Thursday, December 21, 2006

Gratitude SymbolA note for all those special people in my life....

Thank you to old friends for understanding when I was less than communicative. You will always be dear to me and I promise to try harder to stay in touch.

Thank you to new friends who have added much to my life. Some of you are local to me, some of you are far away, but you all mean something special to me.

Thank you to my family for letting me do what I need to without censure or scolding. I do love you all more than I think to tell you.

Thank you to my Rumble Sisters who are always there, whether I need them or not. You always understand.

Thank you to all the RVing friends who stood by and advised me when I thought that was going to be my new lifestyle. Your patience and generous sharing was greatly appreciated.

Thank you to the employers/business owners who decided to give me a chance at employment. Not only are my bills getting paid, but I'm feeling useful again.

Thank you to the weathermen for trying to keep me updated as to when it will be good to ride. Didn't do near as much as I would have liked, but what I did was great.

Thank you to my local McDonald's - staff and regular customers. You brighten my day with your smiles, good wishes and queries about my motorcycle and riding.

Thank you to my new hairdresser for REALLY understanding what I want AND need in a haircut!

And finally, thank you to everyone who had a presence in my life in 2006. It's been quite a year and I suspect 2007 will be even better.

Till next time - keep on rollin',

It was a two demon day.....

Monday, December 18, 2006

Yesterday I described slaying one of my personal demons....but what I didn't say was that it was a two demon slaying day. Not ready to head home after my triumph, I continued riding. Headed from the neighboring town to the east, onward through my town and further west.

Bikes were everywhere....tourers, cruisers, sport bikes and scooters. The biker salutes passed in waves - everyone fully enjoying a day that was 20 degrees warmer than normal. I was on a natural high resulting from the act of riding combined with the knowledge that I had conquered one demon.

For the most part there isn't a lot of traffic so I choose my pace, usually about five over the speed limit. I'm one with the bike. The miles roll by rapidly and I soak up the countryside, smelling all those wonderful outdoor odors that you miss when traveling by car. Sun warms the wind chaffing my face and I try hard to not lick the last vestiges of ChapStick® off my lips.

Suddenly I see a group of bikes in the distance. Since I'm gaining on them, I know they are doing the speed limit or less. As I get closer I count nine car between us. The car eventually turns off and I nudge closer, but don't join the group. I notice the patch on the back of the last's the Southern Cruisers.

This is where the demon raises his I must explain. When I learned to ride, for the most part I rode with my husband, trusted friends and family or solo. During the first two years I did ride with some organized groups but they were typically event type rides, not social ones.

After my husband died, I spent the following year planning and then doing a 42 state ride (over several trips)....all solo. In the ensuing year, I have ridden in a group once...the inaugural ride of my Southern Cruisers chapter. I've been an Officer in my local H.O.G. chapter for two years and never ridden with them. My demon was group riding.....I could find any excuse in the world to NOT ride with others. No rational explanation....just the irrational fear.

Back to Sunday, this was my Southern Cruisers chapter, out for a chapter ride. I had seen the posting and received the email....both of which I ignored. But now I was face to face with the group and my demon. What to do....I could just tag along at the back, I could veer off and change my route or I could slay this demon as well.

I expected them to turn right onto the highway north...the light turned red and no flashing blinkers. A quick look behind me, no cars, I pulled out and quickly came up beside the leader. He looked over, recognized me and shouted a hearty HEY and JOIN US. The light changed and the first two bikes pulled out. I started forward, still not sure what I was going to do. I looked into my mirror and noticed the other bikes were lagging back. My decision was made unconsciously....I pulled to the right and joined the group. It felt right....

We stopped for gas and a smoke break and I chatted with old friends and met some new. From there we continued on for another 30 or so miles, stopping for lunch. I rode back, different positioning in the group, and eventually they turned north and I continued east....back home.

Yes, it was a two demon day....both slain, even if unintentionally.

Till next time - keep on rollin',

Slaying the demon....

Sunday, December 17, 2006

It's just a road, an ordinary mountain country road. Beautiful scenery, guardrail-less twisties, steep drop-offs, but nothing that I hadn't ridden before. So why has this road become a demon in my mind?

I had only been east, past my house, once since moving here two years ago. One Sunday I asked my husband if he wanted to go for a drive, just to pass the time. He'd been having a tough time and I thought a drive in the sun, seeing some new scenery might help.

So, we headed east on the highway in front of our house. We stopped beside a small waterfall and watched the river for a while. We continued on, up and around the mountain, slowly winding our way to the top and then back down a bit, ending up in a neighboring town. All in all, it was a great afternoon and left me with a fond memory.

That said, for the last two years I have been unable to do what every other motorcyclist in this area has done....ride that wonderful, wandering, twisty road. Not because of the difficulty level but because of the difficult memories.

I tried to do it two months ago....thought if I rode it in the opposite direction that it would be easier. I'd approach from the eastern side and ride towards home. I headed out northerly, following route numbers that I knew would eventually get me to my starting point....but I missed it. I had a wonderul 100 mile ride, but no demon slain. I knew I wasn't ready.

I didn't start out today knowing I would slay one of my personal demons. I headed out about 9 am, the temperature was still in the upper 40's. Ate a leisurely breakfast, reading and chatting with the locals. When I finally got ready to leave I was surprised at how much it had warmed up. I switched to lighter gloves, snapped open the top of my jacket and headed to the gas station.

Initially my thought was to just head home, knowing how much there was there that I needed to do. As I approached my street I knew that I wasn't going to turn.....I was going to continue east. I was going to slay my demon.

The weather was perfect, upper 60's, and the sun was high in the sky. As I passed the farms with their ancient barns, new homes with their glossy exteriors, old homes that should be deserted - newspapers taped to the windows told a different story, and the never ending panorama of mountains, forests, water and pasture, I knew this was the right day.

I never found the spot where we pulled off....maybe I wasn't meant to. But I rode my demon into the ground, twisted its tail and tweaked its nose. It felt good!

Till next time - keep on rollin',

My house is missing.....

Friday, December 1, 2006

My house is missing....a nice warm fireplace. Don't get me wrong, I love my house. But I forgot how cold a great room with a cathedral ceiling could be. Tonight as I sit here in fleece socks, fleece pants, a turtleneck topped with a heavy sweatshirt, I truly wish I had a fireplace.

Winter isn't even here yet...of course we've barely had a fall. First we went from winter last year directly into summer. Now we seem to be going directly from summer into winter.

Yes, I know....turn up the thermostat. But it's not the same...I could sit and watch the flames for hours, sipping my favorite beverage, listening to the snap - crackle - pop of the wood (assuming it's not a gas fireplace - LOL!).

Recently I a friend suggested I get a fireplace DVD so I did a little research: Virtual Flames, Ambient Fire and Instant Fireplace were a few I found (just go to and enter DVD + fireplace). It's a start...but not a replacement. I want the heat, smell as well as the sights and sounds!

Till next time,
Froggi Donna
Queen of Fireplace Envy

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