Sunday, December 15, 2013

DEAR JOE 5-10-49 to 12/2/13


Dear Joe,
 Still can't believe you are gone. For a while it was easy to think that you were off on a trip/adventure, but then you would have called. Even if you were in a spot with no service, you would drive as long as it took to get a signal and call me. I still carry the stupid phone around, just in case, but it rings and it's not you.
 Jayne and I arrived back in River Falls with you around 11:30pm on Tuesday. The sacred fire was burning for you. Your friends were here to tend it 24 hours a day. Steve parked his RV at the house so they could take turns resting and warming up. He was here most of the days, only leaving to check his shop and mother. People brought wood, food, drinks, paper goods, tobacco and of course, their love and Joe Spado stories. It began raining and then got cold enough to snow and blow and still someone was there, at the fire to honor you. It was wet and very cold and still there was always someone at the fire. Jayne and Ben spent all night at the fire on the coldest of nights. I got up around 5 to take over and sent them in to sleep in our bed where the electric blanket was blasting.
 I kept thinking how much you would have loved to see all the activity around the house, kids all over the place, people stopping by, people drinking coffee, crying, hugging, eating.
 Jan and Ron came for the weekend, leaving Florida at 85 to be here in the sub zero. Sonya just left for Colorado after being here for 10 days.
 The mail, posts, emails that have arrived all have such beautiful things to say about you. I know that because of your PTSD you felt that you did not deserve the praise, but Honey you did! There are so many lives that have been touched by you and they are all the better for having known you.
 Loosing you has been so hard on the kids, especially Anna. I will tell you more about that in another letter.
 I am very tired, hope you visit me in my dreams. So much to tell you, I will write again soon.
 Give Maggie a big hug for me, I am glad you are together again.
Love you,
Me xoxoxoxoxox

Friday, November 22, 2013

Doggy Bag Please

Haiku My Heart
November 22, 2013
 Join the fun and fellowship. See more Haiku at Friday's regular feature at Rebecca's Blog, recuerda mi corazon.

Hospital dinner

Edible, contemptible

Dog food on a plate

Really, you can’t make this up. Uncanny might be the word, (Yes, pun intended), to describe the reality of this. Let me explain. I’m admitted to the Minneapolis VA hospital last month. I actually had two three day visits there. I was settled into my room and playing a waiting game.

Doctors were waiting for the outcome from blood tests and to see what my pulse rate was going to do as it had shot upward drastically and they were medicating like crazy to get it to go down to what they considered an acceptable level.

It was close to mealtime and Mrs. Spadoman was in the room waiting with me. We gave up on getting any further results of medical tests this particular day. We were content to just wait on dinner before we started another cribbage game.

Can you believe it?

You expect me to eat this?

Dog food looks better

Mrs. Spadoman was paging through a magazine that she had found in one of the waiting rooms. A Good-Housekeeping or Redbook I think it was. In her usual way, humor-wise, she showed me an advert for some new kind of dog food and quipped, “This is what you’ll be getting for dinner when it comes.”

I looked at the photo and it did indeed look like some kind of beef stew. I think the ad was actually touting the dog food as close to being like people  food as it possibly can be. We discussed the topic for a few minutes and made jokes about it.

Then, as if on cue, my tray arrived. I saw the small carton of milk, the ½ Cup serving of canned fruit and the salad, the napkin and silverware along with condiments scattered across the tray. In the center of the tray was the plastic insulated cover with the entre’ on a plate underneath. I lifted the lid and looked at the slice of bread, the vegetable medley of potatoes and carrots.

Then we looked at the dinner portion of what was being served that night.

Which one should I choose?

Flatulence personified?

Or plain horse meat stew?

We laughed until our eyes were watering. Mrs. Spadoman found the magazine ad and placed the dog food photo up close to the edge of the plate. The photograph immediately below this paragraph is what was on my plate.

The similarity of what was on my plate and that magazine photograph was unbelievable

I must tell you, care at the Minneapolis VA hospital has always been top notch. I’ve been going there since the mid 1990’s. The food hasn’t always been the best, but having experienced the food service in other VA and private hospitals over the past 25 years, none of them are what I would call excellent cuisine. But this experience was over the top and had us laughing well into the next month. 

In other news, today, November 22, 2013, marks the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. An event in American history that will always be remembered as one of the greatest tragedies in the history of the United States.

