So sorry folks, but here is another long one. It was a very busy six weeks and I actually left out some stuff and truncated this as best I could. If I leave too much out my pee brain will forget stuff when I have to edit this for my book.
Mom and I arrived in IL on Friday, June 10. I came in when I did because friends of mine, Pat and Sheryl were getting married. My sweet friend Kat and her roomie have a wonderful large home in Illinois and they welcomed my trailer with connections under their expansive carport. This came in real handy being I was there six weeks total and went through several nasty storms.
My first weekend home began with a quick visit with my son at his house. And then Mom and I went to Pat and Sheryl’s wedding. It was a lovely outdoor service just as unique as the love that Pat and Sheryl share. It was good for me to see Debbi and Ray, Pat’s parents; as well as meet some of their friends and family. My Mom said at one point, “I think I’m the only person here that doesn’t have a tattoo.” I just told her she wasn’t cool, shook my head and shrugged my shoulders in sympathy. (Giggles)
We went from the wedding to see Mark and Jen, dear friends of mine for over 13 years. We sat around shooting the breeze with them and enjoying family time for me, because that’s always how I’ve been treated there. From there we proceeded to Joe’s Bar in Joliet because I wanted to see Rodney and Adrianne. Mom and I hung out at Joe’s for a couple hours and actually saw a few other folks as well. The weather wasn’t making it a great day to ride so I got lucky and friends showed up at Joe’s Bar instead of fighting the weather to some of the main events in the area.
I always say that every day is a work day and every day is a vacation; I get more of one on some days than the other. Mom and I got to arrange a dinner with my granddaughter Kylee, her Mom, and my son. We went to Aodake in Romeoville. Dinner was good and we actually sat with a motorcycle family from the area. The gentleman whom I had never met at that point follows The B.R.O.A.D. ™ online. When I gave my name (Ursula) to the host, a voice from behind said, “Don’t you mean The BROAD?” I turned and met him and his family, what a treat.
The Lemont Car Show didn’t go off due to the weather, but many folks met at Stonehouse Pub all the same to catch up and say hello. We enjoyed great food, good times, and lots of laughter.
Mom and I woke up at a reasonable hour on Friday afternoon, I got some work done and then we got dressed to go meet Jennifer. Jennifer is girlfriend of my Rider’s Claw brother-in-law. Via FB she had offered me her 96 Sporty to ride until I find the right bike for me. This was a truly blessed offer since she had never met me before. I was a little nervous, not a lot; but super excited. I was concerned about the fit but after removing two pegs, I was able to make it work. It isn’t ideal for the type of riding I intend to do or for the body for a long period. But for the moment, I was riding thanks to Jennifer and Rider’s Claw for sharing my story with her. At first Jen and I just went around the block a few times to be sure I could do all the maneuvers fairly well. After several passes, we took off and cruised about 25 miles or so with my Mom and BB Girl following in my truck. It was quite liberating to be riding again. There are things I will have to continue to work on with footing, nerves, scanning my horizon, etc. so on, but it was all coming back to me and it felt great.
A lot of people are curious how I shift. In short, I pull up on the shifter with the back of my shoe heel and I down shift with the heel like everybody else. Only thing is, I don’t have full flexion in the knee so I have to scoot my butt back onto the passenger seat when I want to down shift. Though it’s holding up for now, I am curious how fast I might destroy my fake feet. They are a very firm rubber type of material but I think they will tear up over time.
We went over to Barb and Ken’s from Rider’s Claw after the test run and had a great dinner of fish that Ken had caught up north. It was a pleasant and fulfilling afternoon and evening with friends. Mike and Jen lead me on the motorcycle to the interstate and Mom followed in the truck. Burrrrr… sort of forgot how chilly Illinois summer nights can be. I had to stop and put my jacket on and we got stuck in parking-lot traffic on I-80 just a few miles after we got on so that was fun; but once we got through that, I really did enjoy the peaceful ride alone.
