When my phone rings and I see it’s from The Runtyun’s school my heart skips a beat. When the phone rings and I am far away doing a delivery, my anxiety goes way up.
I was in South Carolina when the call came. Truth be told, my GPS had led me to a place I did not want to be, slowing me down, making me behind schedule.
It turns out that one of her friends had been receiving nasty threats and cruel texts for some one, so my kid and some one else reported it. After a conversation concerning the vile text messages, it came out that The Runtyun had some cuts on her arm. They were self-inflicted. She had used my knife to hurt herself.
Charlie Brown has nothing on me. The Democrats, who have been lead-on, mislead and abused, by the Republicans can only learn from my experiences. With Charley Brown, it’s the football, and with the Dems it is everything to do with compromise and moving goal posts.
My wonderful daughter though, has given me a course to guide my life by, a beacon that illuminates our path into the future. Occasionally however, I let myself get distracted from my real and very important task of being a father. Mostly, this happens when I allow myself to be distracted by my more carnal nature and desire for adult companionship. Yes, I am a guy and sometimes a woman will be silly enough to realize this and want to spend time with me. These fleeting relationships end…one way or another.
Yet, my sunshine is always there, constant in her need and inconsistency and most importantly her unfiltered outlook on life…and her smile.
The other night, I had plans to see a special lady, yet there were concerns running through my foggy brain. mostly concerning due to our rocky and sometime volatile relationship. We have been seeing each other on and off for years. She is fun and very dynamic. Invariably we have lots of fun together, though after a minute or two we drift apart which is OK. The truth is she is a little capricious in nature, a little unpredictable, if you will.
We were to go to a local place to eat and listen to some music and maybe dance some. Life and nature got in the way of the whole plan though… Let me relate.
I was cruising Facebook when I saw a post from my erstwhile date had posted she was caught at home in a snow storm though she had been in town merely an hour ago.
I told The Runtyun about the SNAFU and tried to hide my disappointment. While my head was rolling around with anger and frustration, this little one whom I have the privilege to share time with merely said, “Oh. OK.”
Perspective. That is what I needed and she gave that gift to me.
I had to go out and get some supper because everything was in the freezer, so supper-market bound was I. There was a dark cloud flying after me and thoughts of betrayal were in that cloud. This is my way of dealing with various frustrations in life; letting my brain play with it, then throwing the whole thing away.
Well, I arrived at the food store and decided I wanted red meat and potato, this would reassert my animal nature and make me feel better. As I was walking down an aisle I saw something that made me smile because it would be a treat for The Runtyun, I think it was Screaming Yellow Zonkers. My first smile and I was able push that dark cloud away. My back straighten and my face lost it’s scowl.
Oh yeah, we had NY strip for supper at 5.75 per pound. Yeah baby!
I sent a sarcastic comment to my broken date and unfriended her.
Am I being petty in unfriending her on Facebook?
At the end of the Runtyun’s choir practice last night I waited for her to put the music away. Several of the choir walked past me, then the twinkle-in-my-eye walked out of the room and she snuggled into my side and pecked my cheek.
“My friends think you are cool,” she started.
A little taken aback, I said nothing for a moment, but a little giggle slipped by. Finally, “Your friends think I am cool? How do you know this, my little ice-cube?” I remembered my bike and thought maybe it gave her a little cred with her friends. Maybe it was the time I picked her up with my leathers on. Maybe it was because I stay a little aloof and they just want to know more.
“Your nick name is Unicorn. All of my friends love unicorns.”
“O and this is a good thing?”
I have achieved my goal, being accepted by a bunch of 12-year-old girls! (the hardest clique of them all.)
I just learned an interesting lesson! The Runtyun uses these mini speakers for her computer. They are called Tweekers. They are small and you have to plug wires into different things to make them work. One gets the illusion that real skills are being utilized.
They sound OK. Well, she stopped using them and turned them off, but left the wires and stuff flying all over the place. I waited for her to put the rig away…nope. Not happenin’. So I rapped it up and placed the thing on the table forgetting about matter. I did feel like maybe I had missed a chance to yell and scream about putting things away, however there are times when even I don’t need to make a big deal about everything. A little later, she hooked up the tweekers while I did something else (take a shower). I suggested we listen to her music through my speakers, they are fuller and sound better. She said no, but I went ahead and made the change. When I got done and settled down, I saw she had put up the tweekers.
I wonder what would have happened if I had made a big deal earlier?
