According to the New York Times, tennis, a socially distanced outdoor sport, has experienced a tremendous revival during the coronavirus pandemic. Along with golf, tennis is a safe, socially distanced activity that offers great exercise and competitive outdoor activity. In Aladdin Villas, in Mission, tennis had been difficult to attract a lot of players the past few years. But during the pandemic, interest and the number of players at the park have nearly doubled. But there is always room for more. Tennis anyone? Pictured are Maggie Leach (Server), Ben Ogg, Bob Tenyeck and Cathy Main. Submitted by Jerry Butcher.
To continue some fun at Oleander Acres, Tammy Garrison-Maier, activity director, hid several pots of gold around her park to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Residents were slowly finding the little black pots with some gold in them. As the pots of gold were, Tammy gave gift certificates for Krispy Kreme and other gifts. Last month Tammy hid painted rocks throughout the park. These pots of gold are not as easy to find though – there were not as many hidden. Pictured receiving their gift certificate are Harvey and Jane Diehl from Valley Center, Kansas.
By Barb Zanetti
Photos by Dennis Zanetti
Alamo Rec-Veh Park (ARVP) residents have an answer to what many Winter Texans can do to thrive on long, isolating, Covid-restricted evenings.
Their solution is a golf cart parade, a follow-the-changing-leader activity that awakens this 55-plus community with 18 minutes of early evening music, laughter, waving and comradery.
It was beautiful weather last Tuesday. Simply perfect weather for a little bit of gospel outside on the Fun N Sun parking lot. There was a slight breeze and nearly no clouds in the sky. People had gathered in their golf carts or lawn chairs to see Rusty Rierson, Ralph Kuster and Lindley Creek. They had also gathered to help raise money for some especially important organizations.
Submitted by John Bailey
Did you know Bluebonnet RV Resort has a nationally registered butterfly garden?
The Nationally Registered butterfly garden located at Bluebonnet RV Resort was created in 2020. Countless hours of research and labor went into the creation and the continued daily care of the butterfly garden.
We have flowers, trees and plants that are native to Mexico, Cuba, Jamaica, and several other countries in South America. Every tree and plant that we have planted here were specifically selected to attract butterflies and hummingbirds too.
The butterfly garden has two trellised entrances, both covered with vine growing flowers and followed with patio paver sidewalks to allow guests to walk through the garden and observe the butterflies and various horticulture. As well, we have two wooden glider benches that allow guests to sit and relax in the garden with their favorite book or perhaps to enjoy a cup of coffee and good conversation with a friend.
It’s that time of year again when many of us start making New Year’s resolutions. After a tumultuous 2020, it may be more imperative than ever to strive for physical, mental, and emotional balance.
The good news is that there is someone who might be able to help you reach those goals who’s closer than you think: your dog or cat. That’s right, Fido and Fluffy can provide you with the motivation to get 2021 started on the right track.
What is Thanksgiving without a parade? Mission Bell/Tradewinds RV Resort added some holiday flavor to their residents’ Thanksgiving Day with a holiday parade. The parade was led by Park Managers, Scot and Cynthia Swafford with rousing Christmas Band music. They were followed by various golf carts celebrating the holiday season. First prize for decorating was the final entry in the parade with Santa Claus (Joe Wirkus) and the Thanksgiving Turkey (Pat Scott). This entry was constructed by Ron Kooima and Scot Swafford. Candy was distributed by Santa to the enthusiastic park residents. Second prize went to Jim and Judy Sonnetag for their entry decorated for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Third prize went to Anita Harder and Theresa Hoff for their depiction of a smoked turkey. The park’s first Thanksgiving Parade added a joyful introduction to the holiday season, and they are already looking forward to doing it again next year. Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas to all!
We all know Winter Texans contribute a great deal to the Rio Grande Valley during their winters with us. They often donate to local charities, help schools with school supplies, donate time to shelters and animal rescues, gather food during the holidays for people here and in Mexico, and they make quilts and other items for those in need.
