Sunday, September 27, 2009

Night Ride

Instead of the morning ride, I decided to wait until the darkness to ride the 10 miles.

And all is the same but different.

It is still quiet. The lights flicker in blue at the windows and the birds are quiet, but the crickets sing.

My flickering lights only accent the shadows. Luckily I know the path so I can avoid the potholes and anticipate the lumps in the road.

As the sun sets, two flocks of geese fly over going on their daily path to the river.

On return the yard monkeys rest on the cherry tree and smile at the seed and peanuts presented for their treats on a beautiful fall day.

Enjoy the season and the life that is around you.


The other day during my morning ride I saw a sticker on a mobile machine reading "Richmond Balance" and it made me ponder.

What is that? Is it a business, like a yoga or palates shop? Is it a statement for a organization trying to get the city to balance the new and old, black and white, ball parks and performance art?

Balance has an even deeper meaning. It is equilibrium, the balance between opposing forces.

Riding a bicycle is all about movement and balance. Without balance....? You fall over.

But life is about balance also. Balance the time for others and time for yourself. Balance the need against the want. Balance the good against the bad. Balance the spirit against the forces on the body.

With today's world of constant exposure to immediate information and trying to sort it all will shake the balance of the world.

Just remember, you can turn it off. How important are the hundred of useless email you receive every day? They can become spam? Do you really need to have your phone with you every minute to receive the twit or face book update?

Is this what is most important to you?

So try to balance your life between what makes you happy, rather than what fills your time.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Knock Down Drag Out

They should be making a movie of this “reconstruction”.

Today I took down some shelves in the kitchen to make way for the hot water heater and make sure I don’t bonk myself in the head when entering the room. Sounds like an easy task, but the L-shaped board holders are nailed into the plaster with 3” nails, so the easy claw hammer has to dig in to get a grip.

After half an hour and several holes in the wall, the bent metal and short boards are in the back yard.

So I haven’t sweated enough, I decide to disassemble the 8 foot by 4 foot white laminated surfaced that was designed to stretch material on. Sitting upon a rickety frame built of 2 x 4s, I slide the 1” thick plywood off the frame and rested it up again the “art room” door.

The leaning frame of 2 x 4s was pressed to the floor taking up all the space with wooden legs in all directions and nails protruding at odd angles.

As I started grabbing the wooden frame I was hit by a football linebacker and pressed to the floor with a thud.

There pressed on the mass of wood and nails I had been flattened by the surface leaning against the wall which had been moved by the movement of the wobbly stand and had crashed against my back with a great weight and force.

I didn’t see that one coming.

As I extracted myself from this pile of rubble I began thinking it could have been much worse. I wasn’t impaled on the nails and no bones were broken, but I could have.

A few cuts and bruises and a call to the health insurance agent.

Shake it off, rub some dirt in it and move on.

Oh, and I won.

The table is down and the parts are stacked in the corner.

Another successful day and then off to the old folks day at the grocery store for medicine and fish food. I'll feed the yard p-nuts and seed, then enjoy the first day of Autumn.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

30 Years

Today, September 9th, in 1979 I moved into my house with a $29,000.00 mortgage.

3 bedrooms, tiny kitchen, and an unfinished second floor.

Through the years, the electricity has been upgraded, funiture came and went and moved from room to room, hobbies filled the rooms and walls were built.

The yard has gone from the suburban green grass to a wooded park complete with pond and outdoor office.

And of course, the critter crewe has changed and grown through the years.

So now, officially retired, I looked around this asbestos siding, lead pipe, gas supply air blown furnace house and try to figure what I want to do with it?

Perhaps a few repairs and a little paint then settle into the garden

Friday, September 18, 2009


You hear it in the trees. The rustle of dry leaves within as the breezes blow. They have not yet turned colors, but they are getting dry and the creature is withdrawing it’s lifeblood from the limbs to the trunk preparing for the winter sleep.

And the wooden marbles fall creating a feeding ground for the gray yard monkey to gather. As wheels crush the leftover shells like M&Ms.

Yet every morning, there is crispness in the air. The temperatures have dropped and the humidity has lowered to manageable number.

But there has been an anxiety in the morning rides. The same routes seem different, and hills take a new meaning. Going down hills becomes perilous. I squeeze the break as if I had never seen this hill. My back tenses and my mind act as if I had never ridden a bike before and am looking for the training wheels. The front wheel waves back and forth, finding a direction, not remembering the constant path. But with yoga breathing and stretching, the anxiety goes away and the rhythm of the trip continues.

