Sheldon's 1998 Ural Deco - Week 30

"When the Cook Fell Ill"

Day 184, Sunday August 8, 1999...  Rain today, off and on storms rolled across the area.  There were some areas of high wind, and wind damage but I just got massive amounts of rain.  Managed to mow the lawn between raindrops, did some cleaning in the garage, and worked on web sites.  Took the Sportsman out for a short ride but it started to rain so I headed home.

Day 185, Monday August 9, 1999...  Took the Sportsman to work today.  The weather report was for a 30% chance of thunderstorms late in the afternoon.  Boy, they couldn't have been more wrong.  It was beautiful coming in to work.  Watching the sun rise over Lake Superior on my way down the mountain was spectacular.  At 9:00 a.m. the clouds rolled in, the sky opened up, and there was a deluge.  It rained for about a half hour.  When I went out at lunch time the bike would barely start. Took about twenty kicks, but it finally fired.  I figured that some water might have gotten in the carburetors, or ignition.  Went to Taco John's to get something to eat and when I came out of there the bike would not start again.  Took at least twenty kicks before it finally started.  It fired several times but just wouldn't catch.  After that I had to stop for gas and of course it was hard to start again.  I was a bit concerned but it did start, and I was sure it was just caused by the moisture.

When I left work at 5:00 p.m. it was not raining, but only about five blocks away it started to drizzle.  By 5 miles it was pouring rain and the cars on the freeway were way too inconsiderate.  They would pass me, as is generally go 50 mph through this stretch everyone does, and then pull right in front of my, blasting me with spray.  I could barely see through my goggles so I pulled off on Grand Avenue to avoid the freeway.   The cars there were no more considerate but traffic is moving at only 35 mph so it is a lot less trouble.  I sometimes enjoy riding in the rain but this was a downpour.   As I passed 78th Avenue East there was a beautiful blond standing on the corner under an umbrella.  She waved, and then I realized that it was Laura Switzer.  I would have normally stopped to say hi but I was soaked to the bone and only wanted to get home.  But that was not to be, at least not yet.

About three blocks after passing her the bike started to sputter and slow.  It was still running but just barely.  Getting it over 30 mph was a struggle.  I went about another mile looking for a place that I could pull into that would be out of the rain.  I knew that there was an old railroad bridge up ahead but when I reached it I realized that there was no shoulder under it.  I finally pulled into the parking lot of the Forest Ranger Station.  Tried to figure out what was wrong with the bike but it appeared that something was just plain wet.  Whipped out the cell phone and called one of my fellow employees who I knew lived in the area and would have to pass me on his way home.  I did catch him still at work.  Told him I might need his help and would call him back in a few minutes.  I fiddled with the bike for a bit then decided that Scott's house was less than a mile away so I would try to make it there.   Chugged my way through the pouring rain to his house, pulled in the ally behind it and called him.  He said his wife should be there so I went up the the house, avoiding the carnivorous, huge, German shepherd in the back yard, which tried to break its chain to get to me.  No one home, so I stood on the porch wondering what to do next.   Finally his wife came home from the neighbors and I was able to get out of the rain.

I then called Son #1 (Aaron) and he came and got me with his pickup truck.  Next we went to my neighbor's house to borrow his trailer.  Turned out the ball was the other size of the one on the truck so we then had to go to Cloquet to find a ball, then back to the house to hook up, and off to pick up the bike.  I was still in my dripping wet clothes and I was starting to get chilled.  We picked up the bike, and finally made it home with it about 8:00 p.m. so after we unloaded it I offered to take him to get something to eat for helping me.  So off to the "Dry Dock" we went.   The Dry Dock may have been dry but I wasn't.  I was still in my wet clothes when I finally got home at 9:30.  By this time I was really shivering and miserable.   At 10:00 I called my boss at work and told her that I may not be in right away in the morning.

Day 186, Tuesday August 10, 1999...   Brrrrr... hot... brrr... hot...  I was going between sweats and freezing by morning.  I have been fighting something off for at least a week and it seems that this episode had weakened my resistance and I was feeling very lousy when I got up.  Called work and told them not to expect me in today.  About 9:00 a.m. I did put on my shoes and went out to the garage and rolled the bike out to the driveway.  Kicked it over on about the twentieth kick and attempted to ride it around the block.  It was running so bad that I pulled it back in the driveway and let it sit in the sun.  It was a beautiful, sunny day so maybe the thing will dry out.

I went in and slept most of the day away.  In the afternoon I laid on the couch and watched a wonderful movie, "Patch Adams" with Robin Williams.  I cried through the whole thing. 

About 7:00 p.m. I was feeling just a bit better so I went out, kicked the bike over on the second kick and went for a short ride.  The bike ran great.  The only problem seemed to have been the moisture.  I rode by the land that Christal and I had been interested. The "for sale" sign was still out front.  I rode in through the driveway and when I reached the spot that had been cleared for a house there was a mini van there with a husband, wife, and about five kids.  I pulled up and chatted with them for a while.  They were potential buyers of the property.  Me, being way too honest, told them how wonderful Esko was, how great the schools were, how low the taxes, how the land was laid out, about the 1200 feet of river front and all the other wonderful things about it.  I pointed out the 150 year old White Pines, the rock ledges, and how the only thing I could find wrong with the property was that the pond needed to be just a tad deeper to keep it from getting overrun with cattails.  I didn't tell them that I was also interested in the land only that Christal and I knew the owner.  I really did a great sales job, dang...

Day 187, Wednesday August 11, 1999...  Another beautiful day but I drove the car in to work.  I was still feeling very sick but thought I couldn't afford to miss any more work.  By 11:30 I was falling asleep at my desk so I told everyone that if they needed me they would find me at home.  Got home around noon, and by 12:30 I was fast asleep and didn't wake up until 4:30.  Christal came over later in the evening.  She told me that Nick was in her business today and told her that he was going from there to sign the purchase agreement for the land.  It appeared that someone had done a pretty goo sales pitch and that a doctor and his wife were going to buy it.  I guess it was just not meant to be.  There is probably a more perfect piece of land out there waiting for us when the time is right.

Day 188, Thursday August 12, 1999...  Worked all day, then came home and hopped on the Sportsman to take it for another ride.  It still ran great, so I ended up going about 50 miles.

Day 189, Friday August 13, 1999... Went over to Christal's after work and we had a bit of a party.  All three of her sons were there and her friends Chuck and Judith came by, and our friends Doug and Mary Jo.  We cooked pizzas, and had a great time.

Day 190, Saturday August 14, 1999...  Slept late, worked around the house, went for several motorcycle rides.  I was supposed to go out with Christal tonight but I called her and told her that I just didn't want to go.   The group "Canned Heat" which was very popular in the late 60s and early 70s were playing at Fitger's Tap Room. She had been a very big fan of theirs and wanted to go very badly.  Fact is that going to a bar, packed with people, smoke and the bar atmosphere didn't interest me.  I didn't want to let her down but I just couldn't bring myself to go.  Ended up staying home and she went with a group of friends.   She had a great time so I didn't feel too bad about not tagging along.

Next week

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