Before I started dating Jackie, I had never been on a motorcycle in my life. To be honest I never had any desire to be on a motorcycle in my lifetime. End of story. I preferred my horsepower to have four legs and be fueled by hay as opposed to gasoline. If I were to carry the "being honest" a bit further I would also admit that I had never been on nor operated a two wheeler, three wheeler or four wheeler of ANY sort. But that was all to change when I began my life with Jackie because he loved all of his horse power of the motor driven sort.
One of our first dates consisted of his taking me for a ride on his Harley, which you guessed it is pictured above. To be honest just thinking about getting on that thing scared the "poop" out of me and in the days leading up to my scheduled maiden ride I was hoping beyond hoping that he would cancel. However not being one to take the hint nor be discouraged, Jackie would not be deterred and assured me I would love it as soon as my hiney hit the seat. Oh that poor, naïve little man. All I will say about that first ride is that I was never so glad to see me driveway in my life!
As time went on we married and continued to go for rides on the motorcycle on Sunday afternoons as that was Jackie's only day off. I never fell in love with riding, but I did love spending time with Jackie and seeing how happy it made him for me to be sitting behind him on those rides. Now fast forward a year or so later when Jackie's old three wheeler was put out to pasture and we bought him a new Honda four wheeler. He never let me on the his three wheeler because it was never safe and he thought I would get hurt on it. But he had big plans for me and that four wheeler. It was going to help me do all kinds of chores while he was at work. But before that could happen I needed to learn how to operate the thing.
Now Jackie is a very good, patient teacher. Throughout our life together he has taught me several skills and never once lost his temper. Attempting to teach me how to drive the four wheeler was no exception. He explained, he demonstrated, he took me for sample drives and then asked me if I thought I was ready. I said I was. In those days Pop was the only fur baby we had and he pretty much went everywhere with us and Jackie felt he should be with us for this big event. He didn't stop to consider Pop didn't have a seat belt, which as it turns out would have been a prudent thought.
Jackie and Pop mounted up first and then I positioned myself in front in the driver's seat. I started her up and put her into gear and then proceeded to dump my family off the back when I "gently" gave her some gas. Thankfully no one was injured. Again not being one to abandon ship, Jackie kept working with me. I eventually got to where I would use it in have to situations, but I would never take it out of second gear. Yes that's right, I crawled wherever I went with it.
Now here is where the motorcycle comes in. One afternoon when Jackie was on day shift, I got the four wheeler out to do something and I had Pop with me. I remember feeling quite pleased with myself because I had accomplished my mission without incident. I had only to put it back in the garage. And that my friends is where my success ended. I had come to the door of the garage and dropped it down to first gear so I could creep into the designated parking spot. I was ALMOST there when I don't know how, but all of a sudden there was a slight increase in the speed which I was going and I ran into the Harley. I tell you know lie when I say I almost threw up as I say it tip over. It happened so fast and yet in slow motion at the same time.
I just sat there for a minute trying to process what had just happened and wondering how it happened. Pop just looked at me. I got off and walked over to the Harley. I decided the first thing I needed to do was to set it back up. Let me tell ya gang if you have never tried to pick one up, those things are heavy. I strained and struggled but I couldn't budge it. I just knew Jackie was not going to be happy, I mean who would? I looked at Pop and told him he needed to go pack his food and water bowl because he and I would be needing to find a new place to live.
I had about 15 minutes until Jackie was due home and I can assure you those were the longest minutes of my life. Finally I heard his truck and my heart started to race and my palms began to sweat. As he came down the driveway I stepped in front of the truck before he got close to the garage. I thought perhaps it would be better for me to tell him before he saw it rather than letting him see the injured girl first. I was shaking as I relayed the woeful tale to him apologizing every other word.
Jackie just sat there and looked at me the whole time I was talking. When I finally came up for air he very calmly said and I quote, "O I am sure it's not that bad. If there is any damage we can fix it". He drove down to the garage and put the truck up then got out and set the Harley back up. He looked at it a bit and said announced that only the mirror arm had been broken and that he would just get a new one. And just like that it was over with and he never spoke of it again. I am pretty sure there is a lesson for us all in this story. I sure know there was a big one in it for me.
Until we meet here again, I pray God bless you and keep your loved ones safe.