Nashville Bound

Thursday, November 14. I’ve been looking forward to this particular Thursday for two months now. Why? Because I’ll be driving the eight and a half hours to Nashville, Tennessee, to spend a weekend with some of the coolest women I know.

These are women I’ve ridden motorcycles with, cried with, argued with, and laughed with. They’re good women and great friends.

Studly Doright and I have moved so many times that it’s been hard to maintain friendships through the years. The core members of this group of women, though, has been there for me for at least two decades. And even though we don’t see each other more than once a year, I know they’d be there for me in a heartbeat. All I’d have to do is call.

Most of us are in our 60’s now. For some of us, our motorcycle riding days are over, but the ties that bind us together remain. We’ve made some wonderful memories, like the time we bought fake ponytails that caused us to speak in weird foreign accents. Or the impromptu talent shows that have resulted in fits of uncontrollable, pants-peeing laughter. I could go into more detail, but I’d likely be uninvited to Nashville, and nobody wants that.

I’ll pack my bags this morning. Should I pack that ponytail? I think I can still pull off the accent.

Peace, people!

It’s Raining FRIENDS, Hallelujah!

Characters Ross, Monica, Rachel, Joey, Phoebe, and Chandler first came to the small screen as FRIENDS 25 years ago. I watched the series sporadically, but was never one of those super fans who never missed an episode. I’ve most likely seen every installment by now, though, given that the popular series has never exactly gone away.

My daughter, Ashley, IS a super fan, and she’s shared her love of the show with her middle child, McKayla. So, when Ashley learned that the 25th anniversary of the popular series would be celebrated with exclusive showings of select episodes in movie theaters she got pretty excited.

I’m at Ashley’s home in Illinois this weekend, and coincidentally, one of the showings of FRIENDS was scheduled at a Cinemark theater in nearby Davenport, Iowa, on Saturday night. Well, how could we not go? Ashley bought tickets, and away we went.

(Waiting for the first of four FRIENDS episodes. That’s daughter, Ashley, on the left, granddaughter, McKayla, in the middle, and yours truly on the right.)

It was such fun to see these small screen characters on the big screen in four episodes. Ashley’s favorite episode in the series “The One Where No One’s Ready”

was among the ones shown, as was one of my favorites, “The One with the Embryos.”

I had a great time laughing at the familiar antics of the friends on FRIENDS while enjoying movie popcorn and candy with two of my own best friends. The evening was practically raining friends, don’t you know. As Chandler might ask, “Could there BE anymore friends?”

Peace, people!

The Need for Speed

Are you an adrenaline junkie? Do you feel the need, the need for speed?

Not me. I’m the opposite of an adrenaline junkie, but not quite a couch potato. I don’t feel the constant need for speed, but I do enjoy having a bit of horsepower at my beck and call when the situation requires a burst of power.

I like cars that can get up to interstate highway speeds well before the entrance lane ends, but that don’t always feel like they need to be running at the Indy 500. I felt the same way about my motorcycles when I was riding.

After my car was rear ended by a distracted motorist back in November of last year I suffered from a bout of mild PTSD. Certain traffic situations made me flinch, and I couldn’t sleep without having vivid nightmares of being smushed between two vehicles. I sold my motorcycle as a result, knowing that had I been riding it the day of the accident I’d likely have been killed.

So, what’s the point of all this you ask? Well, Studly Doright and I are at a motorcycle rendezvous with some of our favorite people in the whole world. None of us are youngsters anymore. Most of the husbands in our group are still active riders, while some of the women, like me, have either stopped riding altogether, or have become passengers on their husbands’ bikes.

I’m okay being a non-rider most of the time, but when I hear the sounds of sport bikes my heart skips a beat and I start wondering if I gave up on being a rider too soon.

Yesterday I helped at one of the events at the rendezvous, pointing out the direction bikers needed to go for lunch. And I have to say I was eyeing bikes with a bit of desire. There was one BMW that stole my heart, made my pulse beat a little faster. All I’d have to do is mention to Studly that I was ready to ride again and I’d have a new bike within a week. So, I won’t, and I trust my readers won’t breathe a word of this to him. Shhhh.

Peace, people!

Non-fatal Public Speaking

Last night I read my piece, “Adventures in Jet Skiing” to a small, yet dare I say, appreciative group, at 621 Gallery in Tallahassee. Oddly enough, I wasn’t terribly nervous. I’d had to edit my original piece to better suit a live reading, and I believe it worked well.

