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The Restorter


Meeting Mary & Lee Bixler

Dale Dauten, Syndicated Columnist



There comes a day when it’s time to move on.
To see someplace new. To be someone new.
How do you know? You know.


Mary and Lee Bixler’s time to see someplace new came last year. Time to leave the farm in Pennsylvania. Where to go? That’s the beauty of buying a DRV Fifth-wheel – you just go and see where you end up.

Lucky for us, Mary and Lee ended up spending the season at The Resort—Mary runs the kitchen as Chef and Lee is on the Maintenance team.

photo of couple

Mary and Lee both grew up in Pennsylvania, not far from Amish country; Lee on a dairy farm outside Maytown, and Mary on a beef and hog farm outside Elizabethtown. They met in a teen youth group at church, eventually married in 1973 and then settled near Gettysburg. There they raised their three kids and held fulltime jobs — Mary as a cook for a small college and Lee restoring old homes and barns. But they also owned a small farm where they raised crops and kept chickens, selling produce and eggs at farmers’ markets.

Back in 2000, they bought an RV camper and took a six-week trip to the West and Northwest. That turned out to be a rehearsal for a new life, one that began in 2015 when they put the farm up for sale and bought the fifth-wheel. They weren’t ready to retire, but were ready for something and someplace new. Their solution? Work-camping (also known as “workamping”). As Lee puts it, grinning, “We needed something to do to stay out of trouble.”

Their first stop was working at Ft. Stevenson State Park in North Dakota. Then, they spent this last summer at an RV park at Hershey, Pennsylvania.

photo of Hershey building

The Resort’s GM, Rhonda Ciacco, heard the couple might be available and hired them to spend the season with us. When I visited with Mary and Lee, we sat poolside on a bright, 70-degree afternoon and we thought together what it was like back at their old home, in Pennsylvania. (I checked: cloudy and less than half the temperature in Mesa.) They not only love the weather, but the shopping, Mary pointing out, “We have everything right around here. Back home, it was ten miles just to get to a decent grocery store.”

You’ll spot Lee working throughout the park. He starts at the pool. “We test the water everyday,” he explained. “We start at 6AM so we’re out of the way before classes start at seven.” He also does plumbing and electrical work, tree trimming and makes daily rounds, looking for broken branches or other problems. And he helps maintain the flowers.

Flower Photo

Mary’s job title is Chef. Of the weekly dinners and the dinner shows and all the other events with food that she oversees, she says, “We couldn’t do without our volunteers. We have an wonderful group of experienced people – some who’ve been helping out for 15 or 20 years, and we’re always looking for new volunteers who want to pitch in.”

As the three of us sat by the pool, GM Rhonda Ciacco stopped to say hello. She said to me, “Write that they’ll be back next year.” I knew that the Bixlers still had the farm to sell, so they haven’t planned that far in advance, and started to say so. But before I could, Rhonda smiled and said, “They’ll be back.” Let’s hope she has it right.


Volunteers at the new breakfasts at The Resort



Susan Fox and the folks at the Activities Office have been busy. Here are four ways to know what’s going on…


Happy hour picture

Click here to download a PDF of this months Calendar

Happy hour picture

Click here to download Susan’s “back of the calendar” updates.

Happy hour picture

Click here for Susan’s comments and club updates.

The Resort Calendar

Click here to go to the online version of the calendar.

Every online issue of The Resorter includes the list of clubs/activities compiled by Activities Director Susan Fox. It appears as below as “The Happenings.” Plus, most of dates and times for activities are included in the online Calendar.
We also invite representatives of the clubs to send up reports or invitations to include in the online Resorter. Here’s one on the folks who play shuffleboard, known as “shufflers.”


Shuffle Board courts

Have you been by the shuffleboard courts lately? Did you notice that they’ve been nicely refinished and that the gutters and benches have been repainted? Long-time residents at The Resort say that our shuffleboard courts are in the best shape that they’ve ever been in. So if you have been meaning to take up shuffling but haven’t done so yet, now is the perfect time to join in!