My son Nathan had his daughter for the afternoon on Saturday so Mom, BB Girl, and I went over to visit. We played in the yard for a little while and Nathan had to go to the DMV so we all piled in his truck and took off. After the DMV we went to Olive Garden to visit my sister-out-law Renee (neither of us are married in that family anymore, but we still share our love for each other and my love for my nieces and nephews). After lunch we went to Target because Dad promised Kylee a Barbie since his dog Dixie ate the head off her other one. Target was a riot for me because I had the kid in the cart and I took off. I wanted to get Kylee a coloring book that had simple counting, no math stuff just things to color and count. I couldn’t find anything in her age range for such and I said to her, “Kylee Rae, this is ridiculous.” She must have thought that word was fun because she said, “G’ma, it’s riduclalalala.” Well it made me proud first that she calls me Grandma without being told and then her kid like rendition of ridiculous just cracked me up. So naturally, I kept using the word and got her to show off to Dad and Great Grandma. That little booger made my day like you have no idea.
During the week days I still got my work done and did some planning for marketing packages we are now offering through The Road Hawgs network in both radio and magazine. So I don’t always goof off, but when I do, I try to make the best of it. Great pricing and opportunities, hit me up… (shameless plug – hehe).
My friends Maria and Bill had saw on FB that my Mom was fishing at some of our stops on the way to Illinois. They have a lake house in Indiana and invited us to come out for the afternoon. Maria was a beautiful host during the day. I worked on the pontoon boat while Mom fished. Mom however made a terrible booboo and when she folded up the pole after the last use, took it out for this use, she forgot to screw the reel handle back on. Well… plop… it went right in the water on the first cast. She finagled it for a while and then when Maria realized what happened, she jumped in the water and dug around with her toes and viola, she found the handle. Mom put the handle on the deck between her legs as she was already cast out. Some period of time later she caught and fish and when she set the hook, guess what? She bumped the handle and plop, in it went again. Maria tried again but without success the second time. Mom caught a lot of fish that day but when we paused to eat a wonderful lunch Maria prepared, she went back afterward for more fishing, only to realize the stringer of fish had disappeared. Those sneaky little fish had wiggled so much they must have loosened the stringer and took off.
After work Bill came home and us girl were still at it – working and fishing. It was then that Maria prepared dinner and we enjoyed a lovely meal together on the deck. Bill was teasing Mom that he had never met anybody that practices “group release”. Poor Mom, but all the same, she had a great day fishing and smiling so it was all good. After dinner we cleaned up, chatted a bit, took a picture, then said a prayer by my truck before Mom and I headed back to the trailer.
During any given week night there are car shows and bike shows in the Chicago suburbs and we made a few so Mom could meet some of my friends. She really enjoyed going to Mugz Hideout in Channahon, which I will forever refer to a Big Basin. This is my favorite suburban sunset venue. My friends are wonderful people so it’s no surprise that they welcomed Mom and she conversed with many folks. This pleased me because I didn’t want her to feel left out, particularly when I’m running around trying to catch up with folks myself.
Again we got the chance to see my granddaughter; I was trying to get Mom (and me) as many visits as possible because this is the first time my Mom has ever seen her only Great Grandchild. We met Tina and Kylee in downtown Naperville along the River Walk. It was a gorgeous day and little Ayden came along as well. We all had a nice lunch and then Mom rested a bit in the truck as the heat and walking was getting to her a bit. I went along with Tina and the kids to the River Walk. We fed the ducks some crackers we saved from lunch and did a little splish splash in the water fountain. Again, I cannot tell you what it means to me when my precious love calls me G’Ma. This is because I don’t see her as much as I would like. Of all the sacrifices I have made to live my dream, missing my son and granddaughter is the hardest. She’s very young at this time and I pray that when she gets older she will understand. Granny will tell her of stories and adventures and I can only hope she will be proud of me someday. It is a treat when my son has her and they FaceTime me. Technology gives me a smile when that little face shows up on my screen.
