Friday through Thursday, January 13-19, 2023—Great Birding and Pickleball?

Hot Springs Village friend, Mike Cigleman, and I met Friday morning at the Riparian Preserve in Gilbert for birding/photography. Not many birds were flying, but Mike picked up a bunch in the trees and shrubs using the “Sound ID” on Cornell’s Lab app, Merlin. After identifying a particular bird using sound, Mike would visibly locate the bird. After lunch, we did a quick walk-around at Veterans’ Oasis Park in Chandler, identifying up a few more birds, including Some Costa’s Hummingbirds. Regrettably, I did not carry the camera on that walk! It was a really good day for Mike as he picked up 57 species, a new Big Day for him, as well as 17 Lifers. 

Friday was also pickleball day for the Arkansas group. I arrived back in Palm Creek just in time to make the second game as the start time shifted from 3:30 PM to 3:00 PM. I opted to play left-handed because of the right shoulder injury; pity my partners. Kay played really well. Afterwards, we all enjoyed sandwiches and beer at a local sports bar.

Saturday was a quiet day for us; no pickleball or golf or photography. Rain all day Sunday and Monday dictated activities, or the absence of them—no golf, no pickleball, no photography, and no happy hours—basically we stayed in the motorhome. I didn’t mind as it provided additional time for the shoulder injury to heal. And, it provided time to read (12 books since Christmas thanks to Jim Morris for author suggestions.) But, we did celebrate Mary Seitz’s birthday at Texas Roadhouse; rumor is that she turned 39!

Mary celebrating her “39th” birthday
The “Arkansas” group

And, we attended a show in the evening, “Coast to Coast” by the vocal quartet, the 4 Gents. My oh my, but they were awesome; possibly the best show we’ve seen in our almost 15 years of wintering in Texas and Arizona. They specialize in doo-wop and popular music from the 50s and 60s, sticking to the original artists’ harmonies and choreography. All four singers are classically trained, and have experience singing opera. Again, they were awesome.

Tuesday was a return to “normal,” whatever that is. Kay played pickleball and I wandered around aimlessly, waiting for the shoulder to heal—arghh!

After attempting to schedule an appointment with an orthopedic specialist in the greater Phoenix and Casa Grande areas, and attempting to schedule an appointment with a family medicine doctor in the Casa Grande areas—April was first opening for either—I relented and scheduled an appointment with a nearby Urgent Care for Wednesday, knowing that I would see a Nurse Practitioner. With a 12 noon appointment, paperwork was updated and the nurse practitioner came in, we talked, and he gave me the option of getting general steroid injection in the hip; I declined. He then gave me the option of getting an anti-inflammatory injection in the hip, a bit stronger than an Alleve, etc. I reluctantly agreed. He said that there it was likely a strain or small tear, and rest was the best solution. And, that was that; no further comments about the state of medical care in the US.

The anti-inflammatory injection helped a lot, and much of the bad pain went away. Thus, I was hoping to play pickleball Thursday, but Kay laid down the law and said to wait until Friday, and then play left-handed. While she played pickleball, I watched some matches of the highest level players, trying to pick up some advice here and there, and perhaps some strategy lessons. It was enjoyable, particularly because I could listen to an audio book while watching play (thank goodness for bluetooth hearing aids.)

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