Not that I don’t like motor bikes, cuz I do.
Not that I don’t like vacations, cuz I do, for sure.
And I really, truly, wanted to check out Nashville, TN, even though, I had never watched the TV show Nashville.
Problem is, I didn’t properly link them all together, you know, the vacation, on a motor bike, going to Nashville. Seeing them all bundled together in proper order, it certainly gives me pause for concern…now.
In hindsight, I believe it can all be lumped under the heading of ‘it seemed like a good idea at that time’.
The trip itself, well, vacation time after all, can do no wrong, after all who doesn’t live for vacation days? Hmmm, that makes me want to digress slightly….did you know, I pause here to make certain you are all listening, there are actually people, living, breathing people, who do not use their vacation days? I hear your shock and denial from a distance, I do!
Close to year end, these special people are actually forced…forced, I tell ya…to take their vacations! I have to shake my head and move on from this topic, for I simply cannot understand how any of that is possible. It’s akin to my confusion over another grouping I’ve heard tell of, those who ‘forget to eat’….say what?
Anyhow, I set out full of optimistic vacation bliss as the bunch of us set off, some in a van, some on bikes, for the music filled streets of Nashville, TN. It was very early in the morning, because early is when true biker people hit the roads. My hand was the only one that shot up in favour of a later departure, and as you can guess, I was out voted.
We’d been on the highway for a bit, when the sky began to show off its colours for the coming day. It was amazing to see the various layers of red, orange and hints of yellow that announced the morning. It made me realize what a canvas each day presents to us, if we would only take a moment to pay attention. It also made me realize I still have a craving to create, to draw, to paint. But along with all this inner thought, came the realization that a passenger, on a motor bike, is a captive audience.
There is not a lot you can do, as a passenger. It’s best to be totally in sync with the driver. There is no sense checking out the traffic before you, or behind you. You have to learn to trust your driver, you have to believe they will be watching, they are aware, and will most certainly keep you safe. So, that leaves you to do….what? And that, my friend, is exactly my issue!
After my enthusiastic inner applause over the glorious arrival of the day, and soon after the final wisps of night seeped into the morning sky, there was very little for me to do.
I started to watch how hubby changed gears, which hand he used, which foot moved. I shared his energy as we crested hills, passed transport trucks, took curves with an assured expertise. I even, once in awhile, participated in the special wave one gives to other bikers passing by. But, when I looked over his shoulder to view the tiny clock on the dash, I discovered we’d only been on the road for an hour. An hour! Only an hour, it can’t be so!
So, I started going over my French: did my numbers, the months, the days, even strung some sentences together. I practiced some Kegel exercises, women everywhere you know what I speak of!….and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…release…and repeat.
I have always wanted to learn how to sing, properly, and Amazing Grace is the song I have chosen to learn, some day. A bit of a grandiose plan, you might say, but there it is. On that vacation day, I practiced belting out this song I love. I couldn’t really hear how I sounded, for the wind rudely pushed the words back down my throat, or flung them at the cars we passed. Humph, everyone’s a critic!
Finally, after all this activity, I once more ventured a peek over hubby’s shoulder, you know, to check how the time was doing. Just imagine my horror to be confronted with the fact, that only five minutes had passed. Not unsimilar to one of my nightmares, where I’m at work and the time remains stuck at 9:05AM, no matter how loud I scream!
Just so you understand, out of eight days vacation, six of them were spent on the bike. Six.
After much thought, after the trip, I’m thinking it was all perhaps a plan set in motion by hubby. You see, the next time he says he is planning a long-distance bike trip, I may have to say ‘you’re on your own, my friend’. And I’m thinking, maybe, just maybe, that was his devious plan all along.
This summer of 2017 has been a rather soggy ride.
Mid-July, Environment Canada baptised it the “Year of the Big Wet”, so it certainly wasn’t my slightly dramatic imagination bringing on the rain.
By the middle of August, we finally received some heat reminiscent of past summers, and the green in my back yard quickly faded to an unattractive yellow/brownish shade. The fading of the colours brought me to the back one early morning, hose in hand, I stood spraying streams of water back and forth over various parched areas. I enjoy this activity, finding the repetitive motion soothing and hypnotic. It allows me a moment of relaxation, a valuable time for self.
On this particular morning, my floaty thoughts were interrupted by the most energetic audition of vocals by a robin a top my neighbours roof. He was a tired looking specimen, his colours muted and dusty. What he looked like was a traveller who’d been on the road way too long.
I kept still, allowing a perfect gentle arch of water to flow to one spot only on the lawn. Before I knew it, the air weary bird was showering energetically under the spray, right in front of me! I wanted to laugh out loud, for his presence, his innocent shower antics, made me so very happy!
But, I wanted him to stay, so I remained still and silent.
And, he did stay, if only for a bit.
It made my morning, and it set the tone for my day.
When I started this Blog it was a beginning, a push, for me, towards actually doing instead of just dreaming.
When I started this Blog, there was a number of reasons I felt it was necessary…for me…however I do understand at the root of its origin was the desire, the need to write.
I do feel having this Blog encouraged me to pursue more time to write, it made me realize, once again, how very much I desired this creative outlet. I haven’t as yet accomplished the output I dreamed of, but the drive is still there. What I realize monthly, as I re-visit this site, is that I simply must give it more time.
