Monday, 15 September 2014

An End to a Beginning.

How the End Begun

Although I have never finished my story, there is an end to every beginning.  One such end came many moons ago, when a middle class Yankee well in his retirement fell in love with Scorpion 1. He wanted to travel through African and Europe.

But first, there are many kinds of truth.  One of these for me is Scorpion's great friendship, mistress and companion.  In the many glorious days we spent together, I had put about 45,000km on her. She was a work horse that had simply served her master beyond reproach. Before our relationship, I had shopped around, and eventually settled on a Wee Strom DL 650. That was many years ago.  In those days, it was simply the best thing I had ever possessed.  We had a relationship: it was time to let go.  It was the most agonizing decision. I could not stop the tears.  We all do when our relationships are threatened.  Some cynics might cry out, but she was just a machine.  True, this one is not in dispute, but what about the stories we wrote together during our relationship, the many hours we spent in each others' embrace in the middle of no where, the tumbles, the rain, the mud, the dust, the people we met, the many rivers we crossed, the the mountains and valleys we traversed, the very long straight roads that seemingly had no end, and the times we spent at the mechanics to fix her.  Surely these little memories become part of one's psyche -- the story of a endless love between man and machine.

I told Tom, for that was Scorpion's new friend and owner, he could take possession of Scorpion on condition that he loved her.  Thus settled Scorpion became the mistress of Tom.  From the very beginning, Tom violently fell in love with Scorpion. When a man spends a fortune adorning his mistess, you know love has no bounds.  She became the most kitted bike I had ever seen.

And for many years she lived in Germany, and every now and then, Tom would reunite with with her and ride around Europe.  Tom's story is told in these pages: Tom Richardson's Adventure.  Sadly Tom passed away Nov 2015 from Pulmonary Fibrosis.  He had written to me about a week earlier saying that was his last email.  

Tribute to Tom -- His Words
Ten years ago, I decided to ride motorcycles; I just turned 72 and got a diagnosis that suggests I'm not going to see many more birthdays. This may be my last adventure on a bike. I'm going to get on my Suzuki DL650 in Germany and head for Ukrania to see what's up for myself. Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria, maybe Turkey and Greece, then up the coast of the Balkans to Croatia for time on the beach before coming home to USA again. Up to now, I’ve lived a charmed life. Married well, enjoyed raising three children - now stretched to 7 (it’s complicated) with great spouses and grandchildren. I've traveled a lot - much on a motorcycle, benefited from a middle-class American income and the accident of my birth in a country whose better off citizens have a measure of freedom to think and act, and I’ve owned far too many toys. I enjoy discussions about politics, religion, economics, environmental issues, ...lots of things. I eat too much and in spite of it I'm still pretty healthy -- except for this latest thing, which seems to have no explanation - or cure. I'm enjoying the trip; wish it was less close to being over."  He said "life is short", he lived it to the fullest.
          Go well old boy! 

           Go well!

Scorpion with Tom in picture at the bottom of Africa - L'Agulhas in happier old good days. This year 2014, Tom wanted to ride around Eastern Europe: to Croatia all the way to Ukraine. But he was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis.   He had to abandon his trip at the beginning of May when a doctor voided his travel insurance in Germany and the rest of Europe.  This wonderful youthful old Yankee said in his blog "Life is Short" and he was the kind of man to live it to the fullest.

                                                     Tom Richardson at L'Agulhas 2011

Tom is one of the most generous people. Almighty bless you Tom!. Tom give Scorpion to some Irish man in Ireland. May Scorpion bring you bliss.  Beyond this, I prefer to remain in the dark.  Sometime the good memories are preferred and cherish.  It is better it remains that way. If I had my way, I would bring back Scorpion to South Africa.  But alas such is life!  Tom you be blessed!

Meanwhile, I have never embarked on any serious adventure since my last one.  I hope one day, when I am still full of juice, I will do so.  Even then I have put 90,000 km on Scorpion II.  A large chunk of it doing Roadrangers Stuff.  I ride with cyclists to keep them safe on our dangerous SA roads.

If I loved Scorpion I, I loved Scorpion II even more.  You can see her below in her middle age.   I'm grateful to all of you, 15, 963 odd souls who have peered into these pages.  Even though I'm no celebrity, life has been good .  Every one writes their own stories; this is my story and how I wish to tell about myself.  I became part of your story and you yourselves became part of my story.  One day I hope to tell you some more stories about my travels to yonder lands.

                                                          Scorpion II in her Middle Age


Technology changes and there are ever newer and better bikes on the market.  I sought one such bike. This time one with lots of power and a shaft.  The XT1200Z, Yamaha had just been released, April 2010.  The dominant bike in this category was 1200 GSA.  I rode these bikes for a while and determined that I was much happier on the Yamaha.  I can tell you in retrospect that my gut feelings are seldom wrong.  

