Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

Don and I have been blessed in many ways this year. We’ve spent the past couple of months taking care of various routine annual doctor visits in southeastern Arizona where we have our winter ‘home’ at Cochise Terrace Resort in Benson.

First, we were lucky enough to connect with a new doctor to serve as our primary care physician, Dr. Glenn Robertson, who we both like. Don’s blood sugar has been jumping all over the scale, and this dr. has helped us work to control it. He has also made some good referrals to specialists for certain things.

The most important of these was an eye, ear, nose and throat specialist, Dr. David Hu, in Tucson. Dr. Hu shared my concern about a tumor on the right side of Don’s neck. It’s been there for years, but it seemed to be slowly growing, and other tests (CT scan, MRI, fine needle biopsy) proved to be inconclusive. So Dr. Hu removed the tumor last Friday under general anesthesia. The surgery was to take 45 minutes but actually lasted almost 3 hours, so I was getting a little antsy in the waiting room. When I posted my worry on Facebook, dozens of friends sent messages of encouragement. It’s amazing how a simple message saying “thinking of you” or “sending hugs and prayers” will boost your spirits! Thanks for the support, my friends!

What took so long was the tumor was larger than Dr. Hu estimated, and it was attached to a large muscle. He was very careful and skillful in removing it without disturbing either the muscle or any nerves. So Don didn’t lose any function of his shoulder or neck in that area. And the initial report is that the tumor was benign. Another blessing! Hurray!

Now that he’s in the recovery stage and has the drain removed so he can sleep on that side, take showers, and generally live normally, Don’s a happy camper! And so am I!

With that behind us, we enjoyed a nice Christmas party today with our neighbors at the clubhouse (called “The Barn”) at Cochise Terrace. Here are some pictures of the event.

Art & Pat Bale are the resort owners.IMG_8600

Workampers also hung their cutouts.IMG_8599

A cute Snoopy stocking.IMG_8601

A pretty Christmas tree.IMG_8602

Lots of desserts! (Food, too, but I didn’t get pics of it.)IMG_8608

Even the stage was decorated.IMG_8619

As we prepared to start the feast, we were given instructions for going through the food lines.IMG_8618

After eating, we enjoyed visiting with folks and getting to know them better. IMG_8623


Then we had a gift exchange based on Bingo numbers. In this game, when your number’s called you may choose a wrapped gift from the Ladies’ table or the Men’s table, based on your gender. Or, if you like a gift that’s already been chosen by someone else, you may steal it. It can be stolen from you, but that 3rd person gets to keep it – no more stealing. So the activity can get interesting!


These solar lights were stolen a few times.IMG_8634


And the Bailey’s was also popular!IMG_8638

And several wanted this nice set of glassware.IMG_8639

Oooh, a nice one!IMG_8642

Les wore the T-shirt he got in last year’s gift exchange and carried the mug he got the year before.IMG_8645

The Jose Cuervo Margarita package was stolen a few times, too. First, Ben (on the right) stole it from Don, then the next guy stole it from him!IMG_8650

So, undaunted, Ben stole the similar package (one was Cuervo Gold, one Silver) from across the room!IMG_8651

Easy come, easy go!IMG_8653

And later, Ben was again the victim of a thief!IMG_8660

It was a fun party, and we returned home to have a relaxing evening. We count many other things among our blessings as we reach the end of another year. Our lifestyle, which we both love; our comfortable place to park in the winter, whether we stay a week, a month or longer; our good neighbors here and in the Escapees Saguaro Park across town; our many friends; and the ability to keep traveling are among the top blessings.

We send our very best wishes to friends and family for a Merry Christmas and (in case I don’t post another blog during the next week) a safe and prosperous New Year!