Anybody who has been following this blog will know, succinctly, I rarely take the pulpit to speak of anything with any degree of seriousness or sincerity, so you will forgive me if I take that liberty now.
Fourteen years ago, today, I finally married the woman of my dreams.
We have been together for 21 years, but it took me a little time to really....commit. It all boiled down to timing and practicality (sometimes, a BAD personality trait). When we met, she had recently had a child, and I knew on the day I met her, I loved her. It took all my energy to suppress the desire to tell her so for a month or so. But we hit the ground running. Shortly after meeting (and not even having so much as an official "date" or courtship) I asked her and her daughter to move in with me, which she excepted.
The years have been...colorful. But I was blessed to find a powerfully strong willed woman. She has always known what was best for me, even when I steadfastly refused to listen. This fact led to some VERY interesting altercations, as we are both fire signs! Say what you will about astrology, and, no, I do not place a great deal of faith in the practice, but there IS something to be said about the accuracy of the generalization of personalities in relation to one's sign. Furthermore, the controversy surrounding whether or not "fire" signs are compatible? Well, all I can say is, if nothing else, it keeps life DAMN interesting! Couple that with the fact that she is German/Irish (passionate with a propensity to "remember") and I am Polish/French (arrogant/ strong willed/ opinionated/ dismissive/ rude/ forgetful) and you get, what at times would be defined as....combustible, but it provides for a VERY colorful life!
Sure, we have had our ups and downs (who hasn't?!) and have endured loss, homelessness, poverty, injury, suffering... you name it, but we have also been blessed in so many ways. Through it all when so many other relationships would have long since crumbled, we have stood together, steadfastly, and weathered it all. Oh sure, for the reasons mentioned above, we may have fought each other, but for the majority of the time it was in the best interest of each other, our family and our future. It was that realization that truly kept us going. Some may say it's unhealthy, but hey, 21 years. That's all I have to say! When SO many relationships will fall into a mundane, pedestrian existence after such a stretch, I have to say, the passion, the love, the commitment and dedication has not only NOT waned, but has strengthened. That has to say something about the value of "voicing your opinions".
Yes, on this day, fourteen years ago, Angi and I decorated our home, baked and decorated our cakes (with a wee bit of help) hired a Justice of the Peace, and I stood in our living room with all of our family in attendance (and three very cute AND young children acting as ring bearers and ushers(until of course, a very young Kaleb, tired of wearing his Tuxedo, stripped down to his diaper and insisted on going outside to play!)) as we watched my beautiful wife approach the makeshift alter, in a dress she and a friend made, and we exchanged our vows, with no scarcity of tears, sealing our commitment to each other. It was not the pristine "church" ceremony we had both wanted, nor were we able to take a honeymoon (families great for a day...but not so much for babysitting) however, that day shall forever by catalogued inside me as my "best" day.
I'm looking forward to what the next 21 years (and hopefully MORE) will bring!
OK, now on to work!
Yesterday was another day of Mass Production! The chilly weather that proceeded the day of rain on Tuesday has not abated, and we haven't gotten to the point where the Floridian inhabitants have begrudgingly accepted it's existence and gone back to their lives, so I had a lot of time to just build! Put out a total of SIX newbies yesterday! WOOF! (he exclaims while whipping the imaginary sweat from his brow) We did, however, send home one to a returning Looky Loo! They have been in several times looking for the perfect bike for her, as he had already picked up his three weeks ago, and she left with the really sweet Mongoose Sahara.
Out of the six built, four were FULL tear downs and rebuilds! Yes, I AM impressed with myself, so lets just deal with it! We actually got ANOTHER three wheel recumbent! WOW! In seven years, never had a one, now in the last six months alone, we have had three! WAY COOL! Also got out a really sharp looking Specialized Hard Rock Classic MTB! There was a moment there, after the tear down and clean, I thought I was going to have to scrap it, as I was having MAJOR issues getting the bottom bracket to thread! A very scary moment in rebuilds, as it marks the death knell for many a sweet ride, only because someone before had stripped out the threads! BUT, I was lucky enough to have a sealed bottom bracket that bit! YAY! Then there was the Sun Cycle BIG BOY cruiser, that looked like a wreck when it came in, and I truly had little hopes for it beyond a parts bike. But, given the lightness of the frame I HAD to give it a try, and she ended up emerging a real peach! Then I gave myself a breather and pounded out two, relatively, easy kiddo rides, then top off the day (and ran a little late) refurbing a simple Men's 26" Cruiser. This one was a discard. So badly rusted, the owner was just going to chuck it, but a friend suggested he bring it to us and donate it, so it didn't become landfill. Oh, sure, it was a chore requiring several replacement parts (bloody cheap "chrome" plating) but what we came out with was a pretty nice looking and comfy "simple" cruiser. Today, unless I am blessed with A LOT of repairs (HINT....BLOODY......HINT!) we will have more of the same! They are all lined up already! I'm going to try and beat yesterdays numbers!
OH, as a side note, got a real neat surprise gift from my sister, from WAY up North in the "Old Country"! Seems she was digging around in a thrift store in Kittery Maine, just down the road from Golden Harvest. Apparently, they donate all proceeds to local non profits, and are some real good folk. Now, anyone who knows my propensity for Science Fiction, dedication to Fandom, and drooling Fanboy like behavior at the thought of Star Wars may find this surprising, but she dug me out a copy of George Lucas's "THX 1138: Directors Cut" DVD set, and believe it or not I have NEVER seen the movie! OH yes, HERESY some may decry, but the sad fact is, I've never been able to find a copy (pre-EBay) and had all but forgotten the effort. WAY COOL, Sis, thanks!
OK. Now, I really need to get at it if I'm gonna beat my numbers!
See y'all soon!
REMEMBER! Jacket. That's all you need, maybe gloves, but you CAN ride in this weather! Consider it "Character Building!"