My Mom and BB Girl flew back to South Carolina after being in Illinois for two weeks. I still had four weeks left on that visit and was desperately trying to find “the right bike”. That was a challenge given my physical needs and limited budget.
I rode Jen’s Sportster every chance I got. Some days however, the body said, “No thank you,” and I had to get around in the truck. I took some time to go to Throttle Fest to visit my Nailmaille family. They were setup as vendors and at one point Mike Munke and I went to get drinks and the bar tender said she needed help. Mike introduced us and I said I could help. She never did come back to me, but that would have been a great gig for quick cash. So it goes. Adrianne, Rodney and other friends showed up and we danced a while before I tuckered out and headed home on the bike. A long weekend began that day.
The next morning I woke and Lynn and Nick came to get me. We rode out to Marseilles, IL for the annual Freedom Run celebration. I was not ready to ride in the parade doing first and second gear for many many miles, so a bunch of us met at Joe’s Bar in Joliet to head out together. As always for Freedom Run, it was blistering hot. I was fortunate to meet many followers that day and enjoyed the tribute to our fallen troops. It is always a bittersweet event – fun with friends but at the cost of lost lives fighting to defend our rights. My friend Jen of Gnarly J’s sang the anthem and I was clueless that she sang, let alone so well.
My son rang me and said he had borrowed his friend’s motorcycle and was coming out to meet us. I was totally stoked to ride with my boy. I was at my limit on the heat and bailed on the friends that still remained; many had moved on to the next stop also because of the heat. I met my son at Fat Daddyz in Seneca; we caught up with some friends, several he knew and I learned later had either rode with or met at various places during the time I was away. I thought that was cool that my friends were taking in my son when they saw him out. From Fat Daddyz we headed over to Boondocks. It is a very short ride through town and I wasn’t all that emotional riding with him at that moment.
We again saw different friends and caught up. He and I sat on the grass by the river and enjoyed a cold beer. We talked of our lives and just generally enjoyed each other’s company. A buddy named Colin approached and gave kudos for my recovery and spirit to ride again. Colin has suffered major trauma to his leg and has been through many surgeries and injections. After a very long chat about the choice to amputate I believe he is in a better place in his mind and ready for his own amputation. (Similar to my friend Doug I wrote about previously.) It’s rather weird that I have helped three men choose to amputate their legs. I’m truthful with the pros and cons but I’m still not sure how I feel about talking people into cutting off their legs – weird.
Nathan and I said our good-byes and together we rode about 35 miles to Mugz/Big Basin. This is when it hit me… I was riding with my son again. At first we put the machines to the test in a long straight away; clearly that crotch rocket whipped the Sporty but hey, so it goes. My son is an excellent rider and being right next to him made me look up and once again say, “Thank you.” I had to fight back tears so I could see to drive, but I was riding with my son again. He pulled in tight next to me at one point and gave my right arm a gentle pinch. We both ride a tight line and have ridden together so much that we know what the other will do. With anybody else this might have scared me, but not my son. The smile on that man’s face might just have been as big as mine. This was a moment that just one year ago should not have existed. Save for the fact I did not stay dead for long, exacerbated by a missing leg, we didn’t know then that this day would ever come. Thanks be to God, I now have many more miles and smiles to go with my son.
It began to sprinkle on our way to Mugz so we pulled over to put our phones away and have a smoke on a country road. We donned our jackets and off we continued. By the time we reached Mugz it was raining pretty good. Many friends were there, some just arriving like us and some waiting out the rain. We ordered pizza for delivery and hung out for a while until the rain subsided. Eventually my son left to get his friend’s bike home and I certainly cannot thank Tony (my adopted son) for letting Nathan use his bike. My friend Shrek was going to follow me part way home and then head his own way. At a light halfway he said I lost all rear lights and thus he followed me the entire way as it was dark and wet. The day was magnificent and simply couldn’t have been any better (give or take the intense heat and rain – hehe).