This year has brought on a whole new need Winter Texans at Alamo Rec-Veh Park have been able to fill. A group of ladies that primarily made quilts before are now making masks.
In February and March when COVID-19 was still new and starting to shut things down, a group of women decided to shift gears. They started with a pattern and went from there. One member of the group has a relative that works in the nursing field and expressed the need for masks for patients and visitors. They originally sent her nearly 100 masks and continue to send more when the need arises. The group has now donated over of 1,000 handmade masks.
By Carina A. Brunson
Us here at the Winter Texan Times have been trying to connect with our Winter Texans more this year. In doing so, we have developed relationships with some that we are finding hard to say goodbye to for the season, and with the COVID-19 pandemic we are now worried for our friends – for all of you.
Y’all have been on our minds as we are making our own decisions on working from home, shutting down the office, and other decisions that we don’t have to face on a day to day basis.
What we are hearing from those we talk to is that you are taking this one day at a time for now – as we all are. We are all watching the news, staying on top of the current findings, current regulations in our city, county, state and nation. It’s a bit chaotic to stay on top of everything, but we are trying our best.
By Herb Moering
St. Paddy’s Day last week was pretty much of a bust around the nation with the coronavirus putting a damper on all the big city observances. That is except in South Texas where some St. Patrick’s Day park parades were held.
The City of Alamo had at least two, one at La Hacienda Estates and another at Royal Palms Mobile Home Park. The one at Royal Palms was smaller than last year’s, in part due to Canadian residents ordered to return home last week.
Bentsen Palm RV Park recently showed their appreciation of its residents by holding special events all week. Events included boat races, special get togethers, and an Amazing Race.
The Amazing Race was a challenge race where participants were given locations of items – or hints on where to find items – in the park. The participants then raced off on their golf carts to find the items, take a picture and then head back to the clubhouse. After three tasks were completed and approved by the judges, the participants then had to complete challenges that were set up in the clubhouse – challenges included a ring toss, basketball, and other games. All challenges and items had to be completed to declare a winner.
The week was capped off with a fully catered dinner, in which Marcie Swenson, activity director at the park, said it was so no one had to do anything. It was fully catered with others doing the work – letting park residents and volunteers relax and enjoy themselves without having to worry about who was going to clean up.
As Winter Texans begin to think about their return trip to the north, the residents of LaFloresta Park in Mercedes geared up for the final two golf tournaments of the season: The Handicapped Tournament and the Championship Tournament. Everyone in the park is invited to participate in golf activities, from beginner to advanced golfer. Winter Texans enjoy the challenging par-three golf course. And there is always the secret wish for a hole-in-one. The park had nine this year!
By Tony Ozark
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was submitted by a Winter Texan. We welcome your ideas and submissions. Many of our best stories and leads come from ideas and stories provided by you.
Each year from November to April, thousands of senior citizens, known as Winter Texans, travel to the Rio Grande Valley from all parts of Canada and the United States to enjoy the weather and activities at the multitude of senior resort and RV parks. Many of these resorts and parks feature weekly music jams providing the opportunity for musicians to display their talents providing entertainment to the residents and visitors.
The Open Invitational Pool Tournament for the Rio Grande Valley was recently held. It was hosted by Bentsen Grove Resort and was organized by Claude Lemay. This is the second year for the tournament. Pictured, from left to right, Ken VanSickle, representing Bentsen Grove Resort; third place finisher Len Bangma of Magic Valley in Donna; Winner Stew McCrae of Siesta Village in Weslaco; second place finisher Al Prescott of Eldorado Acres in Palmview; and Claude Lemay organizer.
Bentsen Palm RV Park recently took on a project to help a pet shelter with something they really needed. The park got involved with Cinderella Pet Rescue about four years ago when they learned about the no-kill pet shelter. They learned about the shelter when trying to find somewhere to take stray dogs to – they had a number of stray dogs at the park that needed homes.
Marcie Swenson, activity director at the park, said residents were hooked in helping the shelter and fulfilling the needs of the shelter whenever they could.
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