A modicum of Bon Appe’tit, with a large helping of Peace

Friday, November 8, 2013

Haiku My Heart

Haiku My Heart
November 8, 2013

Another week gone

I did not post for haiku

Well, maybe I did

I've been extremely busy this week. Four appointments at the VA and then did duty to take all four Grandkids to the dentist today. I do have a few posts and stories I've been working on and hopefully will get something of interest going here soon.

See more, (and better) Haiku at Rebecca's recuerda mi coraz√≥n 

Peace to All

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

First of the Year

November 6, 2013. A Wednesday. Although there were a few flakes of the white stuff last week intertwined amongst the blustery drizzle and rain, the actual noticeable, measurable snowfall was evident this morning upon awakening. The grass was coated with white. Green and brown blades and piles of leaves still poked through, but for all intensive purposes, it was this Winter season's first snowfall.

I'm going to jot this date down and count the days until I hear the first Thunderbeing's voices next Spring. Maybe I should make a prediction. I will. I'll say it will be April 16th, 2014. That would be 161 days. Just about 20 days shorter than six months, or one half of a year, that is Winter.  Of course, I'm guessing. It may be longer or shorter than 161 days, but it gives you an idea of how long this season lasts up here in the Northland. It encompasses large parts of three actual seasons. Fall, Winter and Spring.

My point being...? There is no point. It's here. A seasonal change that can be seen, measured, and now must be dealt with. The Radio Flyer little red wagon still sits outside, on its side, next to the swings. The Weber didn't get covered after we used it last night. I had to scrape the ice from the rain that froze before it started snowing on the windshield of my truck. Well, Mrs. Spadoman actually went out and scraped it for me because she knows I like to run over to the Dish and the Spoon Coffee Shop to chit chat a bit with whoever comes in that deems me interesting enough to sit down and have a conversation with. And I will, as soon as I finish this and post it.

Grandfather Sun gleams from the sky, a little farther to the South than a few months ago. More sunshine on parts of my house as the leaves on the deciduous trees are gone. Forecast to be near 40 degrees Fahrenheit today, so this snow will be completely gone before dark. But it was marked and calculated and proclaimed:

The First Snowfall of the 2013-2014 Winter Season.


Friday, November 1, 2013

Dreaming On

Haiku My Heart
November 1, 2013

Every Friday, friends gather and share their art, stories and haiku thoughts through Rebecca's blog, recuerda mi corazon

“Can I buy more time?” I asked the Creator.

“You’ll have all the time you’ll need”, Creator responded.

“Then let’s get started”, said I.

I’ve been staying busy between hospital and doctor’s visits by being an artist. I’ve completed a few pieces that were promised to people and have some “inventory” on hand. I even completed two pair of snowshoes for a Christmas delivery. I promised the buyer that I would store them until such time that she wants them to give as Christmas gifts. She is a marvelous soul and lives here in town. She bought them for her husband and daughter so they might take up the activity and bond together more closely.
The tip of the snowshoe with a familiar decor
Ready for Christmas delivery

I came across some unusual sticks. I gather these pieces, like one would gather rocks, and just bring them home. Eventually, I get them uncovered from a resting place somewhere underneath the junk piles on my workbenches, (yes, I have three workbenches here at Spadoville, two in the garage and one in the furnace room), and I try to remember the patterns I was pondering when I picked them up. 
This Dream Catcher will be mounted on a platform and sit on a table or shelf. Kind of looks like a flag waving

These sticks of odd dimensions are attached together to form a jagged circle, or enclosure, if you will, and then randomly grabbed, when I’m in the mood, to be laced into a Dream Catcher. I hang them up, if I am satisfied with the results of the main body of it, then decorate them with feathers, leather and beads, braided embroidery thread or horse hair tassels. The chosen decor is also random, but the ideas of what to use comes to me in deep thoughts about the reasons and the person that will receive it.
I apologize for the blurry nature of this photo. This piece was sent to a friend recently. This is entirely one piece of wood. I found it naturally bent and pulled a branch to itself, (can be seen at the top left corner of the piece),  when I found it in a raw green state. The wood then dried. I have had this piece of wood in my possession for over 5 years before weaving it into a Dream Catcher

I have some hand drums to make and will start on them as soon as our annual Los Dias de Los Muertos celebration is over and the out-of-town guests depart for home. My sister and nephew will be here from Chicago and some good close friends from Colorado will also attend the doings.

