Our Harley Days
Our Rides... Our Adventures... Our Family and Friends...
Traveling free and easy down a road that never ends...

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

From our house to yours...

December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! And a special shout out to all Veterans past and present - Our hearts are with you and yours this holiday season - Thank you for your service!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

American Legion Honors Vets for Christmas

American Legion Honors Vets for Christmas

The Folks and Friends out doing what they do every year at this time - place wreaths on the graves of Veterans in small cememteries across North Texas. This video stars my lovely Mom and veteran friend Tex.

Good luck placing the wreathes today people - you all make me proud.

Update: 12/14/2014
Wreaths For Vets Decorates Graves for Christmas

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Last Ride to Work 2014

We didn't know it at the time... but this was the last ride of 2014... it's was a great year.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving

November 27, 2014

For the family and friends who have chosen to be part of our lives,
For the blessings we find in each other,
For the freedom to travel the roads we have ridden this year,
For the hope of riding those that lay beyond today's horizon...
We are grateful.

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Celebrating #43 Today

The card we received in the mail from the Folks said this: Love is not for sissies. Love is not all music and moonlight and romance. Love, real love, takes work. It takes patience and courage and commitment. Real love - the kind that makes two people make a promise as big as "I do" - isn't easy, but if anything in life is worth the effort, it's real love...

What a great card - we could not agree more!

After 43 years and some together, we do not do a bunch of thinking and talking about love. We know what love is - it is not something you think about - it is not something you talk about - love is the breath of a life shared... love is something you do - something we do - every damn day.

I guess if we would add anything to the list of things love IS - we would add the s'miles we get from riding the Harley. Riding is a gift we give ourselves - it trumps cards and flowers and sissified stuff - romance is found on the side of a road we have just traveled for the first time or at the end of the day when we find ourselves in a town we decide to call home for the night. It is time shared and memories made in tandem. No, we do not talk about love overmuch. We talk about the places we've been and the things we've seen and the times we've had - together. And we talk about the places we want to go and the things we want to see and the times we look forward to - together - because whether it is loving, living, sharing or riding - we just cannot stop doing it - together - stay tuned.

A few pics from our Colorado >> Kansas >> Missouri >> Arkansas >> Oklahoma >> Texas road trip this past summer...



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Salute to my favorite Veteran and all other Veterans

November 11, 2014

My favorite veteran... my first hero... the face I put on the word hero today... a pavement patriot, a road warrior... It has been a tough year for this old Vet... but then, he's a tough old guy and so... those who thought to take him down by unscrupulous means were the authors of their own demise. When all was said and done - there is one still standing with his integrity in tact.

RESPECT! You don't demand it. You don't command it. You don't lie and scheme and pretend your way to it. You either have it or you don't. And people who know you will give it or they won't. FACT...

What I have is a man who earns the respect of others just by virtue of being himself, a man who stands his ground, a man who knows there is no grey area between right and wrong, a man whose principles are not subject to popular opinion or the winds of adversity, a man who leads not with intent but by example, steadfast and true, -- all bundled up in one neat package labeled MY DAD.


What follows is an excerpt (with minor edits) from the 2012 Vet Day post.

I am a military brat. I am the proud daughter of a USAF Vietnam Veteran. I am the proud wife of a USAF Vietnam Era Veteran. I often joke that I have 28 years of service myself (a veteran's daughter for 20 active duty years, a veteran's wife for 8 active duty years). All in all I have 50 some odd years of Veteran appreciation under my belt. I am the niece of Veteran uncles. I am proud friend to many Veterans. Needless to say, Veterans have always played a huge part in my life and continue to do so today. Talk about counting your blessings!

I saw an interview with children a good while back. The children were asked a simple question, "Who is your hero?" The children were very young so as you might expect, the answers were quite imaginative. Fireman. Policeman. Sponge Bob (Oh me!). Harry Potter (of course!). Batman (I had to grin at that answer). When a child answered with Dad or Big Brother, the interviewer asked what Dad or Big Brother did for a living. The children answered car salesman, teacher, banker and one child rolled his eyes and said in a duh sort of manner - he's a DAD.

