While thinking of the many things
      we didn't get to say.
I know how much you love me,
      as much as I love you,
And each time you think of me,
      I know you'll miss me, too.
But when tomorrow starts without me,
      please try and understand,
That an angel came and called my name
      and took me by the hand,
And said my place was ready
      in heaven far above,
And that I'd have to leave behind
      all those I dearly love.
But as I turned to walk away,
      a tear fell from my eye,
For all my life I'd always thought
      I didn't want to die.
I had so much to live for
      and so much yet to do,
It seemed almost impossible
      that I am leaving you.
I thought of all the yesterdays,
      the good ones and the bad,
I thought of all the love we shared
      and all the fun we had.
If I could relive yesterday,
      I thought, just for a while,
I'd say good-bye and kiss you
      and maybe see your smile.
But then I fully realized
      that this could never be.
For emptiness and memories
      would take the place of me.
And when I thought of worldly things
      that I'd miss come tomorrow,
I thought of you, and when I did,
      my heart was filled with sorrow.
But when I walked through heaven's gates,
      I felt so much at home.
When God look down and smiled at me,
      from His great golden throne.
He said, "This is eternity
      and all I've promised you,
Today your life on earth is past,
      but here it starts anew.
I promise no tomorrow,
      but today will always last,
And since each day's the same day,
      there's no longing for the past.
But you have been so faithful,
      so trusting and so true,
Though there were times you did some things
      you knew you shouldn't do.
But you have been forgiven,
      and now at last your free.
So won't you take my hand
      and share my life with me?"
So when tomorrow starts without me,
      don't think we're far apart,
For every time you think of me,
      I'm right here in your heart.
Lou, my friend, again thank you so much.

Ann, thank you for checking in and letting me know you were thinking of me.  Much appreciated my friend.

All of you long time, loyal readers and those of you who have just found the blog and are reading it from the beginning,,,,I appreciate every one of you.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

3/25-3/27/2014 Stick Making and Lots of Parties

(Arizona City, AZ)

You can always tell when the end of the season is getting near.  Every night of the week there are BBQ’s, happy hours, sit down dinners and something new for us this year,,,,a potluck dinner and dance,,,,in the street.

Here’s what it looks like when well over a hundred people gather in the street of your RV park for dinner.  Crockpots galore!

Every kind of salad you can imagine, every potato salad known to mankind, too many desserts to even try to count plus a BBQ slider and two pieces of chicken for everyone!






After dinner, we really needed to work off all we ate so the tunes were fired up by our very own Mr. Music Man, Lawrence.

A lot of us were wearing flip flops of some sort and trust me it isn’t easy to dance on a hard top road in flip flops!

There were tiki torch oil lamps set up for light and of course the street lights were there.  It made for a fun night and the call of the evening seemed to be, “Let’s do this again!”

I’ve written so much about the Wannadinger parties here that my friend Bonnie Larson and I, with the help of master Wannadinger maker, Warren Bennett, made our own sticks.  I’m going to put all the pictures in a tutorial on how to make them and with ideas for fillings.  Watch for it, you’ll want to make your own.

Our days are getting really nice now, think mid to high 80’s and afternoons are spent at the pool.  That certainly works for me!

Our purse lady has finally gotten the last of the shipments in and all totaled has sold 360 of them. It seems everyone here has one and I haven’t seen any duplicates yet!

An evening sky.


Monday, March 24, 2014

3/22-3/24 Rough Couple of Days

(Arizona City, AZ)

Everyone has dates that they remember without hesitation.  The date you were engaged, got married, had your first child, won the lottery, graduated from high school and the date you lost someone.

One year ago on March 22 I got the phone call I never wanted.  The one telling me to come home as quickly as I could get there.  It was the beginning of the end.

I woke this the morning at just a few minutes past 5:00a.m.  The time we got the phone call last year.  I didn’t even have to think about what date it was, I just knew as soon as I opened my eyes.

I lost my dad a year ago this weekend.  Lost.  No, that’s not right, I didn’t lose my dad, I know where he is, he’s in heaven waiting for me.  I will see him again.

I miss my dad so much.  So many times this past year I wanted to pick up the phone on Sunday morning and have our half hour chat.  I wanted to know what he was reading, I wanted to share some news I heard about a mutual friend, I wanted to ask about the weather and tell him where we were and what we had seen, done, and where we were going next.  I wanted so badly to hear his usual sign off when we chatted,,,,”Love ya babe”

I keep living the weekend over and over again in my mind.  I can’t stop it.  The phone call, the long flight home, seeing my mom for the first time, that first visit to the hospital, holding his hand, those tests to see if there was a response from him every two hours and of course, the meeting with the doctors where a major decision had to be made.  A decision no one ever wants to make, or should have to make.

I miss him so much.  It hasn’t been the easiest of years.  Not for me and certainly not for my mom.

I’ve made a decision to quit focusing on what I’m missing and what we’ve lost and instead focus on how fortunate I am to have had my dad for nearly 60 years.  I’m going to focus on happy memories instead of leaning towards being sad because there won’t be any new ones.  Its what he would want.

They say time heals all.  I don’t know if I agree with this.  I think time just makes it bearable.

So we are done with our year of firsts.  We won’t think this is the first whatever without Dad.  Been there, done that, don’t have to do that anymore.

I’ll close this with me sitting here thinking about talking on the phone with my dad and sign off hearing him say,,,,,Love ya babe.  .

I love you too Dad.


Friday, March 21, 2014

3/21/2014 Our Thunder Gourd is Done!

(Arizona City, AZ)

After an afternoon at the pool I made my way to the Bennett’s for yet another Wannadinger Party.  I’m tellin’ ya, these things are addictive!

Lawrence and Elaine Wilson baking their first Wannadinger.

Smiles all around.  (L to R – Betty Bennett, Marlene & Larry Olesch, Brenda Adams)

Checking to see if its done.
Chocolate for my Wannadinger?  Yes, please.

….and I’ll add some strawberries.

Of course  I want whipped cream on top!

This evening while Bob and I were watching TV, our friend Deb called to see if I had a few minutes to stop over at her place.  She told me she had something for me.

The thunder gourd was done!  Actually, she had all three done.


Here’s what she burned into ours.

Since a hole of some sort needs to be cut into the gourd she did ours in a shape of a cactus.  Appropriate, wouldn’t you say? 
Here’s another one she did.



Thursday, March 20, 2014

3/14-3/20/14 The Desert in Bloom

(Arizona City, AZ)

Its springtime in the desert.  Back home on the east coast I would have looked for robins and tulips leaves pushing through the soil for signs of spring.

Our first sign was the quail that's been running around the park. 


The cactus all have buds and many have a bloom or two.





When they aren’t blooming cacti look harsh and hurtful and bland.  When they bloom these same plants take on a whole new look give you a chance to see the usual brown/tan desert landscape as beautiful.  We certainly enjoy it when it happens.




Bob has been researching bike racks so that we can load our bikes onto the back of the 5th wheel and take them with us this summer.  We understand there is a 17 mile downhill bike trail in the Virginia area where we’ll be.
He has our route figured out for our trek eastward and even figured out what campgrounds and Elk/Moose lodges we’ll be staying at.

I’ve been spending my time at the pool.  My priority right now is spending as much time with friends as possible.  It will be months before I see them again and I will certainly miss them.

There’s lot of parties going on for the end of the season and sadly there are people starting to pull out and heading towards home.

We’ve got  a busy next few weeks.