On Sunday morning I woke early and nervously prepared to speak at the 10th Annual Biker Sunday. I knew some of my friends would be there but as the people poured in, I was utterly astounded and humbled that these folks came to support me. Chicago First Church of the Nazarene gave us all a warm welcome. Over the prior months I had written about half a dozen speeches and I hated them all. Some were too long and draw out, some were too much about me-me-me, and some just stunk completely. I decided to wing it. To kick off biker Sunday we had six motorcycles ride into church and right up the center stage – yep, you read that right – motorcycles actually running in church. I was invited to ride in with my friend Leroy (because I left the Sporty at home, due to the burnt out rear lights).
Pastor introduced me and I made my way up the stairs to the stage. Now during the morning as people came in I knew and greeted many friends and followers, but when I asked the crowd, “How many of you actually know me or follow me on FB,” the number of hands that went up made my heart drop. The numbers were amazing and as I spoke to the congregation, I testified that all those hands raised, are the hands that lifted me up during my most horrible time in life. With the faith of such people and the love they sent my way, I could never deny just how blessed I am. Lunch after the service gave me a chance to chat with some folks that never met me but had prayed for my recovery. Even a 13 year old boy chatted my ear for some 10 minutes and told me that when is 18 and out of school he is going to ride his motorcycle and come travel with me; perhaps not my youngest supporter, but so far my youngest most enthusiastic one. I saw the bikers off on their ride and bid ado to the kindness of Chicago First Church of the Nazarene, my FB stalker from church – John, and Pastor and his wife.
Two of my special girls Cheryl and Staci at church – Side note, it’s kind of cool when you can get a Jew to go to a Christian church. Now that’s some Staci love. She did tell John that she was not happy they only had pork for lunch. HEHEHEHE
Lynn and Nick followed me back to the trailer and Nick and I discovered that the tail light cover was cracked and we figured the rain from the day before had gotten to the hot bulb and popped it. Easy fix, new bulb, and that’s that. We then went to CC’s Grove to meet Dan and Shirley for Sunday steaks. It was a calm and relaxing visit just a few minutes away. No stress, no rush.
During the next week I had to get a lot of work accomplished and didn’t do much. I was able to meet my dear friend Bill; you may recall me writing about him a few months after my crash. Bill gave me my first long ride post-amputation (75 miles in Florida). He is from Illinois originally and was home for a visit. Go figure, during recovery we were 5 hours apart and ended up meeting 14 hours away. We went to Conrad’s HD because he’s a clothes monger and souvenir spoiler. We had lunch and had to say our good-byes. Other than that the only thing I did that week was attend the bike night at Joe’s Bar in Joliet. That of course is always a blast with lots of bikes and lots of friends.
On that Saturday my son got his daughter again and we took her to the Kid’s Fishing Derby in Oswego. My former boss and owner of Land O’Lakes Tackle, Co. put on this derby for the kids. In part I went to get tackle to share as a thank you for Bill and Maria and naturally to have some fun with my granddaughter. While there I met an incredible young man that is doing a 48 state tour of the country on horseback. (And I thought I had a rough ride…) He is doing this for a children’s charity which sadly I cannot remember the name. We visited and pet a bunch of critters, but Kylee would have nothing to do with the snakes. She ruled the bounce castle for a long time and then decided she wanted to play in the water. Yet again, I enjoyed every moment with those two loves and was sadly disappointed when the day had to end.
