Vacation Interruptus

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Aug 10th, 2012
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The yearly biker vacation (heretofore known as World Vacation Tour Extravaganza 2012) has came and went and I have yet to write a single damn word about it. Oh sure, I posted some random nonsensical pictures on the Facebook thingy, but I haven’t done my usual spiel about sore butts and sunscreen and eating too much pie. Returning home, I fell into the whole “do responsible things” like laundry and actually listening to what the children are saying. Adulthood is so hard, folks.

 

I mean, I bought myself this pretty bloggy-space and then proceeded to ignore it like that unfortunate pair of skinny jeans in the back of my closet. Apologies. It’s now time to correct that and start spewing all the random crap that built up in my brain over the last few months. But now it’s time to get back to the Vacation-That-Almost-Never Was. Or Kinda-Was. Or That-Was-Twice. Lemme explain.

 

After postponing our vacation for an entire month in order to regain some of the billions of dollars (slight exaggeration) we had spent on vet bills over the last couple of months, we finally set a date. We packed jeans, deodorant, and comfortable panties and headed out. Ok, maybe that just what I packed. The man packed many, many T-shirts and sunscreen. Because he’s smarter than me. And probably didn’t plan on buying 12 new shirts in a four hour time span…like I did. Whatever, Mister.

 

I’ve explained the whole packing for a trip on a motorcycle thing before, so if you’re new here, just go back and read through the archives. And remember: Seam placement is EVERYTHING. Word.

 

This year we decided to head north, partially because we have never taken a trip together in that direction, and mostly because the temperature here had been approximately the same as the fifth ring of hell. North had to be cooler, right?

 

In an effort to make it out of the state as quickly as possible (so that we might actually feel like we were going somewhere and not tooling around our own state) we headed northwest towards the Illinois state line. Vacation! Excitement! Giddiness and the promise of adventure lay before us.

Almost out of the state!

 

As we crossed the state line we did our traditional weird high-five, finger wiggling, congratulatory acknowledgement that accompanies every monumental vacation state-line crossing.  It’s a thing.  I don’t understand it, but it makes me happy.  Just go with me on this one.  It’s a good thing.  And only marginally unsafe while traveling on two-wheels.

 

We did it!  We made it another year and got the hell outta Dodge!  We totally win at this vacation stuff.  This was gonna be epic!  Bugs in teeth be damned, I was grinning like a fool.  Northward bound, we sped through Illinois in the general direction of Chicago.  Some miles later we stopped for gas, something cold to drink, and to update Facebook with such stunning commentary as “Vacation Underway!” and “See ya next week, Suckers!”.  That’s when we noticed that we both had several missed calls.  And a text message that read, “Please call.  Urgent.”

 

One phone call later, we learned that The Man’s grandmother had passed away that very day.  We had visited her the day before.  I teased her about giving the nurses a hard time and having more sewing supplies in her room than the local fabric store.  She told me that the nurses were tolerable and the food was inedible.  At one point she asked for a steak knife to cut a green bean.  The Man urged, coddled and tried to shame her into eating more food.  She ever so politely told him to butt out and mind his own business.  She also reminded him of trying to get him to eat back when he was a little boy and didn’t feel well.  Touche’, Ma’am.

Beautiful lady. And a pistol until the very end.

 

This was The Man’s maternal grandmother.  We spoke briefly to his mother, who was practically shouting at us not to come home.  “Go enjoy yourselves.  It’s what she would have wanted.”  Only an hour had gone by since her final moments and everyone was upset.  Not thinking clearly.  Not thinking past the moment and their grief.  I think is a totally natural reaction.  We decided to wait an hour and call back to the family.  It was too soon to do anything but grieve.

 

We spoke again to the family again one (very long) hour later.  It had been decided that the viewing/funeral would not happen until Tuesday evening/Wednesday morning.  So what do we do now?  All the family were urging us to go on.  Our hearts were telling us to go back, be with family.  I told The Man that I would support any decision he made.  It was HIS grandmother.  I loved her dearly, but we also remembered that the last words she said to us when we visited the previous day were ” You kids go have fun.  Be safe.  I love you.”

 

With heavy hearts we decided to continue on, spend a day or two away and return home early.  We informed the family of our decision, and loaded back up.  The joy of earlier was gone, but as the day progressed past the initial news, I began to look around at the world as it passed by.

LIfe goes on. A little more cloudy without one lady’s sparkle.

Without me realizing it, we were almost to Chicago.  I had been so lost in my own thoughts that the miles had disappeared without me noticing.  Ok, not the best of times, but we had two days to work with and I was determined not to waste this opportunity.  The day’s events had taught me a lesson that I sometimes forget: Don’t let one single day get by without making a memory.  

 

Hello Chi-town

 

At the next stop it was decided that we would continue on to Milwaukee before stopping for the night.  There were things in Milwaukee that The Man wanted to see, and it would give me the reason to sing the opening song for the Laverne and Shirley Show.  (Like I ever needed a reason before.)

 

 

It’s at about this time that this showed up.

Sorry for the blurriness, but it’s hard to focus when you’re giggling like that one stoner friend that you used to have that always ate all the Doritos and slept on your couch.

 

Things were looking up.  We had resigned ourselves to two days of vacation escape before we had to face the reality of the real world.  Milwaukee loomed ahead like a bright shiny penny.  (I just gagged on a little cliche stuck in my throat when I wrote that sentence.  Fuck it, I’m leaving it.)

 

Tune in tomorrow for the story of how I fell in love with a hotel room.  For reals.

 

 

 

Church

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May 6th, 2012
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It seems as though our schedules these days only allow for free time on Sundays. Work, home, responsibility, sheesh…buzz kill. But Sunday, glorious Sunday. If the planets align, and someone remembers to send out a text message, we all get to ride. (And by “all” I mean our merry band of bikers, totaling 5-7 people.)

Today I realized that these Sunday rides have become like church for me. Since I don’t have a bike and simply ride on back of The Man’s, it allows me a freedom to reflect, absorb, and think. My ipod holds my songs of hope and love and serenades me down the road.

The trees and sky have become my sanctuary.

 

 

 

“Took a look down a westbound road, right away I made my choice. Headed out to my big two-wheeler, I was tired of my own voice” ~Bob Seger

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can contemplate my place in the world.

 

 

 

 

“All this time I can’t believe I couldn’t see, Kept in the dark but you were there in front of me” ~Evanescense

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I travel through this day with those I love, while their minds also turn to greater thoughts.

 

 

 

 

“Fly the ocean in a silver plane, see the jungle when it’s wet with rain, just remember till your home again, you belong to me” ~Jason Wade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the day’s end, I feel renewed and refreshed. My spirit has been healed of its bruises and bumps and I can face a new week with a strong heart again. This may not be for every one. It may not be the stereo-typical service on bended knee. There may not be prayers recited by rote, but there are prayers.

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