Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Carondelet Park

Autumn is here, but mostly the colors are just beginning.

Sunday was gorgeous. Lots of blue sky, but plenty of clouds to add interest.

I thought these clouds looked a little like Kanji

Lots of folks were fishing in the Lake and the pond.

If you look close you can even see a couple of fishing lines in the bottom corner of this photo.

Billie enjoying a view of Horseshoe Lake.

I do so love the slow ride.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

It Is The Weirdest Thing

It is the weirdest thing. When I drive over to visit my son and his family I take a wrong turn nearly every time. When my Daughter was in town and driving us to my Son's house I had her turn at the wrong place. Yet, when I ride I go directly there. What's my take on this? It is more proof of my mind being more engaged and functioning from a different place when I'm riding. Chris, over at Everyday Riding, has told me there was a study done in Japan showing those who commute to work on their motorcycles had a lower incidence of Alzheimer's than those who drive. He linked it for me, but I can't find it. Hopefully he'll pipe up.

My Daughter during her recent visit commented on her biggest worry about my brain injury is the unset of dementia. My response? What can I do except live my life? I'm definitely a candidate for having Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), but since it can only be definitively diagnosed postmortem I'm in no hurry to find out. CTE and Alzheimer's are different maladies. One birthed of trauma, the other not. Both progressive.

There is so much known about brain trauma ... and so little. For now, I can be grateful for how my brain works when I'm riding. And, I am. I can, also, be grateful for my ability to bring the place my mind is in when I'm riding to other parts of my life. And, I am.

I will try to always ride to visit my precious ones for as long as I am able and know who they are.

Monday, May 26, 2014

A Memorial Day Story

Last Fall the Condo Association decided to remove a wall from the one time fountain now planter which sets in our front yard. It was falling down. It was going to be very expensive to repair and the decision was made to tear it down. There really wasn't any plan as to what to do with the space afterwards.

One of the things Heather misses about not living in a house with a yard is being able to garden. She decided to take matters into her own hands.

The mission for Memorial Day Weekend was to make this look good.
She loves getting her hands in the dirt. Me? Not so much. I was the heavy lifter. By Saturday evening she had accomplished quite a bit.

She wanted to add some more annuals and it still needed more mulch. Mulch means me.

Early Sunday afternoon I headed to the garden supply store to buy three more bags of mulch, which brings me to the story.

I noticed him when I came into the store. He was an African-American gentlemen of about my age. His tee-shirt said, "Marines" on it, as did his hat.

While waiting to checkout I saw him again. He was in the other line. He was buying a flat of petunias. When I got to my car, there he was again. We were parked next to one another. I could have kept my mouth shut, but those of you who know me know that wasn't likely. "There's nothing I like better than seeing a Marine with his petunias," I said. Thankfully, he chuckled. "Happy Memorial Day," I said next and then added, "That doesn't sound right, but I think you know what I mean. Thank you."

"Well," he said, "I tell folks when you see a veteran my age you can assume he served in Vietnam. It's okay to say 'thank you' to us, but better to say, 'Welcome home'."

I walked over to him. "I need to tell you about something." I went on to tell him about my daughter.

My daughter lives in Norfolk, Virginia and in addition to being an electrical engineer employed by the Navy, she sings in the Virginia Symphony Chorus. One of their performances each year is during the Virginia International Tattoo.  I explained to him a Tattoo was a military show with lots of drill teams, bag pipes, patriotic songs, and other military themed performances. This year the Tattoo made a special point of honoring Vietnam veterans and their families. At her performances just before the Armed Forces Medley the master of ceremonies asked all the Vietnam veterans to stand and be recognized. And, then the MC said to them, "Welcome home."

I, also, felt I needed to tell him she told me many of them broke down and cried. Why did I feel this need? Because he was crying.

I put out my hand. He took it. I shook his hand and said, "Welcome home." With his left hand he grabbed my right arm between the elbow and the shoulder. I responded by putting my left hand on his right shoulder. He looked at me, really looked at me, squeezed my arm hard enough I thought he might leave marks, and said, "Thank you."

We let go of each other. He went to his car. I went to mine. We drove off. I never did get his name and I suspect I will never see him again, but I'm positive I was supposed to see him when I did.

By the way, here's Heather's finished project.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Cahokia Mounds

Heather and I spent the day at Cahokia Mounds Saturday. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can click here to learn more.

At one time these were the doors one used to enter the Interpretive Center. They are cast bronze and very heavy. They have stopped using them. They were very heavy. They have stopped using them. There are more easily managed doors on either side of these monsters now. Not so functional, but beautiful.

This is one of the conical mounds.

The large mound's base is bigger than the Great Pyramid of Giza.

On a clear day the view from the top of the large mound gives a great view of the St.Louis City Skyline. Unfortunately it was hazy Saturday

One of the reconstructions is called "Woodhenge". It is a circle of poles around a center pole. They are pretty certain it was used as a calelndar and there are gatherings here at the Solstices. This is the pole in the center of the circle of poles.

Signs of the past seasons are still with us.

And, of course, there was Cake.
I love this place.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Urban Camo Rides Again

First ride with the Summer helmet. This will be my third season. I love how light weight it is. I love how much visibility it gives me. I love the fit. It is a dual sport helmet, but I took off the visor last year and like it better.

I have two other helmets, both of which are modular. I wear glasses. On and off is so easy with modular. I really like that. It sort of trumps all the pluses of my AFX...sadly.