After this weekend, I will be entering two or three of my pieces to the River Falls Public Library for an art show which will feature local artists. This is not a juried show, but rather a showcase of art in our community by holding an All Community Art Show from November 10th through December 8th.
Two colors in the weaving pattern

Wood gently embracing itself at the top

I’m feeling better, but seem to be tethered to the doctor for a while due to the latest heart episodes that had me in the hospital twice over the month of October. Looks like the trips to Albuquerque and Tucson over the winter are on permanent hold, if not cancelled all together. I need to get used to some changes in medication that was warranted by strange symptoms stemming from a long life full of diabetes, heart disease and more recently, (the past two years), Afib. At least now I seem to understand my Pacemaker/Defibrillator, what it does, and what it doesn’t do, and why I have one in the first place, a little better.

This rattle looks like some kind of Alien life form. This is called a Maranka Gourd, or a Dolphin Gourd. It sure makes interesting shapes

This next set of photos shows a Dream Catcher I made for a good friend. She is a Grand Mother of an 11 year old that suffers from a very rare disease called Sanfilippo Syndrome. The child sleeps with her Grand Mother. I tried to show this close connection and wove one Dream catcher into, or intertwined, with another, showing the bond that exists in real life for this pair of souls. The feathers match, but are opposite in their leaning, the horse hair tassels are symmetrical as well.

Here are a few more photos of what I have made lately. I’d like to do custom or special orders, but don’t want the pressure of deadlines. If you’re interested in anything you see here, or would like more information, Email and we’ll discuss it. Looks like the creative juices are flowing out of necessity, but I am enjoying finally working at a life-long dream. I still need some larger more dedicated work space. The garage and shed are just too cold in winter. The fluorescent overhead lights stumble and flicker and buzz until the temperatures get above 50 fahrenheit.
Wood found in the Desert, broken from a Juniper bush

Dogwood, bent while green, with branches left on
This Gourd Rattle was sent to a friend. The design is wood burned, then painted

We Celebrate Los Dias de Los Muertos, the Days of the Dead, here at Spadoville today and through this weekend. The Spirits of our loved ones are here. I am also remembering my good friend, Gene Artishon. Today is his birthday. He left us way too soon. I can feel their Spirits. We have been visiting already.

Peace to all

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Looking Forward to the Celebration

We're setting up the ofrenda. Already talking to these wonderful spirits. We'll be working at it for a couple more days transforming this wall of our living room into a shrine, but for now, here are a couple of photos.

Peace to all

The newest edition

Friday, October 18, 2013

Haiku My Heart

Frost on the pumpkin

Colorful leafy carpet

Changes evermore


Saturday, October 12, 2013

What's Going On

Let's try this. Let's see if I can actually sit here and write. It's been harder than ever for me to pay attention to anything long enough to consider it a thought. Been a lot of extracurricular activities around Spadoville. Still trying to continue on like normal, but normal has been slowly changing over the years and now it's like I'm a full blown chameleon and have changed from one person to another.

Let's take this morning, for example. My routine is far different than it was twenty years ago. Back then, I'd get up and drag myself out of bed, grab a cup of coffee and run out the door headed for work. I'd linger between the warm blankets as long as I could with one eye checking the clock so I wouldn’t be late.

Grabbing a banana as I hurried out to the car, I’d get on the road and drive way too fast in morning rush hour traffic to chase the almighty dollar, just to come home after a long day and be too tired and lazy to cook dinner and instead, spend the hard earned moolah on dinner, eating some crappy processed food service concoction that added to my current condition of heart attacks, congestive heart failure, diabetes and the Medtronic Pacemaker that keeps my old broken heart in rhythm.

These days, I’m always awake by 4:30 am and out of bed by five. Just can’t lay there any longer. I need to toss and turn to get comfortable or to allow me to be in a position where I can breathe.

I get up and sit in my leather chair until six am. It’s not a recliner. Just a good sturdy tan leather chair and ottoman. My blanket is there. Lately, I’ve been using it to cover my cold blood starved legs and feet as the morning temperatures are dropping and the house is much cooler than the 72 degrees we keep it in Summer by way of Carrier air conditioning.

At six, I take my blood pressure. That little portable unit sits on the lower shelf of the end table on my right. At the left side sits another end table that is loaded with plastic boxes of sinew and beads and assorted tools for making Dream Catchers. After the blood pressure routine, I get on  the scale and weigh myself, then to the bathroom for check my blood glucose level. Somewhere during this ceremony I do get to relieve myself as the diuretics (water pills), I take have made my bladder full and is usually the reason I had to get out of bed in the first place..

