Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Meet Agnes

Thursday my dad called me up.  He said he had an errand to run out at a bike shop about an hour away on Saturday and he wanted William and I to go.  This bike shop has an awesome rep - I've heard not just good things about it, but awesome, borderline glowing things about the way this shop does business. 

I told my dad I'd talk to William and get back to him.  He (my dad) was pretty persistent about us going.  But - it hadn't been the first time he had asked about us going.  And this time I relented a bit, because I really wanted a helmet.  I thought I'd take a look and check out the helmets they had.  And it wouldn't hurt to browse a little bit at the bikes.

William couldn't make it - he had something already planned.  A new internet vendor was coming out to do an install.  (Our old provider was awful.  We tried - we had them out 3-4 times in the last 8 months to fix it.)  We figured it was best, because William had the buy-a-bike bug pretty bad.  It was taking all his restraint to not buy one.  I knew this.  I also knew I could look and NOT buy.  (I'm great at dreaming.)

But I wore flip flops to the shop. 

Intentionally.

Knowing how William is and knowing how much I wanted a bike myself - I didn't trust myself to not test drive any.  What better way to ensure I didn't than to wear flip flops?  You really can't ride a bike in those.  (The clutch would hurt your toes, I'm sure.)

So Saturday was a mad dash for me.  I went for my traditional 7 mi run in the morning (kinda early, even for me because William had some other plans he later cancelled), got home and showered and did my Saturday morning beauty ritual.  (I'm usually pretty quick at getting dressed - except on Saturdays.  You can count on me taking an hour at least.)  At some delicious breakfast William whipped up.  Can I just say - I'm SO SPOILED?  William cooks a full spread for breakfast on the weekends...bacon, (turkey) sausage, scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy.  (And what does Rebekah eat?  Cereal.  Seriously.)  Mmmmm - I love his breakfasts.  I actually prefer to eat at home than to go out.  And who wouldn't with food like that? 

Anyway - I took the kids to their swimming lessons and then to a birthday party.  I actually have an interesting story from the party I'd like to share - but it will have to wait.  We must focus on the story at hand, or this post will turn into a novel.

I stopped and got myself some lunch and was wishing for a nap at this point in time.  My mom was already waiting on me though.  She started working on fixing Rebekah's sewing machine - so I had about 15 minutes to sit on the couch with my eyes closed.  It helped, but I was still pretty tired.

I pulled up Bob's Bikz on my navigator.  I told mom she didn't need to worry about me - I had a map.  I knew where we were going.  She was happy about that at first, but then told me I had to stick with her.  After-all, she technically still had her learners and had to be with a licensed motorcyclist.  Noooo problem.

Then we got on the highway - 70 MPH.  My mom was going 50 at best.  So I called my dad up, who had to run some mysterious errands.  "Hey, is mom going so slow on purpose?"  "Yep - the wind bothers her pretty bad."  Oi...Kingman was 30 miles away.  And I was going to get to drive it at 50 MPH. 

Did I mention how tired I was?  I just wanted to browse the helmets and go home.

It didn't take long before I was kicking myself for agreeing to even go.  I cranked up the music though and tried to enjoy the drive.  I prayed over my mom driving (I really did not want to be the witness of her demise - and I had this naggy feeling it was a real possibility) and prayed in general. 

We finally made it to the shop.  I felt like kissing the ground when I got there - I was just overjoyed to have finally made it. And since my dad was there, I knew I wouldn't have to stick around and wait for them.  I'd be able to drive as fast as I wanted to get home! 

Bob was busily walking around.  He paused and said "Hi!  Can I help you today?"  I smiled and said I was just browsing.  He went on about his business.  I went over and looked at the helmets, but didn't see any that I really liked.  "Try some on!" he said.  I did - and they fit fine, but I wanted something pretty.  "Pick one out!"  I told Dad that was OK, I'd like to look at some other places.  Then my dad and I wandered around looking at bikes.  He kept pointing out scooters saying "How 'bout THIS one?"  I looked over the bikes, but honestly none of them caught my eye. 

I wanted back over to where my mom had plopped herself down and chatted with a guy (employee) over there.  "Who comes to look at motorcycles in FLIP FLOPS?" he teased.  I told him I had no intentions of buying.  He wanted to know why I had come all that way - I had wondered the same thing myself.  I just smiled and replied I was following my dad around. 

"Do you do that often?" he asked.
"No actually.  Just happened to today." I said.

We joked around a little more - when the guy said "Hmmm - I bet I can find a bike in here that you would just love. You want something that has enough power to keep you going, but not too much since you are just starting."  I nodded - that was probably true.  As he perused the shop Bob walked in.

"I have the perfect bike for her." he said as he whizzed passed me.  "Follow me."  I laughed thinking "Man, these guys are really trying to make a sale!"  But I didn't feel at all pressured.  I was having fun with it.  So I followed him around as he took a loop around the shop and then finally headed out the front door.

I thought this was odd - but had seen a bunch of bikes out front when we pulled up.  I thought they belonged to people.  "Hmmm - I guess some of those were shop bikes after all."  He walked up to a bike that was sitting right outside.

I sent this picture to William
"Sit on it.  Give it a try."  I smiled and played along.  "Sure ok..." and hopped on the bike, flip flops and all.

