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Tag Archives: Life

Years ago I started doing this online blogging thing on MySpace.  Honestly it’s been so long since I’ve been to that site that I couldn’t remember how to log in if I had to.  Soon I decided that venue wasn’t working for me.  That’s when I found Blogger.  For a few years that’s where I wrote and posted photos.  Once again I wasn’t happy with the venue so I found WordPress, the current home of Rides Roads and Ronman.  Here I’ve been posting for the past few years.

Over that time the content here has varied.  Granted when I started this I was all about motorcycles and the activities surrounding them. Now that part of my life is a chapter full of memories.  Throughout that time I’ve met both online and in person, many people.  The current BIG thing is FaceBook.  You meet someone and immediately you want to connect on FaceBook.  Doing so brought the number of friends to well over a thousand.  The problem with that was that I felt so disconnected.  In time I cut that number back.  Nothing personal if you aren’t still on the dwindling list.  Well for most of you anyway.  For others it was personal.

The point I’m trying to make is that I found myself to be far too cluttered.  That clutter spilled over into every aspect of my life. My house. My vehicles. My yard. My mind.  Soon I was posting to several social media sites.  Instagram, Twitter and several others.  Many of the people I knew from both real life and online posted to these sites as well.  What became obvious is that we were posting the same things to all of our sites.  Granted there were some slight variations.

In looking back over this blog I can clearly see that the more I posted to the other sites the less I posted here.  The answer was clear.  I decided to delete my accounts at the many other sites.  In doing so I hope to increase my postings once again here at Rides Roads and Ronman.  I also hope to get back my eye for photography.  I can’t remember the last time I used the old SLR to capture photographs.

Please know that I am grateful for all of you who take the time to read what I write.  I’m continually humbled by that.  Some of you have followed me from the get go. Others have joined in along the way.  The mode of transportation may have changed from what you were used to.  However the journey that I’m on is still the same.  That journey is simply one man’s life and the pathway before him.

Thank you for following along,

Ronman

The past twenty-four hours or so has found me surrounded by beauty.  The beauty of some wonderful landscapes. The beauty of good weather. The beauty of good people. Not the least of which was the beauty of love.  In fact I believe I’ve witnessed more love than anytime in the recent past.

I was fortunate enough to participate in the wedding of two of the finest folks I know.  The setting was outside a home built in 1800 down in South Caroline. As you can imagine the architecture was amazing.  The surround fields and woods more than did their part as well.  Friends and family surrounded the couple to share their love as well.  Seeing how these families interacted with one another was refreshing.  In fact this couple’s love has endured the test of time and distance alike.  I can’t help but believe it will continue for a very long time to come.

I also had the great fortune to meet someone with an amazing smile.  A smile so brilliant that it sparkled much like a diamond would in the noontime sun.  A smile that immediately etched a permanent place deep within the hollowed out stone that once held my heart.  Have you ever met someone and immediately knew they would always have a place in your life?  This was one such person.

The inspiration I’ve gleaned from this weekend is so refreshing and appreciated.  In fact I jumped off the interstate down and Georgia and took back roads up to my home in Tennessee.  In doing so I was able so marinate my thoughts and soak in further beauty while admiring my beloved landscape of Tennessee.  My ole pickup truck may not be the same as riding a scooter on these scenic byways.  But I assure you that it filled my soul with much-needed rest and relaxation.

Take the time to look around and enjoy the journey,

Ronman

I’ve spent the past few days burning up the last of my vacation time for the year.  The way life is these days for me there wasn’t any big plans.  I’m not able to take any trips of substantial distance.  That’s okay with me.  I’m doing what needs to be done. The days of jumping on a motorcycle and heading off into the sunset are over.  In fact I believe my riding days are done with. That is a period of my life that gave me many wonderful memories.

 

I stopped at a little diner for some lunch yesterday.  While enjoying my meal I was thinking about the many aspects of my life.  Gradually I’m working on simplifying things.  Somewhere between the field peas, cornbread and pot roast it hit me.  Why had I not figured this out before now?  The epiphany was that I needed to live my life much the same way I went about my solo scooter rides. I have a general idea of the direction I want to head off in.  But I’ll make the decision on which direction to continue on when I come to that particular crossroad. Many times on my scooter trips I would find a hidden treasure simply by following the pull of whatever way the spirit moved me.

