Chili Today, Hot Tamale

Sunday was primo, with highs near 70°F. I took the motorcycle out for a spin, no destination in mind. My right knee is still a little stiff (I had knee replacement surgery last July), so I often try to think of what I can do to be more comfortable on long motorcycle rides. It has crossed my mind, more than once, that Harley baggers have forward-placed floorboards. And so I found myself pulling into the H-D dealership parking lot on the northwest side of town. Guess I had a destination in mind after all.

I sat on a couple of Electra Glides and found the riding position surprisingly cramped. Which is odd, since I owned a Glide before buying the Goldwing I ride today, and always thought it a comfortable ride. Anyway,  I guess I’ll be sticking with my faithful old Wing a while longer … it really is the roomiest of all the big touring bikes.

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The knee, by the way, is not a show-stopper. It smarts when I first try to bend it 90°, so I have to sit on the motorcycle with my right foot on the peg for a minute or two before I take off riding. Once I get going it’s okay. I shouldn’t say this, but it’s really bad when I’m driving a car and have to pull my knee up and back to get to the brake pedal … I’m finding myself using my left foot on the brake, something I was always taught (and therefore taught my children) not to do.

I think I need a consultation with my orthopedic surgeon and a referral for more physical therapy … I’m sure there’s some kind of stretching and bending exercises I could be doing to get my new knee working properly. At least I can walk without pain again.

It was just chilly enough Sunday that I turned the motorcycle’s heated handgrips on, but a light jacket kept my upper body warm enough. Monday dawned much as Sunday had, and I almost rode the bike to Pima Air and Space Museum. The weather forecast called for lowering temps and rain, though, so I took the truck instead. And boy am I glad I did.

I took this photo around 10 AM, just as the weather began moving in and temps started to drop.

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Monday was President’s Day, so there were lots of children at the museum. This young couple spent part of the morning chasing their little girl around the outdoor exhibits, and it made me happy to watch them. They went indoors just after I took this photo, but I couldn’t.

My volunteer sidekick and I were outdoors all day, driving the museum’s open-air trams, and by the end of the day we were cold-soaked. The museum has a school bus to use as a tram on cold days, but the staff got greedy and sold too many tickets. The bus, you see, only holds 28 paying passengers, while the open-air tram can carry nearly 40. We probably should have refused to drive the last two tours of the day, but we sucked it up and now I fear we’re both in for head colds.

Today is just like yesterday, minus the clouds and near-freezing rain. Clear but just as cold. There’s only one thing to do on a day like this: cook chili and cornbread. It’s dinnertime now, and I can’t wait to tuck into this:

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© 2019, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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