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Winter Texans of the Week: Wink and Dot Zylstra

Alamo Resort Converted Texans Enjoy Keeping Park Beautiful, Serving Where Needed

by Rocio Villalobos

Wink and Dot Zylstra may not have a TV, but they have no problem finding ways to fill their time. The couple, who is originally from Iowa but moved down to Alamo’s Trophy Gardens RV Resort full time in 2016, stay plenty busy volunteering around the park and helping keep the roses beautiful.

“It’s nice to make the park look good, and we’re called Trophy Gardens, so our gardens need to stand out,” Wink said.

From the moment they first drove into the park 21 years ago, they felt welcomed.

“We came down here, and as we were pulling up, the people were so friendly and it was a beautiful, warm, sunny day,” Wink said. “We said, ‘It can’t get any better than this,’ so we just kept coming back.”

It didn’t take long for them to integrate themselves into the park’s activities and offer their help where needed. One place was the rose garden. Previously, another resident kept it maintained, but as his health began to decline, he spent more time back in his home state.

“He guided me on how to take care of them,” Wink said. “Then I ended up kind of just inheriting it. Now, five, six years later, we’re still taking care of the bed of close to 150 roses.”

It started as Wink’s work; then Dot began to learn the ropes to help. And it didn’t take long for other residents to volunteer.

“There are so many people who are willing to put in the effort to keep everything going,” Wink said. “The park is wonderful. It’s been a very good move for us.”

Depending on the conditions, they can spend anywhere from a few hours a week to a few hours a day maintaining the garden. And as part of the small, year-round population, they stay especially busy in the summertime, helping put on the Saturday park dances and assisting the older, single residents with any task or job they need a hand with.

Additionally, Dot is a member of the park’s quilting club. The group makes quilts for community members in need and the park’s veterans.

“We’re planning an upcoming celebration for our veterans, and we’re busy at work sewing because we want to make sure every veteran in our park takes one home and gets to feel appreciated,” she said.

Wink and Dot said they are blessed to be able to give back, and every day they feel reminded of why they decided to make the Valley their full-time home.

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