 

One such pull that has never left me is the pull of nature.  I grew up hunting, fishing and camping.  These are three things that both ground and recharge me.  They are things that I can certainly enjoy alone, but I can also share them with others.  Speaking of others, I think it’s high time I step away from many folks.  In doing such I’m helping remove stress and aggravation from my life.  I’ve learned that I don’t need to explain myself to others. Chances are they wouldn’t understand anyway.

 

More than likely it will take longer than I want to simplify my life.  The time frame isn’t up to anyone other than myself.  Time is a precious commodity. If someone takes it for granted they won’t be experiencing much of mine afterwords. In doing so I won’t feel pressured to do anything with anyone.  Having spent lots of time in the past reaching out to others I feel it is time to focus more on myself.  You can give and give and give and then you are give out. Once I feel I’ve reached the place I need to be internally, then it will be time to look outwardly once again.

 

The past few days have brought some surprises my way.  Some I’m still amazed about. Although totally unexpected they have helped bring a clarity to my thoughts and pondering.  Hopefully as I move forward in life I’ll be able to get the thought process flowing more freely.  I know my writing has suffered and fallen off the past couple of years.  Now I feel the fire building inside once again.  Hopefully the steam will keep the process churning.

 

Who knows what direction I’ll take next? I certainly don’t have a clue.  But I surely can’t wait to find out.

Sitting here thinking about the past few weeks has been nice.  Doing a bit of fishing has brought back many fond memories. The beauty of nature is so relaxing. Feeling the tug of a fish is as exciting as ever. Seeing a juvenile Bald Eagle in flight was mesmerizing. Spending time with a few friends has been wonderful. Some visits were far too brief. However it was uplifting being able to hug and kiss someone I love.  Baseball was enjoyed. My Braves sweeping the Reds was nice. 

Enjoying the lost art of conversation with a couple of fine folks into the wee hours of the morning did wonders for me.  Many old stories were shared. Finding out some similarities was pretty neat. Talking about music, radios, cars, baseball and life in general was just what the doctor ordered.  Slowing life down and working my memory is a wonderful thing. 

One final thought. Home made Apple pie from home grown apples.  My oh my!

Shortly after heading out on my run Friday night I received word of the passing of my Aunt Jimmie.  It hit hard.  So many memories passing through my mind. Emotions overflowing. But you know something? Not one single negative thought. How wonderful is that? I don’t have a single negative memory of her. Nor do I know of anyone ever saying anything negative about her. Not to mention I’ve never heard her say anything negative about anyone.

How beautiful is it to have known and been loved by such a one as she? I remember back in third grade when I was learning to write. We were supposed to write a letter to someone. I wrote my letter to Aunt Jimmie. Wow, that was a long time ago.  Aunt Jimmie and Uncle Rudy came to my high school graduation way back in 1986. I was so proud that they made the trip up to Nashville to be there. It was rare that they came to visit so this was truly special for me.

I can’t write about my wonderful memories of my beloved Aunt without mentioning food. She and Uncle Rudy always had a big garden. I loved sitting down to a meal at their house. Oh the vegetables she would cook. Crowder peas, green beans, and butter beans were but a few.  The pickles. My oh my those pickles. Never before and never again will there be any pickles to compare to hers.

Breakfast memories are the best. She would make her biscuits from scratch. Rolling out the dough and taking a glass to cut out her bite sized biscuits. She would fill that cast iron griddle with those little pieces of heaven.

She had a way of scrambling eggs like no other. I’ve tried to scramble them like hers for the better part of 40 years. I’ve never been able to come close to hers.

After the passing of my Daddy back in 1987 she and Uncle Rudy were my shelter in the storm. They always made me feel special.  She and Uncle Rudy never were fond of my facial hair. Once Uncle Rudy told me that he wanted me to be a pall bearer at his funeral. There was one catch. He wanted me to be clean shaven. I gave him my word and honored his request. Not long after Uncle Rudy’s passing Aunt Jimmie asked me to promise her the same thing.

If you see me or photos of me in the next few days, you’ll know why I’m clean shaven. I hope that seeing my boyish face will make you think of my wonderful Aunt. I also hope she and Uncle Rudy are looking down and enjoying knowing I’ve kept my promise to them. I can still hear their voices.

