Monday, June 28, 2010

Landmark Places, Landmark Days

There are landmarks places and landmark days. Since we last blogged we've found one and experienced the other.

While hunting down Deseret Book store Saturday for our book signing, we relied on the instructions we thought we had and the memory Carroll was sure she had to get us there. Neither proved 100 % reliable.

One thing we knew for certain was that the book store was somewhere in the vicinity of the Boise Temple. I can't tell you how glad we were to finally see those landmark spires rising along Cole Road. With the fine directions from a hotel near by we arrived at DB with minutes to spare, enough to take a big breath and enjoy a frozen yogurt next door. We had a great time. The staff at DB were both charming and accommodating and we had the opportunity to connect with a variety of interesting readers.

Saturday evening we were entertained completely by the company at our dinner table and by the wonderful performance of Del Parkinson, classical pianist and professor. We were treated to both the terrific renditions of well loved solos and engaging narrative about the composers and Del's experiences as a performer and teacher. It was a lovely ending to a delightful experience.

Sunday was landmark day in itself, starting with breakfast from 5:30 to 6:30 am so we could arrive back at the temple (the one place in Boise we were sure we could find) by 7:00 am to attend sacrament meeting at the stake center next door. We walked in to the sounds of the TRA choir (you heard right--these bike riding, full armor of God warriors for the cause have a choir, and it's a good one, too) practicing "America the Beautiful" with skill and patriotic fervor. Carroll and I looked at one another with eyes already tearing at the spirit present in the chapel. She made a b-line for the podium and a supply of tissues.

We needed them to get through a meeting that called into remembrance the blessing of living in this country, the blessings of our faith, and the sacrifices our soldiers and our Savior and why their lives have been and are being given for us.

After we stood the sing "Star Spangled Banner" and listened to the closing prayer, Carroll turned to me and said she had never been to a better sacrament meeting. We were both filled to the brim.

The feelings of that meeting alone could have made the whole day, but the TRA don't do things in small measure. We returned to the hotel to have a joint priesthood and relief society meeting on the topic of being our Savior's hands on earth, followed by a small break and a two hour sacrament meeting.

That was all before 12:00 noon. After lunch, a nap, and a quiet walk along the river with a few moments to play our flutes, we dressed in our Sunday clothes again for dinner and a fireside with guest speaker Lloyd Newel, BYU professor and the voice of the Spoken Word & Tabernacle Choir. Brother Newell entertained us, informed us, and enlightened us with his tales of working with the choir. At one point he urged us to develop an abundant mentality, and even in times of trial to look for reasons to praise and not withhold.

That's what I call a landmark day!

This morning Carroll is off on her ride behind a TRA member, dressed in borrowed leather duds and tight fitting helmet. I am looking forward to the trike ride around the parking lot--an activity more in my comfort zone.

Tonight we're the speakers as part of the TRA Family Home Evening, the warm up act before the musical performances of Tom and Janell Lungren. We hope we do the TRA proud.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Is Less More? It just might be.

While researching for our book, Leaning into the Curves, a lady Harley rider, Cindy Gillman of Scottsdale, said she'd done some research on handcart pioneers and learned that they could bring along only 17 pounds of personal items. So on one road trip she limited herself to that amount of things. That was very interesting, so we had our main character, Molly, try to keep to that amount when packing for her first long motorcycle trip.

It worked really really well in our novel. But we didn't think of doing the same ourselves when we packed for our road trip to Boise, where we're attending the Temple Riders 2010 rally. Oh, no. We packed suitcases, garment bags, computer bags, bags of snacks, emergency supplies, and Native American Flutes and songbooks. To say nothing of Audubon reference books and binoculars. And then there was the DVD case, the CD case, and the cooler of Dr. Pepper and diet Coke.

Oh, yeah. I shouldn't forget the case of bottled water!

We didn't think there was anything odd about this until we passes a string of TRA riders on the freeway about a half hour away from Twin Falls and realized how man had managed to pack everything they needed in the hard cases on their Gold Wings and other cycles. Granted, some did have tagalongs--cute little matching trailers, but we might have had trouble fitting our load in the smallest of the trailer.

As we passed the line of cyclists, we wonder what in the world we'd been thinking. Okay, we wanted to be sure we had the perfect outfits and accessories for travel, our book signing, church and temple attendance, planned social activities, speaking, and going to an outdoor theater. But looking at the couples who didn't have trailers, it was obvious we'd overdone it big time.

We spent the next fifty miles laughing at ourselves and the overabundance of things we felt we needed to bring. That brought up some questions:

What did we really need?

What did we need to be prepared and comfortable?

Since we just arrived last night, we're still wondering how much of what we brought we'll actually use. We have already used both of our computers. Nancy has played her double flute, one that provides a drone to the melody. We've changed clothes once, and are glad we've got jammies and clean underwear. And when we go to see Thoroughly Modern Milly in Garden City, we'll be glad to have our jackets and the lap robe that was in the emergency box.

The thing the TRA people brought with them that has impressed us the most--wonder cycles aside--is their joi d'vivre.

Oh, the things Nancy didn't bring that we're really missing..... driver's license (we think it may have been stolen), two credit cards (also under investigation), and the jack for her new Kodak camera that has to be charged. So much for pictures to accompany our blog.

None of the above, whether what we have or what we're missing, is going to change our thorough enjoyment of our day. The TRA folk are off on rides. We'll be working on current projects and signing books at the Boise Deseret Book. The sun is shining, and life is good.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

We're hitting the road!

If you've read (or heard about) our book, Leaning into the Curves, you probably realize that Nancy and I spent considerable time talking to and about members of the Temple Riders Association--the group we fondly call a "Mormon motorcycle gang."

We'll, the board of that wonderful group has invited us to attend their rally in Boise the last week in June! We're very excited to be part of the great lineup of activities they have planned. We'll have a chance to speak on Monday night, go on a couple of rides (Nancy will be driving her jeep), participate in the temple service/community service day, and get to know some great people.

Plus, we'll be signing books on Saturday from 2 to 4 at the Boise Deseret Book store on West Overland Road. If you happen to live in the Boise area, come on down! If you don't, but know someone who does, send them the info re: the signing.

We'll be updating our blog every day starting Thursday, when I'll arrive in SLC, and Nancy and I will start signing the 100 copies of our book that will be going to rally participants! Drop in on us and be part of the fun.