I go to the computer and with a quickly failing short term memory, I try to transcribe these numbers from the carried out operations onto a chart to show my doctor and clinician next time I go to the VA for an appointment.

By this time, I am freezing and I head for the chair and the blanket again. Still haven’t had a cup of coffee. There are teen agers getting ready for school, milling around the kitchen and grabbing their own banana and swilling down a cup of hot chocolate made from hot water that their Grand Mother has put on the timer to be hot precisely when it is needed.

After these two have gone, the smaller versions get up and have their morning routine. They start one hour later than the teens. How convenient the timing schedule for catching the school bus is. I can’t imagine all four of them getting ready to get out the door at the same time. If it’s anything like dinnertime, when we all gather at the table and rush through the meal to get on with playing with friends, phone calls, face-booking, you-tubing, Net-flixing  and video games, it would be total morning chaos for sure!

Mrs. Spadoman has her coffee and she always asks me if I want a cup. I usually say, “Yes, please”, and wait patiently in my chair for the morning elixir to be set down at my right side, on the table top, right above where I keep my blood pressure monitor. I may wander now to my bedroom and the shelf where I keep the line-up of prescription medicine bottles and small plastic Walgreens  compartmentized holders where the pills from these bottles are distributed by days of the week and time slots.

I take the ones before I eat first and in a half hour, I eat. Cereal, hot or cold, depending on my level of laziness. Rarely do I cook anything like eggs or make toast. I still usually get the banana, but it is eaten at a much more leisurely pace than when I rammed it into my mouth while on the superhighway going to a job site like I did for 33 years prior.

I finish my coffee, if I’ve had one, and eaten breakfast. It’s time now to take the rest of my morning medication. I do my bathroom experience which varies from day to day. Sometimes I shower and shave, sometimes I don’t. I pull a brush through my hair and sometimes splash some water on my palm to slap an unruly wave or curl into just the right place to satisfy the little bit of vanity I still have, which would be hair on the top of my head.

What I do next varies greatly. If I’m not going to the VA for another doctor’s appointment, I try to get something done with a project I have going on in the house, or an art project. There is always something that needs attention when you’re a home owner, and I always seem to have some Dream Catcher or a pair of snowshoes that need to be completed sitting around.

I have actually completed some projects and fulfilled obligations. I’m working on two pair of snowshoes now for a husband and child of a woman here in town. The woman asked me if the art work can be peace signs! Right up my alley. 

Some days I I think I want to have a studio or shop space where I can spread out my work and come and go to it as I please. Then, I figure that I’ve gotten  through this many years without one and managed to get a few items done, why would I need a studio. The leather chair works fine to sit and weave.

Usually, if I’m not needed elsewhere, I go to the local Dish and the Spoon Cafe and have an Americano. It is impossible to go there and not see someone I know and chit chat a bit. I’ve given up political conversations. I’d talk sports, but not many sports people hang out at the Dish and the Spoon. River Falls has 14 bars. I think that’s where I’d find the sports conversationalists.

Last week, I varied the routine as I had some chest congestion that lingered on longer than I needed it to and I finally went to urgent care at the Minneapolis VA hospital. The chest X-ray showed pneumonia and an antibiotic was prescribed. The routine blood test showed some enzyme abnormality and I ended up being admitted and checked out via an echocardiogram and a nuclear stress test. 

More pill bottles were added to my collection. I’ve slowed down a little more as the left side of my heart has a place that is starving for blood. In most cases, folks get a stent put in to the narrowed artery and blood flow is restored. In  my case, the last angiogram showed that there isn’t anywhere on any of the heart arteries where such a measure can be performed. Medication is the answer, and if that doesn’t work, the heart tissue will die, and if it’s bad enough, so will I. I can see it now, the pacemaker/defibrillator exploding with shocks to restart my heart. I hope I’m alone and no one has to watch that.

One step closer to the end of the diving board. I am upbeat for the most part, but still I sit there and wonder if and when it’s gonna happen. I’m not afraid, in fact, I want to experience death just like I experience life, with my eyes and mind open. May be a while yet though. I took my pills this morning.

Peace to all

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Special Day

Today, October 9, 2013, Mrs. Spadoman and I celebrate 42 years of being married.

It will be low-keyed for the most part. We will go out for dinner tonight and eat red meat.