I have a nomad biker friend named Don Wood that has lived on his bike for probably more than 20 years. He typically winters in the south where he is from but otherwise, he lives like I used to live… where ever he can. Don however, being a guy and a less of target often gets to stay behind bars with his tent and bike. Don was in Iowa building a barn for cash and we had scheduled to meet for a bit before he headed to the Beartooth Pass Rally. So Mr. Wood came to stay with me at what he called, the Hillbilly Hilton. For those that followed my journey pre-crash, you will remember some of my “bath” pictures in truck stops, rivers, and water spigots at forest preserves. Well, Don never once stepped foot inside Kat’s home while he was there three days, but he got one heck of a great shower one late night. We went outside as a storm kicked up and shared stories with a couple big kid drinks. As the rains poured the gutters overflowed with warm summer rain water. Don took out his shower kit and whipped off his shirt. He got a scrub-a-dub in and that my friends, is how you get a dirty biker clean. We rode the next day with a few of my very closest friends to the Kankakee River. We all brought our picnic lunches and sat in the preserve sharing stories and smiles. On the way home we stopped at Stonehouse in Lemont, one of my most favorite spots as it is just a half block from my old apartment. Don had to make his way to Milwaukee to visit Kat Hammes, the One Legged Blonde and some of his other friends.
I was preparing for a July 4th weekend with my very best girl, My Wife as I call her. We took her convertible VW to Michigan and stayed at cabin there. We made our way to the beach on our first full day and let me tell you, I am no longer a fan of the sand. I cannot walk worth a hoot in sand and it is actually painful to try. For some amputees this is not so hard because they have full flection in their knee, I however do not. When you have the best friend in the world, she does not care if, “we look gay”. We had to go to the washroom and it way down the beach, I mean way down. Meg let me hold onto her arm and I used all my strength and much of hers to stay up. Once we reached the water’s edge it was a little better because it was not soft but packed. I had to stop several times to rest, and when we were in-line with the washrooms she again held me up. I truly felt crippled on that beach but my friend made me laugh on the excruciating walk and she took care of me. We opted for the sidewalk to return to our place; just as long but at least it was level ground. It wasn’t much longer and I was ready to go, Meg knew it and fetched the car.
Each night we enjoyed dinner and campfire, catching up and making plans for our meeting in Colorado in the coming August. On our second full day we went into town and did some window shopping, tooled around an art fair, and had lunch at a lake side bar. The day prior had put a hurting on me and though I powered through this day, I was not able to muster the energy to attend the fireworks in the evening. Meg did not seem overly hurt by this and I was thankful I had ruined anything for her. We drove back to the Illinois and though I had been gone for some time, it seemed like not a day had passed. She is the kind of friend that tells you when you are being a total retard and you’re glad to hear it. This woman dropped her life and work to come to my bedside when they weren’t sure I’d survive; now that’s real love from a real friend. I never saw her in the hospital. She helped Nathan and helped Larry with my bike and even coordinated afterward to get my laptop to me with another friend after she got home. But when they knew I was going to be alright (well, at least live) she had to get back to work. She called and checked on me almost daily. She has been that rock I could always rest upon for the past 14 years and my life would not be complete without her. Bring on Colorado in August; I miss My Wife.
I got yet another chance to visit even longer with Jen and Mark as well as the kids that time. Young Markie and little brother Victor changed the oil in my truck while Jen gave me a long overdue massage. Afterwards dinner was made and the Mia, Victor, and I played a little trace your leg game. My wise-guy Rider’s Claw brother Ken, said my trace looked like a beer mug and wine glass – he’s a dork but I love him.
And I also got an even longer visit with my sister-out-law Renee and my four nieces and nephews. Renee made some amazing Mexican food and we all sat on the deck for hours catching up on the kid’s college and high school interests. We recalled days gone by of family foolery and enjoyed a lot of smiles.
During all this time I was actively looking and testing bikes off and on. I had three HD dealers and amazing salesmen on the task. I highly recommend Jim Plotke of Conrad’s HD, Mike Fields of Phantom HD, and Randal Gallegos of Chi-Town HD. At this point however, I was running out of time if I wanted to leave Illinois with my own bike that was the right fit. I did have one outing to Phantom HD where friends went along for the ride.
