Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Back to a Busy Schedule

Before we start --- in last evening's excited blog about becoming great grandparents, I made two errors. First, I overlooked mentioning that grandson Sam is going to become an uncle. It's Sam's sister, Renee, who is newly PG.

Second, I stated that Jason and Crystal would become uncle and aunt. That's not true, they will still be cousins of some degree or another. They may as well be uncle and aunt, since Jason and Renee were raised nearly as brother and sister. Gotta keep these things straight!


We’re not only back in Benson, we’re back to being busy. We’ve told you that we are on the Propane Committee, and that is still going on, probably only until the end of March. The temperature is climbing here, and not many people are using their propane furnaces now. Monday sales were moderate (about 260 gallons), and last Thursday they sold even less.

Over our few years here in the park, we have helped out with making place cards, table tent cards and other graphic items, to rave reviews by the Club House Committee.

So we have been included as members of that committee. Suzy went to a meeting of the Club House Committee yesterday morning, although we've been told we don't have to attend: they’ll come to us with very specific requests.

Also yesterday morning, and at the same time, was a meeting of the Architectural Committee. I somehow managed to get myself on that committee, so I attended that.

What is an Architectural Committee? Since we are a Co-op, everything is decided by the membership, managed by the Board of Directors, with several active committees as feet and hands and ears and eyes. For example, there is a Landscape Committee that (1) designs and maintains the common areas of the park, (2) makes recommendations and gives advice to leaseholders about individual landscaping matters, and (3) notifies leaseholders of problem items. For example, last year we were advised to remove a particular shrub that was an allergy problem for many people.

The Architectural Committee has a role in maintaining the structural standards of the park, primarily with regard to sheds and casitas on individual lots. Before any significant changes are made to a casita, the leaseholder is required to get a permit from the committee, provide plans and sketches of proposed changes, and perhaps get City of Benson building permits as well. The Architectural Committee is responsible for (1) reviewing proposals, (2) making suggestions and giving advice, as well as approving the projects in advance, and, perhaps most importantly, (3) approving and signing off on completed projects.

Does that sound like Big Brother is watching? Well, we are a classy park and all of us like and respect its classiness. We all want it to stay classy, so there are standards developed jointly by the Architectural and By-Laws Committees, voted on by the membership, and enforced by the Board of Directors, all of whom are leaseholders and volunteers.

It’s also important to get prior approval and final approval from the Committee because any and all capital improvements to a casita or shed add to the recorded value of the site, but ONLY if the procedure is followed and standards are met!

This morning’s meeting is supposed to help all of us on the committee better understand the standards and procedures we use, so that we are all on the same page when carrying out our responsibilities. There have been unintended exceptions allowed in the past, different interpretations applied, and confusion in the ranks. The current co-chairs of the committee are trying to get that straightened out.

One change that happened last year: there has been a standard for years that fixed patio shelters could not be attached to park trailers. There had to be a space between the two structures. The reason was that this is, after all, legally an RV park, and only moveable RVs could be put in place. Technically, a park trailer is a moveable RV as long as it still is on wheels and has its trailer tongue attached. So, if a permanent metal awning is attached to the trailer and to the ground, then the RV is not moveable.

Over a few years, that rule had been pretty much overlooked, and there were dozens of such patio covers attached to park trailers. The Architectural and By-Laws Committees worked together to determine the best course of action, presented a recommendation to the Board, and we leaseholders approved it. The choice was (1) to require all such structures in the park to be taken down or somehow moved away from the trailers, or (2) to change the standard to allow what had actually been allowed in the past. We all chose Door Number 2.

When we started our shed-to-casita project, we met with two members of the committee as required. Unfortunately, neither of them had any good idea what they were supposed to do, and they had been doing it for years! As a result, we’re not 100% certain that we have gotten all the proper approvals and so on. Being on the Committee won’t guarantee an easy ride, but at least we’ll have a chance to be certain everything gets in order.

With all this stuff going on, we’ve also been blessed with visits from friends. Joy and Phil, whose blog we have been following, recently arrived in Willcox, AZ, just about 40 miles from here. We contacted them about getting together for what they call “linner,” and they eagerly suggested they come here, see our casita, and eat at the Apple Farm. They’ve been following our blog long enough to hear us raving about the Apple Farm and our casita, and wanted first had experience.

The same day we visited with Joy and Phil, a couple we met at our table last Thanksgiving, Ken and Vicki, dropped by unexpectedly for an evening of conversation, and we made plans to have “linner” at the Apple Farm the next day! Ken and Vicki had arrived in the park in the afternoon and had been relegated to the dry camping area because there are no available sites for renters. The park is full!

Both Joy and Vicki are bloggers. Both couples were also at the Gypsy Journal Rally with us last month in Casa Grande. The world of RVers is a close one, and we all know that we’ll see each other down the road in … Our Life on Wheels!


  1. Ken as in Krall here.

    My, my, my, such a briar patch of regulations! However I suppose they are necessary.

    Here we are heading into Spring Vacation. It begins officially after the last class on Friday, as in tomorrow. However the more courteous students have already left, since they don't want to be in the way, when the rest of their fellow students head out.

    My plans during the Spring Break? Work in the office in the morning, preparing for future classes, working in the Jesuit House gardens in the afternoons, weather permitting, and doing whatever in the evenings. I'll be helping out with hearing confessions during the Novena of Grace next week.

    As you may notice, Jerry, the dates for the Novena of Grace are not the traditional ones. And there is a good reason for that. After fighting year after year with our students, who park their cars wherever they feel like it and who take up lots and lots of parking which the people attending the Novena could use, the parish of Saint Aloysius decided to have the Novena during our Spring Break. And that solves the problems quite nicely, thank you.

    So I have just one more day of teaching before the Spring Break officially begins. I'm not complaining, mind you, I'm just stating the facts.

    Good to hear from you as usual.


  2. Many, many CONGRATULATIONS!!

    Mike (& Pat)


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