Blog 2368 – 04.18.2022
My birthday, November 22, fell close enough to Christmas that my financially challenged parents could use the near proximity of Christmas to explain my mostly meager birthday presents as a boy growing up. I first thought of using the expression “poor parents” instead of financially challenged, but like I believe most parents, my parents were not poor, but did the beast they could by me and my younger brother with what they had to work with.
My tenth birthday was the most meager, no presents, not even the traditional homemade chocolate two layer birthday cake. Those were especially lean times in our little four room rental house on Second Avenue. We had just moved in there less than a month before on Halloween 1960 and I would live there with my dad, mom, and brother till eight years later I left home for the Army three days after my eighteenth birthday.
My first birthday party was on my sixth birthday and my parents in addition to springing for a traditional birthday party got me a new 12” bike with training wheels. It would be several years before I would learn to balance and ride a bike without training wheels and even then on my same aged cousin Brenda’s bike. Girl bikes did not have the double bar that boys bikes did then and are easier to ride and less a danger to “the family jewels.” Dad always said, “Boys take care of the family jewels.”
From that very first free-wheeling ride on my cousin’s little red bike I have loved the feel of the wind in my face. I am reminded of the old joke about motorcyclists: “You know how you can tell happy motorcyclists? – By the bug splatters on their teeth.”
For the seven years I have been writing and posting this daily blog I have most days gotten up early to write and post it first thing. I had in mind trying to be like the the old morning papers, waiting on people at least in my time zone when they first got up. But since I have retired. I figure it will get there when it gets there- read it or don’t.
I rode my bike first thing this morning. It was still dark, few walker were out or cars, just me and my flying machine flying high above everything. I like to recite my daily mantra as I start pedaling and it is a great way to start the day – aiming high and flying high. How do you start your day?
Your friend and fellow traveler,