Strawberry Fields For Father

It was a weekend of firsts – well, A First. After living in the area nearly my entire life, I finally made my way to the Owego Strawberry Festival on Saturday. Was fortunate to get a parking space at the DMV Lot. The biggest reason I’ve never gone to this is I’ve never been with anyone who was in the least bit interested in going. Interested or not, Jim agreed to being dragged about crowded Downtown Owego. Trust me, he needs it to be socialized now and again. He’d be a hermit if I let him. In previous relationships I’ve always been the homebody-hermit half so it’s an adjustment for us both – a good one.

Anywho! The lure of strawberries and live tunes and whatever else they had there pulled us both away from our computers for a few hours and out into the sunshine amongst our fellow humanoids. Was a nice walk about, taking in the numerous tie-dye clothing vendors, jewelry hawkers, canned & baked goodies, arts & crafts to beat the band and oh.. yeah, strawberries. To be honest, had I not KNOWN it was a Strawberry Festival, I – erm – probably won’t have, well, known. I’m gonna guess there were a hundred or so vendors at this annual shindig. I think I saw five or six that were selling strawberry-related foods. Strawberry shortcake was there, of course. Strawberry Lemonade made a couple of appearances. The drink of choice at the two bars within the Festival Zone was – you guessed it, The Strawberry Daiquiri. Was hoping for a Strawberry Funnel Cake or maybe some Strawberry Ice Cream. Didn’t see any. The one place I saw that sold strawberries in the raw, as it were, was loading up their truck getting ready to leave as we walked by at about 4:00 on Saturday. I was hoping to see someone dressed as a giant strawberry making their rounds for silly pictures. Nope. *le sigh* There were a couple of good bands there, though and we enjoyed what we heard of them. Someplace you could get an air boat ride on the river but wasn’t able to really find out where it launched from.

We strolled outta there about five and ended up stopping in Candor at Iron Kettle Farm for strawberries. Was real quiet there – we’ll go back again and subject ourselves to their pumpkin madness in the fall.

Met my dad for breakfast on Sunday and after we’d solved all the world’s problems over coffee, we got onto the subject of local festivals. Owego has strawberries, Marathon has maple syrup, Newark Valley took the apple, heck even lil ol RIchford does a weekend dedicated to the potato. Binghamton has a Fairy Festival. In fact, I saw a few of their folks in Owego handing out fliers. It was REALLY hard to miss the 7 foot tall guy dressed in purple wearing matching purple fairy wings. No, he wasn’t a stilt-walker. Oh, and we can’t leave out the Scarecrow Contest held in Candor at their Fall Festival, laws no! M-O-O-N, that spells Scarecrow! Sadly, my own hometown is without a festival. Maybe Corn. They have a lot of corn out there.

A couple hours later, Dad and I parted company. I love spending time with my Dad. Always have. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more and more aware of how blessed I am when it comes to my parents. I truly could not have asked for better people to raise me. Oh, sure, they MAY have had a wild party now and then and they MAY have been such regulars at a local bar that I, at the age of around 12, could go and order a round of drinks for them without the bartender batting an eyelash, but they were always good people and always treated my brother and I fairly. They were encouraging and loving and much to my mother’s dismay – Dad and I were perhaps a bit goofier in public than she would have liked us to be. That was only on vacations, of course *cough* where Dad would apply the ‘We’re never going to see these people again” logic when Mom would strongly suggest he and I calm down. I tried to use this logic on my own kids but they didn’t quite buy into it as much as I did when young.

I’m gonna start working on getting Jim to go for it a bit more… one festival at a time.



I Can Haz Sissy Bar?

Yep, I’m a sissy. I admit it. Or, maybe I’m just getting old. No. No. I’m a sissy.

This weekend was a bitter-sweet one. The sweetness came in that it was the first weekend of the motorcycle riding season here in Upstate NY that we’ve been able to enjoy since Jim moved in back in January. Saturday we rode out to Binghamton, NY to Southern Tier Harley Davidson for their Spring Open House. We nabbed two of the few remaining roast pork sammiches, oggled a few bikes, bumped into one of my co-workers and, much to JIm’s reluctance, ordered a pad for the sissy bar he took off the bike years ago. Our return ride included stopping at the Blue Dolphin for lunch. Sunday afternoon we headed out again. Stopping at Punk’s Place in Candor and The Pub in Waverly. Arriving home in one piece, Jim set to work starting some beef stew. Oh, my aching inner thighs!

Now, about that sissy bar. I’m not sure when my interest in motorcycles began. I remember my brother had a minibike when we were in middle school and I know my Uncle Jack had at least one bike he’d take me for rides on around the same period. It’s been more years than I care to admit. Uncle Jack didn’t have a sissy bar and as much as I loved riding with him, I always felt like I was hanging on for dear life when we rode. It was likely then that I decided that when/if I ever got a bike of my own, I’d do any passengers I might carry, the favor or not suffering as I had always done.

In 1986 when I bought my Honda Rebel I did just that. I had the bike for four years and only had a few passengers but they all were grateful for that bar. I’m sure it had nothing to do with my skills as a driver. LOL!

Fast forward to this weekend and the lack of said bar. I love to ride with my guy, don’t get me wrong, I really do, but without the bar there’s always that slight moment of terror when the red light turns green or that 40 mph speed zone ends or when someone finds it amusing to gun the engine then reaches back and pats me on the leg as if to say, “You still back there, baby?”  I couldn’t see it but I can bet ya he was smirking up there. My head fills with images of either 1) me flying off backwards and my head ending up looking like a smashed pumpkin the morning after Halloween Night or 2) me holding on so tight it yanks us BOTH off the bike. Neither is pretty and for some reason those images put quite the damper on the whole Fun Factor for me as a passenger. Not to mention those sore inner thigh muscles mentioned earlier and the sore arse I had because I kept sliding just far enough off back seat to make it well – unpleasant. I try not to be a selfish person, but in the case of the bar – it makes a HUGE difference to me. It will be a totally different and much more enjoyable ride for me once it’s there. Personally, I think he should think of it this way, if I can lean back a bit and relax, he can then in turn lean back a bit on me! It’s a win-win situation and if his biker friends pick on him about it, I’m more than happy to have the blame put on the Old Lady.

That was the Sweet part.. now the Bitter.

As mentioned, this was our first weekend ride together in Upstate NY. Sadly, it may be our last. He’s starting a new job that will include working weekends which means all the awesome stuff that goes on will likely be missed. We can really do with the income and it’s not like there won’t be week nights we can’t go out – still…just sorta a bummer in that regard. I’m happy and sad at the same time and I’m sure he’s feeling a bit of the same. We’ll make the best of it because that’s how we both roll. It’s just another life change and being as we took pretty close to the biggest step possible as a couple last January when he moved up here from Texas, I’m sure we’ll manage this.

So, I can haz a sissy bar as soon as the order comes in and one or the other of us can get out to pick it up and he gets it put on. And even if the rides together may be more rare, they will be made all the more sweeter when they do happen cuz I’ll be able to straddle my guy from behind a little less tightly and my thighs, though they could benefit from the workout, will be a little less sore.

The last time I had inner thighs this sore… well, never mind that.