Maybe it’s sleep? Been going to sleep earlier, say 9:00 or 10:00 PM, but waking up at 2:00 AM and rolling and tumbling trying to get another dream until 5:00 AM. My mind races with thoughts of new projects, painting, plumbing, food, etc. Time and thoughts collide between strange dreams. Dreams of work, or at least former work, but not the office I remembered. There are some characters I remember, but there are others I don’t know. And the location has ranged from vacant parking docks, to basements to huge old buildings. I’m sure some mind doctor would have a field day with these, but after being awake, it doesn’t bother me. They are just curiosity’s. I think tonight, I may get up and read for an hour or so to get through this.

I’m thankful to the cooler weather and projects getting done. 3 sewing machines left today but there is much more to do. Trying to stay focused, but the overwhelming amounts of emotions from reading letters and notes and memos have beaten me down.

So Sunday, I’m taking the day off. Going to a hotel and sit in a spa, hot shower, maybe room service and watch the Cowboys and Giants. It will be a different venue and a break from three months of digging.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

18_Ike and Ginger_To Maine

Ginger lay face down on the deck sunning her back as the bow splashed Cool Ocean water over her in a mist. Ike sat back in the captains seat watching the sail fluff, checking the position of the sun and using his watch as a compass. Examining the horizon Ike turns the rudder. As the Dusty Rose cut through the waves, a wash of salty water sweeps over the desk.

“Hey!” Ginger picks up her head and wipes off her face. “Watch it buster.”

“Sorry, but the seas are getting rough” Ike slyly responded.

Ginger sat up and turned back to Ike. She sipped from a tall glass of liquid that had been secured on the deck against the erratic course and asked, “Why Maine?”

Ike lowered his sunglasses and stared at Ginger with a sly grin. She stopped and returned the stare with a questioned face. The two froze in this strange communication until Ginger looked down and started to laugh.

“You mean these?” she smiles and did a little shimmy shaking off the salt water and dew.

Ike continued to stare and smile.

“What?” her voice becoming excited. “It’s not like you have seen these before!”

Ike continued to stare and lowered his sunglasses.

Ginger looked to the horizon and back again, and then shyly reached for a towel. “It’s not like anyone else is around.” She wrapped the towel around her and replied to Ike’s leer, “Well…. why Maine?”

“Going to see Blackie” Ike replied placing his sunglasses back on and returning his stare to the horizon.

“Blackie? You mean that crazy cousin of yours”

Ike just turned the rudder and tighten the sail.

“That crazy guy who threw you out of a plane? You want to go see that goof ball who dropped you to the ocean floor with too much weight?”

“Yes, the wild guy who taught me how to surf.” Ike quietly replied.

“Why him?” Ginger questioned as she slid next to him in the captain’s cabin.

“Blackie can find ways to get out of anything and besides he is very high up in the secret organizations of the government, so if anyone has communication…. it’s Blackie.”

“I think you are crazy going all the way up the coast when we should be finding some of those boats out at sea.” Ginger looked at the vacant horizon.

“We haven’t seen much so far, so I figure this is a good chance to get more information.”

They both sat for an hour watching the sun more across the sky and the waves get higher.

“The waters getting rougher and the air is cooler and we still have a day or so to get to the Deer Isle.” Said Ike whipping the foam from his face. “Why don’t you go below and examine that sweater map you found?”

“You want anything to eat?” Ginger asked before lowering her wet body below the deck.

“Not right now.” Ike replied checking his watch. “I’ll be down later to get something to eat.”

Ginger stepped down into the darkness and answered, “ Yes, I bet you will. You better be hungry.”

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Changing Gears

Rain today.

Put a change in the schedule so the newspaper came first after two bottles of water and oranges. Nothing new in the printed page that I had not heard about the day before.

Move outside.

Feed the fish and the yard critters.

Pause in the drops so grab the white Bianica and my blue jacket for Tuesdays run.

Two streets through following the recycling truck when thump! Flat tire.

Close enough to walk back home and grab Marion to finish the regular ride.

A call to Salvation Army just to have the phone

Take Bianica in for a fixed foot and chat.

So recharged called the Army and listed the forth load. Tomorrow these will be on the way to others and more boxes will be filled.

And progress is a scratch away, yet so much more to do.

And things could be worse as I saw a tree (not a branch, an entire tree) across the road and had to change gears and turn around on another path.

So you never know what will cross your path and must be ready to change gears.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


The sound of a mobile machine door slams as I turn the corner.

I look but there is no movement ahead.

Lines of color monster metal machines line my path.

Where is the driver?

These metal carriers full of oil and gas and man-made materials and glass, ready to light up and jump out into the road like a waiting tiger.

Or stretch it's metal sharp wings into a unmovable barrier.

So I scan each side of this canyon of sleeping beast for a shadow, a light, a sound.

Made it through this block of immobile transportation, but there are many more blocks to go.

Be aware and share the road.