05-09-13 I left Panama Beach City on Thursday morning, bidding farewell to my wonderful new friends Vic and Vicky, but promising to see them again on the road. I was extremely excited to get this piece of ride done and over with, because my son Nathan would be waiting for me at Dad’s. After being out in the world for just over 3 months, this is the longest period in my son’s 22 years that I have not seen him. It’s been a growth experience for both of us, but I couldn’t wait to squeeze him to death.
Thursday was a lovely day, perfect weather, and I was making good time until I hit Abbeville, AL. I was cruising the same direction that Mike and I traveled last time I went to Dad’s. And I was cruising in comfort with the new hi-way pegs Mike bought me. Well… legs up on pegs and BAM… I got hit with something that felt like a cigarette cherry burning my inner thigh. I’d never felt such a burn and sting and instantly had a tear well up in my eye. I was a few miles away from a gas station that I remembered. In those few miles I experienced more fear than I’ve had the entire trip. I had come to the conclusion that I had been stung by a bee and in a spot that bees just don’t belong. I already know that my mother and son are deathly allergic to bees and since I’ve never ever been stung, I wasn’t sure what lay ahead for me. The moment I stopped I made a FB post so that somebody would know where I was (in case). I also called my friend as a precaution. I cut him short because I wanted to help myself. The gas station had no such Benadryl product but the ladies pointed me in the direction of a Rite-Aid. At this point I had been stung for about 15 minutes and nothing was happening, so I was praying that I was going to be fine. All the same, I went to the Rite-Aid and got Benadryl. The pharmacist agreed that I was probably fine given the amount of time that had passed. I took the Benadryl and sat for a bit to be sure. I checked my FB and got a lot of great feedback from folks, but I did learn that it’s not the first sting that gets you… it’s future stings that you have to worry about.
I pressed on and within 30 minutes my eyes began to droop and all I wanted was to fall asleep. Damn that Benadryl; I have a handsome son to see. I had already lost nearly 45 minutes and now I have to stop again. I decided to pull into a Mexican restaurant to get some food and ice tea with caffeine. (I rarely ever drink caffeine.) I checked in with my boy and he was already at Dad’s. The food and tea seemed to help and I kept going.
Ya know, I’ve heard stories about people that have ‘forgotten’ to put their feet down when they stop their bikes and I dern near did just that when I pulled up at Dad’s. Dixie Mae was the first to run at me and then around the corner came my 6’2″ gorgeous son. His face was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. I ran to him and held him so tight that he said I was choking him. “I brought you into this world, I’ll choke you if I want to.” Seeing his face, hearing his voice, and smelling his skin, brought back a flood of memories and made my stomach turn and my heart skip a few beats. I didn’t want to let him go!! His girl Kelsi was standing behind us and I took pause to hug her and all the while Dixie was jumping all over me. I guess my grand doggie missed me too. Winning the lottery or getting a new Harley would not have made me THIS happy! We sat around Thursday night, sipped cold beers and caught up on stories. My son only had a few days off, so we wanted to pack our days with fun.
05-10-13 We woke up Friday and had a great breakfast that Ma cooked. Nathan trailered his bike here from IL and so we decided that we’d take Kelsi to the Coca-Cola museum in Atlanta. Riding with my boy was a dream I had when he was young and since realizing that over the past 7 years, I’ve cherished every mile… and here we go again.
I gave them both grief for the shorts, but was able to make Kelsi put on boots at least. Momma can only say so much. The boy has crashed before and lives with road rash scars, but he’s a grown man. Kelsi has far prettier legs than Nathan, but she’s a big girl too.
We only had a few hours to be tourists as we were meeting a slew of family for dinner. We took Kelsi to The World of Coca-Cola and I had a most amazing day. My son and I always have a good time together, but I was very pleased to spend some real time with Kelsi. She’s a lovely person, easy to talk with, and has a giggle that makes me want to tickle her so she keeps going.
We had a great time at Coca-Cola and I was very pleased to see that so many things inside had been updated. I’ve been 3 times and was thinking it would be the same things again, but not so.
My favorite part of The World of Coca-Cola has always been the tasting room. Considering I don’t do caffeine usually, this is a dangerous room for me. Last time Nathan and I were here, he was 17 and we decided to try each and every flavor – BIG MISTAKE; we had belly aches that time. But we are older and wiser now (insert laughter)…
After a couple hours at the Coca-Cola museum we had a little time left and it was such a beautiful day, I suggested that we take Kelsi across the street to Olympic Park. The gardens in the park are beautiful and the water fountain holds a special place in my heart. This is a place I’ve taken my son a few times, the first of which he was around 5 years old and it was cool day out. But being a little fart with a mind of his own, he just had to play in the water. His Dad and I told him it was gonna be cold. He didn’t care. By the time we left that afternoon his lips were blue and he was shivering. His Dad had to carry him the long walk back to the car and I wrapped him in my jacket. He hasn’t really changed much since then, only gotten taller.
