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152 Miles.

Seems a paltry amount considering the thousands upon thousands of miles we put on our Goldwings, does it not?

Compared to the 500 miles I drove in a cage last night to get home so I could go to a job interview tomorrow, it seems like a walk around the block.

But how things can change in just 152 miles...

How your view of the world, life, people, and problems can change.

I'd decided to come home a day early in order to take care of some things that had been neglected, things that had to be taken care of in person, and on weekdays, but couldn't be due to being away. One of those things is going to Hastings (about 60 miles southeast for those of you not familiar with the central Nebraska map) to close a bank account, and to pick up 2 watches from the jeweler who was able to repair one (1968 Rolex Datejust) that had suffered from a loose hand, the other, the Gold Seiko that my father received in 1975 as a 20th Anniversary gift from the television station he worked at that I had already been told could not be repaired. Never mind that I took a working Seiko to the guy to get a new crystal and somehow while he had it, the movement became destroyed.

Got in around 2:30am or so, exhausted, hungry, and dreading today's activities. It was about 4:45 when Gina's dog (Little black Pomeranian who is about 12 years old) finally stopped pestering me to pet him and let me go to sleep.

9am the alarm goes off, and it takes all my willpower to not smash the obnoxious sleep killer to bits just to shut it up. Just about to drift back to dreamy-dream land when the [email protected] dog, the same one that wouldn't let me go to sleep, steps onto my back and makes it clear that he wishes to visit the great outdoors...PRONTO!

I grumble at the inconsiderate bag of fur as I'm pulling on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. All I want is some sleep! Yep, my day began with me in a pretty foul mood.

Step out the door into the skull splittingly bright sunshine, realizing that some moron left my sunglasses locked in the car...I'm going to fire that guy I swear...and suddenly realize that not only is it skull splittingly bright out, but it's also kinda'...warmish!

Hmmmmm!

An idea hatches!

The one piece of local business I have to take care of, I'm already late for (so I guess I can begrudgingly thank the inconsiderate bag of fur's bladder for the fact that I wasn't TOO late), so I drag a comb through most of the knots in my hair, jam on a hat, jump in the car, find my sunglasses right where the afore-mentioned moron left them, and head to the tax assessor's office to pay our property taxes...planning to return.

Upon return I grab the air gauge from the glovebox of the car. Tires, check! Suspension, check! Good thing too because Gina's daughter happens to have my key to the shed containing my air compressor with her since she's been taking care of the animals in our absence.

In the house, I can already feel the tension starting to lift a little, to the closet. Out come the boots, the chaps, the jacket, the cut, the helmet. Check, check, check, and CHECK! Tie the hair back in a tail to keep it from knotting itself to the point of needing to be cut off, grab the key, GPS, fuzzbuster, and the leather get-back that hangs from my clutch lever and out the door I go.

As I'm ambling down the stairs from the porch, it occurs to me that the same moron who left my glasses in my car also failed to plug the trickle charger in on the bike the last time I rode it sometime around the first weekend in October, I mutter under my breath that if the bike doesn't start, that S.O.B. will DEFINATELY be fired right after I'm done striping his hide with a bullwhip.

Put everything in it's proper place, hit the key, pull the choke, hit the switch, and Precious purrs to life before completing one revolution on the starter. Ok, the moron can stay awhile longer...And I actually feel some of the weight of the world lifting from my shoulders as I feel the smooth vibration, I can almost hear her asking "Where ya' been Dad?".

I also notice that the moron managed to fill the tank before I parked the bike, so I don't even have to bother with stopping. The moron's job is again nice and safe. He does that you see. He'll get the important things right, it's the minuscule irritating things that he forgets, but it's the important ones that cause me to keep him around.

I choose a path from Kearney to Hastings that takes me winding down country blacktops, avoiding traffic, people, the interstate, preferring cattle, combines, and grain wagons for company. Freshly harvested farm fields and trees turning the colors of fall for my scenery. The fresh air filling my lungs, and pulling the stink of the big city I left yesterday out of my pores, with each passing mile the weight on my shoulders becomes less and less, and my mood improves exponentially.

I arrive in Hastings. Strange, when I left home I was ready to walk into a bank in which I was closing an account and cut a rather wide swath, then walk into a jeweler's shop and cut a wider one...now, all I want is to just close an accout and pick up my watches...which is precisely what I did...Along with having a little fun while I'm at the jewelers.

While the jeweler is putting my dad's watch back together (he'd left it apart to show me everything that was wrong with it), I hear the beep from my cell that tells me I missed a call...From Gina, who is still in Tulsa. The last time I saw her, she had a tear in her eye, and a sort of choked warble in her voice because I was leaving, and the sound of her extremely chipper voice when she answered the phone sealed the deal for me...no more bad mood today...but why so chipper? She tells me that she spoke with her doctor this morning, and that she has 12 radiation treatments and 2 chemo treatments left and she gets to come home! That's 2 weeks! Of course there will be day trips back for periodic checks, but SHE GETS TO COME HOME IN 2 WEEKS!!!

But I digress. While the jeweler is in the back room, I'm left alone in the showroom. Nothing new, happens most times when I'm there and he's working, when in walks an older couple. I'd guess mid 70's, apparently married for around 50 years, they both know their roles..he approximate 1 1/2 steps behind her as she breezes through the door he's holding open for her. Good man. The look that comes over their faces as they walk into the store and look around. Imagine it. You're 70+, taking your wife to the jewelers' to buy her a new trinket, you walk in and the only person you see in the whole store is...

