Sunday, December 11, 2011

Chicken, Beans, Bread and Eggs

The Once and Future Cyclist
After a month on hiatus I planned to come back strong with a kick-ass post about epic rides to far away and exotic places. I was looking forward to relating my thoughts and dreams and taking my readers along for the ride. I was even planning a dramatic and colorful New Look for the Trailer Park Cyclist website. There would be Exciting Contests and Fund Raisers and, and, Pictures!   And once a month I would give away a shiny new carbon fiber bicycle. Yee-Ha!

Well, that didn't happen. But I promise that if I ever find myself in possession of a carbon fiber bicycle I will Give It Away.

Life's A Bitch AndThen You Move Into A Trailer Park
What happened instead is pretty mundane stuff. As you all know, I was recently restored to my post as trailer park repairman. Although stripped of my former title (Head (Only) Big Man In Charge of Fix-it) I still had plenty of work to do, work of a rather dismal nature. Rotten wood in bathroom floors requiring scraping and chipping and frequent hand washing. The usual tearing out of rotten walls and floors and all the while I was trying to think up Great Things to say for the benefit of my constituency.

But there was nothing in my head but moldy dust and the pressure of getting these trailers ready and constant thoughts of “why didn't I stay in college” and

“Chicken, beans, bread and eggs...anything else?”

“What? Don't do that! I'm Blogging! Blogging is Holy!” The Blonde is on her way to the Winn-Dixie and getting supplies for this afternoon's cookout. Uncle Bill is going to whip out a big pile of chicken and ribs. But there is a House Rule that when I am composing  one of my masterpieces, There Shall Be Silence.

I talk all the time while you are Blogging, said the Voice.

“Don't I know it, Voice. And shut up. Now where was I?” Once my concentration is broken it can take days for me to get it back.  Let's see..."It was the Best of Times",  that ain't it.  Uh,  "Call me Ishmael."..  no, dangit...

“OK, Honey, I'll be back. I'm taking the dogs with me. If you think of anything else, just call me.”

Arghh! This must be why Beethoven went deaf and Van Gogh cut his ear off!

The Life Of the Trailer Park Cyclist (Sans Cycling)
And so it goes. If anyone is interested, here's the latest in the Life of the Trailer Park Cyclist. And don't worry, I'll get bicycles in there somehow.

Be They Ever So Humble,  There's No Place Like (Mobile) Homes
Off in one dusty corner of Whispering Pines Trailer Park there is a trio of seriously dilapidated trailers. Well, actually, only two of them are dilapidated now. One of them got the Tim Joe Whang-Dang-Doodle put on it last spring and now it is a shiny clean and new-like mobile home. It sold immediately to a guy who was obviously not able to afford it and then the money ran out and he was vacated rather rudely by yours truly and the Blonde moved in. I'm sitting in the kitchen there now.

Next door is a trailer that is so bad that it was uninhabitable and we were going to tear it down for scrap (about $600 at the recycling center) but then I got one of my bright ideas and bought it really cheap from the owners and so after hacking away at the other units in the Park all day I go hack away at my New Castle. I'm halfway there and there is an Old Chinese Proverb that says “Before undertaking any adventure, put your trailer in order.” Or maybe that's an old Tim Joe Proverb. I can never tell.

So I'm ripping that trailer down to the bare frame and then putting it back. The Blonde and the Twins  are safe and dry and comfortable here in their own space and I am putting mine back together with a dedicated Bicycle Repair Center  up front and a Writer's Nook in the back. I have truly gutted this trailer. There will be a sweet little kitchen space designed for Barbecue Sauce cooking and bottling and there will be Books and Bicycle Parts strewn throughout.

A Man's Trailer Is His Castle
Best of all is I will be putting in a cool drawbridge between the two trailers that really works so that when I am pontificating and blathering I can retreat into my manse and pull up the bridge. On the bottom of the drawbridge will be signs that say Keep Out! And Genius at Work! And maybe a Skull and Crossbones.

I must be entering my second childhood. All I think about is bicycles and my not-so-secret-diary (This Blog) and trying to look cool. I basically wear the same kind of clothes I did when I was eleven years old. I like it.

A Father and Child Reunion
Speaking of kids, My Number One Son flew out from Los Angeles at Thanksgiving just to see his Dear Old Man. Well, that's not exactly true. He also had business in Tampa Bay trying to hustle some kind of deal from some investment guys he knows. But he came by Hawks Park and we went to the Crooked Angel Saloon where he bought the Old Man several Yeungling Black and Tan draft beers. He doesn't drink so he had grapefruit juice. It had been over three years Since Last We Had Met and it was a pretty potent afternoon.

We walked around the Beachside District where we had lived during his childood. We went down to the River where he had fallen in that time, setting free a dead snook he had caught.

“Dad! Look at this big fish I caught!” It really was big. But he didn't have a fishing pole.

“How did you catch that fish, Beau?” I named him Beauregard, to the outrage of all four Grandparents.

“It was just floating by so I grabbed a bucket and put him in it. Can we eat him?”

“Not a good idea, son. Better throw him back.” He was disappointed but not surprised by this answer. Beauregard has always been a pretty smart (and resourceful) kid. He had to be smart and resourceful,  with me for a Dad. I wasn't always there. Beau was seven at the time.

Secrets of the Universe
But when he swung the bucket to throw the big fish back into the water the magical forces of Inertia and Centrifugal Force took the Boy, the Fish and the Bucket in with them and he fell in, getting a bad cut on an oyster bed that was there. He got several stitches in his hand and wrist and that night when I was tucking him in, showing him how to elevate the wound on a big pillow (a trick I learned the Hard Way) he was in a little pain.  I could see that he was fighting back tears.

“But at least I got the Indian River in my blood now, Dad.”

I was fighting a few tears myself.

“Yes, son, you certainly do. And you are a very brave little man. Now, what shall we read tonight? “The Red Pony” or “I Wish I Had Duck Feet?”

“Duck Feet!” At seven years old Seuss always trumps Steinbeck.

And that boy Beauregard who bought the beer the other day is no longer seven years old; he has grown.  He is now Big and Strong. His intelligence and resourcefulness has endured.

He has read his Hemingway and his Steinbeck and all the rest and he is blasting his own way through Life and the Universe.  Soon enough I suspect he will find himself reading Seuss and Sendak  to another in the line of Comstocks.  I hope so.

As Usual (Sigh) the Philosophy Part
What is the Meaning of Life?  This: We are a Young Species.  We're only getting started.  Raise smart, strong and resourceful children and the Universe will handle the rest.  The Reason and Purpose is not ours to know.  Not yet, anyway.  And remember this, you guys:  every other species on this Blue Marble is involved in doing the same thing:  raising smart and resourceful offspring and it isn't a contest, not really, but those species that go too fast will lose.  So it actually  is a contest,  I guess.  Each species verses itself.  And thus I fear for ours.  

Ahem...OK,  I Got Carried Away...
I know:  What about the bicycles?  There is actually huge news on the Bicycle Side of Life here at the Park (and also Marin Co., Ca.) but not yet.  I don't deserve to talk about it yet but soon enough I will and then we'll have some fun.  Meanwhile,  I feel sorry about the lapse but there ain't nothin' I can do about it.  Sometimes I ride, sometimes I hide.  Try to hang with me and I'll try to make it worth your while.

yer pal, Tim Joe

Whispering Pines Trailer Park and Barbecue Shack