REMEMBER ONLY YOU CAN HELP COMBAT OVARIAN CANCER
GAIL PURTAN FUND
KARMANOS CANCER INSTITUTE
4100 JOHN R DETROIT, MI 48201
"IN MEMORY OF MARY LOGSDON" - IN NOTE SECTION OF CHECK
AUGUST 31, 2006 - "Where is the highway tonight?
Where are those old days and crazy nights?" Neal Young
One week ago, at 3:18 PM, I pulled into my driveway after making the trip around the edge of the United States. One week ago, I shut the engine off. One week ago I crawled off of that motorcycle for the four billionth time (it seems). I did what I had set out to do. I had succeeded. I had kept my promise; my word. I had not let anyone down, at least that I know of, in making that circuit around the country.
I had not touched the motorcycle since then either. It is a week and some few hours that have passed. I washed the bike this afternoon. After letting it dry, I fired it up and got out on the road again. As far as this week goes, I have not felt any "down" time since returning. Today was the first time I felt the need to climb aboard the bike and go.
Since returning last Thursday, I have begun to get reacquainted with myself at home, with my family and with my extended family. I performed with my corps last Sunday, as I have previously written about. I have called those that I had lost touch with while gone and made plans to reconnect. This coming week will begin my taking on Drum Students again. But how does it feel to be back, I am asked from time to time. I will try to explain.
I believe that the magnitude of the trip has really yet to sink in and become a tangible feeling for me. This might sound strange, but I begin to get a sense of the scale of the trip when I look at the souvenir shirts that I picked up at various Harley Dealers that I visited on my path around the country. There are two that give me no immediate mental picture of where I was, yet there they are; proof that I was there. I will have to get back to my notes and read them again.
It is very good to be able to see those that I am close to. I have always been in contact, but not PHYSICAL contact. That is such a nice feeling. It is comfortable. I enjoy that. I went over to the Stevenson High School in Sterling Heights, Michigan tonight to listen to what the band was up to doing.
The current Director is Mike Sekich. He was a junior in the band when I began working with the drum section of the band in 1983. I have been there ever since. This year was strange because I was on the road for so long that I missed both the home and away band camps. Tonight was my first experience with the show for this year. I was amazed, not only for what I was listening to, but for what I had missed. I missed that sound, as I did the sound of fifes and drums that I heard over the weekend.
The really weird thing is that I have not gone down to my studio to play my drums yet. I don't know why. Is it because I have been away from it for so long, and I am not going to be at my best? You know, "Good enough….. isn't"!!! Hmmm, that is something to think about. One of the more difficult things for me to adjust to was something quite mundane.
It was difficult for me to get used to the fact that I didn't have to load and unload the motorcycle every day. In fact, my traveling gear is still out in the garage, and THAT is strange. Normally when I get back from a trip, I drag everything in the house and get it unpacked before I do anything else. I didn't do that this time. Am I hanging on to two years of intense planning? I don't think I am, but who knows. Another aspect of being on the road for so many days was that I had looked at approximately 216 menus while I was on the road. I was gone for 86 days, but only 72 of them were actual travel days. There were three times that I stopped for some extended rest. Now, after looking at 216 or so menus, when I went out to dinner or lunch after arriving home, I had no interest in what I saw on the menu HERE. Even though I hadn't been here to eat at any of the restaurants, the menus look the same. There are no surprises. There is only so many ways to make a hamburger or Cobb Salad (which, by the way, have no cobbs in them) or steak or blah blah blah blah…
"Life's a journey, not a destination…." as the song says. I have, indeed, finished this part of the journey. I don't know what is next. I can tell you that I have been exploring the possibility of the book idea. Proceeds from the sales of the book could be sent to the Gail Purtan Fund. I have been toying with the idea of making note card sets based on the photos that I took on the trip. That particular idea intrigues me. I like it.
Since arriving home I have been thinking about those who helped me on the trip. Some of those were strangers to begin with. Others have been friends since childhood; or at least since I was a teenager. Still others have been like brothers and sisters to me since memories could be, well, remembered….
Hopefully, that made sense. There were some that I just couldn't get to and still be able to keep to some schedule. I hope they forgive me.
But, I am home. I am in familiar territory. I am comfortable.
Perhaps a run around the perimeters of those INTERNAL States is in order. Hmmmm…… do I have enough cash? I think I'll wait on that one. Lauren doesn't want to get put on the task of writing checks again, I don't think.
Dorothy was right.