Life on the Edge – Part 1

…traveling through life on two wheels…

I was young, single, and without a care in the world. It is true, with but one exception, that I am very much the same as I was then. The exception is that I now live dangerously on the knife edge of a teetering precipice, and life is anything but carefree.

The precipice to which I refer is a metal contraption that balances upon two slender brand-name tires. Some people mistake this terrifying animal for a harmless bicycle –but no! On the contrary it is a beast in bicycle’s clothing. From its mouth comes a roar and smoke issues forth from its hindquarters and it lurches without warning in three different directions at once.

It’s really is a tiger –it even has teeth. But we know it as a dirtbike.

Let me tell you of my first encounter with this factory of humbleness:

It was a dark night. I was hungry. Granted, this isn’t abnormal. But this occasion was different because I was residing in a town that had a restaurant that served some very tasty Mexican tacos. My friend, Andy, was the one who suggested the idea in the first place. He’s also the one who suggested we take dirtbikes.

The dirtbike that night fooled me with its sheep’s clothing, and I decided to give it a try. How hard could it be to not peddle? Just steer. Nothing to it.

I explained to Sir Andy my lack of knowledge when it came to dirtbikes –but he assured me that there was nothing to it.

“That there lever on the left hand side there is the clutch. That there lever on the right is the front brake. That there foot peddle on the right is the back brake. That there foot peddle on the left is the clutch. Oh, and that there left handlebar you turn back to throttle up. Got it?”

“Well…sure” I say without too much conviction. I had already heard the horror stories of grown adult men who had used the front brake and came out of the aftermath held together with only pins and screws. I wasn’t about ready to touch that front brake.

After successfully kick starting the bike I slowly let out the clutch lever and engaged the drive chain.

‘Clunk’ .

My success at throttling enough and letting out the clutch wasn’t great that first try. Stall.

I again successfully kick start the bike. This time I throttle too high and let out the clutch too quick. I lurched five feet forwards.

‘Clunk’.

Sigh. I had stalled again. I’d also moved five feet towards a vehicle that was now only ten feet away instead of fifteen. I decided that I’d better get out on the main drag before I tried again –after all I didn’t want to hit a car. The next time I had a good forty-feet before the first car.

Once again I kick start the bike –throttle up while letting off the clutch. Pefect!

Finally I was rolling! Cheers! But my, that forty-feet is disappearing waay to quick. I must be in second gear!

Nathan begins a acceleratory mental panic. My mind shrieked “Throttle down!”. The engine red lines.

Brake!” More throttle.

Clutch!!” I got that once since I was already squeezing or pushing every lever on the bike. That included me pulling and squeezing quite a few things that weren’t levers. My brain frantically tried to multi-task and my fingers and toes did some amazing things in that two seconds…

‘Crunch’…

‘Clatter’…

‘Shatter’…

‘Clunk’.

Not good.

Nathan is doing French push-ups on the trunk of a car. The bike is French-fried. Everyone else is making soft French noises.

Of course all the shattering and clattering made quite a ruckus and all the fine people from that mission came rushing outside –most of them single young ladies. I try to chuckle. Heh, heh, it’s just a joke guys. No harm done. Okay, you can go inside now. Forget you saw me car hugging. Forget the glass, the bike on its side.

Physically I was fine. But otherwise I was morgified. What kind of dunce am I?  I’ve got miles of open hedge and buildings to run into, but no –I have to hit the car. Sigh.

That was my first experience with a dirtbike –and at that moment I hoped that it would be my last. But it wasn’t. …

To be continued…

Santa Rosita Today – The Garden

The LORD grants success to the one
whose behavior he finds commendable.
Even if  he trips, he will not fall headlong,
for the LORD holds his hand.
(Psalms 37:23-24)

Today was one of those blistering hot days. You know, the ones that are several hundred degrees outside. While honestly, the high today in the shade (and under a thatch roof at that) was in the nineties, the humidity wasn’t a comfortable factor to behold. Still –it hasn’t been the hottest day that we’ve seen, and I suppose there were will be many more much hotter ones to come.

Dorcas and Yolanda had clinic today, which left me alone on our main homestead. After I had pulled myself out of bed (rather late this morning) I worked on the normal chores around the place –feeding the chickens, gathering eggs, checking the banana trees, and playing with the kittens. The three kittens are really getting into their playful mode right now, and I have them all convinced that I’m the second best thing on two feet.

Today was spent mostly on a new garden patch. This was hand tilled several weeks ago and is currently in the composting stage.

Finally I succeeded in tearing out the chain-link fencing around back of the chicken house that will now go around the new gardin. This was a super royal mess because the bottom of the chain-link was concreted into footer. This meant that I had to go around and rewire each link at the bottom. To add to the frustration, the longest side of the chain-link was thickly intertwined in the hedge that runs around our lot, and so I was forced do a lot of bad machete work to get everything untwisted. The third frustration was getting the chain link around the corner posts and between the barbed wire fence that also runs intertwined through the hedge. All in all, I’ve fought many hours trying to get that chain-link free.

After finally finishing that difficult task, I set about pulling the old posts out and resetting them around the garden area. It involved the truck, 4×4, rope, and buckets of sweat –but finally I succeeded. The actual setting of the posts went smoothing, and I found myself once again wishing for the ease of States construction where everything is at your beck and call and there is none of this reusing of horrid material.

I had ganas (desires) to drink a soft drink tonight, so I went up and bought a warm Crush (orange soda) at the local store. Fortunately, we had three frozen cucos (little bags of frozen KoolAid) so we plopped them in our cups and used them as ice, and in this manner we had cool drinks for supper.

Our houseparent’s still haven’t made it back from the capital. There have been some insurance hassles with the mission plane and it’s been out of commission since late last week. Hopefully our houseparents will be able to fly back Thursday (our house Mom is pregnant, almost due, and recently sick, which is why they’ve been avoiding the 10+ hour bus ride).

Goodnight folks. And remember…when you get a knot in your stomach…it’s probably a knot of toads.

~Nathan

Hello World

Yes, it’s me again -always popping up all over the world to bug you in one fashion or another.

My first blog (blogspot) several years ago was purely for writing.

My second blog (xanga) was more on the lines of a social blog.

My third blog (facebook) was purely on the lines of social blogging.

My fourth blog (blogspot) was purely on the lines of photo blogging.

and this is my fifth blog -purely for the sake of writing again. It would be my desire to start posting here fairly regularly -at least until I decide to move on to another blog hosting site.

My photoblog: iamlasrlogic

you can look me up on Facebook as well.

Thank you, and good day to all!