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Live to write. Write to live.

I started writing a blog for a few reasons. 1) I love to type. 2) I love words. 3) I love telling stories. I love reading and writing in general. I think I was the only person in my 7th grade English class who loved diagramming sentences. I remember the excitement I felt walking into the classroom and seeing blank diagrams on the chalkboard just waiting to be filled in. Oh boy! Today was the day! But back to writing. Linking words together into sentences that describes something that someone can see in THEIR mind just blows MY mind. Pink baby elephants rolling in a field of white flowers. You couldn’t help it. You just mentally pictured it.

I have a lot of respect for people who keep journals. Take Laura Ingalls Wilder, for instance. She turned the journals she wrote into an entire collection of beloved children’s books. Of course, I read all of them and nerded completely out to the point I wore an effing sunbonnet around like a complete nut. Remind me to tell you the story of the sunbonnet and Holly Hobby t-shirt sometime. But I digress.

LIW was the OG of storytelling and it’s thanks to those journals. LIW not only inspired me to dress like I had just hopped out of a time machine, but she inspired me to write. I wanted a diary. But longhand is super-hard for an undiagnosed ADHD-er whose brain goes nine times faster than their hand can keep up with a pen. So my diary was filled with sentences missing words, words missing letters, and scratched out misspellings all over each page. My diary was a wreck. Plus I felt like a weirdo writing things in a diary that only I was supposed to read. “Dear Diary, Today I …..” Wait. Wasn’t I the “I”? Should I be writing to myself? “Dear Roxie, Today you …..” Wait. Am I writing to my future self? Or to myself now? Or should I just be jotting down things of importance? I asked for a diary almost every year for Christmas and every year I got frustrated at the messy pages and lack of commitment and would throw it in the trash a few months in. Boy, do I regret that now. What I wouldn’t give to have a look back into a day in the life of my little self.

So what does all this have to do with anything? I mentioned briefly in my last post that I had shut down my first few blogs because I was afraid of being found out or suffering repercussions from others who didn’t agree with what I wrote. And although I didn’t shut down THIS blog, I stopped posting in it. And shortly after that, I began shutting down all of my social media accounts. At first it was really liberating. I wasn’t as tied to my phone and was living more in the moment. But then I began to miss writing. I pulled out my laptop and started pouring my thoughts out into Word documents. Not the same – even though I enjoyed typing more than writing. I still felt like I was writing a Dear Diary column with a readership of one. What I missed, dear reader, was YOU. I love sharing my words and thoughts. I love when I connect with someone and make them smile or laugh. Or know that maybe I’ve made someone’s day a bit brighter or helped someone feel like they aren’t going through something alone.

The other thing I’ve figured out is that this blog is my therapy. If something is bothering me or I need to work through issues, I need to get it out of my head by writing it here. And what’s been churning around in my storm of a brain for the last few weeks is how much I’ve missed social media. I can’t believe I just admitted that. I dropped off social media because (I know now) that I was hiding. Hiding from people who hurt me, judged me and hated me. But I have met a great group of people who I want to share my life with more than I want to hide from my old life. So I bit the bullet and opened up Facebook and Instagram again. And realized how much I had missed out on while I was gone. Friends got engaged and married. Babies were born. Spectacular meals had been eaten! And I had missed out on all of it! Talk about regret. My fear of being confronted or being made fun of by a few had caused me to miss out on so much.

I’m getting REALLY tired of learning from my mistakes. So one thing I’m going to rectify before it becomes another mistake is to stop referring to the parts of my life as my old-life and my new-life. It’s just my life. There are a lot of chapters, and they are all mine, even if some of them were hard to get through. It freaks me out a little bit to see some faces on social media that I didn’t think I’d see again and I’m trying to work through my feelings instead of running. But I want to finish my story on my terms. And with people who mean more to me than they know. Yes, in your book of life you get to be the main character, but there wouldn’t be a story if there weren’t other characters involved. Those are the real heroes of my story… the ones who support me, forgive me and most of all love me.

Sunday Funday Rides

Sunday Funday Rides – Vol. 1

Green. Blue. Gold.  Those are the summer colors of Kansas.  Green trees … rolling hills ….. farmland.  Until I rode through the landscape on a motorcycle I never realized how many colors of green there were here.  If you were to draw a picture of what we ride through you would need every green crayon from the 64-color box.

The blue sky is an endless dome over our heads and the depth is only enhanced by the white contrast of the puffy clouds.  Even in 100-degree heat, the Kansas sky and puffy clouds look like something out of The Truman Show movie.

Gold.  Glorious, beautiful gold is rolled up into round bales to rival Rapunzel’s locks and dot the landscape to break up the green as we ride by.  It smells like sweet summertime and looks pretty as a picture.

