New Addition to the Family

We’ve been blessed by the arrival of a new family member–a beautiful 2010 Honda Goldwing:

  

The red bike in the background is my Yamaha Majesty. For the past couple of years it has led a sad life, sitting for months on end without any meaningful trips outside of our garage. Oh, Studly starts it up periodically and takes it for spins around the neighborhood, but the poor dear was languishing for lack of attention.

It’s not that I don’t still adore the bike. She’s taken me on some epic journeys, including a solo trip from Illinois to Texas and back the year I turned 50. But ten years later I’ve noticed that my reflexes aren’t as sharp as they once were, and while I’ve never been a fearless rider, I now find myself a jumpy one. That’s not a good characteristic for a motorcyclist to have.

It seems we’ve come full circle, having had a Goldwing many years ago and selling it when I declared I wanted to be in the driver’s seat on my own ride. It really is all about me. 

Studly is going to sell one of his bikes, and I’m going to sell my Majesty. We’ll still have a small stable of dirt bikes and his beloved Ole ’93.

 

Ole ’93 is Studly’s project bike. He’d part with me before he’d part with it.
  
A couple of our dirt bikes.
  
Studly’s VStrom will also be going to a new home.
 
I’m typing this while drinking a beer and watching Studly check over and polish the Goldwing.  

 I can hardly wait for our first adventure.

Peace, people.

Classic Car Dreaming

Studly Doright and I were out piddling Saturday afternoon. He’d played golf that morning, and I’d driven to Apalachicola to spend some of his money. All in all a win-win, I’d say. He made it back to Doright Manor ahead of me even after helping a friend move some items from one house to another.

When I pulled into the driveway, he was out working (playing) in his shop. I talked him into taking me out for dinner since I’d worked so hard at shopping and beach walking that morning, and couldn’t quite summon the energy to push the power button on the microwave. It’s a tough life, I know.

After dinner he subtly suggested we go grocery shopping, and I reluctantly agreed. If there’s food in the house I’ll eventually have to cook it or ignore it. Both require energy. I just am fresh out of energy lately–shall I blame it on the weather? Daylight Saving Time? Age? All of the above?

The Publix supermarket nearest our home is adjacent to a Sonic drive-in. As we pulled into the drive in we realized the first Saturday car show was in progress and the first car we saw belonged to one of Studly’s friends! Of course we pulled over to look, and for once I remembered to snap a few photos.

The car below was one of my personal favorites. I love the color scheme on this Bel Air. I want to say it’s a ’57 model, but I forgot to look.

 

 

Next is our friend, Pete’s car. It’s a ’55 Chevy Nomad station wagon, hardly stock. Pete’s been working on the build for three years, and it’s a beaut. He isn’t finished with the project–work on the interior is still in progress. This was the car’s first foray into the limelight.

 

Pete had to hide his soft drink from view lest it detract from the view of his car.

Other cool cars from our evening:

 

   

  

  

swoon!

Look at the Jaguar featured in these next photos. I’d never seen this model before in person. I love the way both the hood/bonnet and trunk/boot open. 

   

  

   
  

Here’s Studly urging me to take a peek inside “The Widowmaker.”
  
    
A lone bike made it out on Saturday. This is one Studly would enjoy having in his stable.
    
   
 
Studly had to give me a brief tutorial on the Holley headers on this GTO. He was in heaven.
 
We eventually made it to the grocery store, but Studly’s enthusiasm for food shopping had been replaced by visions of engines and headers and carburetors, so I got off easy. Hurrah for horsepower!

Curves

she’d never been adept
at hanging lefthand curves;
hitting the apex just so,
leaning tight into the turn.
she’d fall out too soon,
or overshoot, rattling
her delicate equilibrium.
but let her lean right,
oh my! and the gods smiled
at the smooth transition,
steely nerves, graceful form.
she pondered a world of
only right hand curves
and ended up exactly
where her ride began.

 

I only wish I could lean left like this.

Peace, people. 

Spring Break in Kohler

This seems to be the year that places we’ve visited have shown up on the Golf Network. First the British Open was played at St. Andrews and now the PGA Championship is being held at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin.

