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Published: December 9th 2009
++Every year I write a Xmas letter that goes in the Xmas card. In DEC09 I found a bunch of the old letters and I thought I would post them here in this blog. Please notice in this the 2005 letter I say I can not win the ABCs of Touring because you couldn't hold a 5 day a week job and have time to win. Funny I would end up winning it for 2006 while holding a 5 day a week job. ++
Cindy’s Christmas Letter
Hello to all. I hope this finds you all happy and in good health. I am doing good as I am in fine health and still find many things throughout the day that puts a smile on my face.
Scout is doing fine. He has a full time job and shares a house with a couple other young eligible guys. He is working for TNT a company that does the logistics for Ford Motor company here in KC. They redistribute cars leaving KC from not only the local factory but also from other factories across the nation. Its some kind of hub thing here for Ford. Scout seems to like it.
Work is going good. We had a good year this year as we have come out of the ‘famine’ cycle and into the ‘feast’ cycle. Next year is going to be a bumper year and maybe the next, but who really knows. I think the company is smarter on how they handle the ‘feast’ years now so the next ‘famine’ years will not hit us so hard. I will be heading to the Philippines shortly after Xmas and will return the end of March so look for postcards. So much of my time now is spent getting everything ready so I can leave. You know all those little things you put off.
As you can tell from the card, the family has grown a little. The addition is ‘Effie’ a Harley Sportster. The original Effie was a black woman whose feat in the 1920’s was to ride from Boston to California and back. She bought a Harley, added a sidecar for her mother and took her on the trip too. You have to respect that accomplishment, with race relations and road conditions the way they were. Her mother would do needlepoint for food or gas along the way. A couple of gutsy women. Mine is the smallest in the Harley line, but she has slid me to the back of the seat a few times. I originally purchased it to use instead of the 1978 DT175 Yamaha that I was using for the 25 mile roundtrip to work. I had purchased the Yamaha new when I was in the service. My parents let me take the bike to KC when Scout left the house for the service. Using the Yamaha had brought my gas expense down to $2.50 a week, I’m cheap frugal. However as I got bigger and the bike got older going 45 MPH was more of a chore than it could manage unless there was a long downhill involved. The Yamaha also lacks whatever it takes to activate the traffic light sensors, so routes had to be chosen carefully and I had to make sure I was never the first vehicle in turn lanes which was hard to accomplish. A kick start on cold mornings is not a joy either. Although the Sportster was originally purchased to just get me to work and back I soon found the real joy in a highway bike and away we went. I have always loved to travel, but the Harley has really made it even more of an adventure. Many of the movement and sensory effects I feel riding are amazingly similar to SCUBA diving, so I was addicted immediately.
Harleys are unique to me for not only their rumbling sound, but because they are the only motor vehicle I know of that are modified to fit the riders and their needs. Most vehicles you learn to conform to it with only small adjustments like sliding the seat or tilting the steering wheel being made in the vehicle itself. A Harley is altered to fit you. I never would have thought to move the handlebars on the Yamaha so I could be more comfortable, change the seat or put a bigger gas tank on. The most I did to the Yamaha was add mud flaps so I stayed cleaner. I have used my resources (mechanically inclined friends) and put quite a few modifications on it. The bike has been mechanically problem free, knock on wood.
Most of you I have visited this year while on my travels. I put 25000 miles on the bike this year and visited 34 states, all the states from Delaware to Nevada, Michigan to Texas, except for Florida, Montana and Arizona. For the first time I really used the AAA membership I have had for years. This is the first year I found out I could get free maps! I thought it was only good for roadside assistance and hotel discounts. I have experienced the most beautiful sunset in Indiana and an almost equally astonishing sunrise in Utah. I have seen the Salt Lakes and the Great Lakes, the Smokey mountains and Rockie mountains, the salt flats and the flint hills, among the many other things this country has to offer. I feel really blessed.
I am looking forward to the new year. I will return home about the beginning of the new riding season. I already have my calendar filled with HOG Rallies, borders that need to be found and a list of destinations that need to be seen. Next year my goal is to get to 46 states (not FL and CA) and all the Canadian Provinces that border the US.
I was excited to see the list of next years HOG rallies because they are so close to friends and family! The Illinois HOG rally will be within a couple miles of my Aunt and Uncles house. I think the Walter Bros HD near them is hosting it. (Aunt Grace that would be the weekend of JUN 2nd). The Colorado HOG rally will be in Boulder, just a short drive from my cousins house (Girls that will be the weekend of JUN 9. J The National Rally is in Billings MT, JUN 30. The Montana HOG Rally will be JUN 24th, the Idaho HOG Rally is JUN 27th and 28th , so I will be in that area for about 2 1/2 weeks, as I also want to make a swing up into Canada for a few days. I would like to stop in when I am going out and when I am heading home.). The Kansas HOG rally will be in Hays where one of my nieces is going to college (Dezerae that will be JUN 8). The Texas HOG rally will be in Abilene close enough to a couple close friends (Gary & Shari that will be MAY 18-21, The Oklahoma HOG rally will be OCT 12-14 again it is at Ardmore). I am hoping this year to gain enough points to get a plaque. The top three point getters nationwide receive gift certificates, the next 10 get plaques. To get in the top three, takes so much time, you couldn’t have a 5 day a week job.
Well, it is time to close. I hope you all have a joyous Xmas and spend a great holiday with friends and family. I hope to see you next year.
Take care and keep in touch,
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