Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

it happened and yet God worked it out

It happened.
We drive older vehicles and have put on thousands and thousands of miles over the years. We have broken down a few times. Each time we could see the hand of God clearly making a way, providing what was needed, taking care of the details and getting us back on the road.  We have always made it home in the scheduled time frame.
Then it happened.
I was driving along when the check engine light began to flash.  I pulled over at the next exit. There ‘just happened’ to be a parts store right there.  However, they did not have a sensor so they sent us one more exit down.
As I was driving to the next parts store, we passed a Chevy dealer.   They ‘just so happened” to be open til 4:00 and had a mechanic that could work on our vehicle.
Wa-La the hand of God!
It was a spark plug issue.  However, after the test drive the car was still having issues.  Now he would need to start the long process of elimination and that meant waiting til Monday.  Curtis asked him what he thought it could be and agreed to have him replace that part.  (ca-ching)

Still thinking that we are going to be on the road, we patiently waited reading our books.  I was getting just a tad hungry.  🙂  We were looking at a long drive home as we still had 400 miles to go. It did not even occur to us that this wouldn’t fix it.

Then we got the news.  There was still an issue but the light was now steady instead of flashing.  Could we make it home?  The consensus was yes.
Then it happened.
Before the next exit there was a hill and the car was having none of that.  It sounded and shook worse than before.    So, we took that exit and made it into the hotel parking lot.
Now what?  It was Saturday.  All car rental shops were closed.  Car repair shops were closed.  We knew no one in the area.  We just sat in the car for a couple of hours.  I think we were both processing the realization that we weren’t going anywhere and now there was the real possibility of waiting til Monday to get it into a shop.
After seeing car after car pull into the hotel, we decided we better get a room.  It was as if God was saying, “What are you waiting for?  I provided a great place at an amazing price.  Now go get a room before they are all gone.”
We hadn’t had lunch and wouldn’t you know it – the hotel had warm cookies available.
But now what?
We weren’t going to make it home in time for services.  We weren’t sure when we were going to get home.  I couldn’t really think about what that could mean.  I just kept reminding myself that I trust God.  He will work things out.
 Before leaving on vacation, we had talked about what a blessing it is to be able to go on vacation and know that the church is in great hands.  However, this was not part of the plan.   We knew that Ed had just gotten back from an overseas trip and the weekend before was a very full one for Susan.  Yet, Curtis called Ed and Sunday services were taken care of.  Thank you doesn’t begin to cover it but I know God will reward them for their servants hearts.
Curtis also called Brian — you know 1-800-Brian.  He diagnosed the problem from 400 miles away.    Even though, years ago, he had told me to take away Curtis’ tools, he was confident that Curtis could replace this part – some housing unit thingy.  The parts store opens at 7:45.
So now it was time to order in pizza.  It wasn’t like we could drive somewhere and get food.  I must say Domino’s outdid themselves.  That was the best pizza and chicken!
1
I wish I could say that I was rock solid the entire time.  I didn’t freak out but  anxiety loomed just below the surface.  In my head, I knew it was going to be alright.   A few times, while at the hotel, I needed Curtis to repeat this to me.
  1.  We were safely off the road.
  2.  We had a place (a very nice place) to stay.
  3.  One way or another we would get home.
  4.  It was alright and  going to be alright.

God taught me even more about joy!

3

After a great breakfast, some guy gave Curtis a ride to the parts store.  When he went to put it on, it turned out to be the wrong part. However, even that was a God thing.  When Curtis had initially called to see if they had what he needed,  the guy assumed the wrong thing and told him they had it.
So, another trip to the store – this time one of the hotel workers took him.
When he went to exchange it, the computer said they didn’t have what he needed.   He explained to the guy and it turned out that their computer had the part listed under a wrong name.
Those of you who know my husband, know that working on a car is not even on his list of qualifications.  He is gifted in many areas, but vehicles are  not one.  (thus the 1 -800- call Brian.)
He did drop one spring, but as he stepped back and looked down – there it was.  Other than that, it went perfectly.
Now the test drive.  He drove to the parts store to have the warning light reset.
2
We were on the road again!
 It happened yet God worked it out.  We didn’t make it back in time for church.  Yet God took care of church!   I missed a Connections meeting with a great group of ladies but God got us and the car safely home.  Life is about the journey!    And the journey is much better when you trust God!
til next time
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March 21, 2017 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

rest – why does it take so much effort to do nothing?