Did you also know that shufflers meet at 9:00 AM Monday thru Saturday for open shuffling and that there are no requirements or reservations needed to play and that it’s open to all residents and guests? It’s true, all you have to do is show up! All equipment needed to shuffle is provided by The Resort free of charge too so you don’t have to bring anything but yourself!

Regular shufflers at The Resort always gladly welcome new shufflers to come and play. Free lessons are given on Tuesday mornings at 8:45 AM to those who have never played before (or who need a refresher course) and there is now a Shuffleboard Basics manual to read that newbies can checkout (it’s hanging in the shuffleboard room) if they want to learn the basics of shuffling BEFORE they decide to take lessons.

And as you get better at shuffling, you tend to enjoy it more and want to play more often. An in-park league is available on Tuesdays starting on January 10th and there are out-of-park leagues and various tournaments open to those who really want to get into it.

And did you know that all shufflers are good sports? Well, most of them anyway, for sure. Shufflers traditionally shake hands at the end of a game and appreciate being part of a game well played.

And when the weather gets warm enough, resorters occasionally shuffle at night in what they call “Turkey Shoots”. Turkey Shoots are always fun because you team up with another shuffler instead of playing against one. You’ll get the hang of it real quickly and you’ll get to meet some new people. So if you don’t like to shuffle under the hot sun or prefer to shuffle under the lights at night, you’ll want to get involved in Turkey Shoots at The Resort.

A Shuffleboard Potluck Banquet is held annually at the end of the season to hand out awards and to elect board members for the next season. All shufflers and their spouses (or invited guests) are urged to attend.

Currently there are lots of openings in the mornings for open shuffling, so now is a good time to start shuffling before the courts fill up. And watch the shuffleboard bulletin board for Turkey Shoot announcements and sign-ups for the in-park league. Happy shuffling!

Shufflers Photo





Empire Communications has been chosen as our exclusive provider of Direct TV. Instead of simply getting installers sent out from an out-of-town office, we get personal attention from Empire, nearby in Mesa.

The folks from Empire will be joining us for upcoming coffees, and will provide complete details.

Empire Communications
4830 East Main St #5
Mesa, AZ 85205


Veterans day picture


Happy hour picture


Happy hour picture


Clubs/Organization Information Contacts

Arts and Crafts

Crafty Ladies

Oct. thru May
Mon & Fri 1 to 3pm
Party Room
Contact: Virginia Thon #686


Ceramics Room
Wed. 10am to 4pm
Contact: Pert 480-577-7999

Fun w/Crafts Get Together

Jan. thru Mar
Thursdays, 6:30pm
Ceramics Room
Contact: Linda Olson #672

Quilting Club

Nov – Dec – 7 to 9pm – Ceramics Room
Jan – Mar – 7 to 9pm – Studio 55
Wednesday: 8am to 3pm
Saturdays: 8:30am to 3:30pm
Ceramics Room
Contact: Grace Coudron 519

Card Making – $10/session

Nov. thru Mar – Mon. 8 to 10am
Tues. 9 to 11am
Ceramics Room
Contact: Emily Bloom #614
Sign up in Activities Office
Supplies supplied

Wood Burning – Carving

Wood Shop – Wed & Fri. 8 to 11am
Mon. 7 to 10pm
Contact: Wendell Corbett 480-380-5539

Paper Art

Nov. thru Mar
Fri. 9 to 12noon
Contact: Eileen Ponsford #720

Wood Workers (Members Only)

Nov thru Mar
Mon, Tues, Thur. 9 to 12 & 1 to 3p
Wed & Fri – 1 to 4pm
Contact: Doug Culver #82

Stained Glass

Mid Nov. thru Mar
Lapidary Room
Wed. & Thurs. 1pm -3:30 pm
Fri. – 9am – 12pm
1 to 3:30pm
Evenings and weekends for kiln use
Contact: Anita Serrano


