The Charlie Bravo Story

Desert wind

Sunday morning at the Casa, and for once in a long while, the rain is gone. Dad and I had defected to the twin bed in Zach’s old room, only to wake this morning to find Claire and Ajax had set up shop as well; that’s just fine, as it will be us, not them, on the motorcycle later this afternoon.

When dad’s dad began his decline into the depths of dementia, it became necessary to pull his driving privileges. As someone who values their freedom to hit the open road as greatly as the ability to draw breath, I can only imagine the angst that caused the old man, as we all know that humans are like cars or motorcyles; when you stop moving, you hasten your decline.

Dad would rather find an older model vehicle with high mileage than one that has set up for an extended period, as only with use do the rubber hoses remain supple, the gaskets and seals in the engine stay moist and uncompromised, and dry rot doesn’t have a chance to set in. It’s only daily usage that forces the fluids through the system that keeps the fuel from turning stale and eventually clogging the injectors.

So when my Aunt Nette, dad’s sister, began driving grandad’s vehicle, her own minivan entered it’s “golden” years, relaxing under a tree out front. Days became weeks became years, with the inevitable decline and acrid smell of mildew both inside and out.

But as hopeless as a case may appear, as my position in the crate attests, there is ALWAYS hope.

So when dad started renovating Miss Ellie into a micro camper, it was a bit of a lost cause, but we were determined to make it work. The problem is that the old Subie really likes to go 65-70 mph, and any amount of coercion to travel much faster is met with a certain degree of stubbornness. This presents a problem when time is a factor crossing the wide open spaces out west; this, and the space needed to possibly pursue a new path that has presented itself, had us looking at something with a different skillset.

But also without the shekels to make such a acquisition.

But things always work out in the end, and if it’s not working out, then it must not be the end. Aunt Nette offered her old minivan, an older Chevy Venture with various health ailments, but as was the case when dad pulled me from the crate, none of them anyway near a critical as initially feared. So, little by little, day by day, one piece of the puzzle at a time, Viento del Desierto is rising from the ashes; nowhere near a finished product, but the potential is there to carry us forward into the next phase of our mission.

Because my story is like any other organism, if it’s not green and growing, it’s ripe and rotting, and life exists in forward movement. The times, they are a changing, and we would rather be in front of the wave, using it’s raw, visceral force to propel us forward than sitting on our backsides on the backside of the curl, watching it roll on towards the shore, always thinking, “what if?”

But sometimes you have to leave toxic things behind to move forward, and that’s fine, but what about the healthy things, like family? You are our family, and we have every intention of taking every last one of you with us; trust us, we have a plan.

The road goes on forever, and the party never ends.

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