Bodhi’s Mouse

The weather was supposed to be wonderful this past weekend and Jim and I actually had the whole two days to ourselves! Mind, you we rarely get any time off, so we watched the daily weather report and were disappointed that by Tuesday, the forecast was for rain, and by Wednesday, winds were added for Saturday. We were still hoping to get a ride in, but by Friday, Jim had been called into work. Because he had to work, I decided to organize the store, something that I have been meaning to do for well over a year!

After we got home, Jim and I decided to watch a movie, when our, “Runt cat,” Bodhi came running into the living room growling. He sat on the rug for a minute or so and ran back out of the room, still growling. About the same time Charlie Parker, our little black and white girl kitty, got up and followed Bodhi. Jim said, “What’s he got?”
I turned around, and sure enough, Bodhi had a mouse.

Jim will tell you that certain things whack me out a bit. I remember when we lived in Salem and our kitten Taz would catch mice in the yard and play with them. I would make him let them go and I would put him in the house. I know it seems silly, but Taz wasn’t hungry and I thought it was torturous for him to play with little mice.

So, there was Bodhi with this mouse. I couldn’t make up my mind because obviously, I didn’t want a mouse in the house, and honestly, I was pretty proud of him for catching it. Nevertheless, here we were again with a poor little tortured mouse.

Bodhi ran into the laundry room. I followed him only to find Bodhi crying because he had lost the mouse in a t-shirt of Jims that was on the floor. I had no idea what shape the mouse was in and envisioned a dead mouse in the walls.

I said, “Our father,” for the mouse, and was hoping that he would show up. We ended up going to bed in the hopes that Bodhi’s mouse would turn up in the morning.

Before Mass, I noticed that Jims t-shirt had been pulled out into the hallway, but still no mouse. By that time I was fairly certain that Bodhi’s little mouse was a goner. I said another, “Our Father,” and thought it was the end of that.

After church, Jim and I took the bike to Costco. The rain was supposed to hold off until later that afternoon, and I was looking forward to a little, “Travels with Harley,” even if it was just for a couple of hours.

It was a beautiful day, albeit a bit chilly. After we picked up my contacts and a few groceries at Costco, we loaded up the bike, which is always a bit of a challenge. With that being said, most people don’t realize how much space those saddlebags actually have. I was able to get everything in, even though I had to rearrange the eggs and milk three times!

On the way back to the house the weather had warmed up, so no jacket required. Every time we go for a ride, I remember how much I love the freedom. The weather and groceries made it a short ride, but it was still wonderful.

When we got home, I made a potato salad and Jim and I sat down to watch a movie. Suddenly out of the corner of my eye, I saw the mouse run into the kitchen. Bodhi was sound asleep in front of the glass door and didn’t see a thing. The next thing you know, the mouse is peering out from around the TV stand. I’m thinking, “Do I lock the cats in the bedroom, catch the mouse and put it outside, or what?”

The mouse runs back in the kitchen, so I follow him to get a container to catch him, and there he is, sitting in the corner, just staring at me. He runs out, Charlie Parker walks in the kitchen, I start looking for the mouse. Jim yells, “Here he is, right over by Bodhi, there, he ran behind the door.” I look and there’s the mouse peeking around the edge of the door and looking out the glass. I pick up Bodhi and open the door. The next thing I know the mouse runs out and is peeking out the glass. I open the glass door and the mouse jumps up, runs out, and goes tripping down the steps.

God listens to our prayers. only this time he reminded us in the guise of a little mouse.

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Man I Hate It When She Is Right

In July of 2008, Demea and I took a week off from the store and flew to Sacramento California. Taking a cab to the Sacramento Harley dealer, where we rented a 2008 Road King. My in-laws live outside of Auburn, California, we so we rode the 35 miles north.

We stayed a couple of days visiting with her folks. Demea’s brother Bob had just bought a new Harley-Davidson Fatboy, so we decided to stop by and visit he and his wife and travel farther north to the redwoods together as we had never met.

Back then, the Harley dealer in Auburn didn’t rent bikes, but Bob wanted to buy a luggage rack. Demea and I had taken our leather jackets with us, she said it would be cold up in the redwoods. It was July, and I didn’t think it would be that cold. While we were there at the Auburn dealer Demea wanted to buy some chaps. I didn’t think we needed them but, my wife likes to ride in style, so we bought a pair for her and a pair for me.

We went up highway 49 thru Grass Valley It was hot upper 80s low 90s. When we took off had on were t-shirts, but by the time we made our second gas stop we were all in leathers, I hate it when she is right.

I have seen big trees before, but nothing like the redwoods it was some very pretty riding if you go dress warm of course! We had to drive through the big tree with the road cut in it. Demea and I wanted to go on farther north to see the other trees, but Bob wanted to get back home as he had come by himself. We spent the night, and came back the next day coming back down highway 1. It was pretty riding, but man was it crooked and there was curves. I had the bike in first gear. I could have been in a higher gear, but she would drag one side or the other. It was a rental, and I didn’t want them charging me for damage. We were taking the curves in first gear while sports bikes zoomed past us. Demea told me later that she had her eyes closed through most of the curves, said it scared her.

