01 March 2012

The Ducks are Walkin' !

It's called "pea soup".
I'll have to look up the origin of the term. Our room is on the fourth floor with a decent view of Pensacola Bay and for the third time in the last four days we cannot see the water, about two blocks distant.
Our original intent this trip was to spend four days here. Four of my first cousins are in town having a reunion of their own and they chose to come here partly to visit their Aunt, my Mother.
They wrote and asked if there was any chance I might also be able to come. I was delighted with the idea. So we planned for what I felt would be a comfortable visit... four days here, then we planned to head East to Savannah where for three years I taught Vietnamese Air Cadets the art of flying the UH-1 "Huey" helicopter.

Plans get changed.
Mom was sick the day we arrived.
Still down slightly with symptoms of a cold the next day she felt well enough to visit, and together we all laughed, reminisced, and played table games.
She was sicker the following day. I called Savannah and canceled our lodging.

So last night was our sixth night in lovely Pensacola. With plans to Winter in Destin next year we've been watching the weather anxiously, making note of the type of clothing we'll need to be comfortable this time next year...
If this stint is a good indicator we'll need umbrellas, ponchos, and yellow hunter's glasses to brighten up ugly days. The temps have been fine...
Sixty-ish most days, it actually reached 75 yesterday. But we have had SOME fog almost every day, and when I say fog I mean fog like the thickest you've seen in your life... the kind that drips from the trees.
"The ducks are afraid to take flight, so they're walkin' down the sidewalks."

Of course we are right on the water so conditions may be considerably better inland a little. But we'll be on the water in Destin too, so I think what we see is what we'll get.
We can deal with it.

Last Saturday my son received the 800cc BMW I sent out to him. He went Monday and titled/licensed it in his name. It's been WINDY in Phoenix the last several days so he didn't ride to work... just puttered around the neighborhood. Last night he rode to work for the first time. The trip TO work was uneventful. The trip home was not. When the phone woke us from deep sleep I looked at the clock... 0244 hours.
"I have no idea son, why?"
"Because I'm five minutes from work, 25 minutes from home, I stalled it and it won't start."
He gives me an audio presentation by pressing the starter button and I hear the sound of the solenoid working but the bendix not engaging to turn the engine.
"You'll have to bump start it."
"You'll have to bump start it. Make sure the ignition is on and the bike is in neutral. Push the bike as fast as you can, hop on, pull the clutch in, kick it into second gear, then release the clutch lever. If you're lucky, it will start."

I hear him make two or three unsuccessful attempts at this, knowing he's not done it before...
probably never even SEEN it done before. Now back on the phone, breathless, he's frustrated and angry. I'm equally frustrated on my end, knowing he's broken down on the road 2,000 miles away and all I can do is give him advice he may or may not understand over the phone.
He hangs up, angry.
At this end WE'RE BOTH wide awake at 3 A.M..

Sara Jean says "Now you know how I feel. He does this to me all the time."
Fifteen minutes later we call him back. He has called a towing company to haul him and the bike home. It's gonna be interesting to see his attitude toward enjoying "classic" motorcycle riding when we call later today!

We've seen so little of the sun we applaud his intermittent appearance.
My Mother is sick.
My beginner motorcycle-riding kid is unhappy with the bike I loved.

And our side-trip to Savannah is off.

How's YOUR week goin'?


Peter said...

If he decides he doesn't want the bike after all, let me know!


Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Older bikes are nice, I suppose, but I still like my bikes new. . .


Ed Bonderenka said...

Off topic, but did you know a pilot named Dave Wolfe back in the day, in country?

Old NFO said...

I'm travelling 3/4 of the way around the world from one work site to another... Hope your mother gets better soon!

Greybeard said...

Doesn't ring a bell, Ed, but I'm gettin' old and my memory ain't the greatest anymore. I was at Chu Lai in '68-69...
Where/when was Dave there?

Navy... stay safe in your travels.

The Old Man said...

He'll learn to love it the same way we did - livin' the dream.

Beau's Mom said...

I thought my week was pathetic until I read about yours.

This was a mild winter and we only wore jeans and sweaters for about 4 days.

(Hernando Fl. About 6 driving hours from Pensacola, on 19)

but in Destin you will need winter jackets next year. NOT as harsh as Indiana, but cold.

As for the fog, blame it on those tornadoes.

cj said...

Hope your mom is doing better...

And we got a foot of snow along with subzero temps!


cary said...

Hope your mom is feeling better.

Really and truly, he can call me. I have a trailer, it would've cost him a lot less than a tow company, and I know how to bump start a bike, to boot.