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Last Post 01/01/2022 12:37 PM by Orange Crush. 3 Replies.
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12/31/2021 08:56 PM
Okay, this year is done. I hope 2022 is more fun. Even with the pandemic, We had some great times in 2021. Our son and I did our annual Father's Day ride, again around the Ashokan Reservoir (https://www.roberts-1.com/bikehudson/r/west/wood_ash/cue_sheet/index.htm). Our daughter and her family are so much closer in Northern NJ that we can do day trips without worries. We saw a bunch of T-ball and mosquito soccer games in the spring and fall, respectively. Birthday parties were a blast. We even got to the NY Botanical Gardens for the train show (https://www.nybg.org).


01/01/2022 12:06 AM
2021 not a good year for us. Fires during the summer, combined with heat, bad air quality. Winter (now) rain, snow. Lots of roads closed, damaged homes. Trees came down, people without power. Some folks won't have power back until Jan 10th. We were lucky. I-80 was closed for a few days in the Sierra's. The good- No crashes. My family is healthy. We celebrated Thanksgiving a Christmas together. I have not ridden since before Thanksgiving. Watching the news about the Colorado fires, I feel fortunate...


01/01/2022 11:51 AM
My lowest mileage year in a long time. I cannot blame the fires. My neighborhood and riding country saw remarkably little smoke. I did tile a patio and build a moveable deck over it that exceeded expectations. (I still have to grout the tiles. It was that or build the deck over them and I chose to get the patio working and house back door access back.)

That work was physically very hard for this no longer young skinny body. Placing tiles up to 45 pounds on wet cement, then working them to adjust the height - forearms and shoulders!

Life-wise, I'm settling in to a deal I made 4 years ago. I offered a room to rent to a fellow I barely knew but that was putting his life back together after losing nearly everything burning every bridge. Also the health issues of a former smoker who lived the life of a musician, sex drugs and rock and roll, playing in clubs so smokey he had to go through basically COVID health worker decontamination after gigs for 30 years after he quit cigs.

He's been a model housemate. Very clean and organized. I charge him a small rent which he always pays on time. (When I took him on, I was deep in house equity debt; huge health insurance bills and a new roof. Since then, my mom passed and I got to pay off all debts. I don't need his rent but it helps keep everything on the square.) But he has real health issues. COPD. Even with all the vaxxes of his high priority, a light case of the original COVID or Delta would kill him. He's boosted and might survive Omicron but it wouldn't be pretty.

So I've been living a life of very limited flesh and blood interactions knowing that I cannot bring this disease home. Staying away from romance because that brings in anther whole set of potential contacts. My social life is the Saturday Farmer's market that I should be at right now but it's New Years.

I've always been comfortable being alone. (I could sail around the world. I might have a space out, screw up and die, but the being by myself for that long wouldn't be a challenge. Known this since I was a pre-teen.) The past 20 years I've been in recovery, developed real friends, become comfortable in groups, large and small and come to cherish face to face time with people, even those that are very different from me. Now it feels like I have closed down to an old place; a place I thought I had left for good. I find myself wondering how many more years this pandemic is going to drag on, is this housemate situation going to change and will it get better or worse. I get a little solace reading about civilian life in WW2 Germany and Russia. I don't have it nearly that bad!

Other times - well I made a choice, to do a little piece of work for this G** thing. Keeping one soul off the streets, alive and able to live as healthily and well as possible. He is grateful and reminds me. I get to put a new focus into my music. In my geeky way, I've mapped out the pentatonic scales in the various positions on the harmonica and am practicing them. (And feeling like a true beginner, not someone who's played the blues for 50 years!) Working on the amplified sound to get 1) the "sound", 2) simple easy setup so when I can be with others I can play the blues with others and have that "sound" loud enough and feedback free to play with the guitars (who have one of the best systems ever invented for playing really loud).

My home is becoming more comfortable. Slowly. There are projects to finish, some I need to call in contractors to do and that will wait for this COVID thing. (The rest of the windows; about half are new. The half of the house I cannot shut down and that our bedrooms are in needs wall insulation also.) Landscaping! Part done, ignored and a mess. But the birds (and squirrels) love it! I'm up to date on the feeders, both sunflower and hummingbird. Birds around the house all the time. Trees, large and starters. I have a living and dining room that are beautiful, comfortable and sound great! (First time I played my little custom tube amp along with the stereo to my favorite Willie Dixon song on the then brand new bamboo floor, wow! Like a live event in a choice venue!)

So a year and life of mixed blessing, most of my choice.
Orange Crush


01/01/2022 12:37 PM
2021 was a good year despite challenges of natural disasters. Managed quite a few adventure gravel rides again.

We had the heat dome and forest fires in summer that devastated a few towns in interior. Even here in lower mainland on coast it got hot enough that a number of bushes in yard still have burn marks on leafs.

Then devastating flooding in Fraser Valley a few weeks ago. Those displaced from flooding intermingled with those still displaced from summer wildfires. Vancouvers 2M residents were briefly cut off from the rest of Canada although in practice being a major port it was the other way around. Really only noticed it in brief fuel rationing. Thanks to electric car we never noticed. Right now we’re in a cold snap, cold enough that two water pipes briefly froze but we managed to thaw them before any damage occurred. Definitely a year of weather extremes.

Sent the kids off to university in Victoria and they’ve passed the test of living independently with flying colours even though our daughter is skirting the edge of academic probation while also becoming a closet vegetarian haha. Our son picked up a girlfriend, those two seem perfect for each other, having her over in November was interesting haha.

Saw parents and sister for first time in two years in November and all are healthy although my mother is possibly looking at hip replacement scenario. Timing of that trip was fortuitous as the omnicron hit shortly thereafter. As a means of self isolation in flight I travelled first class with all the fixings that come with it. Having an in flight bed? Priceless. I then took a regular city bus price two euros in and out of town from airport, interesting way to travel as it stopped at every nook and cranny of airport to drop off and pick up workers.

2022 will be rinse repeat with lots of BC gravel rides and trips planned and hopefully another trip to see family. And of course trying to get our daughter out of academic probation and getting to know that girlfriend a little better. Maybe introduce her to mayonnaise on fries.

All the best to everyone and their families!
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