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Monday, March 29, 2010


Here in Alabama, Saturday was a great day for riding! Harley and I wanted to make the best of it, so we decided to go to Whataburger for lunch... in Clanton! It was the kind'a ride that took you 80 miles to get there, even though it was only 50 miles away. We took a leisurely cruise up our favorite little highways and byways and observed all the Spring blossoms starting to dapple our beautiful country landscape.

These Tulip trees are one of my favorite Spring flowers. I'm not sure if they're officially called Tulip trees, but that's what I call them. When they start to bloom, I know the dreary brownness of winter will soon be gone.

In this northern area of Autauga County, you'll see acres and acres of these lovely peach trees lining the roads, sometimes on both sides. These gorgeous blossoms create an image of a brilliant pink blanket laying across the landscape and it looks absolutely beautiful.

Even these Bradford Pears dressed up the dormant tree line with their contrasting blooms of white.

During one of our little stretch breaks, I couldn't help but notice these delicate tiny little purple blooms that made the dirty ground even look pretty.

We enjoyed a nice ride, ate a good 'ol burger, and saw some pretty spring scenery all while under a lovely blue sky and cruising through the welcome warm spring air. It can't get much better than this! Hope your weekend ride was as good as mine was.

Have a great week everybody!

Lady R

Monday, March 22, 2010


Harley and I took a few minutes to stretch our legs at this railroad crossing in downtown Castleberry, Alabama during our ride on Saturday. We logged around 280 miles and enjoyed the best riding day so far for 2010. The sun was high, the sky was blue, and mother nature blessed us with 75 degree temps... it was absolutely fabulous!

Our plan was to ride down around the Evergreen area so Harley the "scrap man" could scope out the roads and bridges that his company's big pan trucks would be traveling on. (See my post, John Deere And The "Scrap Man" I posted on Friday for a better explanation about the pans). Discovering little towns like Castleberry is what makes riding around even more rewarding. You just never know where you'll end up.

Downtown Castleberry... Looks like a real happenin' place! Ya'll come back now... ya hear?

Have a great Monday everyone and ride on!!

Lady R

Friday, March 19, 2010


Ever have one of those rides when, even though you've been down the same ol' roads, with the same ol' houses and saw the same ol' scenery, all of a sudden... something grabs your attention like it's brand new? It may have been there the last five hundred times you rode by this house or that barn, but for some reason, today it jumps out at you and says... "look at me!" While Harley and I were riding around our sweet Alabama country roads a couple weekends ago, I saw lots of familiar stuff, it seemed... for the first time.

As most of my regular readers know, my dad (Papa J) passed away on February 20th. I'm very thankful to have had a wonderful relationship with him, but coping with my loss has left me feeling like I'm on an emotional roller coaster, and it's all I can do to hang on for the ride. After being in Dubuque with my family for a couple weeks, I figured I'd be spending my first Saturday back home catching up on laundry and other house keeping chores, but Harley had other plans. He knows me better than anyone and knew I needed a break from my turmoil, so he suggested we take advantage of a pretty day and get a little road therapy. He asked if I wanted to hop on the Glides and ride along while he did some research for work, saying something about, "checking out some pans". The sun promised to play peek-a-boo with us while the temperature was lingering in the mid 60's so I thought... why the hell not!

Now, there was a time in my life that I only thought of pans as being those various sized containers with handles, that are heat resistant so you can cook food in them. Well, that was before I married the "scrap man". Pans are not just for cooking... but collecting. A "pan" in the scrap business is a large metal box, (looking very much like a gigantic dumpster) used to collect the scrap material of certain businesses, and can be carried around by large trucks. Harley was courting a new customer, so he needed to go around to this company's various locations and "check out their pans", so he could give them a quote on buying their material.

We maneuvered through town and started heading north on Hwy. 9, a road we travel often, when I noticed the first one. There it was, like a brand new addition to the landscape, even though I remember seeing it there before... a nice big John Deere mailbox, shaped like a tractor. For some reason, as I rode by it today, it stood out and made me take notice of it. It's brilliant green and gold paint, glimmering in the sunlight, caught my attention and made my heart skip a beat followed by that all too familiar "punch in the gut" pain that has been plaguing me of late.

