Sunday through Thursday, May 19-22—Seems Like Only Yesterday He Was A Toddler

At church early for Kay to practice with the Crossroads Band, we received word, via email, that neighbor Tom Hearns had passed.  Tom was a God-fearing gentleman that moved into the neighborhood over 10 years before us.  He was polite, considerate, and respectful, and counted neighbors Wayne and Loretta as his best friends.  They went above and beyond in making him feel part of their family, having breakfast together every Sunday morning, and visiting him several times daily in hospice.  Tom said his goodbyes to us a week or so ago via phone in a very personal conversation.  Tom was one of the good guys and will be missed.

Up ant at ‘em early Monday morning, we departed towards Hot Springs Village for a few days to take care of some remaining business.  Our trip took us by Arkansas Golf Center at Conway to pick up new irons that had been ordered a few days earlier.  We drove to the Property Owners Association to obtain permanent photo IDs but there was a snafu in the paperwork.  Kay dropped me off at Magellan Golf Course to hit a bucket of balls before playing a round with Jim, Bobby, and Randy, the two former being husbands of a couple of Kay’s book club members.; hitting with the new clubs proved a challenge, and a very high score was the result.  Meanwhile, Kay drove to out the west gate to pick up the paperwork for us to obtain the IDs, got her ID, and checked us in at our “home away from home”.  While in Hot Springs Village (HSV or Village) we stay at an efficiency apartment or casita on the lower floor of someone’s house.  They have the small casita on one side and a larger apartment on the other, while they live on the main floor.  It meets our needs and the view is great, overlooking a small mountain stream.  We are getting more familiar with the Village, and have eaten as several of the restaurants in and nearby.  For the most part, the food is great and the prices are less than we pay in northern Arkansas.  We found a Mexican restaurant that has an almost identical menu to the restaurant in Mountain Home that we used to frequent, and the food was equally as good; and, we were each able to eat two meals on our serving.  I played golf again on Wednesday at Ponce de Leon, and again played terrible.  Seems like practice goes okay, but then on the course…

Because we have committed to moving to the Village, we are trying to get as familiar with it as possible.  Some of our initial observations about the residents are as follows:

  • significantly older than we anticipated (we see a lot of folks aged in their mid to late 70s)
  • very few obese residents (compared to what we see in Baxter County)
  • very few residents using oxygen
  • quite active
  • a bit more sophisticated

Again, these are our first impressions.

We departed the Village Thursday morning, driving to Conway for my 4th golf lesson.  I have developed a terrible fade, have no distance on golf shots, and, in general, have returned to hitting the ball lousy.  Apparently, I’m still lunging at the ball, etc., etc.  Will it ever improve?

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Thursday evening, we attended high school graduation ceremonies for Kaden (center in photo), Kay’s older grandson.  He graduated with honors, and received a humongous scholarship to Arkansas Tech University where he plans to major in mechanical engineering.  Seems like only yesterday he was a toddler, sitting in my lap piloting the pontoon on Greers Ferry Lake. He was not much older than Ridge is now when we first met.  Congrats, Kaden, the future is yours.

We traveled home late Thursday night, arriving just before midnight, and getting up early Friday morning for a “blood work” appointment, hitting golf balls, getting groceries, etc.  Ridge, Karyn, and Matt arrived early evening for Memorial Day weekend, and while Karyn and Matt had a “date” night at PJ’s, Ridge babysat Kay and me.

Saturday was a hoot.  Karyn and Matt drove into Mountain Home for shopping while Ridge, Kay, and I spent the morning outside playing in the kiddie pool and with the water hose.  We resumed after nap time, and spent several hours playing in and with the water; I got really wet as the recipient of spray from the hose.  Karyn assisted in removing “dated” products from the pantry, and that chore is nearly finished; we can actually see shelving!  After a great dinner of glazed pork chops and roasted vegetables, we all went to bed early, tired from a very active day.

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