It’s true! I believe that you will agree once you’ve read what I have to say. How often anymore do you hear the voices? Be honest. I bet it isn’t all that often. Sometimes I can go all day and not hear a single voice.  Other times I can make it a day or two. 

Mostly there are text and checking social media instead. Especially this time of year I check the weather. I can get directions. I can find out damn near anything. I take photographs. Within seconds from taking them I can post them to social media. Boom! They are instantly world wide. 

I use apps for texting and photo sharing. I use apps for music. I use apps for email. There’s an app for damn near everything. Amazing what all we can do. But really, when have you actually heard the voices? I bet not very often. 

There are generations growing up today that don’t have a clue that phones were once only in houses or businesses. Who remembers the pay phone? When’s the last time you tried to find one? For those of you who live on the road I bet you remember when truckstops had phones at the tables. That is when they actually had sit down eating places instead of fast food.  There were even rows of phone booths at one time. 

Seldom do I hear the voices on my phone anymore. Well, unless you count the voices talking back to me from certain applications. But not the human voices. We are quickly becoming a world that doesn’t talk. We text. When share photos. We blog. We don’t handwrite things and we don’t talk via our phones much anymore. 

Nope. I don’t hear the voices much anymore at all. Do you?

Far too often and especially this time of year we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. It’s go go go. Now if you’re a go-go girl then that’s a good thing. But for the rest of us it can be hectic. Not to mention this is the time of year that everyone and every charity seems to have their hand out wanting our money. 

Holidays are nice. Having the time off work has become more important to me than the money. Speaking of money. Holidays usually don’t pay as much as a regular work day. For some they don’t pay at all. Take the small business owner. If they don’t work they don’t make money.  Yet these are some of the main people that are targeted when people are looking for donations. 

To me it seems as though some of these charities spend way more money asking for money than they do on their charity. You make a donation one time because someone you know was doing a walk, run or some other fundraiser and see how many years you keep getting pestered by the charity. 

Only you can decide what is right or wrong for you to spend you hard earned money on. Hell, you don’t even have to spend money. Perhaps you volunteer. Giving your time and talents is a valuable donation too. Don’t think that because you don’t have money to give that you can’t do something.  You would be amazed at the organizations who need folks to make phone calls, file papers and help organize for events and such. 

Look around you. There are people near everyone of us who need help. Your knowledge after going through a hardship. Simply sitting down over a cup of coffee and having a long conversation to encourage someone can do wonders. Maybe you know a single parent that could use a hand watching their kids. Picking up a few extra items at the grocery and dropping them off to someone can make all the difference. 

So you don’t feel comfortable doing these things. Okay. How about picking up a gift card to a local store or even say a Visa gift card from your bank. Mail it anonymously to someone. $20 can get someone over the hump until payday. Say they have enough food in the cabinets to make it but they don’t hardly have enough gas to get all the errands done. Boom! Gas money. 

Sure we don’t always all get along. Lord knows I do my share of pissing people off. But there are things all of us can do. We can do it anytime throughout the year. It doesn’t have to just happen during the Holidays.  Often we hear of people paying for the person’s order behind them in the drive through. There are many more things we can do. 

Taking the time to do something small can leave a lasting impression on someone. For one it gives them hope. Hope that all isn’t lost. Hope that all folks aren’t bad. Look around you. There are people hurting and struggling. Some you may never know because they are masters at hiding it. We don’t have to donate millions for it to matter. 

When it comes down to it we are a just another link in the chain. 

Decades ago I was introduced to fire. There has always been something soothing yet fierce about it.  The way the flames dance about mesmerize me. Always have. In fact few can escape the spell of fire.  The warm glow pulls you in like a moth to a porch light.

Building fires has always been rewarding for me. Learning many ways of igniting that flame was oh so fun growing up. Using magnifying glasses, batteries and steel wool and flint were but a few.  Making that spark grow into a flame. Then on to being a roaring fire.

The secret to a good fire is all in the material. Taking the time to pick the punk wood. Finding a good cedar tree to shred some bark off of. Placing the tiny twigs in such a fashion as to let them breath and burn. Having plenty of little stuff to keep the small fire going.  Placing them twig by twig. Then slowly putting on larger pieces. Twigs go to sticks. Sticks go to pieces. Pieces go to full on logs.

