Hi and sorry for being inconsistent with my posts - just one of my a.d.d. challenges.
Reporting from a Super 8 in Walla Walla, WA where after two nights tenting it at the BMW motorcycle rally (like a Woodstock (kinda)) needed a good night sleep and a washer and dryer so I could do some wash. Now have clean clothes - how about gratitude for clean clothes?
As life unfolds, the day I arrived to pick up my bike in LA, I was having lunch at the Apple Pan with Chippie, my sis in law and my cell phone was vibrating. The call was my cousin Gary, calling from his home in Kauai, to say his older brother Ron had passed away. Little did I know, Ron was THE pioneer of BMX bicycle racing. Here's a link if you want to know more:
Now I'm faced with a mental dilemma - do I cancel the second leg of my trip to Oregon or do I stay in LA and attend the funeral? I did some quick thinking and reflecting and decided not to attend the funeral - now I'm feeling guilty, the price I'm paying for being selfish and choosing my agenda over being supportive to my uncle and Ron's two brothers and extended family. I did pick up the phone and call each family member. I did visit Ron when he was trying to recover from his surgery, which was painful because after the surgery, he was never the same as before.
So, this is a burden I'll have to sort out as time goes on. The burden of selfishness. I need to take a look in the mirror on this one - I recently was upset when a relative living on my route to OR wouldn't take the time to visit me for a cup of coffee but didn't I do the same thing by not attending the funeral? I'll have a few more days on the road, riding in solitude to continue processing this.
Ron loved bicycles and motorcycles. He was THE one person who lit the fire in my soul of the joy and excitement of riding on two wheels. Besides motorcycles I love bicycling - I just love being on two wheels and leaning around corners, the wind in my face and the smells along the way. As a kid, I'd ride on the back of Ron's small Honda 50 and Bultaco to a place called Baldwin Hills, via the railroad tracks. I'd get off and watch him and his friends ride up the hills, take jumps and pop wheelies. Ron showed me how to use the clutch and shift gears. He was really a nice, gentle man with a very big heart.
In the past two years, I've lost some very dear friends. A best friend died at 51 of Leukemia and it was sudden. My first client's son, my age, was shot and killed by a disgruntled employee. My childhood best friends mom, died last week. A very, very nice caring client, who comforted me when I was having some major challenges with one of my kids, died two weeks ago after a big fight with ovarian cancer. It's sometimes tough being the survivor. One of my dad's WWII buddies in MN passed away last week at 89 - I really didn't want to tell dad about it.
But I guess it's "last person standing." Life is for the living and living is what we need to do. That's part of what this road journey is about. I've been travelling down memory lane - crossing roads I crossed a long, long time ago. It's really a great privilege to be doing this.
The time and distance is creating some loneliness to see my wife and kids. Soon, I'll be back home with the grace and willingness of my Higher Power. This trip has enabled me to get in touch with my HP and starting my day by giving thanks to Him for keeping me safe, sober and healthy.
I'll end with my travelers prayer as I get ready to embark on my journey, now heading towards Glacier National Park via the Lolo Pass. Wish me safe travels and good luck for my journey today!
Travelers Prayer: May it be Your will G-d, our G-d and G-d of our fathers, that You should lead us in peace and direct our steps in peace, and guide us in peace, and support us in peace, and cause us to reach our destination in life, joy, and peace. Save us from every enemy and ambush, from robbers and wild beasts on the trip, and from all kinds of punishments that rage and come to the world. May You confer blessing upon the work of our hands and grant me grace, kindness, and mercy in Your eyes and in the eyes of all who see us, and bestow upon us abundant kindness and hearken to the voice of our prayer, for You hear the prayers of all. Blessed are You G-d who hearkens to prayer.
Below is a link showing pictures of parts of my journey so far. States crossed: MN, IA, NE, CO, UT, CA, OR WA. States to go: ID, MT, ND, WI, MN