 

my prayer

Almost 90 days ago I joined a book club on ‘Becoming the Woman God Wants Me to Be.’  It is a 90 day guide to living the Proverbs 31 life.  Donna Partow addresses most every issue from faith, to Godly habits, to healthy eating, to our body, to finances, to  dress,  to food, to household, to family, to ministry, to retirement, and to finishing strong.

In the beginning she writes — “He (God) has brought this book into your life at this particular time because there are certain things He wants to show you, lessons you need to learn………….you won’t be able to apply every lesson or implement every strategy .  That’s okay.  Let the Holy Spirit be your guide as He instructs you day by day.”

She was right.  There was no way I could do everything, nor did I feel the need to do everything.  It did cause me to think about areas in my life that I don’t generally give a lot of thought to.  So when our vacation time came around, my mindset was on rest.

Why does it take so much effort to do so little?  I have pretty much mastered the art of taking a Sabbath weekly.  Even so, there are weeks that I find myself once again needing discipline to not do that one little task or finish that one project.

Vacation – period of rest from routine

When was the last time you took a few days and did very little?

Some of our vacations are anything but rest.  However, this last one was all about rest – well mostly.

our song mmmmmore donutsgo babedonutsIt started  with a conference for Chi Alpha (which is a college ministry my husband leads) on Sunday – Tuesday.   We rubbed shoulders with a bunch of 20 somethings.

FYI –  I have heard a lot of chatter about the under 40 ministers.   Close to 90% of the people at this conference were under 40 – many of them in their 20’s.   From what I witnessed, they are alive and well and taking their mission field by storm!!

Sunday night was game night.  We broke up into six  teams. We were to create a Chi Alpha song to the tune of a Christmas carol. Here is our song to Away in a Manger.   We aced it.

The other pictures are of Curtis trying to eat 30 powdered donuts in like 2 minutes or was it 3?

 

We then spent two nights/ three days at a cabin – no charge.  What a blessing.

my view during my devotions

my view during my devotions

 

'a river runs through it"

‘a river runs through it”

hiking

selfie

selfie

towels

around half of them were done on vacation

around half of them were done on vacation

REST!

BOOKS!

HIKING!

CRAFTS!

From there we had no clear destination.   The agenda — rest!

The year is coming to a close.  Some of the busiest times of the year are up ahead.  For our family, there are a couple significant changes that will affect the upcoming holidays.  My mother passed away and our daughter-in-law chose to leave.   Life, however, marches on.

“Weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning.”  (Psalm 30:5)

Yet even as the Proverbs 31 woman can laugh at the days to come,  I too can and will laugh because life is worth enjoying.  Celebrating the little things as well as the big things is on my agenda.   After all God has clothed me with strength and dignity.  (Proverbs 31:25)

I trust God!

til next time

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November 14, 2014 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

timeshare presentation – waste of time?

Time shares

We are very familiar with time shares.  My in-law’s owned five.   We have enjoyed using their time shares over the years.

So when we found out that our trip included a time share presentation, we knew what to expect.

Upon checking into the hotel we were informed to allow two hours for this meeting.   We both looked at each other and smiled.  Two hours, really?  That would be nice as then we would have more ocean beach time.  However, we knew that it would be much longer than that.  Why can’t they just be honest?  sigh

From the moment we encountered our tour guide, I knew that this was no coincidence.  This was a divine appointment.