Taking the time to think out the process. Painstakingly gathering enough material. Slowly building up the flame. With the ultimate result of that wonderful glow coming from the fire. The blue and white coals pulsating to their own beat. The heat bending the air. Making the view into the depths of the flame unclear. Yet staring into a fire has been the means to clearing many a person’s mind.

Somewhere within the warmth, popping, hissing  and crackling we find comfort. It soothes our soul.  Providing a reason to join together. Invitations to one and all. Sitting around a fire has sparked conversations covering every topic known to man. Even sitting alone beside a fire allows us to converse with our inner voice. For some it can even be a spiritual connection. Offering a path of communication to our creator.

All of our focus isn’t on the fire. You see the heat that draws us near also pushes us away. Once the front of your body is warmed to the point of a minor scald, it’s time to turn. Warming our backside allows up an excellent time to look around. It’s the warmth that made us see our surroundings. Lest you forget, there is a grand star filled sky above.

Taking pause to gander to the heavens. Seeing those same constellations that have guided man for all time. Before the modern marvel of GPS technology the stars were the roadmap to the world. Soon our rears are all but on fire. Once again it’s time to look within.

We all have that fire inside. We can use it as our guide. For you see, looking within causes us to see what’s around us. Seeing what’s around us causes us to look within.

Feed your fire

What a weekend! Had a couple days off and boy howdy did I enjoy them.  Not everything worked out the way I had hoped it would. I suppose it worked out the way it needed to be. I really wouldn’t know what to do if there weren’t a few catches in everything that I plan to do.

Like always there were a couple of bumps in the road.  Thankfully I was able to accomplish a couple things as well as put out a couple of fires that popped up.  It seems there’s always something smoldering in the ashes.  A fire is never completely out until is is buried  under an ocean of water. Even then I’m not so sure.

Wounds sometimes fester and open back up long after  we think they are healed up and scarred over.  Who knew scars could bust open and pour forth the poison from those old wounds?  Lesson learned I suppose.

The most recent wound that busted open unexpectedly came from FaceBook. It seems people have started commenting and liking a photo of my daughter from back in 2010. I have no idea what brought this to light. Unfortunately I think that’s the last time that I was able to see and spend time with my daughter.  There have only been one or two brief conversations with her since then as well.

My door and heart are always open to her. She made the choice to shut me out of her life. She decided to not communicate with me. I’ve tried everything and every way to be in her life. Nothing has worked. Someday hopefully God will soften her heart and give her the desire to have me be a part of her life. I hope she can find peace from all the hatred she harbors toward me.

The pain and misery that is the massive void in my life cannot be described.  Not knowing the reason why is crippling. For if I knew why I could find a way to fix it. But I don’t so I can’t. Plus this cannot be fixed by me alone.

This isn’t what I had in mind for this post today. But our journey through life doesn’t always lead us down the pathways that we intend to travel either.  I am but one lone traveller passing through this journey of life.

Ronman

The other night there was a bad wreck on the interstate. So bad, in fact that it was shut down going east. Having grown up traveling back and forth across I-40 it was nothing new for me to know a way around. However, I didn’t realize where this little detour was going to take me.

By the time I made my drop and swap in Memphis the state had started forcing people around the accident. A county deputy had my route of choice blocked. That’s okay. Soon I was traveling on the two lane backroads of Tennessee. I’ve always loved the backroads. Oh the memories. Back before the turn of the century I often took the backroads. In those days I was dodging scales and always running hot on my logs.

By the way the driver of the truck in front of me was acting I’d say he hasn’t spent much time trucking on two lane roads. Driving through this West Tennessee bottom land in the middle of the night was my kind of trucking. What happened next slipped up on me. I was at Gallaway. Not much more than a wide spot in the road.

In 1923 Gallaway must have really been small. That’s the year my old man was born there. My love of Tennessee grows deep. Much like the roots of the stately old Oak and Hickory trees that grow along the roadway. I’ve fished her waters. From wading her creeks to floating her rivers via canoe to boating her lakes. I’ve hunted her wildlife from the flat fertile land of West Tennessee through the rolling hills of Middle Tennessee all the way to the mountains of East Tennessee.

This land is a major part of who I am. It’s taught me lessons. It’s showed me the beauty of nature. Not all the lessons have been good ones. I’ve traveled near and far around this great country.  Though there are some places that hold a special place in my heart. None will ever uproot Tennessee as my beloved homeland.

This detour only took me four miles out of route.  In my mind it took me back generations.

Ronman