6'3" tall, 285lbs, and dressed from head to toe in leather...a biker, alone, in a jewelery store with $50,000 to $60,000 worth of merchandise sitting around just WAITING. LOL! As grandma clutched her rather large purse to her chest, and grandpa became glued to her hip, I smile my nicest used car salesman smile and say "Howdy folks, let me get you some help". To the couples' distress, I walk around the counter, poke my head around the corner of the workroom "Tim, you have a couple customers out here" "Be right there, just need to get the back on this watch and I'm done". I turn, smile again "He'll be right with you folks, feel free to browse around" Inside I'm doing everything I can to keep from busting out laughing.

One watch on my wrist, one in the trunk, 2 old people who probably believe they were transported in their sleep to Bizarro Land, while laughing about it all, I decide to trek North, it's about now that I notice that I'm still hungry from last night. Let's see what I can find to munch on in Grand Island! Call up my "mother" to see if he's gone to lunch yet, and he'd just come back...so much for having a lunch partner, eh?

Up the road I go, the world again spinning away to the fresh air, the sunshine, the cows and combines...And what the hell is a crop duster doing out today? There's no crops left in the fields to spray! Oh well, it's still cool to see them flit across the road ahead of you less than 100' off the deck...no matter what time of year.

Roll into Grand Island, by now, no matter how good a mood I'm in, my stomach isn't. In fact, it's asking me if someone managed to cut my throat, and suggesting that I chew the foam grips off the bars to hold me over if I can't find some food. Hit the first Runza I see...Hey, it's better than McDonalds!

The beast slaked, back to the seat I go for the lazy looping trip home, everything feels brighter, happier, better. I get back into Kearney, and I'm in such a good mood that even the old bat in the Cadillac that began to pull out in front of me, saw me at the last second, and stopped DEAD in my line couldn't cause me to curse...Just looped lazily around her front fender, smiled and tipped her a polite, 5-fingered wave and motored my happy butt on home.

152 miles...

An inconsequential amount, a walk in the park for the most part, but 2 cities, 15 towns, a dozen or so combines, 3 or 4 grain haulers, 1 crop duster, several hundred cattle, my trusty birthyear Rolex back on my wrist, $50 in my pocket, a double mushroom and swiss with a large onion ring in my belly, first time on my ride in a month and a half, 1 older couple who have had their jewelery buying experience traumatized by a leather-clad road warrior type, and one old woman in a Cadillac who probably nearly had a heart attack when she realized she was about to eat a headlight for afternoon tea...and best of all, FANTASTIC news from Oklahoma.

152 miles...

I need to do this more often.
 

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Glad to see you got the old juices flowing again, at least for a little while.

:cool::cool::cool::action::action::action::action::action::action::action::action::action::action::action::action::action::action:
 

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Sounds like a very good 152 miles to me.
 

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Mike, nice write up on a grand afternoon.

Wish I could have been along to give you company on that ride.

One of these days :D
 

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Mike,

That sounds like a great 152 miles. Also great news of your wife. I remember when my wife's treatments were almost done. What a feeling. Good luck with the interview tomorrow
 

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Is'nt it great when great things happen when you least expect them.

One heck of a write up Mike. Felt like I did some of those miles with ya. Glad to hear things are turning your way.
 

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That's quite a story! Glad to hear the good news.

All the way through I was waiting for disaster to strike at 152 miles, real cliff hanger.

Glad it didn't.
 

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bro, thats great news on the misses:cool:glad your ride was AWESOME:action:

enjoy every moment with her bro. we only get one shot at life so enjoy every moment. enjoy your ride
 

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LMAO Babe!!!! Sounds like you had a WONDERFUL day!!! Sure wish that I could have been home with you today, astride "Precious" and snuggled up close to the most WONDERFUL man in my world!!!!! Dust the back seat off for me baby...I'm coming home soon and can't wait to be back in the saddle again!!!!! Love ya Sweetie...and I miss you terribly!!!!
 

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glad you are doing great! as i said we only get one shot at life so enjoy your life with mike. its time for you two to enjoy a long ride and hopefully sam and i will meet ya at montrose this year. if you guys get out this way please give me a shout.
 

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What can I say? Sometimes there is just NO replacement for a tank full of throttle therapy. :)
 

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Good news about Gina, and the ride sounds like just what you needed.
 

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What a ride will do for us, in so many ways.
 

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Sounds like a great day Mike. Glad you got some saddletime to shake off the cares of this world.

Gina, very happy to hear that the end of the treatments is in sight and that you are doing so well. You guys remain in my prayers.

John
 

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Good on ya, Buddy.... good on ya!

Good news about Gina, you're both in my prayers (which, considering my past life, is not that high an honor! :cheeky1:)
 

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Great story Mike & blessings to Gina.

I reckon we all understand the 'wing therapy', otherwise we wouldn't be here.

[I didn't know Nebraska had a 'middle'] :)
 

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Great story and congrats to you and Gina on the good news.
 

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A great story!! And it's good to hear the news about Gina and then see her post too!! I know the weather will soon get your riding days shut down, but until then I hope you can get out and have a therapy treatment as often as possible.
 
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