Merry Christmas 2008 and Happy New Year 2009

There must be something about predicting a quiet year that makes the opposite come true. When we looked ahead last January, there appeared to be little of significance occurring for the upcoming twelve months. No big trips planned, no major celebrations. We couldn't have been more wrong.

First of all, Roger's dad gave us a bit of a scare with a heart attack just after the New Year, but a January 6th five-bypass operation put him back on the path to recovery and he's doing very well now.

Setting the tone for the remainder of the year, Roger and Cece took advantage of time off during Cece's Spring break to make a short trip to historic Murphys, California and Calaveras Big Trees State Park still under snow.

The following month, word came down that Todd Rundgren, Roger's musical hero, was going to celebrate his 60th birthday by inviting fans to his home in Hawaii for a week. In addition, because of Roger's involvement in the Todd Rundgren Connection web site, we were invited as special guests. Many fans camped on the property, but we were put up in a nearby cottage. The event was held at the end of June, and about 200 fans attended the celebration, which included a live concert debuting Todd's new CD, Arena. In addition to meeting new people and enjoying friends we haven't seen for a while, we also participated in a zip line adventure and inner tubing in a former sugar cane plantation canal. Plus, we got our share of sightseeing, eating and ocean swimming. The trip of a lifetime!

It wasn't enough to spend a week at Todd's home, so in July we traveled to San Francisco to see him in concert again. Todd, twice in the same year? Unheard of!

Not so fast, because on Labor Day weekend we took yet another trip. This time we were headed to Las Vegas to see, not one, but two concerts featuring... you guessed it, Todd Rundgren! The first was a Friday night show tribute to the Beatles with an all-star band performing the entire Sgt. Peppers album live. Todd was the frontman for the band and was featured on a number of songs. In addition there were songs featuring Lou Gramm of Foreigner, Denny Laine of the Moody Blues and Wings, Christopher Cross and Bo Bice of American Idol fame. Two days later, we attended a private party of 100 fans who were treated to Todd and his own band. It was a whirlwind weekend and we drove back to Antelope from Vegas on Labor Day, ready to go back to work.

But we were not idle long. Cece had another week off in October and this time we were off to Santa Cruz area where we stayed at the historic Brookdale Lodge and visited Santa Cruz, Capitola and the Big Basin Redwoods.

Certainly travel was over for the year, one would think. But yet again, another opportunity came up to do something unique. On Christmas night, Roger and Cece are flying to the East Coast to ultimately attend a New Year's Eve party in Philadelphia featuring a private show by... oh no, not again, Todd Rundgren. As it's December 31st, that really ought to be the final show we'll be going to this year.

So with all traveling to Todd Rundgren concerts, they must have been little time for anything else. Not true.

Roger served the entire year as President for his Toastmaster's club, the Capital Communicators. During his term the club won the President's Distinguished Club award for the first time in the club's 35-year history. Roger also achieved his Competent Communicator and Competent Leader awards. Roger spent November writing his first novel in the National November Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) event, a 50,014-word expansion of the story first written in his 1975 rock opera and play Only Golden Fingers Could Play So Heavy.

Roger and Cece planned and hosted two family events during the year as well. First up was Roger's dad Rudy's 80th birthday celebration, with a guest list approaching 40. The second was the 14th annual Linder Family Picnic at Gibson Ranch Park. By comparison, Roger's 55th, Cece's 52nd and Brad's 25th birthdays were minor events.

Cece became active on MySpace and Facebook this year, and enjoyed keeping up with her friends and new acquaintances online. The teacher she had been working with for the past three years retired at the end of the school year in June, and she is now working with another teacher, new to the school.

Roger and Cece made the decision to join Lutheran Church of the Ascension in November, after an exhaustive tour of a couple of dozen other Lutheran churches in the area. We also hosted a small group meeting in our home. Roger also rejoined the Praise Band on guitar.

Brad did not get to participate in any of the traveling this year, because he was holding down two jobs, although only a couple weeks were simultaneous. On October 21, he began working at a new restaurant in Sacramento called Tre. His main job is serving from the "Raw Bar" where he shucks oysters and clams. On November 3, he ended his time at Dry Creek Station in Rio Linda, where he had first been a busboy and later promoted to cook. He worked there for more than three and a half years.

A proud footnote of accomplishment: Matt is completing his Master's Degree in Music History in December. The family will once again gather in celebration at his home after the commencement ceremony.

Is there any more we can pack into this year? You mean besides painting, new carpet, new computer and iPhone, trips to other concerts such as Rick Springfield, Three Dog Night, The Tubes, Bourgeois Tagg, Whodunnit, David Houston, Adam Marsland, Trans-Siberian Orchestra and the plays "Going Somewhere?", "The Divine Court-Martial of Field Marshal William Keitel" and "Going To Tibet" and a pair of Christmas plays at the Thistle Dew Dessert Theatre? We hope not! Merry Christmas!

Roger, Cece and Brad