People on the outside think there’s something magical about writing, that you go up in the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it isn’t like that. You sit in back of the typewriter and you work, and that’s all there is to it.
– Harlan Ellison
Writing is work, and the rewards, the monetary rewards, are not a guarantee, however that feeling, that surge of accomplishment, that thrill of ‘wow’, I feel inside when a project is completed, is, as the story goes, priceless.
Believing in self is difficult, at times it feels selfish, and it takes forever to realize how important it is.
I am fearful of failure, and we all know criticism stings, a lot, but I understand, finally, that I really need to write, to create, in order to build who I was destined to be. Here, is the career path I should have followed, oh, so many years ago.
Rejection slips, or form letters, however tactfully phrased, are lacerations of the soul, if not quite inventions of the devil—but there is no way around them.
– Isaac Asimov
I have enjoyed this pep talk, thank you!
Dandelion Yellow Retires March 31, 2017
So proclaimed Crayola, twitting out its announcement as follows: Our beloved Dandelion decided to announce his retirement early! There’s no taming an adventurous spirit! #NationalCrayonDay
And what I want to know is…how? How did Dandelion Yellow do it?
Did he start collecting his crayon shavings early?…say from Day 1 when he first joined his brethren in the famous Box of 24? Perhaps he invested, and then re-invested when the shavings started to grow. I do wonder if he ever worried, even a little, when interest started to flag in colouring books, but of course there came the save with the introduction of Adult Colouring books and shortly after, the much sought after ticket into Chapters.
I wonder if, as time drew along side of him, if he posted messages of inspiration on his focus board. Perhaps he saved a collection of words which, when viewed, helped to push him outside the lines. There was always news from the Box of 24, telling and retelling stories about Dandelion’s dedicated focus and drive.
There was, of course, the gray days. And the Box of 24 had Gray, still do. Gray tried to retire, I believe it was back in 1980, however a miscalculation on the value of his shavings brought his dream of altering the hue of the mountains in Colorado to a disappointing end. He slipped back into the Box quietly, grateful his slot was still available. I heard he was the first to congratulate Dandelion Yellow. He’s a soft soul is Gray.
So, the question remains, how did Dandelion, that crafty crayon do it?
Fact is, I’m green with envy. Colour me jealous, and send me back to work, cuz obviously my retirement planning (I use the term planning loosely!) was not as adventurous as Dandelion’s.
I wish you well my old friend. Colour that sunset AWESOME!
Have they changed?
“You cannot do a kindness too soon,
For you never know how soon it will be too late.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
I am always taken a back when subjected to the unkindness of others. No matter how I steel myself, I continue to be shocked at the rude, and many times cruel words, that so many chose to carelessly fling before them. Such behaviour is becoming more common place, whether you are at work, or at play. Makes me wonder if it gives them…those who are thoughtless in their choice of words—a secret rush of illicit power. “I have just ruined their day,” they perhaps giggle, as they flex their questionable wit for their next hapless victim.
More and more people are finding this behaviour the norm.
Everyone is doing it they chant, even the President of the United States. After all, it’s common knowledge how much easier it is to take down others, rather than wasting time admitting to our own failings. I believe the term is bullying, and this can quite easily segue into hatred.
A Twit on Twitter he is, this newly elected bully in the White House, who is successfully stirring up a poisonous gas of words that will, eventually, prove too difficult to contain.
Words hurt, words can cause irreparable damage. Already the unrest is growing.
Who will be our hero who will save us? Our heroes of the past are long gone and are quickly being forgotten.
For now, as we wait, do something daily before it is too late, even if it’s only a small act of kindness. It will be worth it in the long run. Let each of us become, the hero of this story.
As 2016 ends, I realize I have a lot of work ahead of me. 2017 will be a year of change, a year of action, for me.
This November hubby and I stood with the crowds at the Ottawa, Ontario War Memorial. On the 11th day, at the 11th hour, we fell silent with all gathered, both young and old, letting our thoughts, our memories, and our grief for the past, join and merge as one.
Our present day is saturated with such fear, for our present day, for our future, at times it feels overwhelming. This suffocating emotion rose, twirling, and mixing in the air around us that day, and the crowd, seeming to sense the fear, pulled closer, wrapping us in a cocoon of warmth. We were bumped, jostled and herded towards the barriers stretching along the street, muttering together our hymn of sorry, sorry as we smiled shyly with downcast eyes. So, Canadian, all of us.
The clanging of the flag ties against the line of poles behind us, sounded like a persistent drum beat keeping pace with our push forward. The echo of the gun salute boomed in the distance, the sound staying with us as the ceremony continued. The day was so bright, its edges sharp and distinct, imprinting each moment easily into memory.
All of us assembled at the Cenotaph understood why we were there, why we must remember. I caught a movement high above, on the roof of a building cross the way, police watching the crowd, there were two more on the building right next to it. I turned and looked up the impressive height of the Chateau Laurier hotel, there too, on the very top balcony, there were more. A stark reminder, that all are not looking for peace in this world of ours.
I left Ottawa with my fear intact it’s true, however my visit allowed me the remembrance I needed, plus I left a prayer behind for those we lost, coupled with a sincere promise that those who care, will not let history repeat itself.