First thing we did was tell Yolanda that our mother had a time share in Florida that was ours if we wanted to take over the maintenance fees.  We didn’t  want to.   She would try to get us through this process as quickly as possible.  After all, the ocean was calling us.   From that point on the conversation shifted, but first we had to sit through an hour of group discussion and lunch.  While I think that this part of it could be illuminated, it did allow for chit-chat with our guide.

Even before Yolanda knew we were ministers, she began to share the trials she was going through.  A listening, caring ear was all it took for her to open up.   She would share burden after burden.   Right before our eyes we could see her countenance change as we encouraged her in the Lord.  Renewed hope is a powerful thing.   Before being handed off to the next guy in the time share scheme, we were able to pray with her.   All three of us recognized this as a God ordained encounter.    What a hug from God!

Yolanda did fulfill her job requirements.  We did take a tour of the facility.  Turns out the very one they were wanting us to buy into was Vacation Village in Orlando.  Our mom has a unit there that she has been trying to unload.    We have stayed at that very  unit.     We would still need to sit through two more sales pitches after Yolanda.  Even though my husband would tell them that unless it is free we were not interested, they would still push their agenda.

FYI – if you are interested in a time share —  my mother-in-law has one she will give to you just for taking over the maintenance fees.  Or if you are at a presentation and interested in buying –  hold out for the final pitch.    It just amazes me how it goes from $28,000 to $3,000.  For us, the yearly maintenance fees and the RCI fees to exchange are more than we want to pay for a week of vacation.

For us, we knew what to expect.  It took longer than the two hours we were told.  We also knew that God had an agenda that was greater than the time share corporation.    That presentation was not wasted time but kingdom time.

Yolanda – God loves you!!

til next time

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April 12, 2014 Posted by | ministry, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

beach run 2013

Recently we returned from our Beach Run 2013 trip.  With each trip my admiration grows for those who travel across the country by motorcycle.

Our trip  was amazing.  Our destination this time was Virginia Beach, Atlantic Beach and Myrtle Beach, but it isn’t just about the destination.  It is about the journey.

It rained going through the mountains heading to the coast.  Sunshine through the mountains on the way back.

taking a break - lots of rain in the mountains

taking a break – lots of rain in the mountains

on the return trip we even had a few tunnels - this one was also a huge curve

 return trip we  had sunshine and a few tunnels – this one had a surprise curve inside

Our older cycle with Iowa plates brought about  some interesting conversations.  One guy’s comment still makes me chuckle.  “You aren’t from Iowa are you?”    Or the comment, “How old is that bike?”

In my last blog I mentioned about ‘walking a mile in my shoes‘ and I guess that is why my admiration just keeps getting larger with each trip.  Before we took our first long trip up the North Shore in MN, my thoughts were about how cool it would be and just how much fun it was going to be.  It was all of that, but it was so much more.

With each trip I am getting an education.  I am finding out what I am made of.  Just when I think that I have a great endurance – the winds of OK and TX challenge that.  When I think that a little rain just makes it that much more of an adventure, I come through a torrential  downpour with my contact in my eye but not where it belonged.   I  now have a full face shield.

When we have topped over 450 miles in a day, I then talk with someone who puts in over 500 miles day after day.  Yes, my admiration grows.

My faith also grows.  Leaving the Grand Canyon last year, driving through barren land for miles with nothing – temperatures rising above 100 causing the heat to bounce off the black surface — yes my dependence on God and my trust in Him grew.  (To read about that trip – click here)    The bike just sailed through that barren land and purred through the mountains.

Miles and miles with nothing but the sound of the wind, the purr of the engine, the traffic sounds, an occasional conversation with Curt (we do not have mics) — gives me lots of time to think, pray and sing.

