"It sounded like a good idea at the time…"
One might sometimes think about turning a page and life will go on, differently than before, yet on a path only slightly veering to the right or the left. A few steps on that new path as I did turn a new page, I am now realizing this is a whole new chapter. I feel compelled sharing this. We have many Friends and acquaintances reading these pages, especially many in love with Mr. Spirit and sure, the sidecar also, yet, "that" just being a thing even if to me it has its own soul. To put it bluntly, Spirit is not doing well in the sidecar.
It is not quite a new aspect. It has progressively been getting worse and now, today, I feel as I cannot put him through a ride again. He shakes and trembles with an uncontrollable tremor when we are at a stop and especially when gearing up. He hesitates jumping on his seat. I know he has done it lately only because I verbally pushed him into it. Talking to him, hugging him while he is sitting, petting him, none has had any effects on him. We never went for a ride the last time, I truthfully thought he was going to have a heart attack and quickly got him out of the sidecar. The engine was not even running.
Did I know this day was coming? Yes, of course. I just heard of rider’s dog, a golden lab who also rode in a sidecar pass away at the age of 12. It shocked me and brought up a resemblance of a past reality experienced twice. Spirit is anywhere between 12 and 13, he is my third buddy throughout my Life. Dogs don’t live long. Being a rescue dog we do not exactly know his birth year. He is doing fine otherwise, just has slowed down a bit as I have and not jumping as high, not as graciously as he did in years past. Of course not. Fortunately a Friend of ours has offered to store our trailer/sidecar for a few months while we head North with only the camper. There is no doubt I will miss the riding with him, these might very well be his last photos sitting in his chair, yet, that is not what concerns me. His well being is what’s on my mind. Maybe this will change when we come back South in a few months?
I am myself at times just not aging gracefully. I don’t seem to find "that lane" on which I should now be traveling on. I keep hitting those red cones placed obviously as warnings. I know everything is going to be alright but there is hesitation which is foreign to me. Maybe it is "The Road", that prescription, that daily dosage much needed which has been absent for too long even if we have and are taking little what I call "journeys" here and there. I have written about it all already quite a few times and normally my own writing appeases me, opens the needed doors, brings me back up to the surface but seemingly not this time. I am definitely not complaining! I have given myself a departure date from East Texas. April 1st and it is not an April fool’s joke. One more stop in Alpine to see my General Practitioner Medical Doctor and the direction will turn North. I just know "things" are not as before and will they ever be?
Is there a hidden technique for aging gracefully? I don’t seem to find that book either. Everything has slowed down. I know that my surgeries are in a way the culprits even if the healing has taken most of the physical pains away but the gears have shifted. The endurance too slowly is coming back and hikes instead might just be what "we" need. There is also a matter of safety leaving a camper behind while riding all day I have written about once or twice. Much theft on BLM and National Forests lands these days. I feel uncomfortable leaving all behind for the day unattended and go riding. It is a sad state of affairs. What to do? Comply with the changing tides. Maybe all this is happening for a reason? I always feel it generally does.
I don’t feel as I am connecting anymore. The few exchanges on Social Media seem hollow and lacking substance. I find a quantity aspect versus quality. I am missing more than ever the "tête a tête" with our few Friends remaining. The ones that still have the time, take the time for a real phone conversation and not just a blurb thrown into space for the world to see and read. I feel as I have gone in full circle from years past. Leaving 10 years or so ago without a cell phone [smart phone?] our Social Media [since that is what I have to call it…] being when people met on the road. We then as I guess as most of us did get "sucked in" the turmoil, the Internet Jungle as I so often call it. How cool is it to be in touch with so many names from just the clicks of a keyboard? What a novelty that was! Does not seem that "cool" anymore. The sharing does but the true mindset exchanges seem to have disappeared as I also notice so few read anymore but only skim the surface of the words and ask questions when the answers are written within those same words. Kind of ironic, isn’t it? Seemingly all a superficial current going nowhere…
It is not the names, the people, it is the fashion we are going about it. I have been watching a documentary of this man who until today has no smart phone and has never been on the Internet. It sure brought back ancient years images. We forgot what it is to travel miles to meet with "one quality Friend" and have a cup of coffee together or dinner or whatever for real true to Life exchanges filling the spirit with true food for the mind. Those were real Journeys. Quality Journeys. Ones we anticipated, experienced and afterwards content of it all thinking about it for days. I miss that…
Sharing is one thing, boosting is another so prevalent these days. Then again, it could be human nature to do so… I know that as I am seeing a new "starting line", our upcoming journey will be quite different from the past one. New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and more… Those names dance in front of me and the smile is present.
Ara and Spirit