Our Story: 50 Years, #4

Terry had a Norton 750 motorcycle. He thinks it was a 1967 model. Hard to remember back that far. I’d never been on a motorcycle before, but I certainly wasn’t averse to giving it a try.

That summer, for the first time in two full years, I didn’t have a job in Owatonna, where I went to Bible college. My mom had a friend who could get me a job at the grocery store where she worked, so I came home.

The first thing I needed to do was laundry. Mom and dad were gone somewhere with my little brother, so I had the house to myself and was busy hanging my sheets on the clothesline outdoors when I heard the rumble of that motorcycle. I watched it turn into our driveway, and recognized that it was Terry even before he took off his helmet.

Don’t forget, we weren’t dating yet. We were both quite shy, and I was glad his bike gave us something to talk about. And then he asked if I’d like to take a ride.

Oh, you betcha! It was a beautiful spring day, and the laundry could wait. I locked up the house and took the helmet he handed me. He SAID he always had an extra when he rode 🙂

Image result for Norton Motorcycle, 1969's, red (Snortin' Norton) 750 PT SCRAMBLER

“What do I hold onto?” I asked.

He turned a little away from me, fiddling with something or other on the engine–which I came to learn was always part of riding his bike. He was always fiddling with it.

“Me,” he said.

Oh, Well, okay. So he climbed on, and I got on behind him, my hands on his waist.

“No, you have to hold on,” he said, and I could see the blush creeping up his neck.

So I wrapped my arms around him and held on. It was a good thing I did. The driveway was uphill. I’d have been dumped off in a hurry if I hadn’t been holding on.

Image result for a couple on a motorcycle, out in the country
Not us, but it could have been 🙂

And then we were off, and I loved every minute of it. He headed for the countryside, not far away, and I could tell by the comfortable way he handled his bike that he loved it, too. We couldn’t talk–too much noise. He pulled into a scenic overlook after a while, and we finally could chat. He wanted to know if riding made me nervous.

“No, not once we were on the road. I loved it! “

“Would you want to go again sometime, maybe a longer ride?”

“Sure!” And we did, many times.

The second time we went, I was wearing cut-off jeans. Learned not to do that. Remember, I’m short. I didn’t have any trouble climbing on, but when we stopped to rest I bumped my bare leg on the exhaust pipe as I dismounted.

“Ouch! That’s really hot!” I said.

“No, those pipes aren’t hot.”

“Really? Then how did I get this burn on my leg?”

Image result for burned leg from motorcycle exhaust pipe
Not my leg 🙂 This is what the burn looked like a couple of weeks later.

“Oh, no! I didn’t know those pipes were hot! We’d better get you home so we can take care of it!” He couldn’t apologize enough, felt truly awful. I promised I’d always wear long pants any time we took another ride.

When we got back, no one was home. Poor Terry was so distressed, he wanted to carry me inside. Absolutely not–I can walk! And he’s the one who fixed me up, first with very cold water to slow down the spread of the burn, then a gentle wash with soap that hurt like the dickens, and I don’t remember if he put anything on it. Maybe just the gauze bandage I wore for a few days until it started to slough off the dead skin and he felt it was safe to go without the bandage. Better to expose it to the air, he said.

How did he know what to do? He was an Army Reservist, and had training in becoming a medic. Once again, my hero—except for the time it took me to convince him that yes, the pipe was HOT!

Anyway, it gave him an excuse to check in on me every day for a while, and he seemed to manage to do that just around supper time. My mom loved it. She enjoyed feeding him, because he could stow the food away as if he’d been starving to death.

My dad just quietly observed, and said very little. But I knew his face and his eyes, and I knew he was enjoying what he had started in the first place.


8 thoughts on “Our Story: 50 Years, #4

  1. Cindy Vile

    This is why I didn’t want to start reading until all “episodes” were published. I’m hooked. I think this is so precious that you are doing this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you’re hooked 🙂 This started on a whim, but the more I write, the more I remember. I’m hoping my kids and grandkids will save this. It probably contains information they don’t know :)_


  2. Put it together in a notebook. I have written several pieces about growing up on the farm, a few have made it to my blog, but most are written just for the children, grandchildren, and on if the Lord tarries. I loved my childhood. I wrote a chapter on my first love and included some pictures. My high school sweetie had a big part in my Christian walk and I wanted him included in my life story.
    This story of Terry and his bike made me smile. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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