Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Steel Horse

Shaggy's motorcycle was strictly for recreational purposes when we lived in Cali.  But his new employer doesn't dish out cars for their employees, so he's been depending on that 27-year-old motorcycle to get him to and from work every day.  He commutes a total of 3.5 hours each day in rain or shine or snow.
I think he's earned his man card over and over and over again.  He is anything but a fair weather motorcyclist.  He rides in the heat and humidity.  He rides in the rain and the wind.  He rides in the snow, and ice, and salt.  And on the gorgeous days where he can pretend he's rolling over the green hills of the Isle of Man.  Every morning, when I hear the garage door open and his motorcycle roar to life, I try to forget about the statistics and the close calls.
Like the time he was riding home and he came upon a torrential wall of rain with raging winds that nearly blew him off the road.  He fought every inch to get to a gas station where he could wait for the storm to blow over.  He had to push his bike from the other side so the driving wind and rain didn't knock it down.
Or all the winter months when his hands would get frostbite from being exposed to such cold temperatures, even inside of heated gloves.
And the way he would slip and slide on icy roads, going down once or twice in the driveway.
And I would especially like to forget about his most recent crash on a road with fresh gravel which left one side of him all banged up and the bike in need of some serious repairs.

I literally breathe a sigh of relief and offer a little prayer of thanks when I look out the window at the sight of him coming home.
We depend on this man and his breadwinning abilities.  We're grateful that he's willing to go to such extremes in order to enable us to live in such a beautiful, peaceful place.  (But I have to be honest here, I've been seriously wondering lately why we felt inspired to live so far away from his work.  This long commute is so hard on our family.)
When Shaggy decided to use his savings to buy a new motorcycle a while back, I didn't protest.  In any other situation, I probably would have listed 50 other things that I thought he should spend his money on first.
But I loved the idea that he would be a little bit safer for those 20 hours a week that he spends on the road.  We drove all the way to a neighboring state to get the best deal on the bike he wanted.
B enjoyed the fact that nobody made her get off the atv's.

This was probably the biggest debit card purchase either of us has ever made.
But he loves the bike.  It's so much bigger and well, so not 27-years-old.  Which makes it better and safer and cooler.  B made sure to photo bomb a few of these pictures.
He wears that space suit every day.  It keeps him dry . . . mostly.  And it insulates and protects.  I'd hate to think what he would have looked like after his recent encounter with that gravel road if he hadn't been wearing the suit.  Gravel is not kind to 40 mph skidders.

So why am I ok with my teenage daughter hitching a ride to seminary every morning on the back of the motorcycle?  Because I trust my husband.  I trust his judgment.  As cautious as he is on his own, I know that he's 100 times more cautious riding with her.  I know that there can never be a guarantee of complete safety, but good judgment certainly helps.
He wouldn't even consider taking her to seminary on his old bike.  It was only after he bought the new one and had proper riding gear for her that he even considered it.  Which is why she had to do home study seminary for many months.  She was soooo upset about that.  And she was thrilled to be given the chance to attend again at 6:30 am.  How lucky am I, right?  My 14-year-old is willing to overcome her trepidation about riding the motorcycle just so she can attend a scripture study class before school every day.
I was not so lucky, however, when it came to her willingness to take some pictures so we could remember all these early morning rides with good old dad.
And then the photo bomber reappeared.
Then she was joined by her sister.
I sure hope these rides make for some good, bonding memories.  And that someday, she'll forgive me for making her be in some moto photos.
She has a pretty good fake smile, doesn't she?  Even behind a bike helmet.
And I think she looks pretty cute in that motorcycle jacket.  But I'm probably not the one that she wants to impress.  Too bad there's only one boy in her seminary class.
Or maybe that's not too bad.  Maybe that's just fine.
She doesn't find it very entertaining when Shaggy and I bust out singing, "I'm a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride.  I'm wanted, dead or alive . . . "  Someday, maybe she'll grow up enough to enjoy some immature humor.  Until then, we will just be forced to chuckle at her expense.
I love my cowboys.

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