Tag Archives: Linda

Piano Studio Christmas Concert

Each year, Linda has all of her piano students play Christmas songs at a local nursing home. It’s a good opportunity for the kids to do an additional recital and also a chance to do some community service for the residents at the nursing home. We arrived at the nursing home the other evening with many eager folks waiting to hear the kids play. They sang along and genuinely enjoyed themselves.

Enjoy the pieces that Emily and Anna played:

Emily – Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Anna – Go Tell It On the Mountain

Anna – A Celebration of Carols

Tour of Kansas City Gran Fondo

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Saturday was the Tour of Kansas City Gran Fondo. Linda and I had chosen to do the 100-mile route (which somehow had become the 104-mile route). Our friend, Wally, had talked us into doing this many months ago as a way to force himself to train for his half-Ironman race. We figured we hadn’t ever done a century ride, so it would be good motivation for us also. (We signed up for the Biking Across Kansas date after signing up for this ride).

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However, now Wally was sick and not with us. Paul Beuchter (a friend from the KC Symphony Chorus) was riding, but he had changed his mind from doing the 104-mile route to the 54-mile route. We probably should’ve listened to him. He had done the route the week before and realized that the route plus the heat would be hard. We decided we could do it – besides, we’d just done a century ride the week before.

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We saddled up at 7:20 for the 7:30 start. They had us lined up behind our average speed – the 14mph was the slowest one offered. We started out easy and it felt like this was going to be a great ride – slow and steady. However, the day wore on and got warmer and more humid. The SAG stops were perfectly placed and always seemed to be right when we needed one. The half PBJ sandwiches, fig newton cookies, pickles, and ice cold water with Gatorade powder was heaven-sent. The rolling hills after rolling hills after rolling hills were sent from hell. Every time I’d crest a hill, there was yet another one right after it. I believe curse words were slipping from he corner of my mouth by about mike 75.

Linda was a very strong rider for most of the ride. She’d trained hard throughout the spring and has been consistently attacking hills much harder than I have ever done. These hills were no different and she could’ve easily left me many times over. However, the heat started to take a toll on her and she started to wear out after 75 miles. We were both very tired and the hot humidity was really hurting us. We started taking frequent breaks and stopping every 3 miles in whatever shade we could find. Whenever we could catch our breath and calm our heart rate, we set out to attack the next set of rolling hills.

There were several times when the roving SAG vehicles would stop to check on us; we would just wave them on – until we started needing more water. By the 90th mile, we were beginning to be concerned that the heat would do us in. However, we kept cheering each other on and we eventually pulled in to the final run. The last few miles found me grunting with a sharp pain in my left knee. The hills and headwinds had created enough wear on my knee that every pedal stroke caused a hot-poker pain right in the middle of the joint.

We officially finished at 9 hours and 55 minutes (about 7.5 hours of actual pedaling time). This was about the time that we did the century last week – that was almost fully flat. We were cheered on by other riders that were lining the finish line. Cow bells were ringing, hands were clapping, and friends were cheering. I really wanted to celebrate, but all I could do was heave one pedal over the other to make it up the small inclined finish. Turns out, also, there was an additional 2.5 miles added in because of a “parade start” that had us do a small loop at the beginning. So – our 104-mile ride became a 106.8-mile ride!

Our final results listed me as dead last and Linda finished right before me. However, there were a lot of riders that were SAGed in and didn’t complete the ride. We, at least, can say we finished the ride.

There was a party and dinner available at the end of the ride, but we literally rode directly to the car and loaded up and went home. We were so hot and exhausted that all we could think of was a shower and air conditioning. We showered upon arriving home and immediately fell asleep on the bed – for at least an hour. So exhausted, but so proud of what we had accomplished.

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Spring Piano Recital 2013

Linda had her spring piano recital several days ago. Of course, Emily and Anna played. It was an absolute joy listening to them play on this recital; they have continued to blossom into wonderful musicians.

Enjoy Emily playing Mazurka in F Major by Chopin:

Next, please enjoy Anna playing Polonaise in G minor by Chopin:

Finally, here is a group picture of all her students:

Happy 19th Anniversary

19 years ago today – May 22, 1993 – Linda and I got married at St Isidore’s Catholic Church in Manhattan, KS. We were surrounded with great friends and all of our family.

Looking at the picture of our wedding party provides a lot of smiles – we have regular contact with all but two of the guys. The two flower girls (my cousins) are grown and are starting families of their own. The others are all good friends and we think of them often.

Boy, were we all young back then…

Linda’s new car

Yesterday I told you that we sold our minivan, the Kia Sedona. We sold it because Linda got the car she’s been lusting after for about the past 6 months – a Toyota Prius V. She has always wanted a Prius, but didn’t feel it was right to ditch a minivan with all of its cargo capacity for such a small vehicle as the Prius. However, Toyota recently introduced the Prius V which is almost like driving a Prius minivan. It’s not quite as big, but it has plenty of cargo room. It only seats 5, but with our girls getting older, we don’t really need that 3rd row of seats now.

Importantly, the car gets about 43 miles per gallon – which is a whole lot better than 20 mpg that the minivan was getting.

We have fully fallen in love with the Prius V and everything about it – including the syncing with the iPhone and handsfree phone calls. I’m sure the car can do a lot more that we aren’t even aware.

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Now the question is – do we replace my car with another Prius?

Great day to ride

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70 degrees with fair, sunny skies and only 5mph wind makes for perfect biking conditions. Weather and schedules have kept us off our bikes for much longer than we’d like. However, when a day like today presents itself, you can bet you’ll find us in lycra and jerseys.

Looking forward to many more days like today and the chance to get a lot of miles in before our big summer bike trip.