Dear Mom

We’re still at TowerPoint Resort in Mesa AZ. Enough going on to keep us interested. Zero bugs (scorpions aren’t bugs, right?) Low humidity and dewpoint mean we can, or not, use insulated cups for our drinks — the drinks can’t sweat regardless. It’s just too dry for condensing moisture. The low temperature a few nights ago was 40 here and 7 in Flagstaff, and our daytime temp made it to 70. What a great place for winter weather.

We awoke to rain several mornings earlier this week, sort of rare for around here. Sure, we get a sprinkle now and then. But to have an entire morning of rain? There’s nowhere for it to go, the resort is probably 75 percent pavement and has no retention pond other than the tennis courts area. So a river runs down our street and down into the tennis courts. Unfortunately the rain didn’t let up before the courts filled up on the second day of rain. We ended up with between one and two inches of rain in Mesa in under two days.

Rain doesn’t interfere with much for us. My tennis team match was rained out two weeks ago and later the same day other teams were able to practice on the same courts. We rescheduled for four days later, played the match, no problems. And missed a practice this week but had clear weather for our Thursday match.

Sometimes we think we’re pretty busy before we step back and look at what’s really going on. We read the paper Sunday and after church Debbie hit the tennis courts for almost three hours of doubles. I pedaled across the street to another resort to visit with friends and help Jim KB0U get to know his Yaesu ham radio better.

Upon my return we had a visitor, Melissa, who stopped because she saw the NOMADS door signs on our truck. Melissa also is a full-timer and volunteers with NOMADS like we do but we hadn’t met before. We had a nice visit comparing some of our work projects and locations and hope to talk again.

By now it was time for me to run to the courts and practice. I had reserved court time and the ball machine for an hour. While I waited for Darren and Jan to finish their time with the ball machine I practiced serving balls on another court. Then I spent a wonderful hour hitting almost 1,000 balls, cross-court, cross-court, cross-court, cross-court, DOWN THE LINE! Rinse and repeat. . .

Backhand ten times, forehand ten times, backhand ten times, forehand ten times. Sounds repetitious, right? Finally I changed it, hit nothing but volleys for the last basketful of balls. The machine only tattooed me once, it shot a ball right at me at the net and somehow the ball avoided all my strings and the racquet frame. I usually don’t get hit by balls — gosh, it hurt!

The practice is paying off. I read somewhere, in whatever we want to learn and do well, we should work very intentionally and “over learn”. Over-learning is to practice something over and over again until it becomes almost automatic. When you need the skill you confidently let it rip, says the teacher. Last year I lacked confidence in my topspin hits. My confidence is up and now the ball sometimes even goes where it’s supposed to.

Oh yeah, I was talking about how busy we might or might not be? Sunday was pretty typical for us, visiting with friends and playing tennis and Debbie and me spending time with each other. Six days every week we can watch tennis matches in our resort’s tennis complex and we could play every day but try to give our arms and shoulders a break from the action.

Almost every week there’s some sort of street party or potluck in the resort. We spent last Thursday afternoon at the resort-sponsored party with free burgers and beverages and dance music. We line-danced, had fun with a lot of swing music, had a few slow dances. Not a lot of people were on the dance floor but we don’t care, we have fun.

Saturdays we often go hiking with tennis friends. Phoenix has great hiking in the hills all around. We’ve hiked in state and county parks on three or four Saturdays and are so fortunate to have Bill (my tennis partner) willing to lead the hikes. He knows his way around and always provides a nice five or six mile hike for the small group.

Sitting here writing I forgot all about my nine o’clock ham radio network. Rats! I have another one at ten and another one at three every afternoon, if I can just remember. Bob w7iry and I have been playing around with the club’s FLEX 3000, a really neat software-defined ham radio. It’s a challenge running ham radio without visible antennas, but we don’t want to create problems for the resort or our neighbors so we try to not call attention to ourselves.

Some mornings, according to my neighbors on one side, they’ve heard talking on their stereo radio speakers. Which is kind of odd — they say the stereo radio wasn’t turned on. I guess I’ll invite them to keep a brief log of when it happens, date and time, and I’ll compare it to my ham radio log. D’ya think the logs will match? We’ll see and experiment from there to solve it.

The resort has a sewing and quilting room, a lapidary room, a woodworking shop, a nice library, ping-pong tables, billiard tables, dance lessons, and classes in conversational Spanish. We’ve attended the Spanish classes twice weekly for six weeks and are coming along okay so far. Leslie is a great profesora, trying to drag our wild bunch of seniors along into a fun new language.

We haven’t spent much time at the pool so far. The swimming pools are gorgeous and the chaise lounges are comfortable, nice music piped in for the pool decks, lots of nice people to talk with. When the weather is best, really nice sunny days, we like to be at the tennis courts.

I guess the conflict of interest between the tennis courts and swimming pools sort of sums up our “time situation” pretty well. We aren’t so busy as just doing a lot of what we want to almost every day. The weather is generally outstanding. And there’s so much we can do. We can’t complain about being too busy — but it does seem like we don’t have time to do everything we’d like to.

We hope this finds you all well and enjoying the run-up to the holidays. We’re sorry we haven’t written before now — we do think about you and want to write. I feel like we have been dropped into funland and almost can’t get enough every day. There are no good excuses on this end and we will try to be better about staying in touch.

We’re so lucky we don’t have any more serious concerns than time management. Life is great and winter in Arizona is a blast.

Love,
Jimbo and Debbie

P.S.
Mom, you can really easily see where we are by clicking on the highlighted spot here

Jimbo

©2007-2011 Dreamstreamr

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4 responses to “Dear Mom

  1. Nice to hear from “Winter Camp”. Have finally figured out what this whole “pursuing 72 degrees” thing is all about. Very clever way to avoid having to winterize the AS. A stellar plan!

    Dana

    • You’re onto us completely — we haven’t winterized in over five years. A couple of pseudo-close calls moving through cold zones on our way to warmer ones, but we’ve enjoyed the sunny and (usually) warm climes. Come see us!

  2. Trips to Arizona are going to have to wait until I retire. Olga retired from teaching but I’m still working so its hard to get away for more than a week at a time…. maybe you will overnight near Dallas one of these migrations.

    Dana

    • Dear Olga,
      The weather in AZ is great. We are having a wonderful time. So much to do we barely have time to sleep and eat. Miss you. Let us know when you want to get here, we’ll find you a place to stay as long as you want. You won’t have to worry about mail-forwarding — Dana can watch the house and forward any mail you need.

      With love and best holiday wishes from Your Airstream friends,
      The dreamstreamrs

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