Sunday, July 29, 2007

Summer Weather

We’re at the height of the summer monsoon season and the weather is just fascinating. We’ve had storms almost every day for the last week or more….and quite a few of those actually brought rain. LOTS of rain. The golf course has been flooded with each storm so the pumps have been working around the clock. The resort is very well designed, however, so the run off is taken care of in no time.

Don and I do a walk around each of the houses we’re watching after each storm and are happy to report no damage at any of them. Not everyone is that lucky. Bill and Joann at Site 671 had their metal awning torn off and their heavy patio table with a glass top blew over and shattered into a jillion pieces. The storms are very isolated and it must have been a small microburst that raised so much chaos in their area as no one else suffered damage. Just wasn’t their lucky day I guess.

Saturday night we went out to dinner with Char and Terry at Francisco Grande to celebrate birthdays. Don and I have birthdays in the same week so one nice dinner takes care of two celebrations. We can’t talk highly enough about the food and fun at Francisco Grande. We always have a great time there and the food is outstanding. It rained heavily while we had dinner so when we left and headed for the car, Char and I couldn’t resist the puddles. Off came the shoes and we splashed around in the ankle deep puddles in the parking lot. Great fun!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Stormy Season

This past week has brought some strange weather to Casa Grande. We had a HUGE dust storm earlier in the week that dumped more dirt on our patio than I’ve ever seen in any other haboob. Yuck. I’m so glad we invested in a leaf blower. What a great invention. Because of the Arizona drought, we have all been asked to just sweep our houses and driveways instead of spraying with water so the patio stays a bit grungy but at least we can blow away most of the grit. Here's a great picture of the dust storm rolling in.

Don’s handy dandy weather station says we had 37 mile an hour wind gusts and we noticed a few tree limbs split on the way to work. I heard that a few awnings were lost in the storm but I didn’t see any damage myself. Don’t know whose houses were affected. Don and I did a walk around each of the homes we’re watching and didn’t find any damage. We saw a lot of dirty patios….but no damage.

We also had some RAIN with two of the storms. Each storm dropped less than an inch but in Arizona, that’s a downpour as everything drains off the hard packed earth into the ditches…or washes as they’re called here. Up near Phoenix and down in Tucson there were some washed out roads due to the rushing water. Nothing serious but as usual, a few dummies would attempt to drive through the flooded area and get carried away so they had to be rescued.

The good news is that the storms lower the temperatures. Last night it was down to the low 70s. We sat outside to watch the lightning for a while but Don actually got cold and went in the house. The lightning just fills the sky and is awesome to watch.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

A Tribute to Rally

It’s a sad day as we pay tribute to Rally…the wonder dog…as he passed away this week due to illness. George and Jan Waters will miss Rally as their loyal and beloved pet but they are surrounded with a plethora of friends who will miss him also. Rally was one of the prettiest, smartest, lovable dogs around Palm Creek. He was so well behaved and would respond immediately when called by a familiar voice. He followed at the heels of George and Jan wherever they went and attended many a happy hour with his proud owners.

I’ll always remember how Rally would immediately hop in our golf cart and go for a ride to our house so he could relish a treat of ever ready chicken for our furry friends. He was a joy to have around and was one of the prettiest Australian Shepherd dogs we’ve ever seen. Our hearts reach out to Jan and George at their loss.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

RAIN! Well....almost.

Mark it on the calendar! It rained in Casa Grande last night!! It was only a “trace” amount, not enough to register in the rain gauge….but it was RAIN. The first we’ve had in months and months. The street actually stayed wet for almost two full minutes.

Last night was the first “storm” of the summer season. It started with 112 degrees and very calm. We could see the sky turning yellow off in the distance so we knew DIRT was on the way. As predicted, we watched it descend upon us….always an awesome sight. After a lot of wind and sandblasting, came the rain. In 10 minutes or so, it was all gone and the only evidence of the rain was the caked dirt that covered EVERYTHING. Our patio is just thick with dirt so it’s time to spray it all down with the hose. At least it rinses off easily. I’ll still take this weather over a Wisconsin winter anytime! Arizona is awesome! I think it’s variety of weather, vegetation, scenery, etc. is just fascinating.

The new Promenade Mall is progressing rapidly. Some of the big store signs are now visible from the highway. Penneys and Dillards are already advertising for employees so they can get a head start on training. How will they ever find enough people to staff the stores??????????

Char and Terry Eicher now have a lovely hole in the ground where their new village home will soon perch. Char is soooo excited over her new home…which is due to arrive sometime this month. She and Terry go on shopping expeditions for new furniture and fixtures and are truly enjoying the adventure.

Dick and Caroline Stone are also close to closing on a new village home. Should have final details in the next week or two.

Rumor has it from the mail room that our park currently has around 230 active mailboxes. That’s the closest we can come when people ask…”How many people live here year around?” Folks still come and go from short mini trips or month long treks to go see family, but active mailboxes is a pretty sure count of how many crazies, like us, choose to stay here for the summer.

The following story is strictly swimming pool rumor so how much is fact….I can’t verify. I’ve heard that park rentals are booming and the resort does not have enough rental homes to satisfy the growing market. Again…rumor…Dennis Powell has sold 18 of his park models so those rentals are no longer available. The park “supposedly” is going to furnish six of the unsold village homes…or villa homes…and use them for rentals to entice another market to join Palm Creek. So far, most of our residents are past RVers, but there is a strong potential market for non-RVers to enter the village home group because of the larger size accommodations. Again…rumor says that all six of those rental homes are taken for at least three months this coming season. I have no way to verify any of this as fact so maybe I shouldn’t print it….but…it makes for fun reading, yes? Maybe some of it is true anyway. At any rate, I hope the park continues to do well.