I have come to the conclusion that boredom must be a mind-set because not once have I been bored while  sitting very still on the back of the bike.  My son (Andrew) says that boredom is a symptom of the unmotivated.  Hmmm.

view outside our window at Virginia beach

view outside our window at Virginia beach

3 of the 5 nights at the beaches we had an ocean view -- 2 of those mornings I got up early enough for the sunrise - Gorgeous

3 of the 5 nights at the beaches we had an ocean view — 2 of those mornings I got up early enough for the sunrise – Gorgeous

 

got to enjoy the moon the first night at the ocean

the moon combined with the sound of the ocean – incredible

 

Myrtle beach -God blessed us with an empty lot right next door to our  ocean front view condo - the price was shockingly low - Thanks God!

Myrtle beach – God blessed us with an empty lot right next door to where we were staying.        Thanks God!

 

soaked it all in -- 3 oceans - each one a little bit different but the same ocean.

soaked it all in — 3 oceans – each one a little bit different but still the same ocean.

I have learned much about myself, about the man I married and about the God I serve (with all my heart) while riding on the back of our motorcycle.

To sum it up I have learned that I am a lot tougher than  I think and when it comes to ministry –  there are people, no matter how much they love me, who  still won’t understand the price that is paid.   In thinking about this I realize that God thinks outside the box 🙂 and brings along encouragement in surprising ways.

I have learned that the man I married is so much more than the guy I fell in love with all those years ago.  We are in this life together.  We are a priority to each other.

While riding the motorcycle I have used that time to cultivate  my awareness of the presence of God.  I see Him and His fingerprints all around me.  God’s goodness, His love for me, and His way of working all things out — I grow more and more in AWE of who He is.

til next time

June 8, 2013 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, motorcycle | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

perspective

Sometimes you just need a little perspective.

When you look at this picture what do you see?  The Jolly Green Giant of course.  He is huge!  How huge?  Well, his smile is 48 inches wide.  Now that is a smile!

If you look closely, you can see me standing underneath the jolly green giant.  I am as tall as his boot.

Perspective.

It is hard to see me because I just kind of blend in with the trees in the background.  Yet I am there.

Perspective.

Sometimes I think we  are too busy focusing on the thing that is looming in front of us that we miss what else is going on.

Recently we spent a day at the Grand Canyon.

I remember thinking how vast it was,  how small I felt compared to the enormity of the canyon, and how great is God’s love for me.

Perspective.

Yesterday we spent the day with my mom.  She is battling dementia.  Battling dementia now that is an oxymoron.   How did that phrase ever get coined?  She isn’t battling it at all.  I am battling it.  She is going with the flow.  She is focused on the here and now.  I am wanting my momma back.

Perspective.

There were times during our outing that the ‘old’ momma came out.  Dementia may be stripping her of her memory but her personality is still there.  She is still spunky.  She still breaks out into song.  She still wants people to laugh!  She still cares about people.

Yet her illness makes me feel so small.

Perspective.

I don’t want to spend another day distracted by the demands of life.

Perspective.

I am grateful that God gives grace for each new day and that my joy is not dependent upon outward circumstances but an inward relationship with Him.  “This is the day the Lord has made, I will choose to rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24 my paraphrase)

Perspective.

Yes, sometimes I need a little perspective.  Thank you God for the reminder that in everything I face, You are with me.  When life comes at me fast, You are an ever present help.  When I feel small, You are right there holding my hand.

Perspective.

til next time

September 15, 2012 Posted by | dementia, just thinking about stuff, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

the rest of the story

The conclusion – or as Paul Harvey used to say –“the rest of the story.”

After taking a few more stops to admire the beauty of the Grand Canyon, we found ourselves on a road appearing to go nowhere and certainly the one less traveled.

It was truly the open road with plenty of solitude.

We had over 400 miles to travel if we were to make it to Steve’s.

We would go for miles and miles and miles without seeing life of any kind.

The roads were very nice – great motorcycle roads but desolate and barren described the land.  There was no shade – probably because no trees could grow there, just plenty of  sun beating down and bouncing off the pavement.  The temperature was rising.  Later we would find out that it got up to 115 degrees.