What struck me as interesting about the answers in particular is this: Not one child answered Soldier/Marine/Sailor. I am guessing there were no military children in the group because most military children are well acquainted with the concept that military/soldier/veteran types are heroes - by default. In fact, when I was a kid, the whole mine-is-bigger-than-yours base housing playground mentality was all about whose Dad worked on the biggest, fastest airplane. I thought about it and wondered what sort of answer I would have given then and now -- and I am fairly certain I would have answered My Dad is my Hero, followed by the proud announcement -- he is in the Air Force and works on jet engines! (After reflecting on it - I realize I might have answered John Wayne but since I have always equated Dad and John Wayne's characters like Big Jake as being somewhat one-in-the-same - I am sticking with Dad.)

Yep, that would have been my answer - then and now. My Dad is my Hero, he is a USAF Vietnam Veteran, a man who makes it his business to see that Veterans - all Veterans - past and present get the recognition and respect they deserve.

Photo: Ted (aka Dad - with a WWII hero)

---- Veterans are the heroes of my America. Veterans standing shoulder to shoulder, flag in hand, respect being the order of the day. Veterans astride motorcycles with flags streaming behind them. Veterans behind shades, chins slightly dipped in respect. Veterans snapping a misty-eyed salute as Old Glory marches by. Veterans getting a bit choked up when they get to the words o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave... Hoary-headed Veterans, grizzled, bone-tired, weary though they may be rising to the day's challenge. Veterans calmly going about the business of honor and duty with unfailing loyalty and firm resolve. Veterans who will go it alone if something needs doing. Veterans clearing trash from a neglected cemetery. Veterans placing a wreath on a forgotten soldier's grave. Veterans with a clear-eyed, stern countenance under bills of patriotic hats. Veterans with a firm grip on the elbow of other less able-bodied Veterans. Veterans ready with hands extended in camaraderie and friendship. Veterans offering the solace of huggable necks and strong, comfortable shoulders. Veterans who in the width of their stance and the pride of their bearing convey strength, integrity, endurance and unwavering courage. Veterans who in the core of their beings understand the ideology of America will thrive because men and women such as they have risen and will rise again without qualm and see her through whatever force of adversity places a stranglehold on liberty and justice. Veterans understand the cost of FREEDOM and still venture forth to pay the price.

Today American Veterans across the nation are engaging in patriotic activities honoring veterans past and present. Many of them I know are riding out with those of a like mind as they go about the business of the day. Hopefully they will get a handshake and a heartfelt Thank You For Your Service! somewhere along their busy way today. Ride safe. Stand Tall. Carry on. You make me proud.

This is my tribute to all Veterans today. I SALUTE YOU! THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE, INTEGRITY AND FORTITUDE. THANK YOU FOR BEING THE PERFECT EXAMPLE OF AMERICAN GRACE UNDER FIRE. In a world where alleged leaders have to "toot" their own horn and decimate the reputation of others to serve their own egotistical, self-serving agendas in tiresomely repetitive rhetoric - it is comforting to know that some heard the drummer and quietly and unequivocally answered the call of duty long ago because it was the "right" thing to do. Those few brave, independent souls are doing the right thing still. Today. Nobody tells them to do it. Hardly anyone ever applauds them for doing it. They do it naturally because being a Veteran defines them in ways that those who have not served will never understand. We know being a patriot is never the "popular" thing to do. Thank goodness for that - because there is not a Veteran of my acquaintance who gives a hoot about the mainstream perversion of principles dictated by popular culture!

Finally, Thank You Veterans, past and present for reminding me who I am by being who you are. American Veterans - my Heroes one and all.

This is my favorite definition of a hero.

Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid... He is the hero, he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor, by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it. He must be the best man in his world and a good enough man for any world. -- Raymond Chandler

Salute Timothy!

Photo: Tim saluting the colors at the Salute to American Veterans Motorcycle Rally 2014.

This is a nod of respect to my in house Veteran. This is a guy who gets me out of the house and out of my head and knows when I need to get some wind in my face. He takes me anywhere I want to go on our Harley. He will search for and find out of the way Veterans memorials. He will circle the block if I didn't get a good shot of something. We pay our respects to Veterans in our own way every chance we get and then we saddle up and ride the free roads of this country in celebration of the founding principles of this country. Our mantra is Ride Free and that's exactly what we do.

I salute you Timothy - for your service, for your patriotism, for the honor of standing by your side. I got lucky about 43 years ago... not a day goes by that I fail to realize that.

Salute!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Are we riding?