(I'll explain a little history here, so the rest of my story will make sense to you. After many hard working years, my dad retired from John Deere Dubuque Tractor Works. He loved to collect John Deere memorabilia as well as stock his garage with various outdoor John Deere products. In my father's house... green and gold represented pride and quality. As children, we grew up believing in the Gospel according to John: Nothing runs like a Deere!)

Seeing the mailbox started a flood of memories and thoughts that seemed to swish around in my head like a wash tub full of water. As I pondered these thoughts and tried to put things in order, we traveled just a couple more miles down the road before I saw another one. It was on the other side of the road this time and not quite as big as the first one. Much more worn out, but another one just the same... a John Deere mailbox.

I kid you not. For the next several miles, or maybe I should say all afternoon, I would see many familiar items of green and gold. I noticed the John Deere tractor beside an old barn that was partially covered with a dusty tarp, and a tall iron and metal windmill boasting the running deer logo on one of its blades. While cruising around the country side (stopping now and then to allow Harley, the "scrap man" to dumpster dive on an industrial level), I noticed the rusty old novelty street sign that marked someone's driveway as "John Deere Rd."

As my mind kept focusing on these objects of familiarity, I became instantly gratified. I realized, as I rode that day... my dad was with me, and noticing all these reminders of him was comforting. In my heart and mind, he will always be with me, and this day was no exception.

It felt good to be on my Glide again and I decided to let all the stresses of life blow off with the wind. I continued to follow my fearless leader as we made our way on some beautiful highways during our Saturday afternoon adventure. The brown of winter is starting to fade and soon the brilliant color of Spring will wash over the landscape.

After a couple hundred miles of enjoyable riding with John Deere and the "scrap man", I felt content with the world. All I can say right now is... Life is good!

Lady R
Ride on!

(Disclaimer: the photos used in this post were copied from web.)

Monday, March 15, 2010


When Harley went on his Canada trip with his pals a couple years ago, they took a ferry from Bar Harbor, Maine over to the southwest side of Nova Scotia and road some of those beautiful coastline roads.

Someone told me once that being in Nova Scotia is as close as you can get to feeling like your in Scotland... without being in Scotland. Well, I still haven't been to either one, but since Harley has, and being this close to St. Patrick's Day, I thought I'd pull something from his archives that reminds me of the Irish.

I hope you all have a fantastic week and don't forget to wear green on Wednesday!

Lady R

Monday, March 8, 2010


I was 8 years old when this picture was taken of my dad posing on his Honda with me and my baby brother. He used to give us rides all the time and I remember them like they were yesterday! In fact, to let you in on the kind of father he really was... he probably wasn't able to sneak off and enjoy his rides as much as he could have cause he always had somebody in tow... mainly me!

I'm so glad I found this picture while I was home. I will treasure these memories forever. I miss you dad... thanks for everything!

Have a great Monday everybody!!

Lady R

Friday, March 5, 2010



Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond's gift of snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the autumn's gentle rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there ~ I did not die.

I just wanted to thank all of my readers who left comments for me on my last post, for your lovely words of strength and support for me and my family. These last couple of weeks has been probably the most difficult experience I've had to endure in my life thus far. Losing my father to cancer was not exactly how I thought things would go, but someone once told me... "If you want to give God a good laugh, just sit back and tell him your plans."

This is so true. I'm thankful for the fact that my family has always been a strong and loving one, because if it weren't for our faith and support, of and for each other... this whole ordeal would have been unbearable.

I'm glad that I've been able to stay here, in Dubuque with my mom to help get some of her and dad's business in order, and set her on the long path of healing as his surviving widow. Even though I am very sad I have to leave her, I know my two brothers and their families will be here for her, as well as my abundant circle of relatives who all are very caring, loving and supportive.

It's time for me to return to my home in Alabama and try to get myself back into some sort of normalcy. I've missed my hubby and my critters and I'm anxious to see them all again. Harley tells me the weather for Saturday and Sunday are supposed to be really pretty, so I told him on the phone last night... "That's a good thing. I think a little road thereapy is just what I need."

Thank you again for your support and patience during my absence and I'm looking forward to getting back to the keyboard... after all what's the fun in keeping the miles to myself. Take care of your families and enjoy each day to the fullest... you never know when it may be your last.

Ride on!
Lady R