Monthly Archives: September 2014

Gassed Up Adventure!

A full tank of gas promises unlimited adventure. An empty tank promises another kind of adventure. A kind that is more like orienteering your way through an alligator infested swamp than meandering through museums in Manhattan.

The gas gauge on my scooter isn’t always real accurate. Much like the speedometer. To know how much fuel I have takes a little bit of mental math. How many trips have I made since I filled up, and how long were they? It’s generally not too hard and I pretty much know how to interpret the gauge. And how far I can push my luck. If I open the cap of the tank and look in only to see that it’s bone dry, I put gas in it. On the other hand, if I can see even a drop I know I’m good for a few miles. Hadn’t thought about it much until the other day.

It was Tuesday and my regular day to go to my antique shop. Nice day, I’ll take the scooter. I looked at the gauge and it read full. I knew I’d made a trip or two. Short ones. I wasn’t worried. In a rush to get there I rode with the throttle wide open all the way. Burning fuel like there was no tomorrow. It was one of those rides where I pretend I’m riding a space ship.

Driving along I watched as the fuel gauge moved. Fast, and a lot. Dang. How far had those two trips been? Oh. Two round trips to work. Gulp.

By the time I got to the shop the gauge was looking like a quarter tank. That will get me home. It better. There are no gas stations between here and there. I poked around at the shop and finally got ready to ride home. I looked into the tank. A drop was visible. But I couldn’t remember going this far on that drop before.

All the way I took my time. A leisurely ride, more like a slow boat to China. You get a different feel for the road at a slower speed. And you can spend more time looking around at the scenery. I seemed to be the only one on the road so going slow was ok.

The gauge dropped into the red zone when I was still about ten miles out. This is where I knew I could go five miles. But what about ten? The traffic was picking up. I was having visions of running out of gas and having to push the bike to the house or a gas station. Even worse, I had visions of running out of gas and getting run over by a car as the scooter came to a sudden dead stop. Pushing was a better vision, but not up hill.

Finally I arrived at an intersection with two gas stations. Getting to one required a left turn across a busy intersection. The other was on my right. If I ran out of gas in the intersection making the left turn it could get messy. I took the chance and rolled into the station and up to a pump. When I opened the cap of the tank, yeah, right, bone dry.

Gassed up and ready to roll I was off on a new adventure. The rocket ride! That’s part of my story. What’s yours?


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The Missed Call


Some people wait all their lives for the big call. Sometimes it comes, sometimes it doesn’t.  For me, the real issue isn’t so much what you do when you get the call, it’s what you do while you’re waiting for it.  You can’t get that time back. 

I’ve seen talented kids move from school to school looking for a better team to play on to enhance their athletic resume. Only problem is that better teams have better players and this talented, mobile kid is on the best team, warming the bench. The call never comes.  Could have been a star on a lesser team.

Last spring I met someone who years ago was hailed as a very talented and promising poet. Big time in the poetry world. Acclaim caused an internal meltdown as she waited in bed for the next great poem to flow from her fingers. The call never came.

How many people have you ever seen who work hard and boast of all the trappings of success.  The houses, cars, club memberships, fame, and fortune. Waiting for a call offering the next accolade. Maybe it comes. And all the while the family waits on hold. A missed call.

Yesterday I had my phone silenced because I was at work in the hospital. I forgot to turn it back on when I went home. While I wasn’t paying attention I missed a call. This one from the antique shop. I wait anxiously for these calls every day. Someone wants to buy something big. But doesn’t like the price. Let’s haggle. What a thrill!

I missed the call but called right back. They wanted some stained glass windows, but wanted a discount. Could I do that? I was excited because I’d like to move these big ticket items. I’d do what they asked. But, they had just left. Couldn’t wait. On their way home to another state. Didn’t want to ship them later.

Missed call. Missed sale. Damn! That sale would have put me on easy street for this month. Damn!

What was my real reaction? There will be another buyer. A buyer who will be happy to pay the full price. Or a price that didn’t require a call to me.

Missed call. Missed sale. Yeah, but tomorrow is another day. Another sale. Another call.  If it’s that important they’ll call back!  In the mean time, keep on rockin!

That’s part of my story. What’s yours?

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Labor Day

They say Labor Day is the end of summer. The last hurrah before the chill of winter settles in. The last cookout of hot dogs and hamburgers. Last chance for ice cream cones. No more days at the beach. And the last day off from work until Thanksgiving!

But of course it’s not really as bad as all that. Oh sure, by Labor Day almost all of the kids have gone back to school. Some have been back in school since early August. So traveling is much harder and summer vacation is behind us. But by the calendar we still have several weeks of summer left.

In my neck of the woods it’s so damn hot you’d think we’d barely hit the Fourth of July. We’ll be able to swim in the lake or at the beach into November most likely. And of course we’ll be tailgating and cooking out into December!

Neighbors to the north, and you don’t have to go very far north, will soon be seeing frost on their pumpkins. And Halloween will be here before you know it. But that’s another story, as is the real meaning of Labor Day.

For now, I’ll just enjoy my holiday boat ride. Wearing my bathing suit and sweating my tail off in the mid nineties heat. I’m always up for a boat ride! Good thing the boat goes fast. Cool breeze!

That’s part of my story. What’s yours?

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