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Plan? What Plan?

"Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won't have titles until much later." In the last few months I've been asked from several readers and followers, 'How do you plan your trips?' I also see the question asked numerous times (like over and over and over and over...) on the various biker-related groups on social media.  Penny Tours I confess: I'm not much of a planner! I ride in the spirit of the intrepid Bessie Stringfield, a pioneer of the sport of motorcycling who in 1930 became the first black woman to ride solo across the U.S.. Bessie was notorious for her 'Penny Tours.' She would toss a penny in the air and wherever it landed on her map of the U.S.....that is the direction she would travel. And yes; I've done the Penny Tour many times. Just a few weeks ago in Indiana; I had a 'free' day between events and tossed the penny on the map of Indiana. It landed in the northern part of the state near the
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Women Empower Women

"A woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself." ~ Maya Angelou I'm drawn to women - like myself - who are free spirits, adventuresome, and authentic.  From June of 2020 to June of 2021 Bessie and Me have logged over 23,000 miles to research my work in progress #Scattered and promote my book Riding Soulo . This past year as I've traversed the country on two wheels, I was fortunate to meet so many incredible women who inspired me! As Central Florida slowly came out of quarantine in June of 2020 I made the decision to travel west to Sedona, Arizona (not realizing much of the southwest was still under quarantine and closures). My current writing project is a fictional tale; the ending takes place in Sedona and I've never been to Sedona. I wanted a genuine 'Sedona' experience...mystical vortexes, psyches and spiritual healers, a comm

Christmas Cookies

"Perfection is the highest form of self-abuse." ~ A Very Wise Woman    Non-Perfect Sugar Cookies It starts the end of September when the glossy 'women's magazines' line the checkout aisles, their covers depicting Fall decorations; pumpkins that could have been carved by Michelangelo, outlandish Halloween snacks that require hours of assembly, and air brushed sugar cookies that no one in their right mind would dare eat. The publishers of these glossy rags ramp it up for Thanksgiving with dinner tables that look like they were painted by Normal Rockwell himself. And boy, by December they are in full swing with the message: if your holiday table or house doesn't look like this... you are less than perfect.   When I was young and stupid I drank the Kool-Aid. One year I bought several expensive hand stamps with ink and a roll of plain white butcher paper. Proceeded to hand stamp/decorate all of my wrapping paper because that is what one particular 'women's

Spirit Animal

“We carry the lives we've imagined as we carry the lives we have, and sometimes a reckoning comes of all the lives we have lost.” ―  Helen Macdonald,  H is for Hawk My spirit animal made its appearance yesterday. Yes. I have a spirit animal - it is the hawk. The hawk makes its (I refer to the hawk as 'it' because I have no idea if it is male or female, I like to think it is gender neutral) appearance shortly after a loved one has died. My dear friend Charmian passed away last Thursday. No, I don't believe the hawk is the loved one. Thats not exactly how spirit animals work. If you read my book 'Riding Soulo' you know I devoted a chapter to Spirit Animal. My friend Butch had just died in a motorcycle accident - I was devastated of course. I was traveling on Bessie and planned to embark on the Circle Tour of Lake Superior after visiting family. The appearance of the hawk on a desolate county road at dawn surrounded by cornfields was powerful medicine for a grievin

Life and Death

  Charmian Gatlin - A Daisy to Remember Life and Death. Their appearance in our brief trajectory on this planet is both startling and covert.  Life. I anxiously anticipated the birth of my granddaughter - Eloise Jaye - on the 21st of November. Babies being babies she presented herself - startling us all with her early entrance into the world - on Monday the 10th. I am  over the moon thrilled with my new granddaughter - New Life - a celebration; made all the sweeter as she is the baby girl of my baby girl.  Death. Two days later I receive the startling news that my Daisy, my dear friend of 28 years - Charmian - passed away (on her late husbands birthday no less). I spoke with Charmian a few days prior as she was in the hospital recovering from a fall. Charmian was her usual, ornery, upbeat self - giggly and lucid from pain meds - assuring me that she was 'okay' and 'I'll be home in a few days.' The news of her passing was like a punch in the gut. My heart goes out to

Inclement Weather

 "We only regret the rides we didn't take." I personally have never experienced any significant growth as a human being by staying inside my comfort zone. The only real growth I've acquired is when I'm challenged to move beyond that which is comfortable or within my skill set. Growth requires change; I've learned that many times over and in many different ways since my teen years. Discomfort and often times outright pain are necessary as well.  I like to think I'm a glass-half-full kind of person. Weather Report: 30% chance of rain. Me: 70% chance it won't, let's ride! Weather Report: 40 mph wind gusts Me: Yeehaw! Cowboy up and ride bitches! When I started riding in January of '08, I was riding with the Buffalo Soldiers (I know ...right?!). Looking back, I was totally out of my element with that group, but they embraced me as a rider. And if you know anything about the Soldiers...they ride. Before you are accepted as a 'prospect' you ha

Autumn Haze

 My meditation this morning read, "The world has more depth in autumn. So, it seems does my soul."   My first reaction was bullshit. Then I reminded myself this was supposed to be the quiet, reflective, meditative beginning to my morning, not a contentious reflection or a brow-beating. Fall is a difficult feeling in Florida where it is still 90 degrees, sunny, and lushly green. I wonder if anyone else feels like everything tangible is just out of reach? Half of the year so far has been spent in limbo; quarantine, shut down, social distancing, open, not open, cancelled, half capacity. Even my students appear as little tiny squares on my computer screen; intangible, just out of reach.  After a stint in the hospital, I find it necessary to downshift and live in a lower gear. This is not the place I am accustomed to but the place that will keep me healthy. I'm grateful for the ability to recognize burnout before I was completely charred. Setting the world on fire comes with