Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Empty Nester/Retirement (from work) (09/10/09)
TITLE: Wind In Our Hair
By Leo Jolin
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As Marie finished preparations for the ride, Tom sat patiently on his motorcycle, engine running. As he waited, Tom began to think of the many times he and his whole family had taken a late summer drive.
With all four kids piled into their car, Tom and Marie would head for points unknown. Their only steadfast destination was home again after a ride in the countryside. The beginning and middle of the trip were always a mystery. Only the waiting roadways knew where they were going. Excitement was found in the ever changing, visual story of each trip.
Marie locked the door as she emerged from the house, dawned her helmet and joined Tom on the motorcycle. With the roads beckoning, they were on their way moments later.
As quickly as he could, Tom turned off the main highway and headed down the country roads that called to him.
As they rode along Tom and Marie began to notice the signs that mark the end of summer and the beginning of fall.
Marie was the first to speak as they passed a freshly mowed field. The smell of the newly cut hay rose in the air adding a wonderful aroma Marie just had to remark about. Tom agreed with her, as he drank it in. Moments later he noticed the farm tractor busily cutting the far side of the field and pointed it out to Marie.
Passing a cornfield Tom slowed to look more closely. He was amazed as he estimated the stalks to be well over ten feet tall. Fully loaded with drying corncobs, Tom knew it would not be long before this crop would be harvested.
Everywhere they looked signs of late summer abounded. Mostly green still, but with some yellowing, trees bore the early signs of fall color. Crops were being harvested, grass was withering, animals were busy gathering food, and the Sun was not as hot as in mid-summer.
As his mind again drifted to the many family rides of the past Tom wondered what his kids were doing at that moment. Hanna (the oldest) and her family lived in New England. Ray (their only son) and his family lived a just mile away. May and her husband lived in central Florida, while Ann (the youngest) and her family lived in Florida’s Panhandle. Tom and Marie had four kids and now eight grandchildren. What a blessing!
Tom made a mental note to call the kids when he returned home. He would ask them what they had done that day.
As they continued winding through the countryside, Tom and Marie’s motorcycle trip grew and blossomed into a truly beautiful afternoon ride together.
When they were headed home, Tom noticed the trip had been a bit lonelier than in the past. Their children, now grown, were not there to share it. Suddenly, as if reading his mind, Marie hugged Tom extra firmly from behind. Realizing Marie was still with him, Tom smiled to himself. Everything was just right.
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