Tarmac ribbons criss-crossing the landscape, dusty back roads twisting between the cool shadows of ancient pines, and less traveled pathways connecting present to past, all I wander, seeking, seeing, with my keyboard and camera capturing scenes and stories to share with you.

Now in its seventh year, this venue has become an important part of my life, a place where I can express my thoughts and feelings about the things I see and do, hoping the process brings me a bit closer to friends and family who enjoy sharing my sometimes chaotic and often nonlinear observations and ideas. A journal, I suppose, but one with which I find pleasure in thinking others are alongside me on my journey.

Comments, thoughts, or just a friendly chat, use the response box below or email me at patrickgroleau@gmail.com.

May 21, 2013

IS THIS HEAVEN

... "is this heaven" ...
... "no, it's ohio" ...
... nilla wafers for supper, unlimited fresh coffee, four, count 'em, four remotes, and an episode of "law and order" playing out across a brilliant sixty inch l.e.d. screen ... hmmmm, okay, so it may not actually be heaven, but it's close, very, very close ...

AT FDR'S SUMMER HOME

... i've no recollection what pa said, but even ma couldn't keep a straight face ... this was taken on campobello island, i believe either 1976 or 1977 ... funny, for a man who was completely impervious to the dictates of either style or trend, how he so enjoyed the era's pointy-collared shirts ... (and, yes, adrien, your grampy had the brass to wear pink) ... earthquakes and dad laughing, when we were kids those were pretty much the same thing ...

ONE OF THOUSANDS

... along the roadside, someplace in alaska, perhaps 1960 ... if you asked, "give me one picture, patrick,  one picture which to you sums up your childhood," this would be my selection ... pa's not in the photograph, of course, but i know with his little camera in hand he's close by keeping an eye on us ...

MAINE TO OHIO ON TWO WHEELS - DAY 4

... chillin' in groveport, ohio ... jon's really proud of what he's done with his house, so i decided to share this waypoint on my journey ... i'm watching "seconds to destruction" on his gimongous l.e.d. television ... crash noises and explosions, of course, are in full quadraphonic sound ... keurig coffee maker is working great, i popped over to the kroger's to buy some brown sugar and pream to make things perfect ... super high speed wireless, good books and magazines in the bathroom, and i found a box of ritz crackers ... it's quite warm out, or, perhaps it's just that i'm acclimatized to a maine spring, so i've got the a/c set just enough to make the living room comfortable ... lots of pillows, a giant couch to stretch out upon, hmmmmmm, i've got hand it to jon, as far as i'm concerned this is much better than the drake hotel ...

MAINE TO OHIO ON TWO WHEELS - DAY 3

... i made it ... !!! ... i left rhode island at eight o'clock this morning, and, after a new experience, i arrived at jon's just before midnight ... i'm in one piece, the bike's still running like a charm, and, most interesting, i'm not really all that tired ...

... okay, yes, apparently i've got a lot of energy ... but, to be honest, there were times during the ride down that i thought of throwing in the towel and hitchin' a ride on a passing semi ... when all is said and done, it's clear that my shoulder and knee joints clearly know how to "act their age" ...

... southern connecticut was blanketed with a thick long island sound fog, at times descending to the surface of the road and reducing the visibility to mere yards ... there were a few rain showers, too, but nothing my fancy rain/weather outfit couldn't handle ... traffic got nasty down past new haven, something to do with the amtrak being closed due to a wreck ... in new haven i got caught up in a group of commuters who all seemed to be either texting, sleeping, or reading the paper while they drove ... without any warning the front wheel of my motorcycle dropped into a rather deep grove between two strips of fresh pavement ... i must be getting good at driving a motorcycle, because i never panicked ... a quick glance and i could see that the grove, rather than running in the direction of the road, was at a diagonal and was ever so slowly converging upon a huge set of jersey barriers ... i kept control of my motorcycle and very carefully levered the wheel up to the road surface ... odd, i never even got an adrenalin rush ... of course, if i was that good a motorcycle rider i'd never have allowed that to happen ... (sigh) ... there's always more to learn ...

... the wind was so bad that i sort of parasailed my motorcycle across the tappan zee bridge, that was great fun ...

... by noon it had gotten hot out, enough so that i ditched my rain/weather pants and donned my thin gloves ... at one point there was a massive thunderstorm to my left and another one to my right, so that if was as if i was driving through a deep dark canyon ... luckily, i stayed completely dry during the ten miles it took to negotiate the bad weather ...

... my driving time was actually rather fast, almost to the point of challenging my columbus-to-coventry record ... while moving i averaged almost 78 miles per hour, much of the time cruising at 83-84 miles per hour ... however, i stopped and rested a lot more than i would have if i'd been driving my car ... most of the time i took a quick break on the hour, with every other stop being long enough for me to stretch out and relax for a few minutes ...

... a little boy named billy used my camera to snap this ... he came over while i was napping ...

... "is that your motorcycle" ...

... "yep," i answered, "all mine" ...

... "it's really cool ... did you drive very far" ...

... when i told him that i'd driven down from maine, and was now going from rhode island to ohio, he said, "wow, you must be tired ... how old are you" ...

... i told him my age and his immediate response was, "oh ... you must be really, really tired" ...  he was nice enough to take this picture so i'd have an illustration for today's entry, then i let him sit on the seat of my motorcycle, which impressed him greatly ... the other earplug's out, i don't remove the one from my right ear because that ear canal is so weirdly convoluted it takes forever to get a plug seated so that it actually works ...

... i stopped at a convenience store in akron for supper ... i sat on the curb and had a giant ice cream sandwich ... (ma's gone and i'm all alone, so i'm figuring to live things up a bit) ... it was a superb meal ...

...  the last hour of the drive was horrible ... dark, with a light mist turning my faceplate into a sort of disco prism ball,  and there were miles and miles of construction on i71 ... i was wearing my reflective vest, naturally, but i'm beginning to think that it's like a "diver below" flag ... most boaters know to stay away from those, but there's a small number who see that diagonal white strip as something around which to do racing turns ... same with my bright yellow vest, it seems there are some drivers who believe it's the prize in of some sort of automotive "capture the flag" game ... what fun ...

... i'm here, safe ... figured out jon's computerized thermostat, so the house is nice and cool ... am all wound down, time to sleep ...