Studly Doright and I have been getting Doright Manor ready to withstand a visit from our Texas grandkids, Dominique and Jackson. The two, along with one of their friends, are flying in to Panama City Beach on Sunday evening to stay with us in Havana for a week. The guest rooms and baths are ready, the cupboards are full, and the refrigerator is stocked with Jackson’s favorite root beer.
Each year when the kids visit, Studly, who goes by “Poppa” around the grands, has motorcycles ready to work on and ride. I usually take the kids to a water park. However, Jackson broke his foot at the beginning of the summer and will still be in a cast. We might have to get a bit more creative with our activities this year.
Arts and crafts, anyone?
Regardless of what we do, we’ll have fun. I’ll post something if I have the energy!
My husband, Studly Doright, is a Golfer. Note the capital “g.” Normally he plays golf every Saturday and Sunday with an occasional Wednesday evening thrown in unless the weather doesn’t permit. And in Florida, the weather permits roughly 98% of the time.
When I was a younger woman I detested the many hours his golf habit kept him from home. I felt like every couple in the world was out strolling with clasped hands at farmers’ markets while Studly and I were separated by a chasm comprised of eighteen holes. I complained a lot. He ignored me.
Then one day about a decade ago I began to enjoy those times when he was on the course. I took myself places he wouldn’t enjoy like public gardens and parks, tea rooms and chick flicks. I went to local nurseries and learned about butterfly gardens. I roamed the aforementioned farmers’ markets and attended art exhibits. In short, I happily cultivated my interests.
Then eight weeks ago Studly had surgery to repair an extrusion of his sciatic nerve. He was in excruciating pain prior to surgery, but managed to play golf right up to the day they cut into him. Golf allowed him to focus on something other than the pain.
The weeks after the surgery have been tough. While his pain has lessened, he has jumpy nerves and restless legs that keep him from sleeping well and reminding him that he’s still recuperating. Worst of all, he won’t be cleared to play golf until the second week of August. That’s about to drive Studly, and me, nuts.
Perhaps if he felt better we might enjoy a few couples’ activities like I used to dream of us doing. But nowadays I really prefer doing things by myself. He’s my favorite guy, but he isn’t a farmers’ market aficionado. Still, if he was up for some outings, I’d gladly include him in my plans
Last evening Studly said in his saddest voice, “I’ve missed at least 16 rounds of golf, but who’s counting?” Broke my heart.
Maybe I can cajole him into going out for breakfast this morning, and we can browse through a motorcycle shop. That’s about as close to a farmers’ market as he’s going to get. Never thought I’d say this, but I am so ready to be a golf widow once again.
Studly Doright has successfully slept more than four hours at one time for the past three nights. Hopefully this indicates that his nerve endings might finally be settling down after his back surgery. He woke up practically jumping for joy this morning, and hurried me through my shower and breakfast so I could accompany him on his errands.
His first stop was at a golf shop. Studly hasn’t been released by his surgeon to swing a club yet, but he likes to look. Then we went to a motorcycle shop to buy new grips for a bike he’s working on for the grandkids to ride. Motorcycles are much more fun to look at than golf clubs.
Afterwards I mentioned that I could really use a new pair of sandals. When Studly is in a shopping mood it’s good to put in a request.
The cats like them. They might slightly resemble their scratching post.
Studly Doright took Friday afternoon off of work and we drove to Crestview where I purchased this beauty:
It’s a 2010 Can Am Spyder RT and it’s stunning. Both Studly and I took our riding gear along. I’d intended to ride the bike home, but after Studly took it for a test ride he suggested that I drive the pickup home while he familiarized himself with the quirks of the Spyder.
The three wheel configuration requires a completely different style of riding than a standard motorcycle, and my guy didn’t want me getting used to it on a busy interstate. I didn’t grumble much and we took separate paths home.
Once we were both back at Doright Manor Studly gave me a tutorial and I put the Spyder through its paces on the narrow, twisty roads running through our neighborhood. It’s a blast, and while I still have a great deal to learn, I think the bike is a good fit for me.
Now, though, since the Spyder is definitely a “want” and not a “need” I have to get rid of four extra items on this 17th day of February, in order to meet the requirements of the Minimalist Challenge. Might be time to clean out the holiday closet. First I’m going for a ride!