One evening Lynn sent me a text. The boy living in her house had a Dad selling a 2004 Heritage Softail. He was on hard times and had to get rid of his baby. After the Peotone Swap meet on my last Sunday we went to meet Mark Fink. He was a little apprehensive to let me test drive the bike when he saw my leg, but I pulled on a bike and Lynn and Nick reassured him. I just said, “I’m not buying a bike if I can’t test it.” Maybe that was little forward, but it all worked. Nick went on the test run with me while Lynn stayed behind with Mark (we really left her as collateral). The bike was an amazing fit. The heel/toe shifter was a dream and I could stretch my leg without it falling numb. The seat was squishy and deep set making the spinal nerve damage so much more bearable. It was an amazing bike but he wanted more than I could offer.
Despite having a long day already and riding that Sporty puts a hurting on the leg, I had been so busy that I had not yet met up with Laurie and Steve, so I absolutely had to make the trip. I took the back to the trailer and jumped in the truck. I headed north to see some great folks that have been a huge support and wonderful friends through thick and thin. We enjoyed pizza, beer, and a whole bunch of foolery. Mike Hough showed up and I even got to meet more of Laurie and Steve’s family. I can’t remember why I threatened to kick Mike’s butt, but he made me crack up when he said, “I can run faster scared than you can mad.” From their front yard we had a wonderful view of the fireworks from the fest that weekend. After several hours, I simply had to get some rest and made my way home.
The next day I had some help from some phenomenal friends: Loren, Nick, Lynn, Meg, Art, and Lauren all came out to help me with some home improvements. Mainly we got the wheel chock in as it seemed I might be carting that Sporty around with me. They took out the security light that was a total waste and put in an outdoor outlet. We secured the material I previously had pinned to the ceiling. The boys really did most of the work except the ceiling where we all sweated our butts off to hang and adhere. And lastly they did the trim after the ceiling was done. During the time the boys worked hard us girl chatted and made dinner on the grill. It was getting late and a lot of work had been done, we said our good-byes and for most of them, I wouldn’t see again for quite some time.
I had to get my truck’s compressor fan replaced because the AC didn’t work at a stop. I went to my dear friend Larry’s shop and the parts were a pain in the neck so I was there most of the morning and afternoon. I worked on my laptop and waited around but I was fortunate to see an old friend of his that had come in for a funeral. Kelly, her baby and her husband had stopped in. Kelly and I had a bit of rough go way way back when Larry and I dated. She since gave me well wishes on my recovery and we both have grown a lot over the years. I was truly thankful to receive her hugs and to meet her beautiful men. Time does heal some wounds and I totally appreciate that we both know that. Larry is extremely special to us both and we can share that now.
On that Monday, while I was at Area One Motorsports, Larry’s shop, I called Mark back; the guy with the Heritage. I told him of my concerns about the missing title and what I was prepared to offer. He said he would sleep on it and try to find the title in storage. I was not holding my breath because this bike could bring far more than I was offering.
I had only 3.5 days until I had to leave Illinois and make my way to Minnesota for the 2nd Leg Memorial Run which would entail the path I took on the fateful day I almost lost my life and did lose my leg.
I relaxed for the most part and organized, yet again my truck and trailer for the departure. I am OCD for being clean and tidy and Lynn made fun of me every time she would visit… “You are such a slob she would tell me.” Bahahaha – In fact I have already worn out the first broom I bought when I started living in the trailer five months prior. I installed the AC that I ordered from Home Depot because it was getting hotter and hotter and I still had to get to Sturgis. Oh man does that sucker freeze me out, YAY!
