Merry Christmas 2011 and Happy New Year 2012

It’s been a musical year for the Linders, if the calendar of events for 2011 has anything to say about it. In January, after an overnight trip to visit Cece’s sister in Redding, Roger and Cece went to no fewer than five Todd Rundgren concerts. It helped that three of them were in the Sacramento area, three nights in a row as a part of a Rock Music Fantasy Camp held in Sacramento in mid-January. Although we didn’t go to the camp itself, a series of free concerts in the evening made it a no-brainer.

Not having enough Rundgren earlier in the month, they also took a three-night trip to New York City at the end of January to see a reunited Utopia, Todd’s band from the early ‘70s. Concerts on both Saturday and Sunday nights were a great experience. While temps in NYC were in the 30s, and a layer of snow was on the ground, it was still a great trip, and we also got to see Times Square, the Empire State Building (from a distance) and spent several hours at the world’s largest Macy’s with 11 floors of shopping convenience. Fortunately, we were able to restrain ourselves so that everything fit into our luggage for the trip home.

In February, we experienced a different kind of snow, with an overnight trip to Sparks, Nevada, viewing beautiful snowfall in the Sierras, and missing the storms on either side of the trip altogether. This time it was a trip to see Rick Springfield.

Skipping any concerts in March, we instead had our kitchen cabinets repainted, quite a refresh after 17 years. In April, we celebrated granddaughter Diana’s first birthday and later in the month took a trip to Oakland to see Rod Stewart and Stevie Nicks. In May, we went to a great production of The Who’s Tommy at UC Davis. In June, we skipped going to any concerts and bought a new car instead, a Honda CR-V. It came just in time, as Roger needed better transportation options to get to a number of rehearsals for a couple of plays that he appeared in at the Thistle Dew Dessert Theatre, which ran over three weekends in July. July also included yet another Todd Rundgren concert in Stateline, NV, which led to another overnight trip to Lake Tahoe. But Todd wasn’t the only concert in July, as we made two trips to the Thunder Valley Casino to see The Tubes and Chicago. And between Tahoe and Thunder we managed to get our kitchen counters, sink, garbage disposal and faucet replaced. Plus, Cece had minor surgery on her toe, which put her in a special walking shoe for a couple of weeks.

School began for Cece on August 3 at Wilson Riles Middle School, and lasted for three days there before she was transferred to Dudley Elementary School, where she worked with 3rd graders for the first time. After only a week, she took off a month for scheduled surgery and recuperation, sandwiched by a Peter Frampton concert and ToddFest/West in Concord. September had us back at Thunder Valley to see Hall and Oates, and Cece back at Dudley to resume work after surgery for three weeks before a one-week school vacation, but not before being back at Thunder Valley to see Paul Revere and the Raiders. We took advantage of Cece’s time off and recuperated health to take a trip to Las Vegas, where we saw Jersey Boys and singer/comedian/impressionist Gordie Brown. Although it wasn’t quite our anniversary, we considered this our anniversary trip, celebrating thirty-five years of marriage on October 16th. Returning to work for another three weeks, Cece was then transferred on Halloween to Spinelli Elementary School, where she now works with fourth and fifth grade Special Education students. She hopes to be transferred no more during this school year.

In November we saw Herman’s Hermits at Thunder Valley and Trans-Siberian Orchestra at Power Balance Pavilion, and hosted Thanksgiving Dinner for Roger’s parents and Matt, Katherine and Diana. Roger and Cece both celebrated birthdays during the month.

Late November and early December had us taking time out to decorate the house for Christmas, which as of this writing, is almost done. We put up six trees, and have decorations in every room. Later in the month, we still have at least two more concerts scheduled: Mannheim Steamroller, and on New Year’s Eve, a final trip for the year to Thunder Valley to see The Beach Boys.

So where was Brad in all this excitement and travel? Working. He’s a prep cook at McCormick and Schmick’s seafood restaurant, and doesn’t get extended time off to enjoy any travels with us. He did, however, experience several months of “excitement” with vehicle troubles including dead batteries, failed radiators and hose and several failed smog checks, which led to towing, and multiple trips for repair. Finally stabilized, he hopes to trade in his truck for a newer model early in the next year.

So while we gallivant around like a retired couple sometimes, we still have to work, too, and expect to for at least another five years. Maybe then, we’ll have time to really enjoy ourselves!

All the best to you for the holiday season from Roger, Cece and Brad!