Today I'm driving the Texas grandkids to the airport in Panama City, Florida, for their flight home to Dallas, Texas. Neither of have them have ever flown unaccompanied, and there are some jitters. Not on their parts, mind you, but underneath this calm exterior I'm going a little nuts.
We've had a good time these past two weeks spoiling these kiddos. Doright Manor will be awfully quiet once they leave.
Poppa (Studly) Doright and I keep motorcycles for the grandkids to ride when they come to visit. All year long he searches EBay and Craig's List looking for used bikes that are just the right model and size for each child. Once he gets the bike home to Doright Manor, Studly tinkers and tweaks until the bikes run like brand new ones.
He hit the jackpot with Jackson's little Honda.
But Dominique's scooter wasn't ideal for trail riding. She'd wanted one she didn't have to shift, and that part was great, but the scooter just didn't do well in the dirt. So Poppa began scouring local ads and found what he thought might be the perfect bike. Unfortunately it came unassembled in a box:
But it didn't take long for the bike in a box to be ready for action.
It's a pretty little off brand thing called a Viper. Contrary to what the guy we bought it from told us, the Viper isn't an automatic, though, so Dominique still doesn't have a bike.
Back to the classifieds and Craig's List we go. It's one adventure after another here at Doright Manor.
Sometimes having fun is hard work. Today Poppa, aka Studly Doright, and the grandkids took the bikes to a local riding park outside of Tallahassee. I went along just in case a chase vehicle was needed.
Poppa made sure both Dominique and Jackson played active roles in unloading their bikes.
While the three intrepid bikers took off down a series of dirt trails I sat in the car and read for awhile. Consequently, I have no exciting photos of their ride, only secondhand tales of near misses and wrong turns. In the end, my chase car services were necessary when Dominique's scooter suffered a minor breakdown. It is nice to be needed.
Last Sunday Studly Doright and I took his mom, Saint Helen, to the Tallahassee Automobile Museum. Even though Studly and I have been in Tallahassee a little over three years, this was our first visit to the museum that sits just off Interstate 10 east of Tallahassee.
Here are just a few of the automobiles on display. The array was dizzying.
Batman had his own section.
There were motorcycles in abundance:
Tricycles and pedal cars:
A vampire hunting kit (I really think I need one):
And lots of other goodies:
The museum, with its eclectic array of memorabilia, provided us with a couple of hours of entertainment. I think I’m still suffering from antique overload.
Saturday was Studly Doright’s 59th birthday. Having feasted to the overflow mark on Thanksgiving he wanted no special birthday foods and said he’d play a round of golf to celebrate the big day. I sang “Happy Birthday” as he headed to the golf course while he grinned. I have that effect on people.
When he arrived home after golf, though, he told me to pack an overnight bag. He’d bought some motorcycle parts online and we needed to pick them up. In Metairie, Louisiana, outside of New Orleans! I didn’t quibble and ten minutes later we were on the road.
New Orleans is a five and a half hour drive from Doright Manor, and we made it to the seller’s home around 5:30 p.m. Studly was delighted with his bargain, so while he and the seller stood swapping motorcycle tales (a.k.a. “kicking tires and telling lies”) I booked us a hotel room in Metairie.
After a nice light dinner at PF Chang’s we checked into our hotel and cheered on the Florida State Seminoles from the comfort of our bed.
Knowing the New Orleans Saints were playing at home at noon on Sunday we planned to get up early and be well away from the area before game time. Studly had me find us a breakfast spot using Siri, and with only one little mixup we were soon seated at a table at Willa Jean, a top brunch spot in the central business district in downtown New Orleans.
I had beignets on my mind, but unfortunately they weren’t on the menu. But, oh my goodness! What a menu! Studly, who is a breakfast traditionalist, had biscuits and sausage gravy and proclaimed his meal to be perfect. I enjoyed grilled cornbread with a syrupy butter and a side of bacon. We both believe it was the best restaurant meal we’ve had in years. Check out their website: http://www.willajean.com.
After we left Willa Jean, finding the interstate was a cinch. I snapped this photo of Louis Armstrong just standing on a corner:
Ok, so Satchmo was only there in statue form, but the city was waking up around him in preparation for the game.
Once on the interstate I took a few random shots. Whatever did I do before I had an iPhone?
I’ll finish up my piece tomorrow with photos of our visit to the USS Alabama. For a low-key birthday, we had a pretty grand time. Thanks for reading!