In Iowa we have deer crossing signs, but here they have Cow crossing signs.

Sure enough there were cows along the edge of the road.

It was only after we had gotten almost to Colorado that we realized that cell phone reception was non-existence in much of that area.   I am sure glad that God is who we depend on and nothing stops that connection.

Another thing we like to do is find unusual places to eat.  This was by far the strangest pizza we had on our trip.  It was fantastic.  Only draw back was the restaurant was big on fresh air, open windows and walls (yes walls) and what we wanted was air conditioning.  It had been a hot ride on the bike!

Finally we cross into Colorado.  The scenery begins to change and we are almost to Steve’s house.

When we arrive we were treated to the best Lobster I have ever eaten.    If that wasn’t enough, Jozie also fixed bacon wrapped filet mignon.  What a feast!  It was great to meet Jozie and Olivia. It had been 25 years since the guys had seen each other.  It was a wonderful reunion! 

The next  morning was our 26th anniversary.  It was also the day we went through the mountains!  We were very grateful that the clutch had been repaired back in Oklahoma.  The bike was made to travel and it took the mountains like they were just baby hills.

Absolutely gorgeous!!!  Surrounded by beauty!!!  What an experience!!

Nebraska — getting closer to home.  We were certainly glad that we did not need gas when we stopped at that station.

Ole’s Big game steak house was well worth the stop.  The food was great and the big game was impressive. 

We also stopped to check out the Pony Express.  Yes this trip was also educational.  After all, I am married to a teacher.

Speaking of educational, this place was a wealth of information.  We live on the Lincoln Highway but it took a trip through Nebraska to learn about the history of that highway.  We could have used more time here.  There was so much to see.

We are almost home.  It has been 10 days, over 3,400 miles on 2 wheels.  We had days that were filled with wonder and beauty.  We had days that were a matter of endurance training.  I learned a lot about myself and drew closer to the one who loves me most.   There is just something about being up close and personal to nature that cultivates an awareness of  God’s presence.     Truly it was a trip of a life time.

As we were pulling into our town I told Curt that I just needed a shower and a night in my own bed and then I would be ready to go again.

I was born to ride.

For part 3 – Grand Canyon – click here

“and now you know the rest of the story.”  Paul Harvey

til next time

September 11, 2012 Posted by | motorcycle | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Grand Canyon – living the dream

2 wheels – just God, Curt and me— cruising down the highway — ltd!

Finally we have arrived.  We are less than 20 minutes away from the Grand Canyon.   We are both excited and relieved.   The reality has started to set in.  We really are here. In the morning we will see the Grand Canyon.

We have battled wind, extreme heat, torrential rain, sickness, and yet witnessed first hand God’s deliverance and protection.  There has been mile after mile of beauty, peace, and inspiration.  Truly we are living the dream!

(For Part 2 click here)

One of the things Curt would do every night  is wipe down the bike and look things over.  That night he happened to notice that there was more leakage around our final drive.  This concerned him so he felt he better check the level.  As it turned out he did not have the right tool.   He checked at the local gas station, the maintenance department at the hotel, and with other bikers.  No tool to be found.  No garage to be found.  Now what?

We are 20 minutes away…………… now what?

However, someone told him that there happened to be  a garage right in the Grand Canyon that would work on vehicles.  So we jump on the bike and head to the Grand Canyon.  First stop will be the garage.  He kind of – sort of knows the general direction of the garage.  It soon becomes evident that there are roads going here, there, and everywhere.  It is a huge place.

He decided to pull in and ask directions at the next building we see.  As he is turning into the parking lot I point out the small sign on the back of the building.  GARAGE.  We just happened to drive right to it.  What a way to start our morning.  (Oh and I am a firm believer that things don’t just happen; God is in control and He makes a way.)

