Christmas with Sally

 The flu got Sally over Christmas so we rescheduled a visit and celebrated this past weekend.  Katie and Henry came up from NC. We had a great time.  Henry enjoyed the idea of having more presents to open!  He didn't mind that most of the gifts were for Sally as long as he got to help her unwrap them!  Gretchen and I will look forward to the cooking class in Charlottesville; just a great gift!

  I cooked a "Southern Dinner" of pork tenderloin, greens and black eyed peas.  The peas from Katie's perspective were not a hit!  But Gretchen's malted milk ball cake was a grand slam! Several of us did enjoy the peas it must be said.  

Henry as usual, didn't let any moss grow under his feet and a trip to the tunnel on Blackwater Creek tired him out to the point he took a 4 hour nap!  We had to postpone a trip to his favorite playground a day due to darkness!  But have no fear, he was quite happy on Sunday to put Sally through her paces at the Linkhorne Playground.  Having followed Henry around the playground before, I was very happy Sally was on deck this weekend.  My guess is her body was not quite as happy when she arose on Monday morning!


 It was great to see Sally giggle and laugh with Henry not to mention her trips down the big slide!  We traverse many paths through life and some afford challenges.  Sally has her share at the moment with responsibilities at home and in the office, a long commute to work and the effects of Sjogren's Syndrome.  But she remains positive, upbeat and motivated; certainly a stance to be admired!  We love you Sally and hope we can get together more this year.




Rhetorical Question

 If there is ice on the puddles and ponds, is it too cold outside to ride a bicycle?

60 degrees and riding

 How can one not ride a bike if it is 60 degrees in January?  The TOF Brothers say , "We must ride"!  So Gary led us on a 40 mile loop in Campbell and Bedford Counties mostly west of Evington.  

 As we pedaled up Johnson's Mountain Road, David and I thought we would end up at the star overlooking Roanoke since the hills just kept coming one after the other.  It wasn't hard climbing so we coined the term "rolling uphills" to describe the route.  

It seems every week we end up stopping at one of these old country stores located at some rural intersection; relics of a simpler time when transportation infrastructure didn't allow for fast jaunts into town and the regional chain grocery.

The temperature dropped 20 degrees today and the wind increased by 15 mph as winter weather blew into the region.  But have no fear, temperatures are on the rise next week after a chilly weekend and perhaps riding will be in the cards once again!

Visiting Granny

To be 91 years old and be like Granny is my goal!  The first week in January, Gretchen and I headed to Pennsylvania to see her mother.  Peg has fully recovered from surgery this fall and is back to her old self; full of energy, always smiling, wanting to go and do and walking daily!  We went and did!  Dinner out, a trip to Bethlehem to check out a rail trail, afternoon tea and crumpets, hanging out at the Olmes, a trip to Allentown; we had a great time!  

Andrew and Janelle came to visit Granny over the weekend and good times were had eating, chatting and playing multiple rounds of Rummy (sans Phil and Tom who were BUSY).  Jon was home on Christmas break  and it is hard to believe he is graduating from PSU this spring and heading to optometry school this fall.  Many thanks to Pris and Phil who open their home to us each trip, providing room and board in high fashion.  We appreciate all you guys do.  Many thanks!

It was great seeing everyone. Three generations gathered around the table is one of life's little blessings.  On our way home Gretchen said over and over, "Wow, my neck really hurts from doing that yoga tape"!  We concluded that Priscilla just has a much more limber body than ours; so we are happy to be back to doing yoga for old folks with our trusty chairs!



Last ride of the year

The TOF Brothers capped the year with a 45 mile ride through western Appomattox County on a balmy 55 degree  day during the last week of December.  It was a great cycling year with many miles traveled, great camaraderie and exercise, and really fun times; even a few libations!  

Today we arrived once again at the Sherwill Store, much to the surprise of the leader but not his companions!  We approached and passed this store many times this year and as of today we can truly say we have followed the "Four Winds" in our departures from its corner!  Our friend followed us for five or six miles, lagging behind on the downhills and then charging up the hills to catch up.  He's a very impressive dog!

Up until turning 50, I had routinely rode two thousand miles a year but worked combined with aging made that milage a memory.  So, being retired, I set a goal to ride two thousand miles this year.  I made it!  Total miles = 2,321.

Looking forward to another great year of cycling with the TOF Brothers in 2012.  May the road be smooth beneath our wheels, the wind be on our backs, the sun shine bright on ride days and the miles crank by with ease throughout the year!