Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Year End Letter

12 31 2011
Dear Family, Relatives and Friends,
My 78th Christmas is over.  Of course I don’t remember much from the 1st few years and most of the others are fleeting memories.  I always do seem to remember one thing about some of those early Christmases.  We lived on the farm down by Buffalo and dad would go to the small local grocery store and come home with a big stalk of bananas.  It was pretty neat. 

After receiving a couple of Christmas Letters I decided I should put one together this year.  So let’s see what comes out. 

I hope every one has had happy Christmas and End of Year days.  And you have not eaten too much causing you to put on the pounds.  I don’t want you have to write into your new years resolutions that you have to go on a diet.  I hope you are ready for the big 2012 year.  I read ‘2012 for Dummies’  . . . and know what is coming J.

2011  year started off nice and snowy.  That seems long gone now, especially with not a single snowflake coming close to calling this a white Christmas.  We did have a Christmas after snow, though.  Gone now for the New Year.

The spring started off pretty sad with the passing of my brother Ken.  He was the 4th down the line of us 6 boys.  He had been struggling for the past few years and passed away on April 8th.  He will always be in my mind and will be missed. 

I tried, half heartedly, to get a garden going again this year, but failed miserably.  The weeds flourished vigorously.  Next year, 2012, I am going to try diligently to grow a garden.  It is in a difficult location.  On a sand hill, over a filled in foundation of an old barn.  It grows weeds great so it ought to grow the stuff we want.  We will see what happens.

Probably my biggest change this year is worded as, “I am, at least I think I am, retiring from Motorcycle Riding”.  I went to 1 rally this year.  In May.  Buzzard Bottom 4 at High Country Motorcycle Camp near Ferguson NC.  It is always great going there and seeing all my friends from the Poverty Riders in Tallahassee Florida, and other places around the country.  Afterwards I stopped for a few days at son Tom and Susan, Canton NC, visiting them and my grand kids.  On the way home I started having trouble with my Clutch.  Using hindsight, it had been starting earlier.  Bottom line is- after putting 220,000 great miles on it, it has so many little idiosyncrasies that it is just not worth getting it fixed.  I could do a fix it up myself,  but I have way too many ‘home’ things that need to be cared for to spend that time working on my bike.  I may be able to ride it some with the clutch the way it is, but it will be dicey.  I have been many neat places all over the country and Canada, and there are plenty more to go to, but retiring is what I am doing.  Also I want to spend more time traveling to see my kids and grandkids in AK, OR, MN, NC.

A great time this year was visiting all of my kids and most of my grand kids for a week in Indian Rocks Beach FL.  My daughter in law Linda’s family had invited us to share their get together at the beach in July.  It was great visiting with everyone.  Counting everyone we were from all over the country, Alaska to Costa Rica.  We had a lot of fun.  Also got to stop and see a couple of great friends from when we used to live in Florida.

Patty is still heavily involved in her Puli club of America.  She has had several really neat puppies.  She and my nephew’s son Cody have started a little sheep farm.  They have 4 ewes, and a buck and expecting lambs this coming spring. 

I am still involved in the Pahandle Pathway.  Now 5 years or so.  A rails to trail endeavor from Winamac south, 21 miles, toward Logansport.  We had our grand opening this spring after spending about 3 ½ million dollars of grant money to convert this unused Pennsylvania RR to a paved recreational trail.  Back in the old days, I took this RR to Chicago then went on to San Diego, joining the Navy in 1952.  I can still picture my mom and dad and 5 younger brothers waiving good by at the local train station.  Brother Carl also took it when he joined the Air force a couple years later.  I like riding trains and was sad to see it, and the many others in the US, go out of service.  However lots of people are now using it in a different manner. 

The BIG thing in 2012 will be the 14th,, week long, Anspach Family Reunion (A2012R), at Lakeside Cabins in Three Oaks MI.  At the moment we have 12 cabins rented and about 58 people coming. It will be a grand experience.  The Reunion happens once very 4 years, started by mom and dad many years ago to assure that the family maintained a togetherness. 

Well that should be enough for now and for 2011,
so Happy New Year, good bye for now, see ya later.

Tom E Anspach



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