Unit 27 Activities
On Thursday, April 13, 33 Unit 27 residents put caution to the wind and enjoyed dinner together on the patio at Tavolino Ristorante Italiano. Ably organized by fellow resident Fira Stout, this dinner was the first Dine Around event since February 2020. The group sat at tables that were limited to six diners each, and the balcony-like setting looked out over the courtyard below, giving diners a very open feeling. During the course of the meal, several diners got up and walked around, talking to each other. It was nice to enjoy some semblance of normalcy, for a change. Fira is planning at least one more Dine Around before a summer hiatus, with more to come in the fall.
Although nothing specific has been scheduled yet, the unit honchos have been planning for a unit Snack and Chat in the near future. The last official Snack and Chat was hosted by Katie and Tom Atkins on February 28, 2020, which seems like ten years ago!
Unit Representative Jeff Depka and wife, Eileen, gamely organized a unit Halloween party last October 2020 in front of their home. In July 2020, Anne Doyle organized a golf cart drive-by party to honor the birthday of her husband, Phil. Both events were well received by those who chose to participate; however, considering that so many new residents have joined the unit this past year, a return to regularly scheduled Snack and Chat events will be welcomed by many, both old and new.
In addition to Snack and Chat gatherings, tentative plans are in the works for a unit holiday party, another formerly regular event that last took place in December 2019. Perhaps most of the formerly regular unit activities, such as the Not So Gourmet Dinners (aka “potluck”) will soon be able to resume.
In the areas of recreation and entertainment, the unit provides many social opportunities for residents. Some of these activities have been ongoing, even throughout the pandemic; however, many activities do not plan to resume until this coming fall. Please contact the following residents for information. Couples Bridge: Jackie Webster; Ladies’ Bridge: Shirley Niemeier; Canasta: Bunny Gill; Men’s Poker: Phil Barney; Dominos: Bunny Gill; Men’s Cribbage: Jim Fetrow; Book Club: Anne Doyle; Ladies’ 9-hole Golf: Jan Talbot; Men’s Golf: Ron Talbot; and drop in Bocce Ball: Fira Stout. For inquiries as to other organized unit activities, contact Ron Talbot, unit social chair, who knows everything!
Be well and cross your fingers for better times ahead!
Lessons Learned at Preserve’s Parking Lot Parties 101
Our very own Little Ms. Brooks, Social Chair Bonnie Barazani, a retired high school teacher who moved to The Preserve to teach Senior Parking Lot Parties 101, held the third session March 30. This popular pass/pass class can be taken repeatedly by any senior who wants to see old friends, make new friends, get a higher score on the Fun-O-Meter, or who has forgotten they already took it. Deborah Adinolfi, our treasurer and Numbers 101 professor, taught us that 2020 was not only a lost year but also a leap year, and the extra day provided 1,440 more senior moments, in case the usual 525,600 weren’t enough. Philosophy 101, which will be taught by a yet to be found sage among us, will explore why we couldn’t have just leaped over this year. Extra phys ed classes will be offered to those who have muscle mass missing in action or have to use a crowbar to get into their Spanx and then look like a can of refrigerated biscuits taking them off. Cosmetology 101, after a one-year baseline study, teaches that masks do not in fact prevent wrinkles, and the parking lot lab offers the opportunity, from six feet apart, to learn how many wrinkles all the other people got in one year and how many cascading layers of under-chins one mask can actually conceal. But we learned that wrinkles and chins don’t hurt, and even if you have become a double-wide version of your former self, your friends still love you and think you are beautiful just as you are.
Music appreciation, courtesy of Chuck Moses, is at the top of everyone’s class schedule. A local Tucson resident and frequent entertainer at The Preserve, Chuck saluted our Tucson weather, then burst into some good old Doobie Brothers. We weren’t just listening to the music; we were also dancing to the music. We learned that music appreciation comes from the heart, feeds the soul, and doesn’t actually need to be taught.
We give Gilbert Zazueta extra credit for showing up at study hall on his day off to set up a parking lot bar to keep us in good spirits, purchasing beverages from SaddleBrooke TWO to keep us out of detention. We also learned that, as a community and HOA, we can work together to have fun and be safe, while following the rules.
If the wonderful sounds of Chuck Moses, perfect weather, and wine choices weren’t sweet enough for you, Bonnie and Deborah passed out slices of vanilla or chocolate cake decorated with icing that said “Let’s Celebrate.” Our active community has three settings—fun, more fun, and even more fun. The evening class was as much fun as a person could have without whipped cream, being sent to the principal’s office, or being put in timeout again for another whole year. Plus, we learned that we can always find a way to iron out some of the wrinkles caused by a year that was such a wrinkle in time.
Perhaps the most valuable lesson learned during the year of wondering whether that was a light at the end of the tunnel, or just another train coming at us, is how communities can come together. Another Preserve-perfect day came to a close, leaving us thankful for our lives here at SaddleBrooke and so extremely grateful to Senior Village at SaddleBrooke for their incredible work organizing COVID vaccinations through our local pharmacy, Desert Life, and the 500 volunteers who made it happen for thousands of residents. We learned we can count on each other in good times and bad, and we have far more to be thankful for than we ever imagined.
Unit 17 Celebrates Spring
Barbara Barr, Scott Brewbaker, and Robyn Gearhart
Ninety-nine residents of Unit 17 gathered on Desert Moon Court on Sunday, April 18 to celebrate spring! Each year, the unit has an annual Spring Fling to celebrate the wonderful spring weather and say farewell to our winter residents as they start heading out for other parts of the country and world. The event has become a well-loved unit tradition.
In addition to gathering with friends and neighbors, there is always lots of food, games, and fun. The poker run and bean bag toss have become Unit 17 traditions. This year, we also had music by Bob Stiens, a popular SaddleBrooke entertainer and musician. Of course, the culminating fun comes from enjoying dinner together. This year’s Spring Fling featured a variety of types of chili, slaw, and cornbread, as well as cookies from the Stoney Flower Bakers.
There was heavy competition in the games department this year. Fred Cole was the winner of the poker run. For the bean bag toss, the winners were: Ladies Division: First Place, Jackie Alderman; Second Place, Corky Bosch; Third Place, Elissa Cochran. Mens Division: First Place, Barry Swartzberg; Second Place, Steve Pomeroy; Third Place, Mike D’Angelo.
Spring Fling is just one of Unit 17’s monthly get-togethers. Hopefully, we will be able to enjoy monthly gatherings during this next year. Our next unit party is Cinco de Mayo at the home of Robyn Gearhart and Scott Brewbaker.