The Christmas holiday is nearly upon us. The insanity of shopping incessantly for hours on end the screaming the NOISE NOISE NOISE! It is a real wonder we all don't just toss ourselves into a bottle of scotch or that special medication reserved for the criminally insane. Don't get me wrong. I love the meaning of Christmas, and the time we spend with family and friends, but for me much of what Christmas is truly is about is lost in all that shopping screaming eating drinking crazy machine our society has turned us into. This year the economy has really changed a lot of our attitudes and that has rubbed off on other aspects of our daily lives. Lucky for us - we got gifts early, and have pretty much avoided the psychotic tendencies that seem to plague us all this time of year.
As always music has played an enormous part in our celebrations here at the house this year. I am finding newfound admiration for artists such as Andrea Bochelli and Josh Grobin. Not really sure why but they command a voice that resonates with a simple air of beauty. Another style that seems to be recapturing my attention is big band and jazz. Frank Sinatra has always been a long standing favorite, but also Tony Bennett. One of the lesser known but just as respected was Buddy Rich, a jazz drummer whose life was cut short in 1987. I remember listening to some of his music as a high school band member, often wishing I could play "like that guy". In many ways much of the aforementioned music and artists are essentially a rediscovery for me. I have found the absence of alcohol a reawakening of my left brain, and its getting a little groovy in the ol' pumpkin!
Its also a time of year when its COLD! Last week we were suffering through temps in the minus 10 degree range. I spent some time shortly before that winterizing my Harley. Changing oil, checking the brakes, adding some Sta-Bil into the tank for winter. While those kinds of chores are a labor of love, its also a bit depressing knowing that my Harley is parked for the next four months or more. This was my first full year of actively riding a Harley, and I am about as addicted as I can be. From the assault on the senses such as the smells and the feel of the wind thru my beard, to that time where I can spend letting go of the stresses of life and meditating on those things that have caused some undue grief or stress. I have made a number of "day rides" spending a single day going to some distant place only to find a different route home. I have had fun, gained experience, and even earned some confidence and respect among my closer friends. Next year I have planned at least one trip to spend a number of days travelling and navigating on my own. There are a number of challenges to doing that, but it will be the ride, not the destination that I will enjoy most. Where the road will take me next year I do not know, but there are a number of possibilities. One such trip would include a trip to the Dakotas before the big rally. Another might be to Texas to see my brother, but wherever I go I will cherish the adventure with great anticipation.
Have a Wonderful Holiday - May we all find peace on earth goodwill towards all.