My first solo Christmas, in many years.

This Christmas was very different as it was my first solo. As many of you know, Brendan and I are no longer together. We are best friends and I will still be racing for Siren, though. We’ve just decided to make a transition as we’ve both grown.

For the holidays, we each spent it our own ways. I went to NM with Dave – our dog that many of you know, the black duv – my beautiful Karmann Ghia, and Carbonita – my fifty-five. We visited family and I was able to have a wonderful time with them.

It started at 230 am when I left Idyllwild last Friday. My heater on the Ghia wasn’t working, so I bundled dave and myself up in down and gave myself plenty of time to make it to NM. I was rocking out and got to Tucson by noon. Then, unpredictable things always happen; my generator went out on the interstate north of Tucson. Fortunately, I called my brother who was immediately on his way – did I mention what an awesome family I have. Dave and I had plenty of time to wait, so we took a really long walk, an equally long nap, and had lots of play time at the exit where we broke down. My brother and mom got there just in time when it was starting to get cool and dark.

We stayed the night in Tucson and spent Saturday morning driving to NM. What an adventure! Sunday, my dad and I started on the tune-up and generator replacement for the Ghia. It’s so much fun working on the car with my dad. We get greasy together and poke fun at each other. We ended up fixing the heating, replacing the generator, adjusting the timing, fixing my window crank, adjusting my wonky headlights, adjusting the valves, and just giving the thing a general tune-up. Then, for Christmas, my little brother (not so little really) installed a stereo in the black Duv that brings to your attention how outdated (by 30 years) everything else is on the car.

For Christmas we had a full house and it was the first time I’d seen my parents new house. They’ve moved out of the house where I grew up to get out into the country a little and have a fresh start in a smaller place since their kids have all moved out. My two brothers and two of my sisters were there with all of the beautiful nieces and nephews in tow. It was quite a site, but welcoming.

My beautiful Nieces singing and playing the guitars together.

My troublesome nephews climbing under the tree to see what Santa brought.

While I was there, I was able to get in a ride in the Lincoln National Forest. I had forgotten how raw the trails are there and it was pretty grueling getting up dry canyon – nonetheless worth it all as it was very beautiful.

Drive up to Cloudcroft after the ride

Then, before leaving town, I made one more trip to the mountains with my mom. She has a friend, Mary, who may not live much longer and spends the days in bed on oxygen. Mary followed me on the Tour Divide and asked my mom to make sure that she met “Siren Mary” as it was very important. Mary is an independent lady and said that she’s never known a Mary that wasn’t feisty and told me how she was threatening people around her that weren’t nice. She told them that she would haunt them when she passed. What a wonderful lady, her son is freaked out!

Last night Dave and I made it back to Tucson and will spend the weekend here unwinding before we head back into the Idyllwild Snow. We even hit snow on our way here last night, but now my heater and defroster work, so it wasn’t bad. We’ve learned through all of this that we can do anything! I’ll head back to Idyllwild this week and get back on the trainer – we’ve got a season to prepare for and a roofrack to find!

Mary, Dave, the black Duv and Carbonita


10 Comments Add yours

  1. Cellarrat says:

    Glad you had a good one with Dave and those cutie kiddos!

    Sorry to hear about you and B!

    let me know if yah need anything


  2. Mary Collier says:

    Thanks dave. I’ll get thru it and we’ll both be better because of it.


  3. Zen Monkey says:

    Know that you’ve got good friends and people who care about your well being. The best part of all of this will be the new beginnings you’ll get to experience. Of course, in the mix of things it never feels that way, but like you said, you’ll grow and expand because of it.



  4. Velociraptor says:

    Merry Xmas to the both of you! Please look me up if either of you are in Flag’



  5. Maria Rose says:

    Sounds like a great trip. Too bad we were not in Alamo too!


  6. Danielle says:

    Merry belated Christmas Mary!!! And I might as well wish you a Happy New Year while I’m at it 🙂


  7. Maniac says:

    Mary, you have a lot of friends who will stand behind you in these times. You are so brave, and everyone admires you. Hope you know that.

    You better get serious on your trainer. You can’t have me beating you again at the next race. 😉

    all the best,


  8. Namrita O'Dea says:

    Happy New Year, Mary. Wishing you all the best in ’09.


  9. Namrita O'Dea says:

    Happy New Year, Mary. Wishing you all the best in ’09.


  10. Mother Bliss says:

    Mary, mary, mary. Wow, I can’t believe it. You’re a tough gal. Remember we’re all here for you. Hope 2009 treats you well, you deserve the best.



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