Ural!

Just rode this home from Tempe, Az to Prescott, Az.

I’m exhausted now! It was quite an adventure.

Left Prescott this morning at 10:00am with two friends. We got to Tempe at about noon. The seller had forgotten to have the title notarized (necessary in Az) so he left to the bank to do that while we hung out on his front porch.

He returned, we did the exchange, and off we went! My two friends drove my truck behind me the whole way…just in case.

Good thing too!

Smoke!
I pulled over and we discovered that the emergency brake was on! I hadn’t checked it because the seller had told me that he never uses it. Turns out, he showed it to one of my friends… and didn’t take it off. No wonder it was handling so sluggish. We moved the rig into the shade to let the shoes cool off.

We got through Phoenix and onto Grand Ave / Hwy 60 when my (suicide) shifter stopped working. It was floppy!

That area is an industrial part of the Valley, and fairly barren. I pulled into a large, empty lot.

After spending ten minutes or so trying to locate any near-by motorcycle shop, a tall, thin man sauntered around the corner of the warehousy building which shade we’d been using.

We all had a moment of mis-trust, but when he saw the Ural and heard about our plight, he took a brief look at the shifter, and said, “I can fix that.” He made a slight motion for us to follow him.

I followed after him and as I rounded the back corner of the building, I saw… a workshop! Cars! Motorcycles! Tools!

The guys, “my pit crew”, pushed the rig around and into the shop.

A welder who looked suspiciously like Brandon Frazier’s younger brother, checked out the problem with pit crew Cliff – the suicide shifter’s previously not-so-well-done weld had broken.

Brandon’s brother (who I found out later is a pro-dirt bike racer!) made quick work of welding it back together. He did a great job and the linkage was tight and sure!

They even have a race team for the one guy’s kid!
Punk rock!

How crazy fortuitous it was that my shifter broke where it did!

It was really windy on the back highway roads, and I was parched. We stopped for gas and a look-over in Wickenburg and were on our way.

After a slow ride up Yarnell, and an even slower ride up the twisties of the White Spars, got home and Pugsly greeted me in her excited pug way.

I’ve been getting her used to the Doggles, so soon she shall ride with me!

good times, bad times

One of the weird things I noticed the other day about missing my dad is that my life is pretty good.

Lemme ‘splain.

I have this dog. She’s a pug. Never thought I’d ever like a little dog, but this snorting, snarfling, pudgy, little creature had wiggles and sneezed her way into my heart. I want to send my dad her funny pictures and laugh with him at her odd amusing ways. When I took pictures of her at my friends St. Patrick’s day party, I thought about how hard he would have laughed at her picture with the Buddha statue. We would have joked about the Zen of Pugs.

10994333_1052236391458611_2274175064423649730_nAfter a number of years of working towards a career goal, I have a job that I love. When I wake up in the morning, I actually look forward to going to work. I consider myself lucky. Earlier today, I was making up stories of what I’d tell my younger self. I wanted to tell her to listen to your dad. He had some things that made a lot of sense – now listen to them! He would be so proud of me, and so terribly happy to know that I am so enjoying my life. 11081419_10205394018044244_3255132250463810909_nWhen I got my first cell phone, my dad and I talked every day. It was New Technology and it enabled us to be connected like we never could before. It was so cool! When the iPhone first came out, all I could think about was how excited he would have been playing with one. Where I work, we have dictation computers for the doctors. When I first encountered these a few years ago, I remembered my dad struggling with early voice-to-text software. He knew it had promise, but it wasn’t at a usable point then.

It’s an odd feeling missing someone and being terribly sad that they are gone, while at the same time feeling satisfied and happy with a wonderful life that you want to tell them all about.

 

humble

We always lived in humble homes. In Urbana, we moved into a small two-bedroom apartment – one half of a duplex. A small horde of college guys occupied the other side. As a rambunctious pre-teen this was ideal. Their rituals like building cans of beer as high as possible fascinated me. It was kind of an early, drunken form of Jenga.

The guys were nice though, and always treated me well. Mom was in school and worked late, so I was often on my own, and those guys were there to help in a pinch. She had picked this location specifically for its proximity to my grade school. I walked the block to school, and back home each weekday.

We lived there for three years. My cat used my bedroom window as his escape route for nightly hunting excursions. The aged oak tree in the front yard was my favorite jungle gym. I could scramble up the low, wide truck, into the awaiting branches, and easily lounge in the tree arms with a good book.

In the evening before bed-time mom would make hot minty tea for me, or “more milk” – a soporific drink consisting of warmed milk, vanilla extract, and honey.

We never had much in the way of money, so pretty much everything we owned was thrift store, hand-me-down, or home-made. My single bed was some dime store find, with simple sheets most likely found in a dark cupboard at my grandparents house, threadbare, and awkwardly patterned. She would draw a magic circle around my bed to protect me from the heebie-jeebies, kiss me on the forehead, and tuck me into bed.

I wonder if that kind of comfort is unique to childhood? That particular lack of future worry and that security of knowing your parent is in the next room, just in case the magic circle doesn’t keep everything bad away.