Friday, May 29, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
But on Monday May 25th, the rain stopped early in the day, and the sun came out. The sun was hot, and the air was heavy, but we packed our pickleball bags and went back to the courts.
Pat and Suzi are leaving for Washington in another week and wanted Rich to do a training clinic before they left. Last summer they introduced the game to a lot of new players in Washington, and this year they want to do a clinic for them and maybe a fun tournament.
Pat, Suzi, Don, Chris, Steve, Renee, and Jeanne came for the clinic at 5:00 before open play started at 6:30. Normally rich does his clinics in one hour sessions over several weeks. Tonight he would do a condensed version for the group. He talked about the importance of serving deep and returning deep. He talked about optimum positioning on the court when serving and returning the serve. He talked about the importance of controlling your shots, concentrating on placement and not so much on power. The group practiced punching shots back from the non, volley line, and lined up for practicing dink shots. Rich covered a little on both the offensive and defensive lobs, and reinforced the need to not just come to the courts and play games. Practice and doing drills before or after playing every week will help improve our game. Time was limited, but he covered a lot of good information.
Here's Don and Rich playing Steve and Chris, practicing a little of what they learned tonight.
And tonight, Pat and Suzi came bearing gifts. For Steve, just returning from knee surgery, they presented him with a skeleton KNEE (key) chain. Perfect!! And Rich and I, the Happy Campers.................. thank you both for the Happy Camper wine. Absolutely Perfect!!!
It's now Tuesday, 7:30 in the evening, and guess what? Yes. It's been raining for a couple of hours. Keep your fingers crossed for tomorrow.........The photographer from the St.Pete Times is supposed to be there!!!!
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Rich and I started planning for our first annual MeadowPointe Spring Picnic and Round Robin tournament long before we left Sebring. By game day we had a ladies round robin and a men's round robin all set up. We had goodie bags for all the players, We made participant trophies for everyone, and we planned a pot luck cookout in the picnic area following the tournament. Two of our local newspapers are covering the event.
Everyone enjoyed the day. We did up a whole article complete on the event for our MeadowPointe Pickleball Blog. Click on the links below to read the article and to see all the pictures we took that day.
Tournament and Picnic Story.
Here's some pictures from this week:
Don Bass (red shirt) and Steve Long. Don and his wife Linda, live just across the street from us. Neighbors and very very good friends. Steve is amazing. Had knee surgery and was back out on the courts playing about 3 days later.
Brad Finch. He's our next door neighbor. His teenage son Tyler often play with the group. Playing with him is Ruthann. The only time she doesn't play is when she's out RV'ing. She and her husband Tony often RV at Peace River down in Wauchulla.
Chris Atkinson.....This was the first time that we met Chris. With the exception of the teenagers, he's the young'un. Loves the game, and is a great player. That's Judy playing with him. She and Bill come over from near Spring Hill to play with us.
Here's Bill (the other half of Judy) playing with Rich.
Here's Rich partnering with Renee. Renee is the one who keeps this group going strong while we're away. Thanks Renee.
On Friday we had to say goodbye to Judy and Bill. They snowbird down here in the winter. They'll be heading back to New York for the summer. They're hooked on the game, so they go searching for places to play when they get there. They just started playing with the group this winter, so we only got to play with them a half dozen times. Have a great summer you two... See you next year.
As you look across the water in the back, we often see the deer feeding along the water's edge.
Kathy puts the finishing touches on the table,making sure everything is just so, and everyone has everythng they need. She and Bob really put on one very special final happy hour.
Good Bye, Gordon and Michelle. We are blessed to have met you both this winter. Have a wonderful summer back in Canada. Sure hope we see you again next year.
Good Bye, Louise and Marcel. Our friendship started a couple years back when we met in NY State. So glad you decided to join the group in Tanglewood. You were seldom around - Louise can't sit still for long!!! We know you have been feeling progressivly worse over the last month, with the pains in your chest. Take care of yourself, get to the doctor when you get back home. We love you both, you silly clowns!!! The next time we meet, Rich will teach you that card trick!!
Good Bye Kathy and Bob Hughes. You two are so very special to us. Can't imagine what the winter would have been like without you two. Kathy - keep practicing your line dancing!! Bob Hughes keep up with that daily walking. Hope you have better luck with the internet when you get home..........and Kathy - we probably never would have gotten our TV working without you. Maybe we can get up to the mountains and see you soon. Have a great summer!!
