|Tom and his four sisters (two weren’t able to travel to Arizona). From left to right (back row);
Colleen, Tom, Mary Ellen with Rita, and Margie (front row).
The hour-long drive passed in no time at all, with five of us riding in Margie’s car while Tom drove. He drank only iced tea all day to ensure he could be the “designated driver” on the return drive after dark.
Laurie and Craig’s stunning house was a delight to see. Every room is exquisitely designed and decorated, and we oohed and aahed as we took the tour.
|Gorgeous lounge area on the veranda.|
Afterward, I asked Tom if this gorgeous home reminded him of the beautiful home we’d left behind over seven years ago and if seeing this home caused him to wish we had never left our old life.
He laughed and said, mimicking my feelings, that it’s a pleasure to see Laurie and Craig’s home and admire every nook and cranny, but in no way did it make him wish we had a home and a different life. We both concurred that we were thrilled for them and their apparent success but didn’t feel an iota of longing.
|Laurie and Craig’s home and veranda overlook the golf course.|
Not only was the house exquisite, but the hosts had gone over the top to prepare a delicious meal consisting of many pre-dinner snacks, most of which I could eat, and smoked baby back ribs and chicken prepared on their outdoor smoker.
Craig kept aside a portion of ribs and chicken for me without the sweet sauce he added at the end of the roasting period. The rich smells of smoking hardwoods wafting through the air, leaving all of us looking forward to partaking in the delightful offerings.
|Fifteen attended the barbecue, including some friends.|
The beer, wine, and drinks flowed along with the conversation among the 15 of us, four of which included friends of the family while Tom faithfully sipped on his iced tea.
The weather couldn’t have been more perfect at a sunny 74F (23C). We dined at both the indoor and outdoor tables. Once darkness fell when it continually cools off considerably in the desert, we all wandered indoors to continue our lively conversations.
|The smoker in Laurie and Craig’s backyard with meats ready for the final cooking.|
We’d arrived a little after 1:00 pm, and by 8:00 pm, those of us heading back to Apache Junction piled into the two vehicles and were on our way back to Apache Junction, arriving a little after 9:00 pm.
We didn’t continue the party as late as it was, and each headed back to our respective “park models” to spend a quiet remainder of the evening. Later today, we’ll all get together to play cards at Colleen’s home.
Soon, I’ll head out to the bank to get cash and a quick trip to the grocery store for a few items to hold us until we depart in a mere five days.
Have a fabulous Friday! We’ll be back soon.
Photo from one year ago today, January 24, 2019:
|It was hard to believe how quickly these ostrich chicks have grown from the tiny little things they were six months ago. For more photos, please click here.|