The most difficult part of the evening was waiting my turn while several gifted, published poets read their own pieces. I was entertained and enthralled and ultimately concerned that my piece would be out of place in the setting. Still, when my name was called I rose to the occasion and gamely delivered my tale of surviving my first, and hopefully last, jet ski ride.

Thankfully those in attendance laughed in most of the right places. It helped that I had three lovely friends show up to support me. Julie, Denise, and Lisa, you ladies rock.

If you’ve got a few minutes to waste, Julie filmed most of my reading. I definitely need to slow down my delivery and enunciate more precisely. I chose not to use the microphone because the speaker had an odd and distracting thrum going on, so my recorded voice is a bit too quiet. Thanks to Julie I now have a checklist of things to work on for the next time I am brave enough to step in front of an audience.

Peace, people!

https://nananoyz5forme.com/2016/08/23/riding-a-jet-ski-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/

Almost Christmas

Like a good many people I struggle with sadness around the holidays. To be honest, my emotions take a steep dip around the 23rd of October, (the date of my mother’s death) and they stay low until around December 7th, (her birthday). I do some strange stuff during the low times–things that seem counterintuitive to one who needs a good pick-me-up.

Take this past week as an example. A friend invited me to attend a concert with her, her mom, and another friend. My very first inclination was to say no. Socializing just seemed too heavy a weight to bear. But instead of immediately replying in the negative I made myself count to ten before responding and discovered I could indeed attend this event. That’s how I found myself in the company of three lovely women on Friday evening at Theatre Tallahassee for the “Almost Christmas Concert.”

Apparently the concert, produced by local singer/songwriter, Del Suggs, is an annual holiday staple in Tallahassee. He, along with Pierce Pettis, Warren Sutton, and other local musicians, including the incredibly talented guitarist, Jerry Thigpen, rocked the house on Friday night playing holiday favorites along with songs from their own playlists.

For two and a half hours I was immersed in the spirit of Christmas, and it felt incredible. I even got up early this morning and decorated the house for the holidays. Maybe the doldrums are lifting, thanks to lovely Julie for inviting me. It feels good to feel good, you know?

Peace, people.

Stumped

We had a lovely and dear friend from Virginia spend the night with us at Doright Manor on Friday. She and I stayed up late drinking wine and solving all the world’s problems, and I have to admit I had no time to ponder, let alone write, a blog post.

After our visitor left for further adventures along the coast on Saturday morning, I took a nap thinking perhaps a blog idea would come to my subconscious. Nope. When I awakened I noticed that Studly was out in his shop working on one of his motorcycles. I joined him, still hoping for some inspiration, but came up blank.

As I walked around the house, skirting hurricane debris, fallen leaves, and upended trees, trying my best to latch onto an idea, I finally came to the conclusion that I was stumped.

Completely and

utterly

stumped. Oh well. I’ll try again tomorrow.

Peace, people.

A History of Klutziness

Why is it that some folks are blessed with a natural grace and others, like me, are natural born klutzes? Is klutziness genetic? Or is it environmental? One thing’s for certain, klutziness is hazardous to one’s health.

I’ve fallen down stairs. I’ve fallen up stairs. I’ve slipped on wet bleachers and slid on my bottom from row eight all the way down to row one. I’ve fallen out of a bus and into the snow. In one week I slipped on ice two days in a row bruising my left knee on the first day and the right one on the second. I’ve fallen in various kitchens three or four times over the years. Is it any wonder I dislike cooking?

As a kid I fell out of bed on a regular basis, and I’ve exited a tree ass first on occasion. Once I was knocked into the middle of a Tilt-a-Whirl carnival ride when the car I was exiting swung around and sent me sprawling. I hit my head on one of the support bars hard enough to see stars circling alΓ‘ Sylvester the cat.

I’d like to think I’m resilient, that I take a licking and keep on ticking. The truth is, I’m so astonished that so far none of my escapades have led to injury or even death that I can only assume I’ve been living a charmed, yet clumsy life. It’s a good thing I’m not a cat. If I were I’d be all out of lives.

Peace, people.

Here’s another of my favorite klutzy scenes. I give you Ross and the leather pants from Friends.

https://youtu.be/MsDzkZk_NFI

An Accomplished Woman

If you’ve read my blog for more than a week you’ll immediately know that I am not the woman for whom this post was titled. I’m easily astonished, somewhat apprehensive, occasionally argumentative, and often admonished, but never accomplished.