Louann is one of our very good friends, and one lady that knows how to put on a fun day for the recreational players. Prior to breaking her ankle and hurting her arm in an automobile accident, Louanne used to play in the tournament mixed doubles with Rich. They remain very good friends. That's Louanne with Rich, and there is Gary Ball behind her. Looks like Lou is trying to figure out who goes out to play next. Either that or their discussing the new RV that she and Tony will pick up in just a couple weeks.
Well, of course our friends came along with us today. This would be the last pickleball event of the winter before everyone headed back north. Here's Bob Huges partnering with Louise.
Kind of hard to see, but that's me and Louise playing together and Kathy Huges is on the other side.
That's Tony again playing with one Robert, another Kings Point resident.
We met this couple when they came to play in the Heartland Games in Sebring. Ron and Connie Monson. Unfortunately, Conne fell on the courts just a few weeks ago and broke her arm. To even out the competition, she made everyone else play with their left hand. !!
Finally got Louann out on the court to play. She always spends all her time organizing play for everyone else. Yes we won this game!!!
Here's Marcel and Louise enjoying their match.
And........here's Rich and Gary playing for their penny. Gary will be playing with Rich in the upcoming Villages Senior Games.
At the end of the day, we all spent all the pennies we collected and bought ourself some really fine prized.
Tonight April 6th, Marcel and Louise have invited Rich and I, Bob and Kathy and Gordon and Michelle King for a speghetti dinner. Of course the skies were threatening, the wind was blowing, and we were praying that it would not rain. Take a look at Marcel's hair......pretty good sign the wind was blowing.
This is Michelle and Gordon. Like Marcel and Louise, they are Canadians. Very good tennis players, the group recruited them to the pickleball courts. They have a home in the Outback where they spend their winters. They left for Canada before the rest of us. Gordon is checking out the weather. I think this was just before we moved temporarily to the gazebo for protection from the rain.
We had a few rain drops. Actually we were ready to pack up everything and go to Gordon and Michelle's house, where we could all fit inside and out of the weather. But the bad weather held off and we were able to continue our festivities.
What would these guys do without us woman to make sure they got fed. As usual the guys filled their plates first and here is Bob, Rich and Gordon digging in. Dinner was absolutely delicious. Louse made pasta with homemade sauce that was outstanding, tossed salad and garlic bread. Dinner was followed with lemon meringue and key lime pie. The beer and wine were a plenty! Another great evening with good friends. Thanks Marcel and Louise.
Anyway, this is an annual event that the residents take part in. Patrick Hotchkiss directs the program, and pretty much runs the show. Several weeks before the show he approached saying he would re-write the lyrics of Watermellon Crawl , with pickleball lyrics if I would take charge of choreographing a dance for the show. I was a little hesitant, but said OK. Recruiting dancers was a little more difficult than I had thought especially since some of prospects would be leaving the park before the show. But it all worked out. Nancy Fair, Barbara McKinney, Betty Schleis, Wayne Roswell and Larry Anacher joined me on stage.
Look to the right side of this BLOG and you will see a link called Donna dances the Pickleball Crawl. Click and watch the show!!
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Good buddy, Little Jimmy Maynard. Yes, we'll hold the frame so you don't have to give up one of those FREE glasses of beer.
We picked up quick and went to the screen room to stay dry. Rich went back to the 5th wheel remembering that we had left the roof vent open over the bed!! The rain stopped, but the courts were too wet to go back out and play, so we headed back for a drink and some food. Marcel and Louise had a prior engagement, so didn't join us for the happy hour.
It cleared up enough that we were able to enjy our meal. WELL.....except for the WIND.... Here's Lou, Kathy, Mark and Sally getting ready to dig in.
Carol does a balancing act with both her and Lou's plate. Where are you LOU???
And Bob Hughes? Looks like his plate is empty and he's hoping that Lou (at the table) doesn't take everything that's left!!!
Do you notice that eveyone's plate is empty.........but Rich is STILL EATING??? Where am I? Well I've dropped my plate once, and the wind took it the second time? One way to make sure there are no left overs!
There's Kathy Hughes......But where or where is her coffee cup?
Despite the rain and the wind............we all had a great time. It was real nice to see Lou and Carol again and this would probably be the last time we saw Stan and Sally before they took off to go back north!