It was Tuesday when I was working at home when Mark with the Heritage called me. He said that he had found the title and that after Lynn told him my story he went online to “check me out”. He said he had a higher and even though this man is in dire straits, he wanted me to have his bike. I couldn’t believe my ears. All of a sudden I was scared to death and excited at the same time. I now had to load and unload this big ass bike into the trailer all by myself. I’ve only ever loaded/unloaded my Sporty once. And the Heritage has so many bells and whistles I was fearful of all the extra electronic crap that could go wrong. Now I have another vehicle to insure and maintain. I just don’t know how long I can do this journey in this fashion. Nonetheless, I have been scared before, I have been poor before, and I have survived. This was my chance to live again. I quickly scrambled to make arrangements with my bike mechanic to have basic maintenance updated. I got my friend Brent to go with me the next day to make the deal and get the title and plates handled. Lynn and Nick would be the address for registration and would handle the paperwork once I was gone. We all met at Stonehouse for a celebration and so some other friends could check out my new ride.
On Wednesday another friend went with me to L&L Cycles to see Uncle Bob. He was affectionately named this when I had my Sporty. He always wanted to blow up that Sporty because whoever customized it did a hack job. But somehow or another, Uncle Bob got her in tip top shape and she was a work horse during the six months we toured with not a single mechanical problem. Uncle Bob is one of the most handsome bike mechanics ever ladies, so if you need some eye candy while you get your bike serviced; you’re going to want to visit him. If you’re lucky it will be hot as hell and he may be shirtless. He hates when I do that… hahaha. Bob extended the toe portion of the shifter, changed the engine and primary oil as well as oil filter. He adjusted the headlights properly and put on a new rear tire, rear rotors, and rear brakes. I got the chance to say good-bye to Miss Felony his doggy. I have always loved that little beast and since I left in February 2013, she has since gone blind and has diabetes requiring two shots daily (this is why Bob cannot attend the 2nd Leg Memorial Run as he would have liked).
That evening I got to see my son one more time. I let him drive my new bike and he thought it was “comfy”. I’ll make a Harley man outta that kid yet.
On Thursday Lynn followed me on the Sporty to return it to Jen up north. I got to say good-bye to my big brother Ken from Rider’s Claw as Jen works for him and that’s where we met. Funny thing though, I kept the key. Yep, didn’t even realize it until I got home and went potty when it fell out of my pocket. Had to mail that puppy back ASAP. I felt a little bad though because the ride there was so long I left her with little gas and of course it was covered in bugs by the time I got there. Sorry Jen. The Sporty served me well and I got to ride a lot with my son and my friends, so for that I’m ever thankful. Lynn and I got lunch and headed back to the trailer. She helped me do final packing and though I psyched myself out at first, I got the Heritage in trailer with no real issues. Later in the evening, Nick wanted to say Ciao (they don’t say good-bye in their family), so he and Lynn came back for a quick visit. I spent that evening inside the house with Kat and Loren. Kat loaded me up with all sorts of goodies: dish soap, paper towels, lotion, foundation, and so on and on. We had a great visit and I actually went to bed before 10pm for the first time that whole trip.
In the morning, I left the house at 6:15am and most folks know I hate mornings. I was meeting some friends at Conrad’s HD to take off for the trip to Minnesota where we would enjoy the 2nd Leg Memorial Run. Bill Gade of Tour on Two, Inc., was the point man for our journey that day. Five others met us to ride part or all the way.
My visits home are always exhausting, yet so full of love that I sleep in peace. I did not get to see all the special people in my life because life is simply chaotic. What I can tell you is that even though Illinois is not where I am from, it is where my heart feels at home. Illinois is where I got back into riding, it is where I created a magnificent riding group full of great folks, it is where my son and granddaughter call home, and it is where I have the largest concentration of pure love. Many people have helped me overcome and they are to be thanked, but my people in Illinois never take a thank you because that’s what friends are for. To my amazing loves that I leave behind in Illinois, you ride with me and in my heart every day. You have helped make me who I am today. God Bless us all and I look forward to seeing you all again; some on the roads of this great country for meeting we have already planned and most when I return home again. Stay amazing and know that I love you all.
Until I share the 2nd Leg Memorial Run story, I wish you all Peace, Hugs, and Pipes that Rumble (TM).