Thanksgiving 2017

I’ve been away from this blog for some time.  Life has been moving along.

The blog originally began as a way to log my bucket list ride from coast to coast across the United States.    Each year I try to mark off another item from that list because life is short.  Just to catch everyone up and remind myself here’s a quick recap…

2017 – Own an Indian Motorcycle

2016 – Motorcycle Ride across the United States

2015 – Hike the length of the Georgia section of the Appalachian Trail

2014 – Enter a BBQ cooking competition (I won!)

This year’s bucket list item came about by accident.  Literally.  On March 25 while stopped in traffic my old bike was removed from under me.  It was an opportunity to go shopping for a bike I’ve been dreaming about since before I was even a rider.

Although I didn’t get to take a long trip this year, I did manage to get out for a few nights here and there with some friends and try out my new wheels.  Good rides.  Good times.

Right now, I’m sitting in my comfy chair at 10:30 am, with the Macy’s parade playing on my TV and I’m still in my jammies sipping coffee.  My daughters are both here.  My wife and I have had our first few cups of coffee and talked about the precision needed to schedule the baking of pies, turkey’s and side dishes and have each of them be ready close to the same time.

We’ve all talked about Christmas, and what our plans are to spend it together.  This scares me a little.  My girls are ages 21 and 17.  I know my time with them grows more scarce and precious each year.

Everyday is a good day to be thankful.  Each one of us has been given so much more than we deserve.  Each one of us has the ability to bless others with the overflow of our own lives.  Each one of us has the opportunity to humble ourselves before our creator and realize what a miracle our next breath is.

Today I am full.  Not because of the turkey…yet.  I’m rolling under a wave of gratitude for the opportunity to walk beside the most wonderful people who have ever lived.  I’ve been given the opportunity to know caring people, talented people, gifted people, loving people, humble people, and people who have struggled through life while still keeping a heart able to hope in the future.  I’m grateful to the point of breathlessness for laughter, and music, and comfort.  I’m overwhelmed by God’s ability to show me where I need to be a better man, and then guide me toward that path because I do not have any idea how to get there on my own.

Happy Thanksgiving to all in the United States.  And happy thankfulness and full hearts to all of us everywhere.

 

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It doesn’t get any better

Father’s Day 2017

4 hours of riding through North Georgia. 

A quick stop for a terrific smoked pulled pork sandwich and a sweet tea. 

Arrive home to both daughters and my wife. 

Grilled rib-eyes, baked potatoes, sweet corn, and carrot cake. 

Watching the sun go down as I sip bourbon and smoke the cigar I’d been saving for a very special occasion. 

God, if heaven offers even more than this, how will I be able to stand it?

She’s Home

I admit, I’ve been a bit obsessed with this brand.

And now that it’s in my garage, there’s a piece of me that understands I certainly do not deserve it.

But I like it. IMG_4715

I like it when the mother of my children talks about getting a new jacket so she will look good going for rides with me.

I like it when my 17 year old daughter meets me in the driveway and wants to go for a lap around the neighborhood with me.IMG_5416

This is one smooth riding machine that has been on my bucket list for a long, long time.  And now my plan is to fully appreciate every ride I am blessed to have.  I hope to see you out there.

The Journey Ahead

It’s Tuesday evening. I’m nearly all packed. I leave Thursday morning.

I’m quite sure I’ve packed some things I will not need.

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I’m equally sure that I have not packed some things that I will desperately be looking for down the road.

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Speaking of things I will miss, I have never been away from my family for this amount of time. That is one part of the trip I am not looking forward to. Even on short rides, when I see a great sunset, or find a unique store, it never fails that my next thought is about the thrill of sharing it as soon as possible with my wife or my daughters. I love riding two up with them around North Georgia.

A few years ago my oldest daughter and I escaped on an overnight ride to Cherokee North Carolina. I think the highlight for her was receiving permission to be escorted as an underage guest across the floor of a casino so we could get to a restaurant. I will miss her when I see any interesting animal big or small. She is, and has always been, in tune with the natural world in a way few will ever experience.

I will miss my youngest daughter when I meet interesting people and when I see things I can’t fully comprehend. She’s an incredible impressionist, and a dedicated student of humanity. She also is fully in awe of the soaring joy of a mountain rising up beyond a glacier lake.

I will miss my wife constantly. She helps me in everything I do, think, and feel.

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Even though I know how much I will want to turn and around and ask, “Did you see that?!”, hundreds of times along the way, I also have to admit that I’m looking forward to the time alone. There’s a huge aspect of this adventure that is about me taking time just for me. I’ve spent 51 years orbiting the sun. During those trips there have been a lot of different roles that have defined my responsibilities, my perceptions, and my relationships. Moving through them has been it’s own adventure; confusing and thrilling at the same time. It’s been a while since I’ve taken the time to stop my everyday life and try to get some distance so I can examine the bigger picture. I need to unwind the big giant hairball a bit and make sure I’m still in the right orbit.

Someone joked the other day that I’m going on a vision quest. Maybe I am. I don’t think I’m going to come back with knowledge of my spirit animal, but I do believe I’m going to seek God with an intensity and focus that is embarrassingly distant most of my days.