Thursday, June 23, 2011

Party Time

Work has been hell lately.  The 16-month project I've been working on was deployed last weekend, and as is always the case, the last few weeks have been a flurry of activity, late nights, and stress.  You knew it was coming.  We've also had a lot with graduation, etc., as you see.

We also knew *this* was coming:  Thunder in the Valley in Johnstown, PA.  The way the schedule worked out, this was going to be perfect timing; the perfect opportunity to kick back and blow off steam.  Our usual haunt, Gettysburg Bike Week, has changed venues this year, and we decided to let others tell us how it works out.  We've always heard great things about Johnstown, and you can only do so many things.  We decided this is the year.  I'm finishing up my coffee and we're firing up the bikes.  Check back next week to see how it went!

P.S.  Rainsuits again.  WTF?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A New Addition to the Family

Suddenly, we find ourselves with our 1st-generation kids grown, and us now totally free of our exes.  We already know how good we are together, and we are looking forward to spending the rest of our lives inseparable.  We also know that the time is getting short.  We are in the prime of our lives, and from here our opportunies for many things gets only dimmer.  Right now, our financial situation is sorting itself out nicely.  Our health is still good.  So we've been thinking.  Donna asked my opinion, and together we decided it's time to make a move.

You gotta admit, those Softail Customs are some hot-lookin' bikes.  Kind of like my late-model Mustang, where I knew the first time I laid eyes on it that it would be my next car whenever that day came.  Donna had that same reaction when the FXSTC was introduced, and the urgency was ratched up when was the model was discontinued in 2010.  We make most of our purchases in the used vehicle market, and we know you can't order your color, your options, and nothing is in mint condition anymore.  Mileage can be low, high, or off the chart.

We've been doing our homework, we accidentally (we swear) ran across a number of used ones that made us pause, she even test rode one, but due to circumstances nothing made Donna pull the trigger.

Saturday, she did.  We were at the dealership where I'd volunteered to help park cars for a show, when there in the showroom, glowing like the sun among weeds, was The Bike.  Literally.  Limited-edition Golden Glow paint, 3,900 miles, six-speed, and even a new set of tires.  For all intents and purposes, it's as close to a new bike as you can get, and she negotiated a price that was better than less-desirable examples we've seen.

I stopped trying to dissuade her.  If you're ever going to do it, you're going to settle for something less, look back at today, and realize you blew it.  Carpe Diem!

We still have no place to put it long-term, but at least we know where we are with the kids, etc., and hey - they got nice graduation presents, right?  We stacked up some stuff in the shed, made just enough space, and rolled her in.  The kid can't get the lawn mower out now, but what the hell.  We'll work it out.
You didn't really think we were having a kid, did you?  We're bold, friends, but not stupid.  We solved that problem long ago.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pomp and Circumstance

We're 4-for-4 !

With Southern Lehigh's graduation on the 17th, all of our kids are now officially edumicated to the extent prescribed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  Courtney and Garrett are now just weeks away from being legal adults, and Katrina already was 18 when she wore the tassel on the 9th.  Jesse graduated last year, and is already halfway through his sophomore year at Penn State.

Funny how things went from one extreme to the other by age.  Jesse had a year's worth of college credits by the time he was out of high school.  Katrina was always in the clear, but could not afford to have anything go wrong in her last semester, or she could have ended up in jeopardy.  Courtney contracted Senioritis and made it more of a question than it should have been.  And Garrett?  He had to hit home runs in May and June.  It was dicey to say the least. His status turned to green the day before caps and gowns went out.

But he did it, and we're so proud of all of them.   Being a parent of a teenager (or any age, I guess) is not always a barrel of laughs.  But graduation is a great, great moment for a parent, and we're happy for our kids.  Each faces a different future, and although we can conjecture, nobody ever knows for sure.  All we know is that our kids are no longer children.  A page is turned, and a glass is raised...