01-31-14 Friday – Yes, as I sat there on George’s Honda VTX I knew I wanted to make this machine roll. I played with it a bit in the driveway and the gravel was throwing me (or I was throwing me), so he pulled it to the asphalt. I again rolled it to/fro and tried to gather the courage to go. I almost popped the clutch once but grabbed it fast. So take a look and see what you think…
Part 1 – Leaving
Part 2 – Returning
Needless to say I was ecstatic but yes, still remained nervous. For one it was really heavy and I still wasn’t used to flipping up the weight and rigidness of that leg. And for another, it’s not my freakin’ machine. I went about 3/4 mile down and turned around of all places in a gravel lot, my footing tweaked for a brief moment but I was aware and no issue arose. Turning into traffic to flip around made me a little nervous, but again it’s just getting used to a new machine and hey – a new leg for goodness sake! So all in all, as I said before, I was ecstatic and I had already been pondering the kickoff of the 2nd Leg of The BROAD journey and this was just the kick start I needed.
George thinks he understands how much I am thankful and he said, “I am glad to be a part of this experience with you.” There are plenty of bikers missing limbs but maybe not one on every block thank God, but only a man like George would understand what that feeling is like. And so I know that he gets it and is fully aware of my gratitude.
I returned again to my Mom’s and was gleaming as I showed off the videos to Mom and Steve. I didn’t stay long as it was getting late and I was wearing down.
02-01-14 Saturday – When I woke and checked in with George it turned out that our plans to visit Bee City would have to hold until another visit. George had an emergency with his Mom and Paula was with her at the hospital.
It was raining out and gloomy but I wasn’t going to waste a good day. There is so much in the area I grew up in that I have never experienced, so whenever I come back I do something new. I went to ship a package and took off for the Charleston Tea Company which is mostly an enclosed tour. I found it fascinating to know that this garden is the only one in the USA. Now, some teas made claim they are US teas but they may only be packaged here from bulk tea bought over seas. If you see tea that boasts of American grown tea, then you know it came from here. They are a partner with Bigelow Teas so some of their specialty blends use teas from this garden. South Carolina soils and climate are near perfect for these teas, some of which come from strains hundreds of years old. And just so you know, it takes 5 pounds of raw leaves to make 1 pound of tea for brewing.Ok for more info you will have to go there and do the tour.
I knew the Angel Oak wasn’t far from me so I decided to head there next. The rain had let up some, so I had hoped to get pictures. The Angel Oak is the oldest oak on this side of the Mississippi River. Some years ago the historical society and municipalities had to help save the tree by securing the property on which it grows as well as constructing support for the huge limbs using a cabling system. It was definitely muddy when I arrived but the rain had by then stopped. This tree is just amazing. When you really fathom how old it is and how much has occurred around this tree in that time, you just have to be in awe at its survival and sheer luck.
As I made my way back to Mom’s for dinner I kept thinking of all the fun little one-off tourist things I did during the first leg of The BROAD journey; free, cheap, good weather or bad – I really miss those days and can’t wait to get back to them. This trip has definitely rekindled that flame.
Mom and I went to dinner and we wrapped up the night early because I had to pack and clean up my room. I was rolling out to go home to Dad’s as I had a doctor appointment Tuesday.
02-02-14 Sunday – I packed up and headed over to Mom’s for the ‘see-ya-laters’ and a home cooked breakfast.
I took a scenic route so that I could go by the house where my great grandmother used to live. Mimi we called her, was a short stocky old country woman that always had a wooden bowl of flour out, buttermilk in the fridge, and fresh lard under the cabinet so you could have fresh biscuits even if you were there just to read the gas meter – for real – that’s what she’d do.
The old railroad station used to have a convenience store, cafe, soda shop, and ticket booth. When I was a kid $1.00 would get you a slap full brown lunch sack of candy. I was sad to see the condition of Mimi’s house and I was disturbed to hear the music raping the old towne country air for at least two blocks that came from within the home. I felt terribly bad for the senior gentleman that came out the door of the neighboring home. No way could I see that trash and hear that garbage all day long. He looked as if he could have been a long standing resident in that tiny town. He looked sad and I could only imagine that his neighbors in my great grandmother’s house were certainly not his type of neighbors.