It was a very good thing that we had it checked.  The bike was very very low on fluid.  They filled us up and sent us on our way.  How much did that cost us?  Nothing but a hand shake and  a “have a great trip” comment.

Finally, the moment we had been anticipating.

It is breathtaking.   It is all I thought it would be and so much more.

I don’t know what the North Rim is like but I can highly recommend the South Rim.

I bought a picture to frame because I knew my camera just wouldn’t capture the true beauty.  However, my camera does show that we were there 🙂

Absolutely awestruck at the magnitude and beauty of it all.  Much of the trail along the rim is paved.  We did go on some that were a bit more ‘natural’.

There is also a shuttle bus that will take you to points of interest where you can look and then get back on the bus or take the trail to the next point.

We also did go under the Rim. <– You can see the trail.

They warn you to be careful and to remember that going down is much easier than going back up.

Yes, it was everything and more!!  Truly exceeded my expectations!

It was kind of scary as the trail wasn’t as wide –  making the drop offs that much closer.

What a fantastic day we had.  Going under the Rim was the last thing we did.  Probably a good thing because otherwise I would have been tempted to go farther than we did.  As it was, we easily made it back up.

We  took the shuttle bus from the Bright Angel trail back to our bike.  On the way the driver noticed this fella.

On our trip we saw all kinds of wild life – some of it was very up close and personal.  Truly this was not Iowa.

The next morning we took off for Colorado.  I didn’t realize that we would have many opportunities to see the Canyon again as we drove out.

What a wonderful unexpected blessing from God that we were able to enjoy the Grand Canyon that next morning as we began our journey home.

We had over 440 miles to go on this day if we were going to be able to spend the night visiting with a dear ‘old’ friend – who served along side Curt in the Marines.  I knew he really really wanted to get there.  Neither of us realized just how barren Arizona and Utah were going to be.   Not to mention that the temperature was rising!

(the conclusion of our trip will be the next blog)

til next time

September 7, 2012 Posted by | motorcycle | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

living the dream

2 wheels and plenty of highway…….. living the dream……….

Part 2 – click here for Part 1

I thought the wind in Oklahoma was bad but it continued on into Texas.  Day four of a ten-day motorcycle trip finds us on the road by sunrise.  It was a beautiful Sunday morning.  The plan was to stop around 10:30 or so and locate a church.    However, by 8:00 the wind had picked up and was in full force.   I guess that is because there was nothing to stop it.

By 8:45 I am done.   The wind is so loud that I have to yell at Curt to take the next exit.    We pull into a gas station and I inform him that I am done.  I can’t do it anymore.  By this point the tears are flowing and I am angry.   The wind has beaten me.

The original plan was to buy t-shirts at the Grand Canyon.  Well, I was sure we had gone as far as we were going to go so I picked out Texas t-shirts.  After about 10 minutes Curt tells me that there just happens to be a chapel service starting in 5 minutes and we should go.  Sure I would go because I am NOT getting back on that bike!

I must have missed the first 15 minutes.  I was still pretty upset and determined that I was done.  Eventually I began to hear what he was saying.  He preached for 45 more minutes on the Grace of God.   He touched on every avenue of grace.  By the time he was done I was ready to get back on the bike.  Had the wind stopped?  No!  Did my head stop whipping from side to side?  No!  What had happened was that I accepted God’s grace.

2 Corinthians 12:9  “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

Texas was a turning point for me.   I can’t quite put into words what it meant to get back on that bike.  Then came New Mexico.  With a new attitude and one more state behind us things were looking up.

Here I am.  I have figured out how to battle the wind and the sun.  When the sun got to beating down on me too much my long sleeved light weight shirt came in handy.  I do kind of look like I could be about to rob a gas station but then you see the tiny flowers on the shirt.  LOL

We had great weather and clearly this was not Iowa anymore…………………………And then………..

the RAIN   Not just any rain.  We thought we were going to miss it.  We saw it raining and lightning  on both sides of us but  straight ahead was clear.  Then the road turned.   (sigh)

It wasn’t just any rain.  It was a downpour.  We just happened to be coming into a town when it let loose.  It came down so hard that the street flooded.   Drenched rat comes to mind.  Yes that is Curt  wringing water out of his shirt.

