I'm sitting on the deck of a lakefront house in Sandpoint, Idaho. As I write I can gaze over the rippled water of Lake Ponderay. It was a grueling morning of meetings. Now I have an equally hard afternoon enjoying the sun. Do I go out on the boat? Do I fall asleep on the lounge chair? All these choices and what do I do? I'm hooked into the wireless internet and blogging. I wish I could send you pictures right now but I haven't got the camera software installed on this laptop.
Something strange happened Saturday that I wanted to share. Here's a picture from then.
After so much riding to work, it was time to ride for fun. A long Labor Day weekend loomed ahead. Saturday dawned warm and inviting. Our plan was to explore some back roads we hadn't been on in a long time. Katie and I wore shorts under our 'stich riding suits. With the addition of the big trunk, we can now stash all our gear on the bike and walk around looking like normal people at stops. Appearances can be deceiving, can't they.
The plan worked as intended right up to the point we found this lovely shaded parking spot next to the Willamette River. Katie and I were sitting on a bench along a walkway right next to the water. Katie loves the sound of water and I love the sunshine. We were grooving on just being together and enjoying the afternoon sun. A bike was waiting for us to ride some more. Let's see. To recap, we had a sunny day, the chance to ride for fun, a great lunch followed by relaxing on a bench watching the river, and another chance to ride for fun. It was the formula for the perfect motorcycling afternoon.
So how did we go from here to riding the bike to shop for new furniture?
There's a long list of things I'd put down as things to ride for. This one had never entered my head. Apparently Katie didn't share the same mental condition. Oh so innocently she brought up the subject as we sat on the bench. I made the mistake of trying to express myself philosophically. One which I will never make again, by the way. Katie had commented on the hardness of the bench. I quoted Robert Frost who said,
"I'd rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself than to be crowded on a velvet couch."
My mistake was in mentioning the word "couch". Besides, I think it was a misquote. The word Frost used was "cushion" wasn't it? Somewhere along the line we had inherited a couch that had a recliner on both ends. I have to admit that the end of some long days have seen some welcome cuddling and zoning out on one of these recliners. This contraption was admittedly starting to show some wear. School had started up again and one of Katie's fellow SEA's had mentioned a big furniture sale they were going to. My sweet but cunning bride casually mentioned that we could stop by and just take a look. The hook for me was that she mentioned Bellinger Scale Road. I could string some back roads towards the North until I got to Sweet Home. Bellinger Scale Road would take us into Lebanon where the furniture store just happened to be. Like I say, cunning. That, my friends, is one awesome motorcycle road. I have got to get over my addiction to these kind of roads. They can take you to unexpected places; in more ways than one!
Turns out we didn't find what we were looking for at the first stop. Notice the fact that I wrote the word "first". The reactions of the sales staffs was priceless, though. Somehow the stereotype of "bikers" still remains. Even if we were dressed more in the European vein than American Iron.
The sale was in a giant tent erected in the parking lot. Beats me how they drove the tent stakes into the blacktop! Figuring it to be a quick browse unless we saw a great deal, we kept our riding suits on. I had a question and approached a middle aged woman working the sale. I wasn't sure if she was going to talk to me or bolt behind the nearest couch. From the looks of it, she wasn't either.
One stop led to another for a total of five between three towns. At the last stop, one we almost didn't make because my belly was growling loudly for supper, we found a sales girl who wasn't shy. In contrast, she immediately started the familiar banter common between riders. Her name is Jamie and she rides a recently acquired SV650. Coincidentally, we also bought three pieces of furniture. Which had nothing to do with the fact that Jamie was a rider. Ok, maybe a little. The saying in sales is that people buy from people. Very true.
We ended up buying a matching sofa, loveseat, and a swivel rocker that reclines. Now five people at once can recline in our living room. It feels a little over the top but made Katie happy. The last thing I want to do is sound "uppity" here. A tiny bit of background is in order.
Once upon a time I read a little story about Yogi Berra. He was playing baseball in the yard with his sons. His wife opened a window and complained that they were stomping down the lawn grass. His reply was, "We're raising boys, not grass!"
That's how it's been with us. Our house has never been nominated for any sort of Homes and Garden awards. With four kids, things have been clean and presentable. To us, matching furniture meant is was all the same color. Now that we are empty nesters, I guess all the pent up wishing expressed itself for Katie. We now have matching furniture in the true sense of the word. For the first time in 30 years. I guess I owe it to my best friend. I just never imagined we'd be riding a motorcycle to go furniture shopping!
Well, gotta go. The lake and a boat beckons. Friday night brings a long ride home. Saturday and Sunday will be spent launching a new batch of hopeful instructors. I managed to slip into an instructor spot for our track based class on Monday. Tough life, huh? Somebody's got to spend a lot of time around motorcycles and riders!
Miles and smiles,