A little normalcy in this weirdly abnormal world.

I can hear the music in my head just looking at the picture up top.  Dunh-DUUUUN-dun-dunnnnnnn … dun-DUUUUUN-dun-dunnnn.  Happy sigh.

One of the many things I love about Harley is how much he loves Gone with the Wind.  He passed that on to Bam-bam and we love throwing around lines from the movie.  Having a hard time figuring something out?  “I don’t know nuthin’ ’bout birthin’ babies!”  Ate too much at dinner?  “As God as my witness, I’ll never go hungry again!”  You get the picture.

Harley’s birthday was yesterday.  I had planned to take the day off work to play with him, but with all this COVID-19 stuff happening, we couldn’t get to The Shack, our favorite breakfast place.  They have such yummy food AND super-fun grown-up breakfast drinks.  My favorite is the one that has real Coco Puffs in it and you can suck them up through a giant straw.  So you can see why he was disappointed that we couldn’t go.  It was too cold to bundle up for a ride on the bike and besides, we didn’t know if we could stop anywhere if we got thirsty.  Instead I made a semi-decent breakfast at home and then we had Bam-bam and PowerPuff over for diner.  Take-out of course.

Being cooped up in the house under haze of disappointment when you thought you’d be shoving food in your face all day and zooming around on the bike in search of beer makes for a lame day of celebration.

What does this have to do with Gone with the Wind, you ask?  It started with the after-dinner conversation about how many cowboy and baseball movies Kevin Costner has made (we counted four each), which led to a discussion about what his best movie is to date (which Harley and Bam-bam insist is Waterworld)  As I am writing this Harley is saying that post-apocalyptic movies are his bread and butter, though.  One thing we could all agree on was that it may have been THE longest movie he ever made.  Then that made us wonder what was the longest movie ever made by anyone?  Powerpuff thought it could be The Last Samuri, which they had just recently watched.  I said forget them both because there is only one movie that could be both the longest AND the best movie ever.

I looked across the table and asked Bam-bam what he thought it was.  He cocked his head to the side and said in a tiny voice, “Roadhouse?”  OMG NO!  GONE WITH THE WIND!  It was unanimous.  We went crazy talking about how Scarlett was scary and beautiful and bitchy and strong. Powerpuff said she had never seen it.  Silence.  We all just stared at her.  And just like that …. Bam-bam is digging around in the basement for the DVD, I am throwing dishes in the sink and we are all finding blankets and pillows to snuggle up in to watch the show.


It didn’t disappoint.  It never does.  I can’t get over the wardrobe and dramatic shots.  I. Am. Obsessed.  I could do a whole series on the dresses, the poses, Scarlett’s famous RBF …. seriously.   Bam-bam said watching it as an adult he sees what a feminist Scarlett was, even though she ironically started out just wanting to married to Ashley.  Who, by the way,  I think is a total simpering wimp.  Rhett Butler is where it’s at if you ask me.  But yes, Scarlett O’Hara is a total badass and a force to be reckoned with.


We only made it through the first half to intermission but plan to pick it up next week and finish the last half so we have something fun to look forward to.  Although it was supposed to be something entertaining we could do while we can’t leave the house, it’s hard not to see the similarities to our current situation.  We’ve just been floating along living our best lives and then BAM!  We are jerked out of our comfortable realities and forced to figure out how to live life in a way we never have before.  The unknown can be scary I don’t know what the future brings.  But I think we will be okay.  Because there is a little bit of Scarlett in all of us.


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Ride in Peace

Last weekend when Harley and I went out for a ride, we were hoping to see some of our riding friends we haven’t seen since last fall.  As you all know, winter seemed to last forever and it was followed by a cold and wet spring, so we haven’t ridden much since last fall and were anxious to get out and see familiar faces and share some new stories.

One of my favorite things about riding is the people we meet along the way and the connections we have made with others we normally would have never known.  Bikers and riders come from all walks of life but we all have one thing in common … the motorcycle.  If you’ve got one it’s because you love it.  And you love riding it.  And you love talking about it with others who have one too.

It’s such a great feeling to come in from a hot, sweaty ride into a cool, dark bar and belly up to get an ice cold drink.  And then the conversations begin. Sometimes it’s just us and the bartender and other times it’s a mixed bag of bikers, weekend riders and locals.  We have met some super cool people because of the bike and I am proud to call them my friends.

We met Tophat a few years ago.  He roared into a local bike night with loud pipes and a crazy getup.  As he blasted by where Harley and I were sitting, we both did a double-take.  Me:  Was that guy wearing a top hat?  Harley:  Was that a skeleton tied to the back?

That would be a yes on both counts.  Not only was he wearing a leather top hat, but the skeleton sitting on the back of his bike had on a long black wig and was wearing stilettos.  To complete the look, on the back of his vest was a huge patch of a skeleton wearing a top hat.  GOALS.

We decided then and there that we could never … ever … be as cool as this guy.

Not long after that night, we mentioned to someone that we had seen a dude riding a Harley and wearing a top hat and they said that we had seen Tophat.  Everyone knew Tophat.  And everyone who knew him liked him.  He was funny as $hit.  How do I know, you ask?  Because we met him.

He was standing next to me in line one night and I thought, “O. Magawd.  I’m standing next to Tophat!”  So I looked kind of sideways at him and said (in a very Napoleon Dynamite way), “I like your hat.”  And he turned to me with a huge grin and said, “Thanks!”  I motioned for Harley to come over and we started a conversation that has lasted off and on for a few years.

You always knew when Tophat was pulling up because of his unmistakable silhouette.  Not to mention the skeleton.  And you always knew when Tophat was around, because his larger than life personality had everyone around him laughing and joking around.  He basically caused a ruckus.

So when we were out for our maiden voyage of the year Sunday Funday ride last weekend we were really hoping to see Tophat. We don’t always see everyone every time we are out riding, but we looked for him at each stop nonetheless.  Next week, we told ourselves… we will see him next week.

Next week will never come.  We found out a few days ago that our friend passed away on Tuesday morning.  Tophat’s real name was Justin.  He had a life, friends and family who knew him so much better that we ever could.  I don’t mean to diminish their loss by writing about my own sadness.  I hope that they know how much we enjoyed his company and always looked forward to seeing him when we were out and about.

I’ve got to provide a disclaimer here for the picture.  I did not take it and I do not know the person who did, but I found it on Facebook and it basically summed up Tophat as I knew him and I wanted to share it.

Next weekend we will all gather to honor Tophat’s life.  Harley and I will forever remember how happy he made us that first night we met him because the coolest biker we’d ever seen welcomed us and made us feel like we were part of the local biking community.  Tophat, you will be missed more than you know.  Ride in peace, brother.

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.



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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