This is a little self-serving whine. I guess I am a little hurt.
Last week was my birthday. I had little expectation for it, yet it was a very nice moment in my life. As a matter of fact, I wrote about it and the ride we had.
At any rate, I told my beautiful daughter not to worry about getting me a present, all I really wanted was a nice hand-made card. It is difficult for us to get out to the store and get anything.
My birthday was last Saturday, a very nice day indeed. However, I didn’t get anything from the Runtyun. I told her I could understand, and that my birthday was actually all weekend, and she could make up for it by Sunday night.
Monday morning came along and nothing but no card. O well, after so many of these things, birthdays are only another day.
I woke up early, earlier than I planned at any rate. Can you imagine still getting excited over ones birthday at my age? Then I remembered, I had an appointment to give blood at insane:15 this morning. It is my birthday and I set the appointment because I wanted to give something instead of always taking.
The bike started as it always does and rumbled until it told me it was ready to go. When I got to the vampire store the pinprick was painless as usual. I have figured out how to hasten the blood-letting so it only took about ten minutes. The waiting was longer then the process. Orange juice drunk, energy bars tucked away and homeward bound. Oh, do not forget the chocochip bagel for you know who!
The Runtyun was still snoring away when I got home, so I chopped some wood, wasted time on the ‘net trying to fool myself that I was doing something. Finally the mound on her bed began to move and open her eyes. She ate her bagel and grumped about having to get up, at 1030, so early.
It was time to get going up the Parkway for lunch with the parents. I put cruising pegs for the pillion, they fold out and give the Runtyun more comfort, but they make walking the bike really difficult. Maneuvering out of the driveway, caught my right leg under the peg. At least the Runtyun was comfy.
After getting gas, it was Parkway bound for the Grinner and her riders. From the moment we stopped at the sign and saw five touring bikes and one car pass by, I settled for an easy ride, knowing I would not be going fast. That was OK with me, I wanted to look at the scenery and contemplate a little. The Runtyun was OK back there, I could feel her looking around. She is beginning to see the beauty of the world she is a part of and this makes me feel good.
I am older than I wish to be, my head is loosing hair faster than it’s replaced. Sometimes I wonder why it is that I breath, then I feel the bike shift and remember my real muse. Yet sometimes I feel guilty, who am I to usher such a wonderful person into adulthood?
As we rode up the Parkway, I remembered our conversation from the night before. It was about friends and loyalty. She wanted to know how to deal with people trash talking a friend. We talked about avoiding conflict and loyalty to friends.
The east side of the Parkway opened up and we saw the beginnings of Fall in the colors of the forest. Up ahead I saw one of the bikers taking pictures. A curve was coming up and I leaned into it. I felt the inside touch the road. The vibration telegraphed through my leg sending a jolt of adrenaline up my spine.
We glided around more twists and turns, while breath-taking views slipped by. I reminded myself of the beauty of the world around us, yet I have seen these vistas so often it seems they are becoming routine. Am I becoming jaded, or do I long to see new horizons? While I try to see the beauty of these incredible mountains, I long to see other equally incredible vistas. I wish to explore the world. I have been lucky to see so many places on this magnificent world, yet I still want more.
Am I being selfish to want this? The need to explore and learn—some may call it wanderlust, has always be strong in me. New people and places have always called out to me.
The first of the tunnels was around the next curve, the bikes in front of us revved their motors causing echos to rumble back. They increased their speed inside of these tunnels. Why they did that I don’t know. We sat back, the Runtyun and I and glided along enjoying the ride. Even the trees close to us were individuals, yet when they parted for us to see the world beyond their curtain, I saw patterns. They showed me where streams sprouted. I imagined, because the leaves were turning orange in some places, that frost had settled in some places and not others.
Looking around, I let the Grinner take over a bit while I explored my mind. Restless. That is how I have always thought of myself, but why was I so restive? Am I running from something? No, that is too cliché. Some many say I have wings on my feet, I think it’s because I have a Harley-Davison between my legs.
Yet that is not true either. I have always felt the need to explore. It may have begun when Dad and I would go camping in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
A couple of the bikes peeled off and the pace increased for a bit. Finally, we came to one of my favorite views. It looks over to the west. It’s a bowl in the mountains a few houses, homes I hope, spotted the valley below. There is something serene about the scene that simply evokes a sense of ease in me. I slowed the bike, but did not stop.
