Hi everyone! I tried to get another blog update out in February but the month just got away from me and here it is already the end of March and I am now just finally sitting down and writing again. I want to thank everyone who wrote to me after reading my first blog. I appreciated all your kind words and was excited to know many of you actually enjoyed reading it!
As you all know, our favorite team, the Green Bay Packers went on to win the Super Bowl! Yeah!!! We were up in Vegas for the big game with our good friends Steve and Sharon Dunn and their daughter Shelly. We celebrated in grand style after they won. Dan painted two cowboy hats in green and gold and painted the Packer logo on each of them. We wore them all over Vegas and had plenty of offers to buy them off our heads. Of course we refused as we felt they were now our lucky Packer Cowboy hats! They are on proud display at the ranch now.
We sure enjoyed having two special groups here again in February. The Havasu Stitchers have been coming for years for their weekend sewing retreat. They bring their sewing machines, lots of material and thread and set up shop in our dining room. There are sewing machines and everything else that has to do with sewing all over all weekend. It’s great! They only stop long enough to eat and they sew all weekend long producing a beautiful piece to take home. The Mourning to Joy group was here again as well for their annual retreat. They are a group of incredibly wonderful and inspirational women who by the grace of God have come together to mourn, rejoice and remember their beloved children who they lost too early in life. The weekend they are here has fast become one of my favorite times at the ranch and we are honored to be part of such a special weekend. Anyone who meets them will be inspired by their strength and their faith. This year we had the privilege of planting 3 trees in the memory of all their lost loved ones. It is called the Memory Tree Garden and we dedicated the trees in a special tree planting ceremony while they were here. The trees are in front of our gift shop and all of our guests will be able to enjoy these beautiful trees as they grow over the years. We love having both of these groups here every year and look forward to having them back again next year. We also enjoyed having Sharon and Taylor McNeil back here again and are happy that Taylor has asked to work for us this summer! She’ll be a great addition to our ranch family. It was a special treat to have our good friends Tom and Kathy here from Wisconsin for a February visit too.
March has brought warmer weather and many wonderful returning guests to the ranch. Three of our favorite disabled groups came back again. The League for People with Disabilities, LEEP and Get Out Travel brought many special people and they were not only able to enjoy all our barrier free ranch but they were also able to enjoy our wonderful horses. A special Hi goes out Kevin from The League group who is in a wheelchair and came last year but got very sick right after he arrived and spend his entire ranch vacation in the Havasu Medical Center. This year he was in great health and was able to ride every day! We love all of our special groups and look forward to having them back again next year! We also welcomed back Marilyn and Ron Dutton, the Dolynny family (a special hi to Kevin Dolynny too!) and Paul and Lillian Price, two very special people who have been coming twice a year for many years now. (Sorry Lillian for taking you on a much longer lunch ride than you wanted!!!) We are looking forward to the Lee family from Scotland who arrive this week as well. Last year they brought me a pink kilt to wear on pink nights (every Wednesday is Breast Cancer Awareness Day at the ranch and everyone wears pink) so I plan to wear it while they are here! We also welcomed many new guests and look forward to seeing them again too sometime in the future.
We have been enjoying having Mom and Dad Rynders (Dan’s parents) here for the past couple of weeks as well. Dad turned 80 in December but he can run circles around many men half his age! You will find him working all over the ranch but he always finds time to stop and chat with our guests. So ask him to stop and tell you a story or two (but you better have more than 5 minutes to spare!) Mom has been helping with the endless loads of laundry, cleaning up in the kitchen (with the endless dishes!) and making some new creations for me with her sewing machine. They are staying for 3 more weeks yet so hopefully many of you will get to meet and spend time with them. We always love having them here. We are also very excited to have Dan’s sister Lorrie and her husband Pete here for a few days. They arrive Wednesday. Lorrie turns the big 5-0 on April 1 so we are honored she is celebrating with us! By the way, Happy birthday to my husband Dan who turned 52 today. I’d like to say he is getting really old but since I am already 53 that doesn’t work in my favor!!!
One last thing I want to mention is the passing of our dear friend Bobby Jones who has been our “cowboy singer” for the past 10 years. He lost his battle with cancer on March 24 and you can read more about him on our home page. We love him and will really miss him. He’s up in heaven now playing his guitar for God and the angels!
That’s it for now. I will do my best to write again sometime in April. I’m sure I will have plenty more to fill you in on then!
Happy Trails, Carrie Rynders and your STGR family