Heart Rocks

I got a card and a heart rock from a friend yesterday.

A heart rock is any rock that has even a faint resemblence to a heart. It may be shaped like one or have a heart design on it. The shape must have two bumps on one side and taper out at the bottom.

And how do I know this? Because my friend in Morro Bay collects them. She is also the one who sent it to me. She also sent me a card with the face of a strong woman on it. The woman is a painted one and she is very lovely. She looks strong and at peace, traits  I respect in anyone, but especially females.

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It was a nice gift. A beautiful token of kindness, exactly the kind of thing I needed yesterday; a fact I was unaware of until I opened it.

I worked on Little Wing yesterday; I finished working on Little Wing yesterday. I had the footpeg bracket that was boggling my mind. My first answer was to pry at it. My second answer was to pound at it, then I went back to prying. After prying didn’t work again I switched to filing. When that didn’t work I switched back to prying and a nice arrangment of cuss words. Well, it turned out prying still wasnt the answer so I took the bracket into my host Andrea. I showed her, I explained the situation and then I was rewarded with an answer. She knew a man who fixes cars and has has a fulll shop. Sounded like a great solution to me.

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Stiches is a friendly dog. He likes helping me in the shop and licking my ear when I am taking photographs. I like him.

She gave me his number and I called. We played phone tag for a bit, starting with him not answering and then me not answering, but third times a charm. We got through, he told me to come on over. Andrea being the sweetie she is, handed me the keys to the farm truck and told me where to go. Honestly, maybe it is just me, but after a person  manages two accidents within five minutes I may have been hesitant allowing them to drive my vehicle. Regardless of the circumstances I’m not that sweet. I didn’t mention  this to Andrea, I just gladly borrowed the wheels and putted down to this mechanics place.

His name was Rhett. I have never met a Rhett, but Rhett Butler played a vital role in my formative years when I read of his and Scarlett’s love in the fourth grade. An epic drama of getting it wrong with the one you claim to love, and then nearly dying, before finally admitting that honesty is the best policy, intermixed with kissing and sexual tension, all at the ripe age of ten. One never forgets a name like Rhett after that. Amazingly though, this mechanic appeared to be more sane than the other Rhett. He didn’t have women wimpering around him, and he didn’t even have a mustache (did Rhett have a mustache in the book or was that just the movie? I guess it has been a little too long since I picked up that tome). That really didn’t bother me but I guess I had come into the situation with a few preconceived notions.

What Rhett did have was a shop. A small garage that was jam packed with every tool one could ever imagine for fixing cars. He was working on putting new shocks on a jeep in this tight, crammed, space, and that is the job I interrupted him on. We barely had enough room to skinny through, even when we wedged ourselves through the walk way sideways. It is important to learn to make do with what one has, but holy shit, this guy must have been good. Well, and he was! I know because I handed him the footpeg bracket, explained the problem in a long winded explanation, and when I finally handed it to him he was off in a flash. It almost took him less time to fix it than it did for me to explain it. First he took it over to his metal work bench and pryed it. Then he put it in his vice and pounded it. A little more prying, a lot more pounding and he had that bugger straightened out. The difference between what he dic and what I had done was the right tools and expertise, but honestly, he made that look as though thise sorts of things were easy to come by. I just stood idly by as he whipped his way around that shop, the only thing that slowed him down were the very slenderest of the channels he had to pass through to get on over to the next tool. After reshaping the bracket he took it over to the drill press to drill out the bolt that had broken off. Zzziiiippp ziiiiirrrrrrppppp. And that was done. And off he went, skinnying his way to the out side of the shop (as I tagged behind as swiftly as the crowded area would allow) to file the bugger into submission and make it less sharp. Next he was off to the shed which he told me was the hardware shed. There he grabbed a new bolt and nut. It was less than ten minutes later and I had a working footpeg bracket and the whole shebang was ready to be reattached to Little Wing. I thanked him heartily. My first ride on fixed Little Wing is going to be to his place with some cash and jar of Jam that Andrea’s friend, Barb, told me to pass on. His work and time is what allowed me to finish the work on Little Wing.