I am very fortunate that I have her in my life and hope she feels the same way. I love you Little Honey.

Peace to all.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

It is That Time of Year Again

Los Dias de los Muertos

This years “Days of the Dead” Celebration will take place:

Saturday   November 2, 2013 At Joe and Barb Spado’s:       
523 E. Johnson Street in River Falls, WI
Come anytime after 5 p.m.        Bring a dish to pass 

Traditionally, “Los Dios” are a time when the Spirits of those departed from our lives are thought to pass through the realms and visit us
We await them with something they were comfortable with when they still walked the earth. Feel free to bring something and a picture of someone you’d like to have pay us a visit, we’ll put it on the Ofrenda

We’ll eat and drink and talk into the night with old and new friends, and invite these souls here to join us for the evening, 
in Spirit

Campfire, bring a folding chair, dress for the weather
Main Dish, Coffee, Soft Drinks and Juice on hand. BYOB
This is our fifth year in River Falls. Come celebrate with us
Joe and Barb Spado  (715) 209-0241

This is your invitation to come and celebrate with us. Everyone is invited. Call or write if you have questions about this celebration. 


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

On the Road

Vermillion, South Dakota is the destination to attend the Red Road gathering. Be back in a few days.


Friday, September 13, 2013

Casey at the Bat

Haiku My Heart
September 13, 2013

Please go to the fabulous recuerda mi corazon blog for more Haiku

Lost Derek Jeter

The blemish could be neater

A-Rod's a cheater

Nearing the end of September. As a fan of the game of baseball, I watch the contested races with enthusiasm, but I can’t get over how money makes the game cheap and slut-like. Still, the ball is thrown and caught and sometimes hit, and that is what keeps me intrigued. That a game invented over 100 years ago has the same measurements today. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Great Lake Superior

Haiku My Heart
September 6, 2013

See Moore posts at recuerda mi corazon.

Lake Superior

Companion travel around

Clockwise is the way

Left Tuesday morning for a road trip around the Great Lake Superior. Headed clockwise from Duluth. What a fun time. Great scenery, Great weather, Great Lake Superior. I'm traveling with a good friend, someone that we treat like another daughter.

In Marquette, MI last night, and headed to Ashland, WI today to meet Mrs. Spadoman and middle daughter this evening.

The Lake is powerful and full of magic. Full report and many photos when I get home on the computer and off the iPad.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Last Tango, the Death of an Era

Haiku My Heart
August 23, 2013

We meet and greet each other every Friday here and on other pages for Haiku My Heart. See more and find out how you can participate at Rebecca's recuerda mi corozon

Author's Note: This is a long post. If you don't want or need to read the history of my motorcycle ownership, skip down to the last couple of paragraphs for the gist of this story. Thanks
My first bike

Hard for me to grasp

If you ponder the question

No motorcycle?

As the photo can attest, I have been riding a bike since I was two years old. My first one was a three wheeled affair, and it was powered by me, myself and I. Fast forward to my first ride on a motorcycle with my Uncle Louie. 

Uncle Louie had one like this, with that big solo seat

He had a 1958 DuoGlide Harley Davidson in baby blue and chrome. It had a big solo seat, but a 9 year old was able to fit behind him with my legs spread wide apart and my hands gripping his thick wide black leather belt as I reached around his sides.

I tell you, I can still remember that ride. The roar of the pipes. The inertia from the acceleration. The wind through my hair. I knew right then and there that I would someday own a motorcycle. 

Advertisement for a Sears Allstate motorbike

Right around that time, my brother had a motorcycle in the garage. It just sat there. It was an Allstate, sold by Sears Roebuck. I found out later that my brother had broken the cardinal rule of not giving rides to anyone, and when he had an accident and Jimmy Wilson’s Mom and Dad sued my Dad, that bike got put away and eventually sold. I only remember seeing that bike running one time, coming down the alley to go back in to the garage, then it was gone.

My Dad on one of Uncle Louie's older Indian motorcycles, circa 1946-47
I think we were 14 or 15, no one had a drivers license, but there was a place that opened up in the Chicago suburb of Melrose Park that rented these small Bridgestone motorcycles by the hour. They were barely bigger than the modern day mopeds that are on the streets these days.
They had 60cc and a 90 cc for a little bit more money.  We would rent bikes for an hour every chance we got. We spent every cent on riding. Renting those little motorbikes is where I cut my teeth, and in 1970, when I returned from Vietnam and got out of the Army, I bought a Gold and White 1970 CB350 Honda.

