Sometimes you just can

September 8, 2003

Sometimes you just can’t stop whacking yourself with whips and chains long enough to remember why you started whacking yourself in the first place.

I quit working in the corrections bureau in Washington State so I could ride more. I found myself tied into an abysmal family business with no hope or relief. I quit the family business and went back to college so I could get a job that paid better and so I could ride more. I found myself working 80 hour work weeks and on the road 80 percent of the time. So now I’ve taken the next step. I’ve moved out of the beloved and majestic Rocky Mountains. I’ve tripped my way across the country and found myself located at the very southern tip of Lake Michigan in Indiana. The horror and mystery continues.

It all started a long time ago with the siren call of miles on the road. Everywhere I ride is a hundred miles from feet up to feet down and no less. I like it that way. Some place in the dark and dingy remnants of my soul is a motorcycle rider. I am a person who likes to transport over the roads on as little as two wheels. That wasn’t happening and life kept intruding on the enjoyment of the blessed worship of motorcycling. My rides are a retreat for my spouse and myself. This is how we escape to our own solitude and enjoy each others company at the same time. We actually like to ride together. In the end life intrudes in unexpected ways and manipulates us through fate and fancy as if molesting us for fun and fortune.

An economy that is spiraling downward into the sewer of history. A spouse who’s company is intimately involved with that downward spiral. My career that has seen a single organization cut to one eighth its original size. It is time to make a change. So Sydney and I did. We cut the ties with the enthusiasm of nothing to loose. My boss told me that nobody’s job was safe. We made a counter move. Sydney’s company laid off half the development staff we moved another piece across the board. My company put me on the road. Slide the pieces across the board further and deeper into the unknown. Our blended family is threatened to be shredded on the altar of the court. Counter move and advance again.

Further and further into the morass of pain and unknown. We shielded our four children as much as possible from the pain. We took into account my parents who have helped, guided and been invaluable as assistants. Finally Sydney was laid off from her job along with the rest of the developers. Jobs within the Springs for the most talented are few or none to be found. We knew that would be the case, and as planned we picked up and moved. Wagons EAST!.. We were mountain folk on the prowl for a new home. Two of the huge moving vans packed with stuff.

Imagine a 26 foot van pulling a 6’X 12′ trailer with a K1200LTC in the back. Tied down like a bug in a spider web that sucker fell over 7 times between the Springs and Indiana. Dripping sweat in 100+ degree weather I bench pressed that bike off the floor of that trailer seven times. At the same time the riders of the Iron Butt were leaving Missoula. I figure I had the easier time of day. I still hurt.

Imagine another big moving van. Imagine another day on the road. Finally I find myself at my new job. Here I am tenure track faculty at Purdue University Calumet. Sydney has a lecturer position. The money isn’t nearly as good as what I was making before. Then again a lot of people talk about chasing dreams, being with their family, doing the things that count first, and working and worrying about money second. I made the move. I’ve ridden the bike every day since the move. My kids are in awe of the schools they attend. My youngest boys remember who I am rather than ignoring me when I get home. I’ve got the bikes unpacked and ready to roll at a moments notice. Life is good. Checkmate.

Best part of the deal is my spouse and I will have time to ride together and next time that big ride rolls around WE will be ready to ride. Here I am sitting in my nice little office. The bike is patiently waiting for me to make the ride home to Porter. Each time I make a life change I seem to get lucky and find it a better life around the corner. This is going to be great.

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