Saturday, September 23, 2006

It's Saturday, and we arrived here at the homestead last night. It's a pretty slow weekend for us - the weather is kind of forcing us to relax a bit, instead of catching up on all the outside work we need to do. It's a bit rainy and cloudy. Perfect opportunity for Bernie to clean some rifles, which is exactly what he is doing as I write this.

We got the phone line and DSL installed here last weekend. The DSL far exceeds my expectations. We have a cable connection at our home in town, and this DSL rivals the speed we get there. Very nice.

I took some pictures of the personal rifle rack Bernie and Tex built last weekend. I'll get those up on the website soon, along with a description of how they built it. I really think you'll like it - it's pretty cool and very functional. *UPDATE - it's on the website now.*

You may have gathered that Bernie and I are into motorcycling. We're also politically active with regard to bikers' rights - not only in Virginia, but on a national level as well. In fact, we're fairly politically active on many issues such as privacy issues, anti-gun control, etc., but bikers' rights is especially near and dear to our hearts as riding is a big part of our lives. I've been reading up on NAIS, and this is another area I intend to get heavily involved in. I'm concerned about the implication this program may have for homesteaders and small, traditional farms. A lot of what I've read so far is very alarming. Look for additional info on this subject as I learn more about it and how to address it.

In closing, I would like to share something I wrote when I learned that we lost a friend when his motorcycle struck a deer:

Who Wants to Die Happy?

What a sad day. Today I learned we lost one of our brothers. Jim Orange was killed while riding his motorcycle and a deer ran out in front of him.

I learned about this through a phone call at work. I suppose my reaction to the call alerted others in the office that something was up, because as soon as I hung up the phone someone asked “What happened?” I was numb with shock, but I managed to mumble something about the bike and the deer and the fact that my friend is now gone. And then I heard “At least he died doing what he loved to do.”

I have honestly always hated hearing “At least he died doing what he loved to do.” I mean, what does that mean? That you should die while you're happy? Who wants to die while they're happy? We want to LIVE while were happy! I'd rather die and have someone say “Well, at least she had a happy life doing what she really wanted to do, and died when she was doing something she hated.”

I guess if I had an actual CHOICE of when I'd die, I'd pick doing something I really like. I could prepare myself for that and make some decisions. But if I have to just randomly die, I wouldn't give up the moment I was actually happy. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, those happy moments don't seem to happen often enough. I'd pick a time when I was really bummed out, a time when I wasn't enjoying being alive. I'd probably pick a moment at my desk at work. But a moment when I was enjoying a nice ride? I don't think so.

Anything worth doing in life comes with risks. Riding a motorcycle comes with risks. There is no denying that. But taking the risk of riding a motorcycle doesn't necessarily mean that you have prepared to meet your “Maker”. If you have any sense at all, you've considered the risks, educated yourself on the ways to minimize them, and taken the necessary steps to stay as safe as possible. Not because you are preparing to die, but because you want to LIVE.

Riding doesn't mean throwing your life to the wind. It means just the opposite. Riding is a way to experience life to its fullest. IN the wind. It's a way to connect with the air we breathe, the sun that bathes our bodies, and the things that allow our very existence.

“At least he died doing what he loved to do” should really be “At least he lived his life to the fullest and has no regrets.”

Damn those deer. Damn those inattentive drivers. We're doing what we love to do, and we don't want to die doing it.

To Jim I quote, “I rode with him. I have no regrets.”

Ride on, brother. Ride on.

Live Free,

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