Finally, it let up enough for us to venture back out in it.  We got rained on a couple more times but nothing to compare to the  street flooding, torrential rain storm of earlier.

However, that evening found Curt running a temperature.   I don’t know if it was something he ate, or the fact that he had been drenched and then chilled earlier that evening, or maybe it was because this was the night to do laundry but he was sick.     He went to bed and I prayed quite a bit.  He needed to be better in the morning as I could not possibly drive that big machine.  Would we be stuck in New Mexico?

Sometime in the night I happened to notice his fever had broken.

It became evident to us that there were forces that were trying to destroy our trip but, in each and every situation God made His presence so obvious.   People were praying for us and we could see the results of those prayers.  With God there is no problem too small or too great.  No matter what we encountered, God was there making a way through it.

The next day we reached Arizona.  We  most definitely did a victory dance!
We were one day away from the Grand Canyon!!

to be continued

til next time

by the way, things don’t just happen –– God is always working things out.

September 3, 2012 Posted by | motorcycle | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

2 wheels and plenty of highway

10 days, 2 wheels, over 3,400 miles of wonder, beauty, challenges……

Much of the time it was wide open spaces, my husband, God and me. What a perfect combination!

Since we actually had a destination  – maps were helpful.

Curt likes maps.  This made for  free  souvenirs for him at the visitor centers.   Speaking of souvenirs, that is a draw back to taking the bike. Space is limited.

However, I still managed to bring a few things home.  Of course it helped that I threw away a pair of shoes that I had packed.   I needed the space.

We love ‘mom and pop’ motels.  Having been on the bike for quite a bit of the day we would find a quaint motel and then walk to supper.

As long as there was a/c, clean rooms , wi/fi, and hot water it was all good.

Everywhere we went it was the same story.  Very dry!  Green grass?  Not much –  if any.  Rivers were very low.

We did enjoy plenty of opportunities to travel on Route 66.  Here we are driving along side it.  Why we would go 45 maybe 55 when we could go 75 less than 50 yards away?

We were blessed to see some old friends as we passed through Oklahoma.

Due to the heat, we would get up early and be on the road close to sunrise.   The heat and wind would pick up as the day went on.  Hot took on a whole new meaning.

Day 3 –  found us in Oklahoma going up a hill when we lost power.  There just ‘happened‘ to be this extra cement slab on the other side of the shoulder.  We were able to get clearly out of harms way.  Good thing as it was a busy highway.

What to do while we wait for the tow truck?  Pull out our Louis L’Amour books.  Oh look there is even a place for us to sit.

There is an unwritten motorcycle code that states that it is just not acceptable to be on your bike and not stop if another biker is stranded.   That code is alive and well in Oklahoma. 

However, we had no clue what was wrong and so we called AAA.  One of the bikers told us that there was a Yamaha dealership at the exit we had just passed.   Hmmm, coincidence?

It is a busy Saturday morning yet the Yamaha dealership  just happened to agree to work on our bike as soon as the truck got it there.  HappenedCoincidenceNo, it was  God who was so all over this.

The problem was our fuel pump had went out.   The dealership didn’t have a fuel pump for our older model Yamaha.  They could have ordered one, maybe it would be in on Tuesday or Wednesday.  This was after all late Saturday morning.   Ah but what they did have was a fantastic mechanic that was able to do  some ‘southern engineering’ and modify a fuel pump they  had on hand.  (They gave us their business card so that the next time someone works on our bike they can call and talk to them to find out just what they did.)

