Saturday, February 20, 2010

Triumph! (Not like Steve's)

Snow storms are like bad back pains in that, when you're in the thick of them, it seems like there will never be any relief. Such was the case just last week when I could do little more than watch the white crap accumulate on two consecutive snow days off from school. I had a trip out west (Okay, western Pennsylvania, not Dodge City.) planned for only two days later and held my breath with each flake in hoping they'd get the mess off the roads in time, but worse in terms of the long run, I'd feared I'd not get the scooter on the road for a long, long time.

I took this shot only 10 day ago, around 11 PM, using a 2.5 second shutter speed, without a flash. The sky was that surrealistic kind of bright that it is when a thick snow covers the ground. In thinking that I'd be able to pull off the shot using only the ambient light, I was right, but found little use for rejoicing in it because any fleeting joy wouldn't have melted the snow any faster - and I wanted it gone, preferably the day before it started falling.

(And I paused here to go out and buy a new computer keyboard. The one I'd gotten last week to replace old reliable had the DELETE, END, PAGE UP, etc. keys in the "wrong" places and I'd finally had it with going to back space and not being able to without looking down.)

Anyway, the triumph about which I named this post was that I was able to get the BV out and running today!

I didn't do any of that awesome introspection that I'd moaned about not being able to do with the scooter trapped under the deck by the snow. I just rode! And I enjoyed ever turn of the tires like a little kid on some kind of amusement park ride. With a fresh haircut and beard trim earlier in the day I look perfectly dapper perched on the cycle.

Creature of habit who I am, I rode to a place that I haunt frequently in the spring, summer, and fall, though I knew the gates would be drawn and it would be closed. Last year when I rode there at this time of year it was icy. Now, it wasn't so bad with the snow melting in patches.

My grandma's house, when I was growing up, was only a few doors away from here. My house, which once belonged to a friend of hers is similar in style including the alleyway that leads from the front sidewalk to the back yard. My favorite toy back then when I was still of pre-school age was a little, red fire truck - the kind with a set of pedals that would put it into motion with foot power, on a flat surface. Flat surfaces were boring. I preferred to lug the thing up grandma's alley, hop in, and then coast faster than I could pedal with what seemed like a blazing speed down the slope to the back of the house and halfway across the lawn. I rode like that for hours, day after summer day, one summer after the next until my interests turned toward other things - or maybe I just grew too big for my little red truck which I still remember with much fondness.

For all the times I've arrived back here on the BV and ridden it down the alley to park it under the deck, it didn't strike me until today that my ride from the front of the house to the back is a lot like those rides of my childhood. When I realized that I gripped the brakes a little harder and savored the slow roll down the slight slope with a huge grin on my face. It was one of those moments that you can't really share with anybody because its life is so much a part of one's personal self. The best I can wish is for everybody to feel occasionally one of those really neat throwbacks to a time when life was much simpler and joy could be found in the simplest of things. I like life simple - like in a little red fire truck, and a big, gray scooter.

Oh! I forgot to mention the bell on that truck... I don't know how grandma could stand its incessant ringing, but I never remember having heard her complain about it. Maybe there's a definition of love to be found in that...

Love is accepting joyfully and smiling about the things that drive you crazy about somebody you love. Sometimes it's a toy truck with a shrill bell. Sometimes it's an Italian restaurant with crappy cell phone service.  I'm still working on that one.


Lance said...

You have my admiration for riding in the weather you folks have been having! Cool pictures too!

bobskoot said...


simple pleasures are gone with Youth. As we get older we make things more complex. If there is a harder way, we will find it

bobskoot: wet coast scootin