Nov thru Mar
Mon thru Thurs – 8:30 to 11:30am
Mon and Tues – 1pm – 3:30pm
Lapidary Room
Contact: Paul Klotz #737

Wood Burning – Carving

Wood Shop – Wed & Fri. 8 to 11am
Mon. 7 to 10pm
Contact: Wendell Corbett 480-380-5539

Cards & Games


Jan thru Mar
Sundays, 7p
Party Room
Wed., 7pm
Contact: Lyle Broer #150
Eloyce McGillvary #705

Hand and Foot

Nov to April 15
Wednesdays, 1 to 4pm
Contact: Ann Carter #623
Mondays, 1 to 4pm
Contact: Levina Hauser #458


Year Round
Mondays, 7pm
Party Room
Contact: Bill Dawson #750


Oct thru Mar
Tuesdays, 7 to 9:30pm
Party Room
Contact: Carol Bellavance #362

Cribbage 2

Nov thru Mar
Saturdays, 1- 3pm
Contact: Denis Buschman #4
Sharon Fischer #589

Learn to play Pinochle

Jan thru Mar
Wednesdays, 2 to 4pm
Post Office
Contact: Adam Baumstarck #465


Nov thru Mar
Sat. – 7pm
Party Room
Contact: Jill Buschmann #4


Oct to April
Tues, Thurs & Sundays, 12:30 to 4pm
Party Room
Contacts: Betty Stover #466
Karen Flier #644


Nov thru Mar
Thursdays, 7pm
Party Room
Contact: John Thon #686


Nov thru Apr
Fridays, 1 to 4pm
Post Office
Contact: Jill Buschman #4


Nov thru Mar
Wednesdays, 7pm
Party Room
Dee Spire #655

Mah Jongg

Oct thru April
Sun. Mon, & Wed..- 6-9pm
Tues & Thurs – 9-11:30am
L Room
Contact : Peggy Hill



Oct thru Mar
Mon thru Fri – 9am
Contact: Sharon Cochran #412

Water Aerobics

Nov thru Mar
Mon thru Fri – 7am
Instructor: Sherry Ovitt #182

Tai Chi

Oct thru Mar
Fridays – 10:30 to 11:30am
Party Room
Instructor: Jan Voellinger


Nov thru Dec
Tue & Thurs 8:45 to 9:45am
Instructor: Barb Buck

General Exercise

Nov thru Mar
Thursdays, 10 to 10:45am
Party Room
Contact: Jan Voellinger

Line Dancing

Mondays, 9:30-10:30am
Contact: Susan Tuttle

Mindfulness Mediation

11 to 12pm
Jan. 17, 24 & 31, Feb. 7,14,21
Party Room
Contact: Barbara Bofenkamp #409

Music & Dance

Square Dance

C1 Workshop
Nov 13 to Apr. 2
Thurs – 10am to noon

A2 & C1 Dances
Nov 13 to Mar. 26
2nd & 4th Thurs. 6:45 to 9:45pm
Instructor: Mike Sikorsky

Swinging Resorters

Tuesdays – 12:30 to 2:30pm


Nov to Mar
Mondays – 2:30 to 4pm
Contact: Marilyn Christensen #641 (Winter)
Rick McGraw #10 (Spring)

Kitchen Band

Nov thru Mar
Wed – 9 to 10am
Contact: Kit Robertson #56


Nov thru March
Wednesdays, 12:30 – 3pm
Contact: Monty – 480-354-8621


Bicycle Club

Mon & Wed – 9am
Meet at the East Gate
All riders must wear helmets
This is co-ed club

Hiking Club

Thurs. – 8am
Meet in the parking lot west of the office.
Wear comfortable clothing & hiking boots. Bring water!
See the back bulletin board for instructions, sign up sheets & schedule.


Round Robin play for all levels daily
9:30 to 11:30am
Racquets available at Activities
or Tennis Club House
Contact: Kathy & Alan Smith 480-277-7302
Hugh Fisher & Deb Hamilton 480-251-4526

The Resort Keglers (Bowling)

Tues – 12:30pm – be there earlier
Mesa Bowl East (Ellsworth & E. Broadway)
New bowlers welcome! More information on the bulletin board.