So asked a friend of this blog... What's up? Are you riding? Answer: Yes we are and yes we have been. We rolled over 80,000 miles this summer (since we started riding late in 2008). Am I blogging about our rides? Answer: Not when we can be riding... **grin**

The gutters needed cleaning. The leaves needed raking. The gardens needed de-stalking. And the Harley needed riding. Guess what chore actually got done. This photo was taken yesterday as we toodled around our neck of the woods just before old man winter arrived. Today we have snow and frigid temps. Blogging and posting ride photos is a winter-time pursuit... stay tuned.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Last Dam Ride 2014

It is our favorite local ride and right out our front door. In a matter of minutes we can be cruising the roads around Horsetooth Reservoir. It was a gorgeous Sunday afternoon although a winter storm is in the forecast. By the time we turned The Ride towards home, the winds had kicked up and clouds were rolling in from the north. And now we will settle into the winter waiting game and sneak out on the rare warm day or two we see in northern Colorado.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

A seasoned Veteran... doing what he does

Texas: Here's my favorite Veteran rolling out to honor all other Veterans. The Veterans Day parade is today in Wichita Falls, Texas. This particular Veteran has been participating in the parade in some capacity for decades now. The parade in my hometown is always a significant event... significant to me and mine anyway. I have stood on the sidelines many times through the years and it was always a thrill to salute the colors, watch the military and high school bands march by, feel the thump of drum cadence in my chest, and hear the patriotic songs with a lump in my throat. Today parade-goers will hear the rumble of respect coming from motorcycles... that's what my favorite Veteran is doing today... I salute you DAD! I salute all Veterans.

Friday, November 7, 2014

A moment of respect

November 7, 2014
Colorado, USA

Out of respect for a Veteran friend who was there - pausing for a moment of respect for the brave Blue Spaders who paid the ultimate price at the Ambush at Srok Rung, November 7, 1967 - Vietnam. May these heroes Rest in Peace and may their friends and loved ones know - they are not forgotten.

The following was shared with me a while back by the wife of the Veteran friend mentioned above. It seems an appropriate time to revisit it.

COMBAT VETERANS

Once the COMBAT PATCHES go on, they never come off whether they can be seen or not. It fuses to the soul through adversity, fear and adrenaline, and no one who has ever worn them with pride, integrity and guts can ever sleep through the `call of the wild` that wafts through bedroom windows in the deep of the night...

We wonder if he knows what he is leaving behind, because we already know.

We know, for example, that after a lifetime of camaraderie that few experience, it will remain as a longing for those past times.

We know in the world of veterans, there is a fellowship which lasts long after the uniforms are hung up in the back of the closet.

We know even if he throws them away, they will be on him with every step and breath that remains in his life.

We also know how the very bearing of the veteran speaks of what he was and in his heart still is.

Because we served, we envy no man on earth.

Keeping a good thought for you today Ray and whispering words of respect for those you knew and loved and respected who did not make it to today. - V

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Hallowe'en

Yep - it's corny and I love it - what a great Birthday 2009 gift from the guy who gets it - gets me...

video

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday, October 19, 2014

October Color Ride + Lunch

Yep, there's plenty that needs doing around here but nothing so important that it won't keep because the opportunities for a Sunday afternoon ride are slowly dwindling.

It is October! The day was warm. The skies were crystal clear. The Ride was ready to go so nothing would do but we get out, enjoy the fall colors (mostly yellow up this way), ride around the lakes and add a few more miles. And what do you know! We got close enough to Aunt Alice's patio that it was a sin not to stop - burgers and green chili and all the fixins to round out a perfect day!




Slide show = 63 photos

Sunday, September 28, 2014

A nod of respect to Gold Star Moms

September 28, 2014
Gold Star Mothers Day
Colorado, USA

Gold Star Mothers DayIn the words of Gold Star Mothers Monument sculptor, Andrew Chernak: The loss of a child in any circumstance is a grievous blow to a family, but, uniquely so to the mother who bore that child. One group of Mothers that especially stands apart from the norm are the Gold Star Mothers of America's fallen heroes. They are patriotic, loyal, and sympathetic. They understand our nation’s freedom is not to be taken for granted. The grief and loss these women have endured never leaves them, yet the Mothers rise above their pain in tribute to life going on. The Mothers have collectively served millions of hours in volunteer work, personal service in our nation's Veterans hospitals, and to the Veteran and his family in their community. In serving this way, the Mothers have turned their grief into a positive force. If you want to know quiet greatness, spend a little time in the presence of a Gold Star Mother.

For those close to me who I know will take the time and energy to pay tribute to Gold Star Mothers today - I salute you.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Never Forget

September 19, 2014
Colorado, USA

Today is POW-MIA Recognition Day. It is always the third Friday in September.

