Monday morning I ate a bran muffin with cream cheese, while Jed had his usual breakfast. Jed was lucky, he didn’t have to watch his weight. I had to watch both our weights. After the less than satisfying breakfast, I decided that cold or not Jed and I needed to go for a walk.
I walked away from the two wheeler, even though I hated to do it. I knew my curiosity would not allow me to rest until I finished trying it out. Even so it was the three wheeler I drove off on that Monday morning. When I got to the Urban rail trail, I had to decide how far I would walk before I even started. That was because it was a linear course not a circular one. The trick was the hiker had to go in half his target distance, then hike back to his vehicle.
“What do you say Jed, can we make it the whole six miles.” He wiggled like he knew what I was saying. “We have never been more than three miles. Should we stop at four?” He wiggled again. “Okay four it is. We will save six for a later date.”
We began walking. I got warm fairly quickly. I removed clothes as we walked. I walked a little over an hour before we ended up back where we began.
“Well we made it again,” I said as I opened his crate. I replaced all the clothes I had removed during my walk, before I drove the scooter out of the parking lot. Even with all the clothes on, it was colder than I remember it being on the ride out.
Jed was happy to get to his yard for a while, then to join me in the kitchen where I drank coffee and charged the batteries. After an hour of both, I was ready to ride the new two wheeler again.
On that ride I wanted to know what kinds of speed I could get of it and how that speed would effect the bike’s handling. I found that the gears didn’t change exactly the way they should, but it didn’t effect the way I felt about the combination of bike and trailer. I had already begun to think of it as a bike train. I didn’t worry about how it would perform going backwards. That test was all about how it pulled and reacted to stresses.
I rode it home then disconnected the train. I plugged it in to charge, then put Jed out. I decided to hook the battery pack to the scooter. I wanted to ride it to the hardware store for some different types of oil and some axle grease. The scooter was a known and the bike was a bit of an unknown.
I found a light weight fine machine oil for some of the bike parts, a brass brush to clean the metal, and a can of axle grease for the wheel bearings. I might even take the scooter apart and use the oil and grease on it someday.
I arrived home in the afternoon, so I went in to warm up. I was fortunate in having a less technologically advance heating system in my house. My house was very small, so it was built with a small floor furnace. Over the years I had slowly insulated the house. I also made it more energy efficient by adding storm doors and windows.
All that was fine, but when the furnace had to be replaced I refused to get anything like a furnace with duct work. I kept the old floor furnace design, because I could stand on top of it with a cup of coffee. Especially attractive to me on a cold morning. Even better after I came in from the cold.
That was exactly what I did after the hardware store run. While I stood there I suddenly got a case of lazy redneck syndrome. I walked to the kitchen for scraps of left overs from the refrigerator. Jed got brand new kibble and canned dog food. One of the many time I felt a twinge of jealousy toward him.
I put him out after dinner, then we settled in to watch TV on the computer. I found an old cop show on the BBC. I got to watch a gentler kind of murder mystery. I usually liked those shows. I watched three episodes before I went to sleep.
Tuesday morning I decided to go to the Down Town Diner for breakfast. Since we had parted Sunday night, I hadn’t seen or spoken to Jewel. I was a bit nervous, since I didn’t have any idea what to expect.
When I got to the place I found it pretty empty since it was mid morning. I found my way to a booth in her section. I removed my parka and one of the sweat shirts placing them on the seat beside me. I also removed my wool cap to top off the pile
“Hello stranger,” Jewel said.
“Hello to you. How are you?” I asked.
“I’m remarkably relaxed considering how our date ended,” she said.
“You can’t blame me for that,” I said laughing.
“No I can’t. So what can I get you,” she asked.
“Well I’m going to splurge. I want your bacon, egg, cheese and grated hash browns omelet,” I said.
“What happened to your diet?” she asked.
“I decided to give myself a day off,” I said.
She shook her head and carried the check to the counter. I looked at her again and thought, if she isn’t annoxic, she is so close to it’s scarey. I also thought the coffee wasn’t as good as mine, but it wasn’t as bad as some restaurant coffee I’d had. I felt a draft when the door opened. A young woman who was definitely not dressed for the cold came in.
The young woman’s look covered the whole room before she walked to my booth.
“Mind if I sit down?” she asked.
“You don’t look like a hooker, so I guess not. I have no idea what you want,” I laughed as I said it.
“You don’t remember me, I’m hurt,” she said.
“Should I remember you. You are obviously beautiful, but you are also less than a third my age. I just can’t imagine what you want with me,” I said.
“I’m Ronda, Jewel’s son’s girlfriend,” she said.
“Of course you are. Now I remember. So where is Michael?” I asked.
“He is in school, I had the day off. Teacher’s work day at my school,” she informed me. I just nodded.
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