As seems to be the case more often than not Studly Doright and I will go months without seeing friends socially only to have two or more invitations for the exact same day. On Friday evening we were invited to a 60th birthday party for Studly’s best golf buddy, and I’d made plans to meet friends who were passing through Tallahassee on their way to their new home in Melbourne, Florida.

I had already committed to meeting the traveling couple and Studly rsvp’d to the birthday party without consulting me. I mean why would he? He knows I have almost no social life. So we took separate cars to the party, and I kept an eye on my phone for my friends’ call.

The birthday party was at the home of a couple we’d met once at a Tallahassee restaurant’s trivia night; although, I had to be reminded of that. I swear, I wouldn’t remember Studly’s name if I didn’t insist that he wear a name tag at all times.

Their home was lovely and set up for entertaining. I asked the hostess, we’ll call her “Perfect, but not in a bad way” or just “PBNIABW” for short, if I could lend a hand in the kitchen.

“Well, not really,” PBNIABW said. “The birthday boy requested chicken fried steaks, and I’ve never made them before, so pour yourself a glass of wine and relax.”

Those are the kinds of directions at which I excel, and I followed them to the letter. I’m a great follower. As other guests arrived I mingled fairly well. I’m a follower, after all, and not much of a mingler. What I learned from my mingling was that not only is PBNIAW something of a gourmet cook, but she is also a damned good artist and an accomplished seamstress. Her beautiful artwork adorned almost every wall in the house, and her sewing room gave testament to her skills in that area.

When my friends called to say they had checked into their hotel, I said my good-byes to everyone and cornered Studly for a goodbye kiss.

“Hey,” I said. “Don’t forget you have an incredibly average wife who loves you.”

I’m not sure he was listening, though. He was too busy watching a variety of sports on the three, yes three, big screen televisions in the den with the host and other male guests. Damn. PBNIABW’s husband was perfect, too.

Peace, people.

What a Great Day!

Monday was about as perfect as a day could be. I’m too pooped to write much, so instead, using a series of bullet points and emojis, I’ll share my experiences:

  • Dressed in my πŸ‘™ and a long πŸ‘š
  • Drove to the post office to mail two πŸ“¦ πŸ“¦
  • Cast a πŸ—³ for Gwen Graham for Florida’s governor in the Democratic primary
  • Drove to St. George Island 🌴
  • Ate yummy scallops at the Blue Parrot 🌊
  • Set up a chair on the πŸ–
  • Watched 🐬 🐬 frolic in the 🌊 🌊
  • Ran into πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦ from Tallahassee on the πŸ–
  • They gave me a bottle of πŸ’¦
  • Visited with a nice lady from Georgia who shared her β˜‚ with me
  • Got a bit of 🌞 on my lily white skin.
    Ate 🍦on the way home
    Showered and petted two anxious 🐱 🐈 upon returning 🏠
    Getting ready to eat dinner with a🍴
    Really must go now, so I can chow down, but there’s no emoji for leaving. There is for πŸ‘‹πŸ» πŸ‘‹πŸ», though.
    ✌️ , people!

Tuesday in Kingsport

My super hostess, Nicky, treated me to a wonderful day on Tuesday. We talked non-stop for most of the morning, taking breaks only for our respective showers and makeup rituals. We had a great deal of assistance, though, from Sodie:

And Linskey:

Neither of whom are quite sure how to feel about my presence in their home.

Nicky and I had a stellar lunch with friends at The Mustard Seed in downtown Kingsport. These are all women Studly and I have become friends with through the Motorcycle Sport Touring Association (MSTA). That’s Nicky in the foreground. Behind her, starting from the left are Mary, Ann, me, and Nancy.

After lunch we went over to Nancy’s home and later spent the afternoon swimming at another friend’s house on the lake.

The adorable children are our friend Tammy’s granddaughters, while Tammy is wearing the pink swimsuit in the middle photo below.

After dinner Nicky and I returned to her home where we talked well past my bedtime. I slept like a rock. Lovely!

Today we’re heading to Pigeon Forge and Dollywood. Try as we might we couldn’t convince any of the other ladies to come along. They all think we’re nuts. I’m pretty sure they’re right, but we don’t care.

Peace, people!