From our home to yours, here’s hoping those who have just finished celebrating Hanukkah and those who are just about to begin celebrating Christmas, Kwanzaa Festivus and anything else are doing well, enjoying time with family and friends and are in good health.
We know that’s a tall order as life does tend to throw us curves, knuckleballs, sliders and more times than we like hits us with a fastball. We like many of you have probably been hit with those fastballs a few times this past year and we understand and appreciate the challenges we are dealt are often times not of our making or not within our power to control. However, we are reminded that we are certainly not alone in this, have the love and support of family and friends and always remain mindful that even with our burdens we are still thankful for our blessings.
For those who are interested in learning more about our past year, in words and photos, I’ve uploaded a .pdf version of my annual Christmas Letter that I share with our family. For those who follow the blogs, much of it will be familiar and we thank you for your readership: we enjoy being connected to our virtual family and friends. You can download the letter by clicking on the link above, or the image of the first page at right. As I’ve mentioned, I write these weekly journals for a variety of reasons, one of which is that it allows me to reflect on what we have done, the people we have met and places we have been.
I was reminded of how valuable that can be this year as I attempted to compose my letter without having access to the Internet during our recent winter weather event that caused our network access to go dark for two days. After finishing my first draft and sharing it with Debbie she noted there were several glaring omissions… I mean really glaring omissions. I would like to believe that my mind is like a steel trap and captures everything, but that little exercise truly made me appreciate the time I invest in writing my journals. And, as you might now suspect, the annual Christmas letter provides me with an opportunity to appreciate all that happened this past year and to consider what lies ahead. Again, all of that is captured in the letter so I won’t go through it all here; those who are interested now have the ability to do so.
To those of you who are still following our blog, thanks for hanging in there. As you may have noted, it’s been something of a dry spell since my last meaningful “journal” back in September, with just the calendar update a few weeks back.
Fear not, we are still devoted cyclists and tandem cycling enthusiasts; however, life sometimes gets in the way as do my competing interests in motorcycling. The latter figured big in the equation between buying and selling motorcycles, a trip to Daytona and then a bump in the road, so to speak, that put me off of both bicycles and motorcycles for a few weeks. Oh yes, and it snowed here… A lot!
Here’s a recap.
First up was trip to Costa Rica for what was our first-ever resort vacation.
The next distraction was a sudden desire to buy a new-to-us Honda Goldwing motorcycle in late August, as I wanted something more practical with more storage than the 2003 BMW R1100S I’d been commuting on since January 2009.
An un-intended consequence of adding the Honda to the motorcycle fleet and taking Debbie for a ride on the luxury bike was her realization that our current Harley-Davidson touring bike was really too small and uncomfortable. So, two weeks after buying the Honda we were in hot pursuit of a close-out deal on a 2017 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Ultra. We found one in Savannah and Melissa at Killer-Creek Harley-Davidson was able to get it to Atlanta for us and we added it to the fleet in late September.So, instead of riding bicycles or tandems, I was now tinkering with two “new” motorcycles in my spare time, i.e., personalizing them with the various things that make them fit, ride and look right. Yes, it was a a sight to see since I’d still not sold the BMW.Thankfully, a week after this photo was taken the BMW found an a new home. It was a great bike that I would have loved to keep if we had room for it.
By now it was October and in between bouts of bad weather that kept us off the tandem we were able to sneak in a short trip to Daytona Beach, Florida, on the new touring bike for the fall version of Bike Week. The weather was less than ideal, but we had good friends with us and made our own fun during every waking moment.
Things settled down a bit towards the end of October and mid-November, but the weather kept us off the tandem, as it seemed like it was either cold or raining just about every weekend. The next big disruption came when a lovely, 83-year old motorist failed to see me stopped on the big Honda with my left turn signal on during my evening commute on 21 November and sent both the bike and me tumbling. My new pride and joy was totaled and I was “grounded” with respect to riding anything by a wrist injury, sprained joints and a strained back.
Of course, even if we had both been in good enough shape to go cycling, the weather intervened in early December to shut down the areas northwest of Atlanta with a foot of snow. Yes, this was the scene the morning after 15″ of snow fell and about 12″ of it was left stacked up on everything for the next two days.
I was finally feeling well enough to get out for a single bike ride this past week and, boy let me tell you, it felt GREAT! No, I was still feeling the wrist and my back complained a bit the next day, but it was a huge step and it was also nice to know I felt as much joy as ever being back on a bicycle. There’s just no better way to spend a spare moment, other than cuddling my sweetie… that is.
So, we’re eagerly awaiting some free time so we can get back out on the tandem in 2018. Here’s hoping that you and yours have been able to get in as many miles of smiles as you’d hoped to in 2017 and perhaps our paths will cross in the not too distant future. Still working on our 2018 rally plans.