Sunday, February 15, 2015

12/21/2014 – 1/3/2015 CHRISTMAS LETTER 2014

03 Jan 2015 Recvd ~ 7/2/2014                              Volume XXIV Number 3                                          from Tom E Anspach
(2/22/13) (2/14/10)  (1/7/09) (12/30/07) (8/4/07)/ (6/7/05) (3/18/04) (3/2/03) (2/1/02) (4/21/01) (8/23/00) (1/31/00) (3/20/99) (6/17/98) 

12/21/2014 – 1/3/2015 CHRISTMAS LETTER 2014 Tom Anspach
A moment or two to write a little Christmas letter from an eventful year. 
1st A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all

Actually it may be a little late wishing you a Merry Christmas.... so let’s hope all had a Merry Christmas...Procrastination won out and I did not get this finished until well into the New Year 2015.... So let’s just call it a happy 2015 letter.  And I will use it for my RR letter. 

It has been quite an interesting year. 
It started out with helping, if we can call it ‘helping’, my brother Earl (Brookline MA) on his annual trek to Bonita Springs Florida.  Driving down I95 and I75 2 days after Christmas.  I had never seen so much traffic in my life.  Many times stop and go.  We consulted with my MC friend Doug in Vineland NJ as we went by and he gave is information on where to by pass some backed up Interstate traffic.  He also gave us what was probably the best advice. “You guys are snow birds.  That means you drive in the left lane, not over 45 mph and keep your right blinker on.”  We had an enjoyable time visiting with my MC friends Sherry and Dale, who live a little east of Naples. When ready to fly home shortly after the 1st of the year... all flights were canceled as there was a blizzard at home.  Patty seemed to be handling it, and there wasn’t anything else I could do, so Earl and I went to the beach and relaxed and watched the gorgeous sunset.  I got on the 1st available plane to South Bend and nephew Alan braved the icy, snowy, slick roads and picked me up at the South Bend Airport.  A few days later brother Carl took me to Michigan City to help me dig my car out of the snow bank at the Airport Limo Parking lot. 
I got to see all my kids during the year. 
In April flew out to Terrebonne Oregon and helped Jeff and Linda as they were starting up on their new DD Ranch life.  A great experience.  
At the end of May I went to Juneau AK, where Marie and Brian got me Kayaking with the whales and riding bicycle – hiking 4 miles or so to a Glacier that is off the beaten track.  Learned all about their house they moved into and are remodeling.  It is very close to downtown and walking distance from nearly everything.  We did a lot of walking around the area. ,
On the way home another stop in Terrebonne OR at Jeff and Linda’s DD Ranch.  
On September 1st I fulfilled a long standing Bucket list item – Walking the BIG BRIDGE on Labor Day.  The annual Mackinac Bridge walk, the 35th year.  Son Bruce from Bemidji MN met me in MI where I picked him up and we walked it together. A great experience and fun to do.  The very unfortunate part was getting a call, while I was approaching the middle of the bridge, from my niece at home, and my Sister in Law Julie had passed away after a prolonged illness.  I needed to take Bruce home to Bemidji so we traveled all day and arrived late at night.  And I spent several days around Bemidji with Bruce and Ruth including canoeing to the lake that was 1st thought to be the headwaters of the Mississippi.
Then in late November taking an ‘Adventure’ drive via Canton NC, Highlands NC, Tallahassee FL, to Scotts Ferry Florida to see my favorite Motorcycle group of friends at a 4 day rally.  A highlight, among many, on the way back - driving the back, hilly, curvy, mountainy, roads, on a raingy foggy night to Highlands NC.  We, my co-pilot and I, made it in good shape. On my way home I stopped in Canton NC and spent a few days with Tom and Susan and family, including Thanksgiving dinner.
I worked at the Winamac Power of the Past again this year as “Tom the Restroom Guy”, keeping the Restrooms clean during the long weekend for all the thousands of visitors.  I had significant help this time, with professionals giving them a good cleaning during the night.  The big part was that I got to camp in my tent, on what is now my favorite camping spot, on the banks of the Tippecanoe River in the Town Park.  This is not usually allowed.  And the weather this year was perfect, best ever in the 30 years or so for the event.
I got to earn several kitchen passes as Patty took a couple week+ long ‘dog trips’, to Denver Area and Hartford Connecticut while I took care of stuff at home.
I was desperate to watch the World Cup Soccer games in June.  It is hard to do here in rural Northern Indiana Basketball and Football country without Cable TV.  So I bought the Chromecast gadget and did pretty good watching the games from Brazil streaming from my computer to the TV.
‘My’ dogs Brandy (Border Collie) and Sport (Westie) and I still go on our morning walks.  As usual they are extremely excited when I grab my hiking staff and start heading out. But our walk is shortened a little from about a mile to about ¾ mile due to a new house being built in the south half of the pines.  Time moves on and things change.  Brandy and Sport were overly excited when I would come back from my trips and would not let me out of their sight for a spell.  
Oh I nearly forgot, I got though an operation to cut some ‘little c’ from the side of my nose.  No problem. 
I broke down and finally sold my motorcycle after watching it gathering dust in the garage for a couple years.  It went to a good place though.  A MC guy in Michigan City is going to restore it.  He sent me pictures and said he would ride it down and show it to me this spring.
And last, another major event to wrap up the year – Brother Carl went into the local ER Saturday morning 12/20/2014.  Transferred via ambulance, 90 miles, to St Vincent’s Heart Hospital in Indianapolis (Carmel).  Finally underwent successful heart repair surgery on Friday 12/26 the day after Christmas. A double by pass and replace aortic valve. Now recovering. 
That’s about it for now... will add a couple pictures below.
(I may add the pictures 'sometime;)

                                                     Welcome back to Indiana                       Brandy and Sport say                  
                                                        from Florida with Earl                        Happy New Year 2014    
                                              Jeff and Linda’s DD Ranch               Glacier’s in Juneau AK with       
                                               Terrebonne OR                                      Marie and Brian

                                      Walking the BIG BRIDGE                    Then to Canoeing in Bemidji MN                                                                                                                                                                                 with Bruce and Ruth

                      Camping on the Banks of the                             Adventure trip to  Coonbottom Rally
                          Tippecanoe River, Winamac Town Park                        Scotts Ferry Fl

                    Hornbarger Hill Highlands NC                                                 At Tom and Susan’s                          
                                                                                                                 on the Pigeon River Canton NC 

                                                       Back home again in Indiana



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