Like the title says, today was a Sanity Ride. I have had a few of those lately. On December 7th, my wife called me to come get her at work as she was about to faint. My wife is the toughest person I know and never really complains about things so I was a little concerned. Long story short, they discovered a 3 inch big brain tumor. Everything's ok, so far, we have an appointment in Gainesville next week where they will plan the surgery. But we don't know if they will admit her then or send us home to Tallahassee and schedule surgery later. It's been a little strange, to say the least. Anyway, I have been doing a bit of riding to think things out and a bit of riding to not think things out, too. I find that I do the 'what if' thinking until I get to a certain point and then skitter back from that edge..... So, my mother in law took my wife and daughter, Marley, to breakfast today. Marley had been hanging out with me the last couple of days, she will wake me up requesting we go to Whataburger and go look at motorcycles. Who can say no to that ? So, I took the opportunity to go for a small ride. I got a new camera and mp3 player and wanted to try them out on this run, too. With the MP3 player, I wanted to know if I could listen to music and still hear things. Turns out you can, but the ear buds that come with the player suck. That's my 98 Suzuki Bandit 600. Runs good, was dirt cheap and looks ok at 50 mph :) I had pulled over to turn on the MP3 player since I was pretty much out of town. First song that played was 'Born to Lose' by Social Distortion. The next song was 'Can't Go Back' by the Descendents. I have always loved driving around and listening to good loud music. And riding the Bandit, listening to the sound of the engine and some good music did a lot of good. I headed out of Tallahassee on 27 east and turned right in Waukeenah. I decided to head to the Wacissa River and take a look at a place I had spent many many Summer afternoons, swimming in 70 degree spring water. First though, I pulled over to take a look at a place my Grandfather used to stop by when he would take my brother and me swimming. This is a feed/agricultural store/warehouse. My Grandfather knew just about everyone in Jefferson County, and so when he would take us swimming, we'd usually stop here so he could shoot the shit with other old Jefferson County people. My brother and I would play hide and seek in that warehouse. Tons of feed and chemicals, all stacked and piled and arranged in mazelike patterns. It was a kids paradise for hide and seek. Wonder what kind of crap I was breathing in back then in the late 70's..... Got back on the road and had to take a shot of this: The picture doesn't do it justice but that is a bit of a steep drop for Florida and the view is impressive, again, for Florida. Note the slope of the road. A few miles later and I arrived at the Wacissa River. And it was quiet. I wandered around and took a few pictures. The place seems a lot smaller now. There used to be a tall diving board on that concrete slab. Guess the county was afraid of law suits or something. Good thing, that damn board was slippery. The water is still crystal clear, though. I then went and sat down and looked around and listened to some good music. Some U2, more Descendents, My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult and Divine Intervention by Matthew Sweet. That song started playing just as I took this shot: It was good to get out and enjoy simple stuff, riding, music, fresh air, warm weather. And since it is the last ride of the year, I decided to go pay my respects to my Brother. Country roads, take me home. Spent a bit of time at my Brother's gravesite. There is a poem on the slab: <TABLE style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent; MARGIN: auto; WIDTH: auto; BORDER-COLLAPSE: collapse; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none" class=cquote><TBODY><TR><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; PADDING-BOTTOM: 4px; PADDING-LEFT: 10px; PADDING-RIGHT: 10px; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; PADDING-TOP: 4px" vAlign=top>Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner. All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!</TD><TD style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: right; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; PADDING-BOTTOM: 10px; PADDING-LEFT: 10px; PADDING-RIGHT: 10px; FONT-FAMILY: 'Times New Roman', serif; COLOR: #b2b7f2; FONT-SIZE: 60px; BORDER-TOP: medium none; FONT-WEIGHT: bold; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; PADDING-TOP: 10px" vAlign=bottom width=20></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE> This is by Henry Scott Holland. Good stuff. Funny thing is, as soon as I got off the Bandit and started towards my Brother's grave, one of his favorite songs, and the only Southern Rock song on my MP3, started to play. Freebird. It sounded good. After spending a bit of time, called my wife and her head was hurting (no kidding! I'd probably be bed ridden if I was the one...) and the 5 year old was having a rough day so I headed home.