Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Call of Reckoning

Time to Ride at the Brewhaha
I've tried several times to get something out for my friends and relatives living out there somewhere in internet land.  Usually my posts are about once a month and really just serve as more of a "Whats Up" in my neck of the woods.  Lately, however, its been like an insane asylum around here.  I had hoped this would be a quieter year, given how the year started, but it would appear I never had positive control of my life or my direction.  I honestly don't know who is conducting this railroad into the deep abyss, but whomever he is better get a road map and slow down. It could be way way worse, and truly it is the blessings that I count today and during this month of May.  As I get older, however, I tend to find that sometimes all this excitement can be a bit much.  Like things to keep on an even keel so my little brain can absorb and analyze it all.  Unfortunately for some of us dinosaurs, that's a bit much to be asking.

Honest Officer - I can explain everything!
Since my last report, its now almost summer.  Spring has done about sprung its last surprise for the year on everyone.  Flowers have long since bloomed and faded, and now we are pretty much left with the green of the trees. Pollen now fills the sir stifling the eyes and clogging the sinuses.  Lawn mowing has begun, to which my disdain for that is only exceeded by my utter hatred of those damn political ads which are everywhere these days.  As summer approaches so too, does my hope for exciting riding possibilities.  Fortunately, this past winter was mild enough I never really parked the bike, although riding in winter time when there is supposed to be a foot of snow on the ground was, well, rather weird, but it also was such a great thrill to ride about 20 miles or so in 40 degree weather with people looking at me like I am some kind of fool.  I guess if you ride a motorcycle in cold weather, maybe you ARE a fool, but only a fool knows his true paradise.

The April Brewhaha Crew-in May.
For the last two years I have been making some friends online, who, as it were, are fans of the band Rush.  I cannot hide it, I have enjoyed this band since I was a junior in high school.  In the interest of maybe just celebrating a bit of independence, and the music we all grew up on, some of us decided to have a sort of get together in central Wisconsin.  The date set would be May 9th-May 13th, and we called the event the Brewhaha.  Our objective was really do some seeing of the sights, do some motorcycle riding and have a big party at the end.  To that end we had a glorious time.  Enjoyed some sights, took in some wines, toured a bit, and just found some great friends who came to enjoy some great music great food and just have a great time.  For Mary and I we don't do this that much, so this opportunity was readily taken.  On our last night we celebrated with a huge feast of pork and beef brisket, with all the trimmings.  The sharing of a glass, or several, of a great single malt scotch, or a glass of wine or two as we sat by a nice fire made things just about perfect.  All in all we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and the company of friends!

Dale Curtis Atwood - My Grandson!
On our last day in Wisconsin, as I was packing up the car to return home, I overheard Mary sounding a bit excited on her phone.  As we were staying with friends, I wasn't exactly sure what this was about, so I went back in to a cup of coffee.  As Mary came downstairs, she sounded very concerned about something, and then put her cell phone on the table.   On speaker was our oldest daughter Jesse.  Sounding rather upset Mary told her to tell me what she had been talking about.  The conversation went something like this.

PawPaw still gots it!
Jesse:  "Hi Dad I ave something to tell you."
Me:    "Ok shoot!"
Jesse:  "Dad - I just gave birth to a baby boy!"
Me:  Silence.....a pause.....and then "Gee dear I had no idea you were PREGNANT!
Jesse:  "Um yeah but I need to give up the baby I'm not ready"
Me:  "Ok Jess before you make any decision let your mother and I get home so we can DISCUSS this as adults."

A gulp, two, checking my pulse.  Yes I became a grandpa!  The circumstances were not the best they could be, however, given my daughter and grandson are healthy, and our youngest daughter, who helped in the birthing process, scarred beyond words for LIFE, all things considered we are very lucky.  The drive home was, well, I think Mary and I were both in shock.  I think we needed the ride home to collect our thoughts, and find those precious right things to say.  As I was on my Harley, it goes without saying the ride home was going to take a toll.  All the adrenaline rush was making me sleepy, and on a motorcycle that's a bit dangerous.  In the end, we did find the right words, the right support, and the courage to face this new life with open arms. 

Dale Curtis Atwood born May 13th, 2012, weighing 6 pounds 4 ounces, at 18 inches in length.  Today Dale weighs a bit over 8 pounds is almost 22 inches long, and is already moving around like a linebacker! When he was born, we had no bed, no bassinet, no car seat, no clothes, no bottles, nothing.  As our prayers were answered, we discovered that in the same friendship we had sought to enjoy the previous week together, so did those very same people step up and send an incredible amount of donations in clothing gift cards even a brand new CRIB has showed up for baby Dale.  All thanks to those friends who share a passion for life!  To them I can only thank you on behalf of Dale and his mom Jesse.  Without such donations we might still be scrambling.

Mom and Cheyenne Graduating!
And then there was this past weekend.  Our youngest, Cheyenne, has finally become a high school graduate.  Her much anticipated day of freedom arrived, and she is going to make the most of it.  She received a 4 year math letter, and her GPA is hovering right at around 3.0, although the final number will not be known for a couple weeks yet.  She is also in the Vital program which helps students with learning difficulties with college tuition.  Her first year of tuition is paid, but the best part is she received a scholarship in the amount of $1000 for her first year.  Dad be heap big proud of her!!!  it was a struggle at times, but the best part was seeing her blossom and come out of her shell this last year or so.  New challenges await as she will attend community college for a two year degree in Graphic Art Design.  She will do well, as long as she stays focused and keeps her mind on her work.  Kids sometimes get rather distracted!

Other such notable events.  Mary it appears has almost fully recovered from total knee replacement in January.  She is moving around much better than she had for a great many years.  I hope to be enjoying some riding adventures this year.  Nothing firmed up, but we will be attending Rush concerts in Chicago and Detroit in September, with Toronto an additional stop in October.  I'd like to hope I can make one of those shows on the Harley, but that's a ways off yet.  Cheyenne starts college in the fall which will bring a new challenge as well.  Jesse is managing her new motherly duties fairly well, but as Dale gets older she will have to learn to adapt to his constant changes.  Even though this has been a challenging year, its been one of change, and of reckoning.

Welcome to the World Dale!!

Peace & Love Everybody!!