The last tunnel before we get to our destination is coming up. The one where the Runtyun and I have sat on the keystone watching cars go by. I wonder if she has felt the energy flowing through that keystone when we have sat on it.
We arrived at the Pisgah Inn and had lunch with her grandparents looking over the vast expanse revealed to through the windows. Finally, it was time to go home. I had wanted to ride a little longer, but the sky felt heavy with rain and the wind was blowing leaves through the sky with random abandon.
We rode home. Was it my imagination, or was the Runtyun a little closer than before?
The Runtyun and I had a little dust-up last night. We have been having of them more lately. They are just little minor issues, but they seem to be building. Ending in flared tempers. Mostly they seem to be about not quitting during a difficult moment. Perseverance, is the word here, I think.
Some close advisors lately have suggested that she should watch movies like, Apollo 13 for problem solving skills. I have tried pushing her to not quitting when tasks get difficult. When she comes to me with a question, I don’t give her the answer, I try to lead her to a way to figure it out. Yet we seem to be stuck in the same place.
At the same time, I feel this is the time when she/we need to define who she is and what she will do when she grows up. This, of course is an interesting time in her/our lives. The question is not just what are we interested in, but what will be satisfying and fulfilling.
We have figured out, almost anyhow, that one pursuit may be a better hobby than career.
Now this is a challenging time for me. I have a tremendous amount of influence in this area. After all, a fathers guidance in his childs maybe the most important thing in his child’s decision making world. I find myself leading her to fields that I am interested in. And not taking her interests in mind. While this may be a way for her to go, she needs to find her own way.
Some may argue that it is a father’s place to tell his offspring what to do, I disagree. There is so much going on in our world and so many possibilities for everyone that were not available even 20 years ago. The world is such an overwhelming place with so many paths to follow, how does one decide what their child’s lives should be?
Let’s talk about how we help, or tell our kids, what will happen with the rest of their lives.
The Runtyun and I spent the night, last night, trying to watch the Perseid Meteor shower (http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=meteor+showers&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8). I got the idea a few days ago. We keep trying to go camping, but something always gets in the way. Well, this was an adventure that only rain could cancel. Clouds equal no stars.
She was not too interested in my proposal, but she reluctantly found some enthusiasm. I fried some chicken and made potato salad. Then I did a little maintenance on the bike, packed it and we were off.
It has been a while since the Grinner has had a load on it, yet as usual that Milwaukee Iron performed. The ride up the Parkway is always smooth even though they have reduced the speed to 35 mph for 5 miles or so. The powerful engine smoothed out the curves and we flowed through the 30 miles or so to our goal. As is my want I let the worries of the day, week—life slip off my back. The needs of the moment, driving a motorcycle with a golden package riding behind me were more important than anything. While there have been times when I let the bike take over, allowing my mind to sort through daily problems, today I wanted to enjoy the power and grace the road under us provided.
We flew into turns and slid out. No cars were on the road to hinder our progress. The trees opened up around us, gracing us with vistas of watersheds and under-clouds wisping below us. I could feel the Runtyun shifting and looking around maybe even enjoying the ride too.
We finally made it to my goal spot for the meteor show later on, but it was socked in and blowing clouds all around us. This was my first portent that we may not have the idyllic star-gazing I had planed. We walked around a little, but finally left. Going south, there is a visiter center at Pinnacle Mountain Gap, or something like that. It is a gap between two mountains that provides a tremendous view, yet attracts clouds and rain an occasion. This was one of those time.
Picture this though: no visibility because of low clouds, yet an orange ball floating in the middle of the sky, wind wipping around us, swirls of clouds enveloping trees and people. We watched as Mother nature danced and played around us. Always with the sun just peeking through, blue sky teasing us now and again.
We mounted the steel stallion made our way down to Craggy Gardens. Watching the clouds dance and move around, I could feel the Runtyun moving and seeing mother in motion. We made it to our dinner spot and ate and talked a little. Mostly, “Why are we here,” though there was a little about the pretty sunset and when will it begin.
It was getting dark and I wanted to set out our place. We settled and the kid started to read her book. I lay back and looked at the clouds and stars. She kept slipping down the hill and I had to pull her up. Finally we decided to find a level place—all the way across the parking lot!
We got settled about the time the stars began to fall, but so did the temperature!