But this day was beautiful and warm. Nate was gonna play a cool dude and sat on the bench as Kelsi and I played in the water. He didn’t stay cool long, he just had to jump in. The smiles were huge, the sun was warm, and my heart was over flowing.
Well, our fun in Atlanta had to end and it was time to put my jeans and boots on and head to dinner with the family. Atlanta traffic sucks, just sayin’… but nonetheless we sat through 5 red lights before we could make our first turn. It’s ok because we blasted the tunes on my iPhone that’s in my cool Rider’s Claw mount and did a bit of beebopping while we waited. And a little picking on mom for some of her music selections. Freakin’ Kids!!
I’m pretty sure Milano’s was glad to have our cash, but glad when we left. 18 people, 7 of which were kids. We are a loud family by nature and love a good laugh.
Nathan wanted to take Kelsi to Stone Mountain Park for the laser light show and three of my nieces went along for the fun. Us older folks headed home. As it turned out, the laser show is only on Saturday so the young people ended up playing mini golf at Sherwood Forest (a place I’ve been going since I was a kid).
05-11-13 The three girls spent the night and Saturday was a day for converting babes to bikers. Auntie Ursula gave all 3 girls a nice long ride on the Harley. They were all such great passengers and were very good listeners. We found some cool twisty roads near Dad’s.
MawMaw was making the girls sugar cookies and Kelsi and I decided to take a ride for sprinkles and such that we could decorate the cookies with. Kelsi too was an excellent passenger and I had a lovely time with her. I took her down the road that the girls and I had found earlier in the day. The cows along the road didn’t seem to like my pipes. Kelsi and I called ourselves cattle herders, as we crept along slowly revving the bike and the cows ran from us to the back of the field. We were cracking up the whole time.
Homemade cookies make everybody smile. Ma had put together a wonderful dinner and great cookies. Can you guess which cookie The BROAD decorated?
My Dad has a beautiful natural spring behind his house and Nathan and I have been taking nature hikes since before the boy could walk. So we gathered the kids and dogs and took off into the woods. BB Girl and Dixie Mae probably had the most fun. The dogs were soaked and muddy and required baths when we returned. We humans enjoyed the walk and we went further than I had ever walked in Dad’s woods. The spring was cold, the sun was warm and the laughter of kids makes the phrase, “No Place Like Home” more true than you can imagine.
After a lovely walk in the woods, we spent the rest of the evening relaxing. Nathan and Kelsi went to a movie and by the time they returned, it was Mother’s Day Sunday. They gave Ma and I wine and my baby boy gave me Harley orange flowers. At that moment he forgot to give us our cards, but in the morning when he did remember, I couldn’t help but cry… “You Are My Life”! If he only knew how opposite that was. The boy has been my life since the moment I knew he was growing inside me. I’ve done the best I could and failed from time to time, but I couldn’t have made it this far in life without having him as my inspiration to survive, to thrive, and to be the best I could be. I am proud of the man he has become and though he deserved more whoopins than he ever got, I would never ever change a moment of our growing up together. He’s turned out to be a fine young man and I can’t wait to watch the rest of his life unfold.
05-12-13 Mother’s Day was spent with even more family and more great food. Though I was in my glory, I began to grow sad knowing that my son would leave for IL the next day. He and I shared a few grown up conversations about his life and his desires. Though I can’t do much for him these days, I am very proud that he shares his challenges, goals and dreams with me. My Mother’s Day was the best one I’ve had in eons (wait… maybe ever… I’m hard pressed to recall one that’s been any better at this point!)
05-13-13 Nathan and Kelsi packed up the Durango and loaded the bike on the trailer. It was hard to smile. They took off around noon and that last hug was way too short. We both had tears, but we both know they are tears of love and of a life full of memories, full of learning, and full of experiences that have made us who we are! And it’s hard to write this blog post through the tears that have come back. I know I’ll see them again soon when I visit IL for a few weeks, but my heart aches missing my son’s face and voice, our antics and our good times.
This Motorcycle Momma has been blessed been beyond belief and I cherish every experience and every memory. My son could have taken his vacation anywhere. He chose to see his Mom and his family; that was the greatest gift of all.
Cheers to You My Boy
“YOU ARE MY LIFE”
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