Tom Kat Ride 2011

Three words.

Soggy, Stressful and Small

That’s how I would describe the 2011 Tom Kat Ride.

As early as Friday, it became crystal clear that an early morning ride to Stillwater, OK was not going to be possible.  So I launched Plan B which called for a later departure time to Sun City for lunch at Buster’s Saloon.  The weather forecast said that rain was likely in the early morning, but it would clear off by late morning.  Knowing that I would be fired if I lied at MY job, I took the weather dude at his word and felt confident that we all would be on a nice ride to Sun City by mid to late Saturday morning.

I woke up to the predicted rain and immediately hopped on the IPad to check out the forecast (that’s right Kitties, the Friedman’s got us some inner’net now!) Forecast said that by 10:30ish the rain will have moved out of the area.  OK, it’s all good – stick with plan – don’t panic – this is Kansas for God’s sake, it could clear up in 30 minutes.  Well, it didn’t.  As the announced departure time got closer and closer, I could see that we were going to need a little more time, so that’s when I started making the first round of phone calls.  By now I’m really stressed….will I get hold of everyone in time, will the new departure time be too late for a lunch ride, will Joanne Brady forgive me for calling her in the middle of a hair color job only to find out I had the wrong Joanne;  will the rain ever stop?  By now, people were dropping from the ride like fleas from kitty fur and when it was all said and done, we only had four kitties who were staying the course.

By the time I finished making phone calls, the rain had stopped and I stepped outside to lick my wounds.   “Damn, it’s cold out here!” was the thought that went through my head and I walked back inside struggling with – do we do a long ride or short ride, long ride or short ride, long ride or short ride?  The conversation that I had with Greg went a little like this, “Tell me what to do Greg?”  “I think we should still try to ride to Sun City.”  “Do you know how cold it is out there?  No one wants to ride for 2 hours in the cold.”  “Then do what you want to do.”  “Stop talking to me, can’t you see I’m stressed???”  (Yes I know,  Gene Morse, you are lucky to be married to Dawn and not me, blah, blah, blah.)  I quickly decided that 57 degrees and heavy overcast was too cold and decided to pull the plug on Plan B and went on to Plan C and I quickly called the four Kitties to catch them before they left for the Sun City departure location.

In dry conditions and warmer weather than expected, Kitties and Toms Janice and Greg Friedman, Nellie and JT Taylor, Dawn and Gene Morse, Traci Earls, Maureen Stout, and invited guests, Jason and Rahmie Reed and Dave Spencer met at the Stearman Airport in Benton for burgers, belly laughs and horses.  Some of the highlights were:

1.       Traci Earls pimping the Krome Kitties to a traveler at the gas station – way to recruit Traci!

2.       Maureen Stout arriving at the meeting location in what can only be described as a NASA helmet, complete with red blinking light, AC, hi-fi stereo, television screen, and a pole to prop her head up under the hefty weight.   Jason Reed dubbed it the BC helmet, which stood for “that’s instant Birth Control girl!”  Seriously Maureen, I’m thrilled to see you wearing a helmet and don’t let Greg’s ridicule persuade you to look cool or anything.  You can’t be safe AND pretty!

3.       Three horses and three VERY HOT cowboys riding up the tarmac for lunch.  Where else but in Kansas would you see a sight like that?  I wanted to get a picture taken with them good lookin’ cowboys in the worst way, but in honor of the Toms who were present, I restrained myself from flirting this one day.

4.       Nellie Taylor, who was suffering from a sore throat and sinus headache, said I can sleep when I get home, and came out to play.

5.       Maureen Stout, Dawn Morse, and Traci Earls, who while I was a having a nervous breakdown, said, “Hey no worries, whatever you want to do is fine and I’ll be there.”  Thank you!

That’s how the 2011 Tom Kat Ride went.  Started out soggy and stressful and ended up small in number and distance.  But what I learned from this was, it doesn’t matter where you go and how far you ride, it’s the people you share a meal with that makes the memory.   Well, that and hot cowboys….



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