Four years ago Studly Doright and I decided to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary over spring break rather than wait until late July. During the summer months he’s always wrapped up in his company’s budget process and a vacation scheduled around July 30 (our actual anniversary) would take him away from the office when he most needed to be there.

We lived in central Illinois at the time near Champaign. Studly brought home some brochures on tropical locations, but for some reason I got the idea that we should drive up to Kohler, Wisconsin, about an hour north of Milwaukee. He was thrilled that we wouldn’t have to fly to our destination and told me to make plans.

Kohler is the home of the Kohler Co., an American manufacturer of faucets, toilets, shower heads, sinks, tubs, and much more. There are two hotels owned by subsidiaries of Kohler: The American Inn and The Inn on Woodlake. Both are part of the Kohler family and are outfitted with the most elegant and state of the art bathroom fixtures.

But what interested me most was the Kohler Waters Spa. As soon as Studly gave me the go ahead for the Kohler trip I arranged for us to spend a day enjoying the spa. 

   
 
  
It was by far the highlight of my trip. I even talked Studly into a couple’s massage. That’s something I’ll never do again! Throughout the whole massage I felt certain his massage therapist was doing a better job than mine. Talk about stressful! In spite of that our day at Kohler Waters Spa was a hit.

There’s not much to do in Kohler in early March. We did tour the Kohler Design Center to look at the amazing array of faucets and such, but the golf courses weren’t open, so we spent a lot of time watching movies on the television in our really lovely room. 

Then, as luck would have it, the weather turned very cold, snow began to fall, and before long we were in the middle of a full blown blizzard. Right–it’s Wisconsin. I should’ve expected winter weather. Those tropical destinations began to look pretty good. What had I been thinking?

After three days we decided to cut our vacation short and head south. We did stop and spend a day wandering in Milwaukee. We toured the beautiful Harley Davidson museum there and then found a nice hotel for the night. Not American Inn nice, but nice all the same.

  
At least in Kohler we didn’t have to worry about hordes of spring breakers partying ’til all hours and running around in skimpy bikinis; although, there might have been a couple of guys parading around without their knit hats and gloves. That’s what I call living on the edge.

Peace, people!

Road Trip

two bikes in the back
of an old blue pickup truck
red striped straps hold firm.

a long way to go
Fayetteville, Arkansas, bound
settled in the cab.

bypass truckers’ stops
favoring mom and pop shops
plain country cooking.

Good conversation
with a real good man, my man;
wonder if he knows…

that these shared journeys
mean much more to me than where
this old road might go.

  
Not our truck. Not our bikes. But you get the idea!

Bassackwards

I was slow getting up and around this morning. The digital clock on Studly’s side of the bed clicked over to 8:05 before I even crawled out from under the covers. The cats demanded treats immediately, so I obliged them before eating breakfast. After a hot shower I looked through my closet for something to wear. Normally this is an easy task, but we are leaving on a motorcycle trip tomorrow, and I didn’t want to wear anything I’d need to pack.

After a bit of consideration, I pulled on my purple Haunted Mansion t-shirt and an old pair of JAG denim capris. At one time, these capris fit me perfectly, but they must’ve shrunk or something because their patented elastic band doesn’t seem to have much give anymore. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the 20 extra pounds I’m currently sporting. Okay, maybe it has something to do with the weight gain, but they just felt completely wrong. Since I had no need to go into town I didn’t change out of them and got down to business.

The morning was spent doing laundry and figuring out how to stuff everything into my smallest bag to make room for my riding gear. After rolling and folding, packing and planning, I went out to take water to the men who were putting the brick on Studly’s shop and chatted with them for a minute or two before heading in for a bathroom break.

After taking care of business I went to the sink to wash up. Taking a look in the mirror I realized why my pants felt wrong. I’d pulled them on backwards. The back pockets were right there as evidence. Sheesh. It’s a good thing the brick layers had my car blocked in. There’s no telling how many people in Tallahassee might have witnessed my blunder otherwise.

One question. How wealthy does one need to be in order to employ a stylist? I think I qualify as someone who desperately needs one. I’m sure the bricklayers would testify on my behalf.

