December Newsletter 2018

THE MAIL IS IN: A Visit with Kim Gulvas

By Dale Dauten

“I get mail; therefore, I am.”

Scott Adams

“DO I HAVE MAIL TODAY?” Ask that question of Silveridge’s mailroom maven, Kim Gulvas, and she’ll squint a bit as she holds up an index finger and says, “Give me a minute,” and then, voila, more often than not she’ll be able to tell you. (Try that question at a regular USPS office and we’re guessing they might hold up a different finger.)

It helps that Kim has been at the Silveridge mailroom for a decade (passing the ten-year mark this past September), but she also has a knack for remembering mail. “I can’t tell you what I had for breakfast,” she says, “but I can tell you if you have mail.”

Some background: Kim is from Michigan, born in Detroit but raised in the town of Standish, population around 1500. (Fun fact we found looking up Standish: They are worried about exploding toilets. The city website says that the sewer system is being worked on and adds, “We are advising all residents to keep their toilet seats down, while not in use.” Imagine the possibilities while in use. Makes the internet construction at Silveridge seem downright serene.)

After high school, Kim moved to metro Detroit to work for Ford, then worked in a drugstore, and for a photo developing company. Meanwhile, her father found his way to Mesa and back in 1987 she came to visit him. “I fell in love with the mountains,” she tells us, “and said right then that someday I would retire here.”

Then, 20 years later, but long before retiring, she accelerated that plan. Her father passed in 2007, and with a powerful sense of “Life’s too short,” decided to go ahead and relocate to Mesa. She moved into her father’s place at a mobile home park near Silveridge. Not long after, she heard from a neighbor that Silveridge needed someone for the mail. And thus she began her tenure at the mailroom.

Kim says of her work, “I love my job. I love the people.” Then she laughed and added, “Sometimes I want to scream, but I love my job.” The urge to scream comes from having to work with the giant bureaucracy of the Postal Service and all the automated systems that put mail into it. While she’s learned to work around their rules and procedures, you can see the frustration in her face as she talks about all the ways the mail gets lost or sent to the wrong park, leaving her to deal with disappointed recipients.

One of the ways she deals with the stress of the job is to paint… painting rooms, that is. In the off-season, when residents are away, she uses her off-hours to paint interiors. She reports that she’s probably worked on a hundred of the homes in Silveridge. “I love it. It’s how I relax. I already have people getting estimates and signing up.” She added, “I took aptitude tests in school and one of the things they suggested was being a surgeon. I think painting uses the same skills.”

And when she isn’t sorting mail or holding a paintbrush, she’ll probably be off to the mountains. She fell in love with those mountains decades ago, but only this year did she start getting out into them. She found a mountain-loving soulmate at Silveridge, and they go four-wheeling most weekends, sometimes spending the night under the stars. That’s something you can’t mail in.

Getting snail mail is one of favorite indulgences,

and I think receiving mail is actually a common joy.

Mary Lambert

Every Cloud they say has a Silver Lining.

They say If you look hard enough and think positive thoughts you’re bound to uncover happiness in the midst of discouragement. We have all have experienced hard times in our lives and it is up to us individually to find that Silver Lining. This is the 3rd in the series of messages I have written about our catastrophe with our storm damage to our Silver Center. We started with the attitude of “Our Glass Half –Full”( Not half –empty) Last month I wrote about our Journey together and how exciting it is to be on an adventure. And now we are looking for that Silver Lining and the good that can come from it.

Here are a few Silver Linings that I found: 

I am grateful that our Activities had a temporary home at the Resort! I have not only gleaned new ideas but made new friends as well! Remember to share a thank you to Rhonda and all the Construction and maintenance workers, Tim (The internet gentleman) and Sue, Kay and Sheila in the “Tuna Can” and Kim who never misses a mail day. 

Isn’t it exciting to think about seeing our newly remodeled Silver Center! There is a new wood floor and carpeting in the Ballroom and Social Hall. The old wallpaper is off and a new paint job throughout. I am happy that none of the outside buildings were damaged so all those clubs could continue their classes and activities. How satisfying it is to drive through the park and see residents playing sports or lining up at our multi– used theater. And do we ever love splashing around in the pool! Thank you also for your patience for those whose functions were in the ballroom: Computer, Billiards, Library, Card Room, and our Decorators. Are we ever going to be busy re-organizing when we return!! 