Yes, even on crazy hot days Harley and I like to ride on the weekends.  The wind massages my skin in soft, summer breaths and plays with my hair like Trixie used to do when she was little.  Being on a bike is both mesmerizing and breathtaking.

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Pretty as a picture. Oh wait .. it is!

 

Harley turned the bike north when we left last weekend to start our Sunday Funday ride.  We don’t usually plan out our route, but mostly ride wherever the road takes us.  There are a lot of organized rides out there, which we appreciate and sometimes support, but most of the time we like our stops to ourselves, with the exception of a few locals or other random bikers who frequent our favorite spots.

Last Sunday one of our stops was at Helen’s Hilltop in Tonganoxie, Kansas.  By the time we got there the sun was directly overhead and I was pretty much sweating like a pig.  I made a beeline to the restroom and then found, to my dismay, that getting my tight, sweaty jeans back on was reminiscent of Ross trying to put his leather pants back on in an episode of Friends.  Suffice it to say, I didn’t have any powder to help mop up all my sweaty sweat, and thank god for that.  But the exertion of squirming and squeezing and jumping up and down trying to get my tight jeans back on made me break out in an all-body sweat all over again.  My hair frizzed, my mascara ran and I looked worse than when I had gotten off the bike.

I finally came out of the bathroom to find Harley halfway through his beer.  He stared at me for a beat and said, “Everything alright in there?”  I gave a slight nod and he looked at me in that way he has sometimes that makes me feel like maybe I am crazier than I am afraid I am.  Then the bartender slid me over a Summer Shandy (yep, at a biker bar) and I clapped my hands with glee.  And then remembered that I was supposed to act with a bit of decorum and took a long, cold, glorious swig.  If there is anything better than an ice-cold beer on a cold day, I can’t think of it right now.

One of the great things about finding places off the beaten path is that you meet some great people and see some strange $hit. We came out of the dark bar and were squinting into the sunlight and saw something I’d never seen before.  I had to blink twice to make sure my eyes were adjusting correctly.  It wasn’t really a motorcycle.  It was a cross between a dune-buggy and a trike and looked like a traveling sofa.  They guy who built it was having a beer on the porch and was happy to let me snap some pics.

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I love seeing new places and meeting new people and riding with Harley gives plenty of opportunity for both.  Being on a bike lets you smell the sweet, fresh air of the country,  feel the warmth of the sun and the soft caress of the wind while you take in the rich, vivid colors around you.  Riding is a feast for all of your senses and I can’t wait to get my next fix.

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Back in the Saddle

There are boxes in our house again.  But this time the boxes are moving and we aren’t.  Our baby grown-ups are moving out and starting their own lives.  We call them our baby grown-ups, although we are talking about twenty-somethings.  Our younger kids are already gone and the oldest is the last to go.

One year ago we packed up everything we owned and moved into a new (to us) house and have spent the last year making it a home.  Now that we’ve made it a home for the four of us, it is a little bittersweet to finally have the house to just the two of us.

You may remember me … I’ve been around before … a couple of times actually.  I envy those of you who have started out and kept going.  I recently read that one of my previous blogger-buddies has just posted his 900th blog (Go Ben!).  But since the dust has settled from moving out of my life, leaving my 22-year marriage, sending my baby to college, falling in love with Harley, selling my house, moving in with Harley and Bam-Bam, buying a house with Harley and everything else that has happened …. I finally find myself with the itch to tip-tap away at my keyboard and re-join the virtual world.  That being said, I’m back to share my life with you again.

Between the two of us, we have three twenty-somethings:  Bam-Bam, Trixie and Clark.  In that order.  Our youngest, Clark, is a hot-shot marine and is currently stationed in Japan. He is home on leave for a couple of weeks and we are soaking up every minute with him.  Trixie lives with her fiancée in the Pacific Northwest and is chasing her dreams in the fashion world. Bam-Bam and his girlfriend, Powerpuff, are the ones packing up and moving into their first apartment next week.  Sidenote:  we sometimes refer to Bam-Bam and Powerpuff as The Vegans.  Not because they are vegans, but because they workout all the time, meal-prep and eat healthy.  No, it doesn’t make complete sense, but it makes enough.

With Clark adding to the hustle and bustle of young adult energy in our house, it’s hard to image what it will feel like when he returns to Japan and the vegans move out.  But just as we have with everything else so far, I’m sure we will figure it out.  It seems like I’m always trying to find the new normal.  Hence, the blog name. Not only am I metaphorically riding again in the blogging world, but in so many other facets of my life.  Things are constantly changing.   Life goes on.  And it is good.