Peace, people!

Nana’s Visit

I wrote this piece for my grandchildren Garrett and McKayla several years ago. Parts of it are even true. 

Nana’s Visit

“Nana’s coming, Nana’s coming!” sang Garrett as he ran in circles around the room.”
“Nana’s coming, Nana’s coming!” echoed Little Mac following closely behind her brother.

Mama covered her ears with her hands.

“Enough, you two!” she exclaimed. “You are making me crazy!”

Garrett giggled. So did Little Mac.

“When will she be here?” Garrett asked, jumping up and down.
“Yeah, when will Nana be here?”asked Little Mac, hopping on one foot.

“Soon,” smiled Mama.

“Are we going to the airport to pick her up?” asked Garrett.

“No, not the airport,” Mama said.

“Are we going to the train station to pick her up?” asked Little Mac.

“No,” Mama shook her head. “Not the train station.”

“Hmmm,” said Garrett.
“Hmmm,” repeated Little Mac.

“Is she riding a bus?” Garrett wondered.
“Yeah, a bus!” shouted Little Mac. “A school bus!”

Mama laughed, “Nope. Keep guessing!”

“Then she must be driving her car!” whooped Garrett. “We can ride around with the top down!”

“Wheeeee!” squealed Little Mac.

“Still wrong,” Mama said. “She isn’t driving her car either.”

Garrett frowned for a moment. “I hate to tell you this, Mama,” he said. “We are all out of guesses.”

“Yeah,” said Little Mac, crossing her arms and frowning, too. “All out of guesses.”

Just then, Mama put a finger to her lips. “Shhh,” she said. “I think I hear something outside our house.”

Garrett and Little Mac raced to the front door and into the yard just in time to see a shiny red motorcycle pull into their driveway. The rider turned off the motor, pulled off her helmet and smiled.

“Nana?” asked Garrett.
“Nana!” squealed Little Mac.

Sure enough, it was Nana.

  

Adios Antigua

My time in La Antigua de Guatemala was much too brief, but returning home to Studly and the Estados Unidas de Norte America was sweet.

Just a few images of the people and places that made my visit to Guatemala muy especial:

 

One of the many skilled weavers plying her craft.  

  At Hobbitenango–my new nephew looking very much like a hobbit silhouetted in the doorway of the tavern.

  Next time your children complain about doing chores, show them this.

  

Beto and Hanna.😍

  

Iglesia de Catedral.

Cerrito San Cristobal patio dining with a beautiful view of one of the four volcanoes.

  

Leo, stealer of hearts.

   

Ruins in Antigua.

 

One of these three is my son posing at theCasa Santo Domingo.

  

Sunday brunch with the family at the Casa Santo Domingo. This hotel/conference center is a must-see, having been built to beautifully incorporate the ruins of a monastery.

    

Wedding guests enjoying the view from the upper deck at Hobbitenango.

  

Hobbitenango

     

My son, daughter-in-law, and me awaiting our shuttle to the wedding. 

Antigua is an ancient city. Many of the streets are narrow and teeth jarringly cobble-stoned, yet the entire city has free wi-fi.

Motorcycles and scooters almost outnumbered cars. 

   

There are only two things about travel to Guatemala that I won’t miss. The first is having to use purified water for brushing one’s teeth. Bottled water (agua pura) was readily available, but I accidentally brushed with tap water a couple of times. I haven’t died yet, but the day is still young.

The second thing I won’t miss is the method used to dispose of toilet tissue. In most places one cannot flush the tissue; it must be placed in a trash receptacle beside the toilet. For most of us it is an automatic reflex to simply drop used t.p. in the toilet bowl. I’m going to admit right now that I did not fish out the tissues I accidentally dropped into the bowl.

Those were mere inconveniences, though. I would gladly be inconvenienced again.

Peace, people!

Way Cool

Some bikes need their own post. We stumbled onto this BMW with sidecar in the parking lot of a Publix grocery store. The owner/rider said it was “mostly ’70’s”. Studly and I were impressed. Sometimes you’ve just got to stop and ogle the ride.

By the way, the rider used the sidecar for his groceries. Who needs saddlebags?

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