21 April 2010
I am sitting in a coffee shop in Iowa, one of the United States of America, where I was able to log on. I did so 50 minutes ago. It has taken that long for my virus software, Windows Vista, and Java to download multiple updates involving multiple restarts of my laptop. All seems to be quiet now.
I stayed with my aged parents on the farm for three weeks, far too long for them and far too long for me. All is as well as can be expected there on the farm. Stared out the window with them for extended periods and saw some grandchildren. Enough said about that.
I have now changed venues to a friend's guest bedroom about 35 miles to the south. The friend operates under the nom de guerre of Wings. There has been business to transact. Primarily, I needed to get my Driver's License renewed. Secondarily, I needed to go through mail, tend to a few minor things that appeared therein, prepare and file my last income tax returns, get another year's supply of contact lenses, purchase some new jeans, finally close my post office box—little things like that.
Wings has been very kind to take me in. I have offered to demolish an old tree house on his acreage in return. The roof of that is already off. More about the tree house later. My heart was also warmed by a gesture of another old friend.
In 2005 I purchased the GMC pickup that is now still down in Mexico. At that time I had been driving a 1991 Chrysler LeBaron for some years. The LeBaron had no trade-in value. I sold it to a former acquaintance for $500.00. He soon lost faith in it and gave it away to the old friend of mine of whom I speak, who has tended to it magnificently and used it as a winter car for these five years hence.
This other friend, who goes by the sobriquet Spike, has given me the use of the old LeBaron for the duration of my stay. I have been buzzing around in it doing my errands in the United States of America, proud as punch.
Spike has a roommate called Pat, who restores old motorcycles. From 1967 through 1969 during my undergraduate days, I traveled around my university town on a 1965 Honda 160 cc motorcycle. For years that motorcycle sat in a barn on my parents' place. Pat expressed an interest in restoring it. I gave the damned thing to him. I have now had a chance to visit the motorcycle in its revivified state. It is breathtakingly beautiful again. Black and silver. A classic little motorcycle from those days of a make and size owned by thousands of young people at that time.
Spike and Wings have warmed my heart. Revisiting these motor vehicles from the past has warmed my heart, too. I shall fly back to Mexico on May 1 with fond memories of this latter half of my visit to the United States of America, forced upon me by the expiration of my Driver's License in the spring of 2010.