There is “no place like home” and we can all appreciate being together soon as a Silveridge Family.Do I ever have a line-up of entertainment still to come! We are all going to be super busy getting re-organized once we are back. I am thrilled to see you at The Resort for our dances. Do not miss the two more dances and our Christmas Dinner Show on Dec 6th– plus New Years Eve. The word will be out ASAP on WHERE these events will be held. (Still holding out for NYE at Silveridge!) Thank you for your understanding, your patience, your driving to The Re-sort (and volunteering to be the DD!) 

At our Thanksgiving Coffee and Donuts and many of you shared things your were grateful for. One shared how their car was not working when they returned to Az. Their neighbors brought them breakfast. Someone else said that they had a impromptu barbecue with some new residents in the park. A handyman on the “200 block” fixed all his neighbors shingles that had blown off in the storms. Many of you take the elderly to their doctor appointments and grocery stores. And of course to all of you “Angel Friends” that have uplifted me through notes and kind words– Thank you! Many of you know that we also had category 3 damage to our personal home as well. What a Silver Lining we found with all the new repairs– and we had planned on remodeling our Az. room any-way! I challenge you to be looking for your Silver Lining. Know that there is a blessing just waiting for you! 


Your Activity Director,



If you’d like to see the printed version of The Silveridge Sun, with its special events listings and all of Sue’s updates, click below…



We just got a full progress report from Chris Castro of GDS and are pleased to pass along the good news that the last big hurdle to completing the project has been passed. It turns out that all the natural disasters around the country caused a backlog in materials and repair parts. As Chris put it, “a standard 90-day order has turned into a 180-day order.” He adds, “It has caused us to juggle around quite a bit upgrading and stabilizing as we can. We had a plan of action that outlined a strong completion date, continuing setbacks caused us to deviate from that plan. We just received a huge shipment of parts in for the outside plant. We had an expected arrival in early September and we finally received the shipment last Tuesday. It is currently being inventoried and we are making plans to best get these parts installed without causing major disruptions for the residents.”

Included in the shipment is Auto Gain Control. Chris explained its significance: “This system automatically adjusts the signal in the park based off the current temperatures. This is a huge upgrade as we can see 40+ temperature swings in the desert from night to day. This cuts back maintenance costs as well as frees us up from having technicians multiple times a year go through and rebalance the system due to seasonal temperature changes as our summer residents definitely saw.”

Chris also wanted to pass along a message from the installers at both parks:“Please don’t purchase parts at RadioShack, Lowes, Home Depot or Best Buy. Do not re-use the cabling and splitters that you have coiled up in boxes and saved for years. We are still seeing a lot of RG-59 wire installed or connectors that are being bought and improperly installed. These not only impede your services but can cause noise to back feed into the system that affects all your neighbors as well.”

Chris added this explanation: “When we talk about noise, it’s pretty simple — everything in the cable is a radio wave. Everyone can tune into a radio station in their home or car. Well, when bad cabling is installed or bad connectors are installed they allow those radio waves to bleed into the cable system and overpower the conversations that are happening to deliver your internet and tv service. Also gold looks awesome and mentally holds value but in the cable world, gold has the value of paying to have someone come and rip it all out.”  
We also got this further detail on the work at Silveridge:
“The headend expansion has been built and the air conditioning installed. An electrician will be by next week to install the circuits needed to migrate the old equipment as well as install the new signal processing equipment. We will then schedule an overnight time to have the equipment migrated. Conduit was installed in areas over the summer, new cabling was repaired or replaced, additional amplifiers were installed. Additional power supplies were also installed to accommodate the additional components.
“With the arrival of the parts on Tuesday we will be able to begin resetting the pedestals that are currently dug up. The holdup on doing this was those parts. There are still some additional amplifiers that have to be installed, however we were on hold until we received the parts from overseas. Overall the system is tremendously stable compared to before.”
We had hoped by now to be reporting on the re-opening of the ballroom and eventually the entire clubhouse. Sadly, we still don’t have a date. Why not? Bureaucracy. Between permits and insurance personnel, no one has been able to commit to hard dates. We hope to have a special report out soon.
Meanwhile, the office is open in its temporary quarters and Activities Director Sue Arneson is doing heroic work to make sure all the residents are too busy to think about construction issues.