I just returned from a weeklong motorcycle journey from Panama City to Key West. The weather was cold….colder than expected. Then again, being a Yankee transplanted to the south, even I should have known that January can be cold. I was just hoping against hope!
I wish I’d have taken a photo of how I looked, as I had on five layers of tops and jackets, three pairs of pants, two pairs of socks, plus knee highs, gloves, and a hat under my helmet. As the day wore on and the miles passed, my legs began to cramp. Before long, I shot my legs out to the side as a way to stretch them only to find I couldn’t bend them back. For the next thirty miles, I sat hunched on the back of that bike looking like the Michelin Tire man. Had I not been wedged in between the driver’s backrest and the luggage rack, I’d have made a funny-looking road kill!
This experience gave rise to a funny short story (yet to be written.)
Arriving shedding two layers of clothes, I traveled southward from Islamorada to Key West where the once beautiful towns of the Keys were still showing signs of devastation from the last hurricane. With tourism being the main source of income for the chain of islands, hotels, restaurants, and services were in full repair and rebuild mode. I saw signs of hope everywhere. American flags hung over signs that said, “Key Strong!” Children flashed banners that read, “We have hope!”
In fact, everyone I came into contact with showed signs of courage and resiliency. Trucks and supplies were thick on the small highway as they scurried to remove the piles of debris alongside the road. It was as though the force of the wind could not destroy or overrun the hopes of the people.
On the return home, I stayed on the Homestead Air Force Base and woke up to the Golden Knights Parachuting teams dropping from the sky. What wonder to witness first hand the hard work and training that goes into the safety of our nation!
With what I witnessed along the short journey from the back of a motorcycle, several ideas for stories, funny, heartwarming & heartbreaking, formed in my mind. It made me wonder what experiences you might be harboring that will end up being a great story!
Share a moment that became or will become a special tale.