Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Busy, busy

First, Merry Christmas to everyone. Two days late but that's sort of what the past few days have been like starting with Christmas eve.

I upheld my annual tradition of not wrapping presents until the day before Christmas, I had everything purchased, I just never got around to wrapping. After getting that done I managed to get out and ride for a few hours but I had to stick to as much pavement as possible since the dirt roads were wet from the day before.

Later in the evening I went to Chris W's house for a party they have every year. Chris and his wife had prepared a great spread of all sorts of things to eat but I was careful to not overdo it, knowing what was to come in the days ahead. This year I am determined to start out the new year at a lower weight than last. It was also nice to be able to see some of my riding friends and wish them a Merry Christmas as well.

We were to meet Jason and his fiancee at the midnight mass so and we had to leave about 10:15 to try and get a seat by 11:00 or so, otherwise it standing room only or at least individual seats. As it was we saw Jason before only for a minute, his fiancee Emily was holding his seat in the pew. We finally got to meet her after the service and immediately welcomed her into the family. We stayed a little while at the church to sample the buffet they have after the midnight mass.

We were fortunate that Jason and Emily made it to the church from Indiana. Jason had flown in there the day before but his luggage didn't make it. It took 24 hours for the airlines to even say they found it and would send it up to Detroit to have it delivered on Christmas day. Until then Jason was a cranky boy. Visiting the future in-laws with no change of clothes would tend to do that I guess.

We didn't get to bed until about 4:00 am and were up again around 9:30 to open presents. We had to take a few coffee breaks to finish and then it was time for dinner. Robin and Shari came over for dessert and to meet Emily. They are great friends and we always have a good time with them. I think they were able to fill Emily in on a few things about Jason as well :-)

Sandy's sister had come up the day before to spent Christmas with us so while Jason and Emily were off visiting later in the evening we had a chance to sit around and talk and watch one of the Blue Collar Tour DVDs her sister had gotten for Christmas. Another late night and we had to get up early the next morning to go down to Ray's MTB park in Cleveland.

Tuesday morning I was up around 5:00 am since we were leaving early to go down to Cleveland. The owner of Ray's met us at the place two hours early to let us in and we had the place to ourselves. The Hammer people have sponsored a section of the park so Jason had called and talked to Ray several times. Jason was like a little kid in a candy store as he eyed up all the technical stunts and riding areas. We had picked up his friend Nate and along with Emily and our other son Greg we spent about four hours at the indoor riding park. I rode some of the technical things but I chickened out on a lot as well. It's not my riding preference but I can see where it would help your overall riding ability.

After leaving Ray's in the afternoon we went down to my parents outside of Cleveland so they could see us but more importantly to meet Emily. I think they were as impressed with her as we are. A few hours there and it was time to head back home. We stopped for dinner at Tony Packo's in Toledo. None of the kids had ever been there and everyone enjoyed the atmosphere and the food, even liking the deep fried pickles.

We didn't get home until around 10:30 at night where Sandy and Emily finally had a chance to spent a few hours alone with each other talking in general and looking at wedding dresses in the magazines. Emily had to leave this morning and drive back to Indiana before catching a flight to Montana tomorrow out of Chicago. We wished we had more time with her; the next time we see her may be at the wedding.

At least we have a few days now with Jason before he too goes back to Montana. It seems strange to think that this may be his last time at home as a single guy. Funny, when I was getting ready to get married I never thought anything about what my parents thought along those lines. Of course they already had two others get married by the time I got married. I don't think it makes a difference though. It still causes you to reflect on things. All I can say is we wish Jason and Emily the best of everything. I hope they will be as happy as Sandy and I have been.

The happy couple

Christmas dinner

Robin and Shari watching the dogs before telling Emily what she's in for

Some of the stunts at Ray's

Jason gets some air

At Tony Packos


Anonymous said...

Steve Kinley from West Geauga 1975? This is Paul Miles. I stumbled across you by accident. Happy Holidays! I can be reached at if you'd like to catch up.

Steve Kinley said...

Yes! I caught up a little on what you were doing but that was years ago. You used to have a website?