We settled in and started the “I-saw-it-first game.” She was snuggled into my arms, trying to stay warm I guess, and we would watch for the melting flashes cross the sky. What is so fascinating about it all? I don’t know, though we enjoyed the time without distractions of modern life. I wondered aloud what it must have been like to live in a world without TV and such. All they had were the stars and imagination. She got even closer to me, guess a cold breeze passed over us. Finally she ducked into her sleeping bag and I felt her begin to doze off.
Truth is, neither one of us got much sleep that night. When the sun began to rise I made my old sore body move and pulled our stuff together. The Runtyun began to stir, I could tell by the moving mound that was her sleeping nest.
We girded ourselves for the ride home. Actually, when the engine warmed up it sent some warmth our way and the sun was beginning to warm and wake the world around us.
Wait! What’s that in front of us 4 big black dogs?! I felt the O-My-God cute reaction begin in back and a little cooing sound coming along. We saw 3 bear cubs and their mommy bear bounding in front of us. Did I slow down because we could see them longer, or was I afraid their Mom would not take our presence with happiness? Who knows, but it was a moment I’ll remember for a long time, ending with, “That was the most adorable thing I have ever seen, Daddy!” and a big around-the-back hug.
Seeing a pack of turkeys a little later did not even elicit any response! Hot chocolate, on the other hand, warmed us both.
So there is another fine post at my other blog: http://onelonecastaway.wordpress.com/2012/05/13/an-afternoon-on-the-bike/ One Lone Castaway’s Rantings. It’s about a day with a special friend. Have a look! And PLEASE let me know what you thing!
We all know about the super moon that came by last night. I keep boasting about it, but the truth is, the Runtyun and I live in an incredible place. The BlueRidge Parkway is our back yard, and Western North Carolina has mountains to make a mountain man happy. So when the time came for sunset we only had to get to the Parkway.
So we found a place on the Parkway and sat waiting for the moon to come up. I am not sure what the Runtyun thought we would do, but I knew we would DO nothing for a bit. We seem to spend so much time doing stuff or getting ready to get stuff done that there is little time to enjoy the moment. I wanted to slow down and get comfortable with my little Runtyun and an event like waiting for the moon to rise seemed to be a good way to do it.
The bike lead us to the Parkway and headed us south to a turn out, but that one did not feel right. We had passed the curve that looked out over to Biltmore Estate, truth is, I was not sure were in the sky the moon would come up so I wanted a wide view so we went back.
By the time we found our way back to the place many other people in cages(read cars here) had found the place. All the cars were parked at one end of the turn out, so we had to go to the other. Would not want the bike to associate with all those cages, don’t ya’ know.
The sky was perfect to the viewing. Crisp and clear with some wispy clouds here and there. We settled and just sat for a bit. Silence was in the air, i could still feel the stillness in the air. However, others around us were talking, and I could feel the restlessness beginning to get control of the Runtyun. I sat quietly. A couple of cars came around the curve. A bike or two. Silence. I began to settle in for a wait. A couple of loud whiney sport rockets came around the curve too fast for my taste. The twilight is a funny time for the eye, depth perception is off and colors don’t work right either. To each their own.
“Those guys are going too fast, they need to realize where they are and what the conditions are.”
“What do you mean, daddy?”
As I started to explain, she got up and picked at a few weeds, then crossed the road to look at some of the plants and a small rock cliff. She came back after a bit. The light was back in her eyes. She sat a little closer to me. A little talk, nothing profound. We waited.
“Hey every one, over here. It’s over there!”
Everyone rushes down to the guy.
It was orange. Orange like an old fruit. That does not give the moon justice though, yet sometimes an old orange with dark blemishes is kinda nice to look at. And it was big. Mostly it was there, just over the horizon, floating, peaceful. It seems we need to be doing something all the time. These days of electronics and fast moving vehicles and short attention spans we get bored so easily. We don’t take time to just sit and live.
HERE ARE SOME PICS:
Truth is I had to plan this sojourn in moon watching. It was an event. I wonder if the Runtyun, will remember this night, or if it will be just anther of “My dad’s silly things. In time this evening will fade from memory, yet maybe it will build a foundation for my little Runtyun to remember to slow down and look around, take a moment to really see the world around us.
She surprises me sometimes with her intuition, she will see, make connections that I could not until I was much older. Is it a refection of my interests as her father and guiding influence in her life, or does she have a more dynamic view of the world then I will ever have? I do not know, but I sure do love spending time with her merely gazing and waiting for the moon to come up. I hope she does too.