This is not a "remembrance" day. This is a "light-in-the-window" until they all come home day. Never Forget.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

911 We Will Never Forget

September 11, 2014
Colorado, USA

Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror.

The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing, have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness and a quiet, unyielding anger.

These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong. A great people has been moved to defend a great nation.

Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.

America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining.

President George W Bush 2001

Monday, August 18, 2014

Pic: Salute to American Veterans Rally 2014

Photo credit: Jim Wear

Over the weekend of August 15-16 we made a 424.2 mile road trip wrapped around an excellent rally, gorgeous weather, great food. Add rubbing elbows with veterans and patriots of every era and motorcycles... lots of motorcycles - it was quite simply - freekin' awesome.

We had the honor of being in the presence of Gold Star Mothers and family members of Axelson and Kristensen - members of Seal Team Ten (Operation Red Wings) during the memorial ceremonies at the Salute to American Veterans Rally... a plaque was dedicated to the team on the veterans memorial in Cripple Creek's downtown park. It was a heartbreaking and humbling and vision blurring experience.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

It's Vet Rally Time


It's time to head on down to Cripple Creek Colorado again for the Salute to American Veterans Rally!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Freedom Rocks!

July 4, 2014
Colorado, USA


May you find long and winding roads in front of you today, sunshine on your shoulders, a heart full of patriotic pride and a sky lit with a thousand glimmering lights at the end of the day.

Celebrate American Independence! Ride Safe! Ride Free!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day!

June 15, 2014


As we go about preparations to celebrate the Dads in our lives, let us remember that:

• Some Dads will not celebrate with sons and daughters this year.
• Some sons and daughters will not celebrate with Dads this year.

For a myriad of reasons some Dads will go it alone on Sunday not necessarily by choice as will some sons and daughters.

I am a military brat.

Always on my mind on greeting card holidays are veterans and active duty military personnel. Consider active duty military Dads serving abroad who will not be with their children on Dad’s Day. Consider active duty military sons and daughters serving abroad who will not be with their Dads on Dad’s Day.

My heart goes out to the sons and daughters and Dads of Veterans who are no longer with us. My heart especially goes out to Gold Star Dads, missing a beloved son or daughter. No man signs on to be a Gold Star Dad.

For every moment of peace we enjoy, for every day of grace and greatness we owe a person in the service of our country our heartfelt thanks and none are more deserving of that consideration than those who struggle to get through this day without the significant presence of the other half of the Dad’s Day equation.

I number among the fortunate because my Dad is still living large in my life. And for that, I am enormously appreciative not only of Dad himself but grateful to those who have paid the price so the majority of us can celebrate with our Dads any darn good way we please in the USA.

That’s it for today… Happy Dad’s Day to Dads everywhere!

Some of us are lucky enough to find our heroes early in life... I call my forever hero - DAD.

Happy Father's Day Tim!

A nod to Veteran Dads

June 125, 2014

Happy Father's Day

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Flay Day - USA!

June 14, 2014

Say it loud... say it proud... fly it high...

Friday, May 30, 2014

Memorial Day - Traditional

May 30, 2014

Before observances gave way to sham and artifice that accompany three day holidays... this day was spent by those who cared honoring those who no longer grace our presence with their physical form. Memorial Day was not exclusive to veterans in those days. As a young girl, I spent several Memorial Days with grandparents who laid wreaths on the graves of family members. I was taught the proper behavior for a cemetery. I was taught to be still for a moment... to dip my head in respect. At that time and place, I came to the knowledge that I had a history peopled with hard working, right living men and women and military men. I am all the better for receiving that revelation at such an early age. Respect for my roots, my elders, my paternal and maternal influences and my often hard-learned upbringing is part of what defines me. I have a deep and abiding respect for those who share their life experience with me. They are and will always be remembered.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Freedom's Not Free

Memorial Day

In honor of all Veterans who have served or are serving. We salute you!