Actual photo of my 1970 CB350 Honda motorcycle

That Honda was my first motorcycle. I got it one day, and the next morning, I rode it to work. I was on Wolf Rd., headed South from 22nd Street through the Forest Preserves. The brake lights of the car in front of me came on and I put that bike into a sideways power slide to keep from hitting it. I went down and scraped my arm pretty good.

No helmet, no riding gear like leather. Ballistic material hadn’t been invented yet. When the woman driving the car in front of me stopped and came back to see if I was all right, I asked her, “Why did you stop in the middle of the road?”

She told me, “There was a duck crossing the road.”

I managed to ride from that incident, in 1970, to 2012 before I’d have another crash. I’d also have a few more motorcycles in between that first Gold and White Honda and today.

I met Mrs. Spadoman in January of 1971, we got married in October of the same year. She was pregnant with our first child and I sold the two-door sport car and motorcycle and bought a station wagon. 

That mind set didn’t last long. By 1973 I had a first born daughter that we named Maggie and a 1967 Yamaha 360 DT Enduro.

1967 Yamaha DT360. I had one like this in 1973
I rode the Yamaha into the ground and used it to get to work as well as towed it to the motocross track and roughed it up a little.

Also around 1973, I owned one like this in blue and white

There was a drought of motorcycle ownership for a while, but I did have a Honda CL450 for a while. I actually burned a piston on that twin cylinder, but got home with only one working. Those old Honda bikes were bulletproof!

My 1976 Honda CB400F
I actually owned both of the bikes in the photo above. I originally bought the red one brand new in 1976. My friend Bruce owned the blue one. In the photo, we are packed to the gills headed for Canada. I recall that trip as one of the first long distance motorcycle trips I ever did. Bruce sold his to a friend of mine and i sold my bike. Then, a couple of years later, my friend was selling the blue one and I bought it from him, hence I have owned both of these bikes, at different times.

Douglass Pass in Colorado with my 1993 Harley Davidson FatBoy
When we moved to Colorado in the early 1990’s, 1993 to be exact, I bought a new Harley Davidson FatBoy. I was right in  the middle of another round of heart attacks, but got the bike anyway. Ownership didn’t last long as feeding the family came first and the luxury of having a brand new $14,000 motorcycle while out of a job because of health issues made me have to sell it.

That was in 1994, I believe, and I didn’t have another chance to get another bike until 2001, when I bought another Honda 750 from a friend. I was going to fix this bike up. It ran, but needed some tires and some tweaking on the engine. Someone came along and wanted to buy it, so I sold it without doing anything to it.

In the late 1990's, I bought a used 1982 Yamaha SR500 Thumper. A Thumper is a single cylinder motor. This was a really great little bike and would most everything that i wanted to do on a motorcycle. Here is an actual photograph of that bike in 2000:
1982 Yamaha SR500
Then came the Harley Davidson Sportster 883
Not much of the bike, but my two oldest Grandkids liked my 2004 Sportster
In 2004 I bought a new Harley Davidson Sportster. Harley, as do most manufacturers, sell their bikes plain so the buyer will spend oodles of money buying aftermarket doodads and farkles to personalize the bike. I was no exception and bought doodads and farkles for every bike I’ve ever owned.
The Sportster was okay, but I really wanted a Dyna Glide. I had seen one on the showroom floor and returned to the dealership with the Sportster and asked them if I could trade it in. They accepted, and in fact, had a promotion in place to take the smaller less-expensive Sportsters in trade for the bigger bikes.

My 2004 Dyna Glide Sport at the Delta Diner in the Northwoods of Wisconsin
I traded the Sporty in on a 2004 fuel injected Dyna Super Glide Sport. I really liked that bike and had it rigged up so I could cruise with it in town, then convert it, via quick release windshield, luggage rack and saddlebags, into a traveling highway bike.

After riding the Dyna for a few years and many thousands of miles, I sold it and bought a bike I had been reading about, the newly designed and engineered Triumph Tiger 1050i with ABS braking system.
One of my first rides on my 2008 Triumph Tiger
I put over 30,000 rounds on that Tiger and rode it to the West coast a half dozen times. I had a metamorphosis of a sort and started buying bikes so I would have one for each purpose. My thinking was that if I wanted to go riding on a gravel road and splashing through water-crossings in the mountains, I would need a bike suitable to do so. The Tiger was not the right bike to get the job  done.

