So it’s Sunday afternoon and I probably won’t be riding today but I had a week on the bike and still managed a new route every day.

December 16th – It turned cool again so lots of layers in the morning and no let up all day. I had to stop by WalMart to pick up material for a quilt piece I was making for my Secret Santa so that put me at Midway and 635. It was late already and I really wanted to take the quickest way home but I’ve already used that route so I sucked it up and made for Valley View instead. Turns out I’d forgotten what a nice road it is – well maintained and good traffic lights. Turned off it on Webb Chapel and this time I managed to actually get to Northwest Highway – no getting lost this time. I followed that to the spur over the bottoms, then to 183. I saw brake lights almost immediately so I exited on Carl Road and headed south on that. I used to take that route a lot and almost forgot where I was going as I began reminiscing about the years when I used to visit my good friend Robin when our kids were young and played together. It didn’t help that it’s all changed (for the better) after years of agonizing road construction in the Grauwyler and Britain area. I turned onto Nursery, to Irving Boulevard, to O’Connor, Sixth, then MacArthur on home. Ultimately a lovely ride. It’s kind of like going for a run: you’re never as interested in doing it when you’re talking yourself into starting the run and when it’s over, you’re always glad you did it. Song for the day: “Reach” by Collective Soul. I have only one Collective Soul CD on iTunes and it’s really interesting that songs from that CD have shown up two days in a row. It’s a great song, though, that I haven’t heard in years.

December 17th – Ugh. It was an awful day – just horrid. Nothing specific happened at work (work is actually mostly fine, just very, very, VERY high pressure right now until… well, until I produce enough in new business to make up for the comp store increase our existing stores can’t possibly achieve).

The problem was purely personal and left me melancholy and just plain sad all day – like stupid girl, if you look at me wrong I’m going to burst into tears sad. Add to that my brand new phone crashed when I tried to sync it up to my computer and gave me an unrelenting white screen of death all day long. I was finally told I had to take it to a repair store, but I couldn’t get out of the office until about 7:30 that night.

This time I had no choice but to take the fastest route because I was on a time pressure. I took Marsh to 635 then took the George Bush exit to the place I thought the Sprint store was. Well, it’s there no more – only a yummy-smelling Indian restaurant I had no time to stop for. Of course, since my phone was broken I couldn’t look up the new location of the store. Only one option – go as fast as I could to the store I knew was still there, at 183 and Beltline. If you know Irving, you know there’s no fast way to get from MacArthur and GB to 183 and Beltline. In fact, there’s not even a slow way. There is only an excruciatingly, painfully crawling way to get there. I made it by about 8:40 (they close at 9) and showed them my phone. They told me it would take overnight because they had to leave at 9 and it would take an hour to fix.

So, it’s been a horrid day, I’m so down if you told my my hair looked different I’d curl up into a ball of quivering, crying mess, I have to get up the next morning at 5 am and I don’t own an alarm clock (I use the phone) and I’ve been incommunicado all day, no way to talk to anyone – you know, to let them know how terrible the day has been, and so forth. Naturally, I told them they simply had to fix the phone or I would die right there in the store and they’d be there all night while they waited for the police and the ambulance and the coroner, etc. I guess I looked pretty near death because they fixed it. Of course, I couldn’t actually do anything with it (other than the 5 am alarm) since there’s none of my information on it now and I don’t know anyone’s phone numbers (I don’t have to know their numbers; I just type in their names and the nifty phone calls them). Aargh.

You know, I remember when I only had a phone at the house and I could live just fine without knowing the little dot in Google Latitude that represents me was showing all my friends where I am all the time so they could call me and tell me they’ve been tracking my movements and just want to say “Hi.” How did I get to this point where I had to be tethered to the virtual world of my friends and family 24/7? Good Lord! No wonder I’m so worked up all the time!

Anyway, from there, I took a nice, easy ride down Beltline to Shady Grove and across (east bound) to MacArthur, then home. I pulled up to the Christmas lights plugged in and the music playing as the lights danced to the cheesy Christmas tunes. Made me so happy! On my iPod, the tune for the ride was the Overture to Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Mikado.” I have a number of pieces from this operetta on my iPod because I downloaded them for my Mom’s memorial service earlier this summer. She was a very gifted singer and sang the role of Yum-Yum in this very drole work poking fun at stiff-necked Victorian society. We used to listen to my parents’ recording of the work when we were kids and my mother would sing along.

She could sing almost to the day she died (June 20th of this year) and actually tried to sing a bit of “When the Saints Go Marching In” just a few hours before slipping into a coma on the 18th. Listening to most of the music from the memorial only makes me happy. That’s how I felt when I pulled in tonight – much, much better.

December 18th – No matter what, it would be a new route home today because I was going to Rockwall to meet up with my brother and a couple of friends. After I finished my Weight Watchers meetings, I headed east – but not for long. I-30 was shut down to just one lane for construction. I put up with that crap for about 15 minutes, then decided anything was better than sitting behind 71 trucks and a bunch of holiday travelers pretending like they’re going to cut each other off for the very limited space remaining on the highway. I slipped off Beckley and wandered a bit around the Commerce Street/Continental Avenue area before conceding I no longer have any idea how any of these streets run now that everything has been torn up and reworked. I do know that 635 eventually crosses I-30 on the east side of town so I headed up I-35 (North – yes, I know, it’s the wrong direction), then took the toll road to 635. From there, it was the HOV all the way to I-30 east. I make it sound quick but it wasn’t really. I got to ride uninterrupted at a nice 70 mph clip but it was a long way. Still, even though it was cold, it wasn’t miserable.

I got to my destination (The Lake Flying Saucer on Lake Ray Hubbard, which shares a parking lot with Bass Pro Shop) and set up at a table working until my brother, Gina, Michelle, and Gina’s son, Erik, joined me. We had a fabulous time – I laughed so much my face hurt! After about 4 hours, I left to head back. As I was putting on my gear in the parking lot, getting ready to leave (and, I admit, dancing around a bit to some good tunes) a man came up to me and said “I don’t care what anyone says. There’s nothing sexier than a woman on a motorcycle.” Now, what does that mean? Are there actually people who don’t think a woman on a bike is sexy?

Anyway, the ride back was I-30 all the way to MacArthur, then north to home. Fast and easy although the downtown canyon is never fast and easy. What a wonderful afternoon, though. Song for the day, one of my favorite riding tunes: “Hook” by Blues Traveler. Man, I love that song!

There are only two weeks left in the December challenge and I’ll be off work for several days at the end of the month. We’ll see what I can come up with for the rest of the month’s rides.

Any ideas for January challenge?

Til next time, Lord, keep my wheels down, my eyes up; keep us all out of each other’s way; and if today is the day I meet You, I do so with grattitude for a joy-filled life.

  1. Alfred C. Schram says:

    Good job, Gwynne!
    Love,
    Daddy