Mon, Tues, Fri – 9 to 11am (partners pool)
Women’s Open Play:
8 Ball Mondays at 1pm
Contact: Teresa Natopolski – 515-665-2101
1st Monday of the Month – 9 Ball
Contact: Steve Gilbertson 715-671-3499

Men’s Softball

Men’s softball begins Nov.
League play begins in January
Contact: Mel Mueller 480-986-2592


Mondays – 9am at Apache Sun
Mixed League
Contact: John Arbogast – 218-780-3645

Mondays at Las Colinas
Contact: Marv Knudson #343
Ben Peiffer – 480-380-7292

Thursdays at Western Skies
Contact: Carl Brockman – 373-6583

Thursdays Ladies 9 hole at
Sunland Springs Village Golf Course
Contact: Karen Christian 605-351-5888
Eloyce Mc Gillivary 480-984-5666
More information on Billiards Bulletin Board

Women’s Softball

Contact: Shirley Boder – 288-0385


Mon thru Fri – 9am – Open play
Saturdays – 9:30am
Mon -8:30am free lessons
You are welcome to shuffle anytime from
9am until 10pm unless
tournaments are scheduled.
Contact: Bob Zignego – 651-388-5193


Round Robin play 7am every day
Beginner classes: Floyd Massey #180
Mixed Doubles: Saturday mornings
League Matches: Contact: John Kelley #261
Contact: John Statzen #39

Ping Pong

Tuesdays & Thursdays – 2 to 4 pm
Studio 55
Contact: Lyle Broer

Additional Clubs

Computer Club

Thursdays, 1:30 to 2:30pm
Donation: $1/family
Open to all residents interested in using or learning to operate a computer. Discussions & presentations are informal. Club officers available after meetings to assist members.
Contact: Dan Tuchenhagen #451

Book Club

Nov thru Mar
Last Friday of each month
9:30 to 10:30am
Party Room
Contact: Dave & Sharon Wood #757


Nov thru Mar
Tuesdays, 7p
Cards on sale at 6pm
Contact: Jim Haahr #594

Morning Coffee

Post Office Parlor
6:30 am every day except Mondays
Coffee: 50 cents, donuts 75 cents
Contact: Activities Director


Every other Tuesday beginning in Febr.
Meet in the parking lot by the Clubhouse
at 7:45am. Return around noon.
Wear walking shoes, bring water & binoculars.
See sign up sheet on the billiards bulletin board
Contact: Cathy Dewar #211
Neil Buchard #262


Nov thru Mar
Monday thru Saturday – 7pm
Monday thru Friday – 3pm
Contact: Bruce & Karen Zorn
No charge. Bring your own popcorn & drink with a lid on it.

Blood Pressure

Nov thru Mar
1st and 3rd Wed – 8 to 10am
Contact: Pam Deml #3

Church Groups

Bible Study

Nov thru Mar
Tuesdays, 1:30 to 2:30pm
Contact: Joanne Ellison #24


Nov thru Mar
Tuesdays, 9 to 10am
Contact: Karen Christian #666

Sunday Service

Nov thru Mar
Sunday, 9am


Nov thru Mar
Tuesdays, 3 to 4pm
Contact: Karen Christian #666


Nov thru Mar
Fridays, 8:15 to 9am
Contact: Carol Kramer #572


Nov thru Mar
Tuesdays, 4 to 5pm
Karen Christian #666

Facility Hours

Activities Office:  Mon. – Fri.  9am to 4pm
Business Office:  Mon. – Fri.  9am to 4pm
Post Office:  Mon. – Fri.  10am to 2pm
Saturdays:  10am to Noon
Pool Hours:  Every day  7am to 10pm
Gates:  Every day  7am to 10pm



If you haven’t seen it yet, please visit the new website for The Resort.


The Resort Website