2010 BMW G650GS
So, I bought a 2010 BMW 650gs, a bike to ride on and off road, what they call a dual sport bike in the industry. I didn’t like the way the seat was and the configuration of the bike and gas tank made it impossible to buy a new seat that would satisfy my tastes. Of course I had to ride this bike considerably on and off road to determine that I didn’t like the way the seat was engineered, and I still had the Triumph Tiger.

1973 Honda CL350
I also bought another old vintage Honda, a CL350, which is called the Scrambler. I was going to restore this Honda back to original condition and have a collector bike that ran and looked truly vintage.
I sold the BMW and bought a Triumph Scrambler, then sold the Honda so I could have more money to spend on doodads and farkles for the Triumph.

My 2008 Triumph Scrambler 900
I rode the Triumph Scrambler for a couple of years and really enjoyed that bike before I sold it and bought another Triumph, but this time, I opted for the Bonneville SE. I rode that SE a lot last Summer. I had some great thrills on that bike as these next two photos can attest:

Click on this one and check out the speedometer. 105 MPH!

I also went for a 2005 Moto Guzzi Nevada Classic, but I didn’t like the Guzzi at all and sold it.

2005 Moto Guzzi Nevada Classic

Last September I was involved in a wreck and the insurance company totaled the SE. I went without a bike through the Winter of 2012-2013 and in Spring, bought yet another Honda, a 1977 CB500K, and rode that for a while.

The first 2011 Triumph Bonneville SE
I wanted another Triumph Bonneville and bought one in April of 2013 and sold the 1977 Honda. I just finished a deal and sold the Triumph Bonneville and I now own no motorcycles.

My 1977 CB550K Honda

The last one, 2011 Triumph Bonneville mag wheel
So, It is finished. The end of an era. A slow death, if you will, or at least a part of my soul is dead and gone. 

I sold the last of my motorcycles and I have hung up my riding boots. The decision was easy to make. Complications from health problems and small ailments all together gave me many reasons to stop. It’s no longer safe for me or the motoring public. 
My philosophy is simple. If I can’t do everything that ownership and riding requires, like checking the tire pressure, lubing the chain and checking the oil, then I shouldn’t be riding. Doing any kind of activity that has me bending down, like regular maintenance on the motorcycle, is painful and next to impossible for me. I don’t deserve to ride a motorcycle.
My feet are numb and legs are tingly, a condition called neuropathy, from years of uncontrolled diabetes. Sometimes I can’t feel the shifter on the left or the brake pedal on the right. I take insulin and could go into diabetic shock if my blood glucose levels go too low. I have a heart pacemaker that regulates my heart rate, and although that keeps me from having rapid heart rate episodes, with my heart history, that sucker could go off and defibrillate me at any time. That would, in essence, be like having someone putting their hands on my chest and pushing me off the bike while I’m riding it.
I have congestive heart failure. This causes shortness of breath and fatigue in my muscles. The arthritis in my hands keeps me from having a tight grip on the hand grips, making some quick response maneuvers impossible to perform. The retinopathy in my eyes, also an after effect of the diabetes, makes it hard to see, especially with dark glasses on or at night. Light glares at me, sunlight or headlights. I have hearing loss. I have less than normal flexibility in my joints, especially my neck and I can’t turn my head to the right or left far enough to see the road to either side.

If that isn’t enough, I am on a fixed income and can’t afford bike payments, taking trips or insurance along with the aforementioned doodads and farkles.

There you have it. My motorcycling history, from beginning to end. An end to an era in my life. Am I sad? Yes, very much so. Do I have memories? Yes, very many of them. But I’ll tell you, there is nothing like blasting along a two-lane highway in the dessert at 100 miles per hour, wind in your hair and the telephone poles going by so fast they look like toothpicks.

I will miss riding motorcycles, and I’ll cry when I see others enjoying them. I’ll drool when the new models come out. I’ll imagine what it would be like to swing my leg over the saddle and put one through its paces. I’ll sit with maps and find the roads that will take me there and plan trips that I’ll never be able to take. You bet I’m sad.

Maybe I should be glad that I’m alive. Maybe that’s a good thing, but maybe a small part of us dies every time there is a wholesale change in our lives. I think so, I think this is how we die, losing bits and pieces, a chunk at a time. This is a big chunk.

Day is done