I made it back to Dad’s by evening time and I was tired. I watched a little bit of the Superbowl and it didn’t seem much like a football game to me so I proceeded to go to bed.
I got a lot of client work done during the week. I was able to put together a few marketing pieces for my business and I even caught up on my blogs.
Tuesday – 02-04-14 – I went to my orthopedic surgeon and waited forever because of some emergencies. As I waited I saw a well put together older lady in another section of the waiting area. She was of the finest southern manners and her drawl made me think of Gone With The Wind. But this fiery little Georgia peach was obviously irritated with her extended wait to see Dr. Ogburn. She was inquiring with all the patients around her as to their appointment time, did they arrive on time, and so forth. At some point she and I were called almost within a minute of each other. We came seat to seat as we now waited for our x-rays. And of course, I figured she’d start again and she did; “They just move us from one place to wait to another. I declare…” And this is when my evil side kicked in because I had already seen the discomfort she caused the waiting room up front and her nagging was frankly bringing me down, and I don’t like to be down. So I said just as unprompted as her own comment, “Ya know, I have come to have more patience since surgeons like Dr. Ogburn saved my life and helped me walk again. I was once an emergency that screwed up somebody else’s appointment time.”
And wouldn’t you know, it had hardly no effect on the little old lady. The 3 other folks sitting with us could have used help raising their jaws and swiping off the smirks, but that little old lady said without hesitation, “So did Dr. Ogburn save your life?” I then gave her the watered down version of my crash and was thankful to be called for my x-ray. Argh – people …
So anyway, the appointment was uneventful more or less. The growth in the man-made femur is still coming along, though it will be a year or more until it is truly SOLID. The bone growth on the outside of the plate is annoying but not worth being cut open again, so we are going to hold on that. For now, I progress along.
Saturday 02-08-14 It was my Dad’s 62nd birthday and my sister with her kids came early in the day and then John and his wife with kids came later in the day. I had given my Dad his card in the morning and asked him if I could take him to the Improv for his birthday but he wasn’t up for that. We chilled around the house for the day and I enjoyed having Mia hang out in my room with me. She used a hacky sack and my cane to play mini golf. Later on I decided to get Dad something since he wouldn’t let me take him out. I got a new jack for him because his is old and tiny. Well, I did a good thing for sure, but he wants even bigger – hahahahaha – boys and their toys. He traded it up for a big mama-jama and can now lift the house! I love my Daddy!
I spent several days running around from here to there test driving trucks and checking out trailers. Dad and I are on a mission to customize a V-Nose trailer into something I can call home. Simple, less expensive than other alternatives, and frankly more inline with The BROAD vision than some modern trailer. My brain has been going 100 mph on ideas, searching for equipment, talking to Dad about ideas, and going places. In my dreamer’s mind, I’d love to have the trailer and truck ready to roll by February 27th so I can head to Chicago for my grand daughter’s birthday party and a little visiting before heading off to Daytona. That is afterall my first event when I left the first time; why not start over there?
I found a cool deal on a F150 and Road King both traded in by the same guy, both pristine clean, and for an amazing deal; but ultimately the truck is not what I need to pull my load and the bike is not a priority just yet (but it was perfectly rigged and calling me because I’ve always loved the Road King).
I don’t know if I’ll have a bike by then but it doesn’t bother me all that much yet. My first priority is getting back on the road, the second priority is getting back behind bars. I have to be smart with the very few dollars that I will get for compensation. So, we may or may not have time to do what I envision by February 27th but I’m going to do my best. Current ice and snow in the Georgia area is preventing some of my running as they are not used to dealing with these conditions here.
For now, I leave you with the notion that The 2nd Leg is fully underway. If you have Pinterest, you may find neat some of the ideas in my category marked Trailers. And just for kicks, I’ll share the rough sketch I did for my trailer… it is ever changing, but fun to mess with…
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