"How does it feel?"

I'm no bike expert.  I was thinking..."Like a bike - how is it supposed to feel?"  But I just shrugged and said it felt fine.  (I am sure there are differences - I just haven't sat on enough of them to really know those differences.)

He gave me a speech about how my parents had been good customers, and they had put a lot of work into the bike to get it running.  I honestly can't recall all what he said - because it was at this point that my mind was turning and I had figured out that it was my bike.  Bob finally got the punch line and told me it was my bike.

My bike.  "MERRY CHRISTMAS!" my mom said (or someone said - I can't really recall who...details are fuzzy here).  I had a bike! 

"WOW!  That is great!  THANKS so much guys!" I said!  My mom was fiddling with her phone - she had been trying to record it and at this point and squirreled on trying to get it to work (or see if it was working - something...I wasn't paying attention honestly). 

"Look in your car.  I'm sure there are boots in there." Dad said. 

I didn't question it.  I looked around in the middle of the car and finally looked in the back and found my boots, gloves, socks and my long sleeve shirt.  Now I guess I really did need a helmet.  I dug out my license (they needed it before releasing the bike to me) and off I went to pick out a helmet. 

I'm sure I frustrated them trying to decide which one to pick.  I can be indecisive on large purchases.  (And to me, this was a large purchase.  Pretty much anything beyond a lunch is a large purchase.)  I don't like making mistakes and wasting money. 

So I finally settled on a helmet and we headed home (bright red).  I picked out a Bob's Bikz t-shirt (long sleeved - although in hindsight I think I'd have preferred a short sleeve).  We took a picture (which I do not have) of the 3 of us by the bike.  I hid behind the bike so that you couldn't see my goofy legs...capri's with boots.  Seriously - I don't have a lot of fashion sense but even I knew enough to know that this was silly and not something I wanted to capture for the future.  I didn't care too much though - I GOT A BIKE!!!! 

My Dad was super excited that the 3 of us got to ride home. Bob gave us some quick directions about a good route so I could get a feel for the bike (just riding around the block, so I wasn't headed into heavy traffic to start with).  He showed me a couple things about the bike (mainly the break has an extra thing on it and sometimes people get their foot caught on it). 

We headed out to the first stop sign and I started to go...and BAM.  I killed it.  And I'm so thankful I did.  I learned another important piece of information.  This bike will only start when the clutch it out and it is in neutral.  I had gotten used to NOT putting the bike in neutral during class - because those Honda Nighthawk's would not go in neutral unless the engine was off (seriously).  So I tried everything I could think of to make it start.  OH NO!  I BROKE THE ENGINE! I kept thinking to myself.  I was sitting there fiddling with everything I could possibly think of to fiddle with when Bob rode up on a 4 wheeler. 

"Problem?"
"Yeah - I can't seem to get the bike started again."  I'm sure I looked dismayed.
"These old Kawasaki's tend to have to be in neutral to start them, with the clutch out." 

I gave it a try and - ROOOOAAAARRRRR...it came to life.  He smiled and rode back to his shop and we were on our way.

I don't know how long the trip home was, but I enjoyed it.  It was windy, but fun being in the open air.

When we drove up in the driveway I gave the engine a good roar and saw little faces peeping out of the window.  Ruth exclaimed "MAMA!" and Peter's eyes lit up at the sight of the motorcycle.


Dad letting Peter sit on Agnes
He's pretty excited that we have one now.  I think he thinks it means he will get to ride it.  ;-)  That boy has got the bug - even before we took the classes (which we did back in May - I highly recommend Teach Me to Ride folks, in particular Terry Mauk).  I'm sure he'll want his first "car" to only have two wheels.

I've named our bike Agnes.  I was sitting on the front grass waiting for William to come back from a short spin around the block.  It just sort of dawned on me that this bike is old, but still has a certain....well...grace about it.  Agnes just sort of hit me.  I don't normally name vehicles, but this one seemed like it needed a name. 

William swears he isn't calling the bike by a name - so now it is my personal mission to get him to use the name! :-P

One more thing I will mention.  After we took the class, William had a strong desire to get one.  It was probably the biggest temptation we'd had of diverting funds from paying off debt.  So on my way to work one morning I chatted with God about it.  I asked that He either remove the desire to get a bike from our hearts or to get us a bike.  One of the two - because this temptation thing was strong.  I wasn't sure how long William could hold out.  I wasn't sure how long *I* could hold out.  So I just laid it out there.

I never got an "answer" one way or the other.  After the initial heartfelt prayer, I mentioned it a couple of times to God as I prayed over finances.  (I've been praying for some money stuff for church - complicated story.)  While my parents were the vessels, I do look at this as a gift from God.  God uses people.  He used my parents.  When we took the Dave Ramsey class, Dave talked about how people will go buy a car...and say "Look what God gave us!"  But then they are slaves to the car because they can't really afford it.  Dave talked about how God's gifts don't enslave us - they free us.  So even if you get a good deal, it really isn't from God if it creates bondage.

This bike is 100% paid for.  In fact, my parents paid cash for it.  I respect this greater than they can imagine.  It cost us $100/yr to insure it and the last time William filled it up it took 1.8 gallons.  That was after the trip from Kingman and some other toodling around town.

This is what a blessing looks like. 

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