Then the mechanic took it for a test drive and  he noticed that our clutch was slipping.  We would have no trouble on flat land but he knew we were going up into the mountains, that would be a problem.  Yes we got that taken care of too.  The price?  Very reasonable.  I wish they were located around home.

Being stranded on that road, on that day was truly a blessing from God.  Later there would be plenty of wide open spaces where we didn’t see another car or building for miles and miles and where there wasn’t cell phone reception.  Arizona and Utah have a lot of desolate land.

We were back on the road by around 2:30.   By this time it was hot and windy.  “Oklahoma where the wind goes sweeping through the plains.”   True story!  I was very glad to get to Texas.

Little did I know then that Texas was going to prove to be a turning point.

The wind was brutal.   I have a face shield but not a full face helmet.  The wind would catch underneath and whip my head.  It wasn’t just a gust now and then but it was a wall of wind that just didn’t stop.  I made it that first day in Texas.

But……………..

to be continued

til next time

September 1, 2012 Posted by | motorcycle | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

look for motorcycles!

Life is unpredictable……………plan on it!

I am married to a planner.  Make a plan,  be the plan and do the plan.   Yup, that is him.  I am sure it stems from his Marine Corps days.  You know, accomplish the mission and all that jazz.

So when I can get him to commit to a couple of days without an agenda…..  Well, ok, we kind of had an agenda.  We knew where we were staying the first night and I guess he  sort of planned out the rest of it but kept telling me that it was subject to change.   This is progress for my dear planner.

After work on Thursday we packed up the bike and   headed out-of-town.  Last year he got a big 5-0 birthday bash.  This year he got a couple of nights ‘out of Dodge’.

For his birthday dessert — Fried Cheesecake.  Some things just should not be fried.

Two and 1/2 days of rolling down the highway on two wheels.  The wind blowing in our face and the sun shining on our back!  Life is good!!   We would be traveling miles and miles on the winding river road.

Day 2 -Woke up to rain.  No big deal.  We weren’t in a hurry.  We opted to start out with our rain gear on.  It wasn’t long and we decided it was too warm for that.

What we needed was sunscreen.   It was a beautiful day.

We made it as far up as Onalaska, WI.

Yes, I do believe I was born to ride.  “Honey I’m loving this!”  was heard throughout the day.

We found a great place to eat.  Curt had smelt.  Eww, first fried cheesecake and now this.  I had chicken.  🙂 However, they have the best homemade bread there.

This picture doesn’t do it justice.  The sun was shining on the water in huge rays.  It was breathtaking.

Little did I know things were about to drastically change.  In my quiet time with God that morning I had struggled with some issues.  (You can read about that by clicking here.)

As we were coming down a steep hill  (you know the kind that they have a sign up for trucks to be aware of  the slope)  a van (on our right)  pulled out (turning left) in front of us.  Thank God Curt was watching him and realized that when he ‘glanced’ left he hadn’t seen us.

I felt the rear tire and thought for sure we were going to fish tale, hit the van, and/or be hit by the truck behind us.  (Curt told me later he would have put the bike down before hitting head on.  — Like that was comforting.)   None of that happened, which I know was the hand of God. It all seemed to happen in slow motion – just like the movies.  I think I could have slapped his van if I had wanted to. We were that close.

I know God protected us.   What I don’t understand is the way my body reacted the rest of the way home.  I found myself holding my breath on every downward slope.  Try as I may, I could not seem to stop from tensing up.    All the joy had been stripped away.  It was (and is still) devastating.  I don’t know that I will ever get on a bike again.  This makes me very sad.

“Dear Mr Van guy, You have no idea what your careless actions have caused.  You can and should thank God that today is just another day for you and that you don’t have to live the rest of your life with our blood on your hands.  Stop means stop!  And please next time really look!!  Motorcycles are out there.”

Life is unpredictable ……… I sure didn’t see that coming.

til next time

July 26, 2011 Posted by | motorcycle | , , , , , , | 4 Comments