We were right next to the Pacific Ocean and I was glad I had bought the chaps I hate it when she is right. After we got farther south it warmed back up, we were in t-shirts again. We were coming through those mountains, and there was some road construction, apparently, there always is. At one point, we had to wait in a long line of cars and even had to shut off the bikes.

There was a pretty steep canyon off on our right down maybe 300 feet with a bit of gravel. The line of traffic started moving so we fired up the bikes and got back going, still pretty fast, 40 – 45 mph. This car was up a couple of car lengths and off to the side there was a little side road. All of the sudden this little car shoots out, if I had touched the brakes I would have hit the front fender so I just whipped her over on to the little shoulder , like I said, it was skinny and gravel and a long way down. It was one of those decisions you make in a split second. I was just hoping that she didn’t slide on the gravel.

All of the sudden this little dart darts in front of me from the side road. ,The car darted in the line of traffic, and our little Road King didn’t miss a stroke. I pulled back into traffic…man, I was mad, but when you are riding a Harley, you have to be on the defensive. Sure I was mad, scared and pissed, but you’ve got to do, what you’ve got to do.

After we got back, Demea’s brother Bob said it was a good thing that I could ride. He said he thought I was going to go off into the canyon, or hit the car…neither one of those were good choices. Honestly, I thought I was going to crash.

This was another one of our awesome Travels with Harley, and I hope to go back one day.

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Harley-Davidson Fun Facts in Travels With Harley

When I was a kid I always wanted a motorcycle, but Dad wouldn’t allow it. I suppose when I came of age I kind of went crazy. Luckily, my wife Demea enjoys bikes almost as much as I do! I enjoy researching Harley history and thought I would share some of the things that I have discovered.

It was in 1906 that the brothers Harley and Davidson set up shop in a factory in Milwaukee Wisconsin, That factory is still there today and is the home of the company’s corporation. That year Harley-Davidson manufactured 50 Harley Davidson motorcycles.

By 1913, Harley-Davidson was outshining Indian motorcycles and would become the leader in motorcycle racing. Production rose to almost 16,300 bikes that year.

When the First World War broke out in 1917, the military called on Harley-Davidson to produce motorcycles for the armed forces and nearly 15,000 machines were manufactured to help the war effort.

In 1920, Harley-Davidson became the largest manufacturer of motorcycles on the planet producing 28,200 bikes with dealers in 67 countries.

Otto Walker rode to victory riding a 1921 Harley-Davidson. This became the first bike to win riding at over 100 mph.

Harley Davidson survived the Great Depression and started producing large numbers of bikes for the Army in World War II. Once the war broke out, Harley-Davidson manufactured more than 90,000 motorcycles.

Over the years, Harley-Davidson has had its ups and downs. In 1952, the company was charged with restrictive practices, and in 1990 was charged with stock price manipulation with several class action suits filed by Harley Davidson investors.

In 1987, Harley-Davidson began an association with the Buell Motorcycle company. This led to a 49% share hold in 1993, followed by complete ownership in the year 2003. Six years later in 2009, Harley-Davidson ceased production of the sport bike claiming that they wanted to focus on the Harley-Davidson brand.

IMHO Harley-Davidson is the best bike in the world, and I for one will continue to rebuild, buy and ride my bikes along with my wife Demea in, “Travels with Harley.”

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Never Judge a Book By Its Cover

Demea and I needed a vacation. We’d been working really hard and needed a break. We’d planned on driving to St. Louis, flying to Los Angeles and then on to Honolulu. We were going to rent a Harley and ride around Kauai and Oahu. Demea booked first class. I had never flown first class before and was really looking forward to it.

I decided to wear my favorite Harley t-shirt and when they called for the first class passengers, Demea and I were the first ones in line. While we were waiting this man, woman and 2 teenagers move forward attempting to step in front of us, so I put my left arm straight out and point over my left shoulder and tell him the back of the line is right there. He says they are boarding first class, and I say, I know and the back of the line is still back there pointing over my shoulder again. He gives me a funny look but doesn’t try to get ahead of me. I didn’t laugh then I do now. He just assumed that I wasn’t a first class passenger because I was wearing a Harley shirt. My buddy still gives me a hard time about it. It just goes to show that you shouldn’t judge a person by how they are dressed.

We had a great time riding on Kauai and stayed at this wonderful hotel called the Hotel Corral Reef in Kapaa. Demea and I highly recommend it if you want to kick back and relax. On our first ride, we started out and the sun was shining, but in Hawaii, it can cloud up quick, and that is exactly what it did. It started raining and I was thinking, “Crap we need to get back to the hotel,” but it stopped as quickly as it started. That was pretty much how it was the whole time we were there. We just rode the Harley through the storm and didn’t let the rain bother us.

We were in Kauai for 3 days and then flew to Oahu and spent 2 days and nights at The Lotus at Diamond Head. It was a nice hotel and they even let me park my bike in the valet parking. Honolulu is pretty crowded for my taste, but once we got on the road we had the island to ourselves. I was really impressed with the pineapple fields. I had never seen anything like it. Coming from the Midwest, I’m used to corn and bean fields, but because we were on the bike, it seemed like home.

I’m really glad that we rented a bike. If we had taken a car, we never would have felt the hot tropical sun or the warm rain. That’s the thing about bike riding, you really feel the elements.

I’m hoping we can get back one day so we can do more, “Travels with Harley,” and see the rest of Hawaii.