Monday, July 24, 2017

Done Marking Time

For the past two years, as I’ve hinted at here a few times during the wait, I’ve been in a limbo of sorts, not knowing what my future would be looking like.  There were questions that needed to be answered, forms that needed to be completed, things that had to be said, and not least of all simply enduring the daily anxiety of not knowing how my chips would fall.

I found out today that they fell, and just the way I’d hoped and prayed that they would.  I can breathe again, and smile, and sing!  I can’t dance, but I was never able to do that with my two left feet, so there’s no loss there.  All I need to complete the picture of happiness is my scooter back from the shop.  Meanwhile, here I am in a celebratory mood channeling the spirit of Tiny Tim and just generally breathing a sigh of relief that’s likely to make the whole east coast a few degrees warmer.

To those of you who might’ve prayed for me during the time that my life was essentially on hold, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for remembering me to the Almighty.  God is good!  Life is good! 

My ukulele playing is decidedly okay for now.  Although I purchased the little thing on impulse when I was in high school I never really tried to learn it, though I’d played the guitar on and off since elementary school (and the accordion, and the tuba).  There’s an upcoming “Island Party” in the Fall to which I’ve been invited, and never one to just sit back and enjoy the show without being a part of it, I decided that a bit of entertainment would be in order.  I’m having a lot of fun in learning to play the little thing.

I can see it now in the not too distant future...  My scooter on its kickstand in a public place somewhere with this goofy looking guy playing a ukulele nearby.  I won’t expect much change to be thrown my way; the uke’s gig bag is quite small.  Thank heaven my spirit of mirth will be a lot larger.  There are good days ahead, thank God!

Friday, July 21, 2017

How Long is Reasonable?

The scooter has been in the shop now for 88 days and I've almost lost all hope of ever getting it back.  The mechanic just seems to play with it now and then while working on bunches of other bikes at the same time, and I honestly don't know what to think.  That doesn't seem like a reasonable business model, but he seems to believe that it is and I guess it works for him.  Maybe he's saving me money on labor this way by putzing with the scooter a little at a time, but I'm frustrated almost to the limit of my patience.  I'm not angry at the guy because he's terribly likable.  But I'm awfully disappointed, and that might be worse than being mad.
When the dealership where I bought it ten years ago folded last year I was worried about finding somebody who'd be able to service the Piaggio, and then in turn I was thrilled when I took it to this guy who said it wouldn’t be a problem.  At that point it needed a new rear tire, a new drive belt and transmission rollers, a lube job, and something done to stop a small leak of coolant.  Three weeks later when I got it back I couldn't ride it after I brought it home.  The small leak was now a gusher and the thermostat wasn’t doing whatever it needed to do to cool the engine after it got hot.  I managed to get it back to the shop and it's been there now for the past 60 days, during some of the best riding weather of a typical year.

I've visited the scooter and the mechanic at least six times since I took it back and each time he encouraged me by suggesting that it should only take a little more time until it’s fixed.  But then another week or so passes, and little if anything gets done.

The problem is I really like the guy, but at this point I wish I'd never trusted him to fix my bike.  I explained when I first dropped it off that the old dealership took five weeks last year to play around with it, and added that I hoped it wouldn't be a similar time issue with him.  He assured me that it wouldn't be and I left it with him confident that it wouldn’t take too long, but here I am without my scooter for three months during prime riding season.

If you ask me for the name of the shop I’m not going to publish it here, nor tell you in a private message.  I am, though, going to direct the mechanic’s attention to this post and hope he’ll realize that he’s taken way longer than seems reasonable to have finished with my scooter and go at it until it’s done without keeping on putting it to the side for a few more days after every adjustment.

I just want to ride!  I think I’ve waited way long enough with the utmost of patience.  Please!  Get it done before we're at 100 days with me still riding  nothing more than a wish and a prayer.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Different Thinking

I was in the car this afternoon when I discovered that I think differently without the scooter.  With its being in the shop for nine weeks now, my summer just hasn’t been the same and it’s not only because I’m not out and about on two wheels, but because everything looks and feels different than it typically would this time of year when I’d usually be running all over the place on the bike and doing some of my best thinking.

There are places I go to regularly on the Piaggio that it wouldn’t even cross my mind to visit in the car.  The county park.  A favorite boat launch along the Susquehanna.  The various back roads and byways I love to ride because of the curves, or the scenery, or the smell of fresh cut clover and cow manure.  The out of the way bakeries, pizza joints, and bistro type places where it just feels so good to plant the kickstand and grab a bite of something delicious.  The little secluded spots with picnic tables where I can write e-mails or Facebook posts or blog entries.  They just wouldn’t be worth going to on four wheels because they’d feel like alien landscapes rather than my hallowed scooter haunts.

I’ve been missing out on a lot of the kind of introspection that comes when I’m alone in the middle of nowhere with the sun on my shoulders and the wind in my face, experiencing a lot of the things that make the summer special for me.   It’s mostly the thoughts that I miss, though.  The questions that I often ask myself with the hum of the scooter’s engine the only sound around for miles in places where a passing car is less likely to be seen than a barn somewhere struggling to hold itself together and some stray horses idly doing their horsey kinds of things in their fields.   And even worse than not being able to ask the questions is the inability to answer them and to make any progress with heading my life in a particular direction now.

The last time I saw my scooter, it looked like this.  It feels like my spirit is likewise apart and waiting to be reassembled.  I really need my bike back!