Freedom's Not Free by The Rivoli Revue

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Gather around their sacred remains

Memorial Weekend
Colorado USA

Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the Nation's gratitude, -- the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan. -- General John A. Logan in his General Order No. 11 of May 5th, 1868, Decoration Day

Six thousand eight hundred flags were planted on the knoll at Veterans Plaza in Fort Collins, Colorado to honor soldiers who paid the ultimate price since the terrorist attacks on 911. A cluster of sixty eight hundred flags dotting a landscape is an awesome sight to behold. A patriot's heart will swell with pride and recognize it as a humble but fitting tribute just before a sobering mood settles in with the recognition that every single one of those flags stands for some husband or wife, son or daughter, niece or nephew - somebody's beloved someone who has given their all in service of this country and all its peoples. As beautiful as a field of flags may be - I cannot help but think how much more beautiful it would be to see those flags held high in the living, breathing hands of those who no longer walk among us.

For those who have served and are serving - our humble thanks.

Ride safe people - and more importantly - with humble, appreciative hearts - ride free.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Memorial Day: A Sacred Charge

Memorial Day 2014
Colorado USA

Before we roll out this weekend - I am inclined to revisit some thoughts on Memorial Day...

I remind you government in no way, shape or fashion funds Memorial Day events. Politicians and bureaucrats do not fund Memorial Day flyovers or color guard participation. Memorial Day events are sponsored lock, stock and barrel by the American Taxpayer. Despite what you may hear -- politicians do not own this day by rule or writ or rhetoric. Grieving hearts and respectful sentiment own this day. People of all ages and from all walks of life will gather across the land in common purpose and reverence. Flags will wave. Bands will play. Bells will toll. The Star Spangled Banner will ring out across the land. Heads will dip in remembrance and respect as the names of the fallen echo across flag studded fields of honor.


Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the Nation's gratitude, -- the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan.
-- General John A. Logan in his General Order No. 11 of May 5th, 1868, Decoration Day

As freeborn children we should spend this day in celebration and do so out of respect for the sacrifices made by generations of soldiers who have paid and continue to pay the ultimate price on our behalf. We should celebrate with a proud eye on the flag and lend an attentive ear to the families and friends of those who have fallen in the service of our country. We should stand in silent support beside a friend who once again grapples with the fact that they made it home alive while others did not. Lest we forget, we should pay our respects to veterans past and present in our own families.

We cannot let ourselves be blind or deaf to the sacrifice of increasingly unsung valor. We cannot become so immured to the reality and violence of war that we fail to respect the soldier's reality - those brave souls who defend and protect and serve. We cannot harden our sensibilities so that we do not see the pain of sacrifice in a mother’s eye or the bewilderment in the expressions of widows and orphans. Let our hearts not be so jaded that we cannot feel the loss of a single one of our brave.

Let us celebrate being American. Let us raise our flags high... let us raise our hands in salute... let us raise our voices in patriotic tribute... let us raise our heads in pride of country. Let us teach our children an appreciation for the veteran elders among us and guide them on the path that preserves freedom and liberty, justice and independence for all time. Let us do these things in celebration of diversified unity. United We Stand is not merely an old catch phrase - it is a call to duty. It is our duty, one we should impart with diligence to younger generations. It is a duty we should demand of anyone standing on our free and bloodied soil.

As we celebrate Memorial Day like we do so many holidays in the good ol' USA -- with picnics and beer, car races and concerts, flags and fireworks, motorcycle rides and mountain drives, and heaven forbid an inordinate amount of commercialism, let us pause in the revelry with grateful hearts and rejoice that we live in the land of the free. Let us renew our allegiance to the ideal that is the United States of America.

Finally - let us look our living veterans in the eye, acknowledge their service – tip a hat, shake a hand, hug a neck and keep in mind what Samuel Adams once said, If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin. Every day we wake in a free and civilized country is a reason to be grateful for those who have done the hard work and we can take comfort in the fact that they would all do it again.

Here's a nod of respect: American Legion Riders, Combat Vets, Run for the Wall Riders and dozens of other organizations as well as countless individuals will roll over thousands of miles this weekend to various remembrance celebrations and memorials across this land. My 78 year old Dad is scheduled to attend several such events on Monday alone. I just want to say to all of you - Ride Safe. Ride Free. You make me proud.

Finally, Happy Memorial Day is a common expression at odds with itself. I cannot imagine felicity being an appropriate expression of regards on a day we have set aside to memorialize those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our well-being. If they could tell us what is in their hearts, I imagine those who paved the way for our enjoyment of a three day holiday would kindly indulge our flagrant abuse of it. They did not sacrifice to be memorialized with tears and pain. No, they sacrificed so we the people could continue the uninhibited pursuit of life, liberty and happiness.

With that in mind, perhaps the highest tribute we can pay is to consider it our sacred charge to properly acknowledge every day as Memorial Day in the USA.