|Snowfall. David Hayes, 2013.|
The stillness of January. The quiet time of winter...all the big holidays over. Time to settle into that cold, dark time of the year...regroup...recoup. I've been counting on this time...the stillness. Yet, it hasn't come to me as of yet!
Different things keep coming up, disrupting the quiet. Some small, silly things. Others, not so much. Like yesterday late afternoon. I received a phone call from my wife who is visiting her sister in Michigan. Seems that our youngest daughter was taken away from work in an ambulance due to an asthma attack. Company policy and all that. So...after making a couple of calls, I determined where she was and set out to pick her up. At a hospital in a part of town with which I am totally unfamiliar. Through the magic of my TomTom I found the hospital with only one missed turn. (Pretty good for me!) Daughter was fine...wanted me to drive her back to work so she could pick up her car. Again, new territory to explore!
This morning I pulled my motorcycle out of its winter slumber to ride it to my dealership so they could preform one of those "mandatory recall services". Nothing major but Harley corporate was on their case about getting these all done. With the weather forecasted in the 60's today, I really had no excuse not to do this. Besides...you want to keep the guys in Service happy at all times. Uneventful and rather pleasant ride to the dealership....and true to their word, I was in and out. The trip home...well that's another story! There's a very steep hill on my route that I have to ride up. Done it before. Not problems. I had started the climb when I realize I was in the wrong gear. I think I "kicked up" instead of "down". Big mistake! Before I knew it I had stalled out. On a steep hill. Have you ever tried to keep a 750 lb. Harley upright when it's rolling backwards...with traffic behind you!? Only option...shut her down quickly and let her go down slowly. Then stand there and curse the fates...
Long story short. The guy in the pickup truck behind me stopped, got out of his truck and helped me upright my bike and after a couple of false starts, we backed her into the guard rail. After calming down, I called AAA for help. While waiting, several people stopped/slowed down to see if I needed help. The AAA guy finally arrived... and while he spotted traffic, I was able to get the bike out of gear...and then back into first and slowly make my way up the hill and then home. No harm to my bike or to myself other than throwing my lower back out...and my damaged pride.
Thank you to all those who helped me this morning...and to those who helped my daughter last night. The Kindness of Strangers. Who says the world is going to hell in a hand basket. Not a chance with good folks like that out there!
As for that winter stillness....I thought this image was appropriate. My recipe is simple. Open that amazing app, iColorama. Crop to taste. Use these fx filters, in order of appearance: Simplify; Tint (13/17. Overlay blend. Opacity 50%): High (1/4. Opacity 50%); Sharpen (3/6).