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I took the garbage out for Andrea this morning. The garbages here are down by the packing shed. There is a row of about ten cans to choose from, which is something needed on a farm I suspect. The packing shed is where all the produce gets taken care of and boxed up to be taken off to market, or sent to the different retailers that want organic produce. It is also where all the guys hang out whem not in the fields. The guys being the tough farm workers who mainly don’t speak my language. They were the dudes who helped me to get Little Wing up on a center stand, a block of Madrona, so I could take off the back tire. Well I did that. Actually they helped me with the disassembling too, because they are dolls. Putting the tire back on though, that was all on me. I wrestled it on there like a monkey. All hands working, and both feet as well. It took me about an hour,  but I got it on there. The place the tire was meant to go was a good foot or so off the ground. I used my hands to lift the tire up, but I also had to use them to slide all the pieces in place and reinsert the axle, so my feet ended up holding the tire as I did this. It was a miracle Little Wing and I survived. It was such an ordeal.

Anyway, back to taking out the trash, I did that this morning. I walked down to the packing shed and tossed the garbage into the bin, but honestly that isn’t where I’m going with this story. It is the next part that is more important. After tossing the trash into the bin I walked to to the packing shed looking for some of the guys. I heard the Spanish radio station blaring out Spanish commercials as I entered, but I didn’t see anyone. As I looked around I heard a voice ask if I was looking for something. It was Little José, José’s son. José and Little José were the two that helped me get the bike up in the first place Little José is bilingual so he speaks both languages well. I was happy to run into him for this reason. I told him I needed to get the bike off the center stand and I was wondering if he could help. He said yes and as we walked towards the garage he stopped another worker and asked him to help out. The two guys lifted Little Wing’s rear end up while I knocked the chunk of Madrona out. I thanked the guys. All that was left was to start it.

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One of the worker spraying soap on the strawberries to get rid of the spider mites. An organic farm means no pesticides, and it also means this guys are doing double duty with the soap.

As I type this I’m lying on a soft patch of grass in the sunshine. A small breeze is making the leaves dance while the birds sing conflicting songs in a perfect medley. I can look out over a farm filled with strawberries, and the closest object to me is a coat of butterscotch fur. Brookey, the golden retriver, is breathing her doggy pant and I am holding her paw. What she really wants is for me to stop typing and just give her pets. She doesnt like this screen as much as she likes me, I can tell. I’m not sure I could imagine a more lovely afternoon.

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Brookey and Foxey wrastling yesterday, the two sisters. I can relate to this. These gals appeared to be playing tug of war, but later we figured out the girls were working together to destuff the red figure.

After Little Wing’s tires were both firmly planted on the Earth I rolled him out of the garage and started him up. He started, but that wasn’t ever in question. I accelerated and tried the back brakes, they worked. I rested my foot firmly on the back brakes and twisted the throttle, I didn’t move forward. You know what that means? Little Wing appears to be in working order. Sounds great to me.

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The remains.

Now I have boots to worry about. Riding boots that need fixing. Silly me, I didn’t even consider them til I was done with Little Wing and wanted to go for a ride. If I had thought of it yesterday I could have looked around for a cobbler, I didn’t. I searched around today for one that sounded dependable. I found the one I like, but he’s not open til Monday. This means I have a few days to wait to go on  a ride, because I’m not risking these busy, skinny, hilly roads around Andrea’s with my skimpy converse. So what I did instead was pick up an old broken light fixture that was laying in Andrea’s garage. It needs work. When I was cleaning the garage she said she wanted to hang it in her living room when she got it but it was a bit of a fixer upper and she didn’t have the time. I do. Plus, after working on the bike for a few days another hands on project sounds great. It’ll keep my mind of my boots. The lamp doesn’t appear to need much rewiring just some love as far as the actual body is concerned. I got out the epoxy and now I’m just waiting for it to set up before doing more.

I’m playing the waiting game now. You know, if this game involves golden retrievers , sunshine and soft turf I don’t think I mind. I can play awhile longer. If this game continues too send good people my way with jam and fully stocked shops I’m okay. If the waiting game includes heart rocks and pretty cards I think I can win. 

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