So when Tom came along and rode away on my Scorpion I, I knew I had to carry on my dream of travelling to yonder lands.  Soon I was the owner of my first Yamaha.  Make no mistake, I reluctantly, very reluctant to let go of Scorpion I.  It was a decision based on hard economics even though I would have loved to keep her, and the wisdom that a seed must die to give life.  I have many nostalgic moments when I get lost in reveries of the ol good days with Scorpion.  And sometimes, when I think of her, knot forms in my guts.  I suffer from something I have learnt is called overwhelming symptoempylaisis  nostalgia.  But again these pains are lessened by my new love.

As it were everything has a beginning and an end.  Tom as it were succumbed to pulmonary fibriosis on the 5th of November 2015.  He rides on in yonder land.  His body might have given in to the laws of nature, but his spirit rides on.  Go well my ol friend.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Dar es Salaam the Good, the Bad, the Ugly

I rolled into Dar es Salaam late mid-afternoon after an absence of six years.  It was crowded with people and vehicles, obviously showing signs of growth as all cities do.   Reminiscing the good old days in Dar es Salaam filled me with a pleasureable feeling.  It was a metropolitan of many fine memories that I knew quite well, and had come to love.  My favourite weekend places were on the beaches outside the hustle and bustle of city life.   So I was coming to a familiar city and familiar people.  I sojourned with the Setebe family. 
Traffic in Dar es Salaam

One fine bright and sunny day, two days after I had settled in with my hosts, I went sight-seeing into the city.  One thing that immediately struck me was the stacks and stacks of Coca-Cola crates just round the corner.  In South Africa, it is one of the most affordable drink loved by many.  I personally have not had a drop in thirty-five years of my few years of life.  That is one drink, a friend once remarked, you will find on the moon.  I chuckle because I remember the commedy: The God’s must be Crazy in which a Bushman travels to the end of the earth to get rid of a Coca-Cola bottle that was thought to bring misfortune and conflict.

The traffic was diverse and thick.  Once could tell that the living standards of the citizens of Dar es Salaam had improved by the number of cars on the street as well as other developments.  On the subject of transportation, it was interesting to observe that a new mode of transportation that had hitherto not existed in Dar ― Indian Bajaj ― was abound and highly sought after.  Someone with business acumen has seen an opportunity for investment and taken full advantage of it.
Indian Bajaj
I came round a corner, and there was a vendor with a heap of pineapple right behind him.  These tropical fruits that can grow to the size of a toddler are a common delicacy.  Let me pre-empt you by saying that all along my return trip to South Africa, pineapples formed an important aspect of my meals.
Pineapple Vendor

I continued on my sight-seeing journey into the city, and at Mlimani city on Sam Nujoma Road was a Shoprite retail chain.  The first one was opened in 2001 and this was a second one.  I went window shopping to compare prices.  Needless to say they offered a variety of goods and made shopping easy.  As for the prices that is for the shoppers to tell.

Mlimani City

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Thank you to Ma Tuliza, Enroute to Dar es Salaam

In Arusha, the area beyond Njiro Korona is dry and dusty especially during the dry season.  It looks wasted because the land was once cleared to provide for sisal plantations.  The prominent geographical feature of the landscape is Mount Meru, a product of a violent volcanic eruption in the past that also tore deep gorges in the terrain.  This unique beautiful landscape is where I spent four days with Ma Tuliza’s family at Njiro Korona.  On the 10th of January, with hugs and tears, I bid them farewell and headed for Dar es Salaam, a journey of approximately 651km.  
 Farewell to Ma Tuliza

Arusha-Moshi Highway is congested with traffic during the morning hours.  So I took it easy.  As I quickly covered the distance to Moshi, I had hoped to see Mount Kilimanjaro imposing majesty; unfortunately, it was cloudy so that the horizon was one dreary seamless skyline.  I stopped at Moshi to refuel and to lubricate the chain which by now had developed a ‘clinging’ sound.  I paid attention to the chain to ascertain that it could still deliver me to Johannesburg without the need for a replacement.  It is necessary to mention that it is then I came to dislike chains on a long touring bike.  Firstly, wear out so that they must be replaced together with both sprockets.  There was also the inconvenience of having to lubricate the chain every 400 or so kilometres.  I was firmly convinced that my next touring bike would be shaft driven.  
 Mt. Meru

Although it was still mid-morning, the sun was blazing angrily on me.  But as long as I was riding the breeze cooled me.  I had replenished my water at Moshi.  It was my custom that as long as I was riding, a Carmel two litre hydration pack rode on my back with the mouth piece firmly wedged between my teeth.  I drank up to four litres or more a day to which I always added some glucose, lemon or Sprite.  For this reason, I never had a headache for the entire duration of the odyssey.  Therefore, I cannot overemphasise the benefits of drinking a lot of water, which is easily available as bottled or borehole water.  
 Mt Kilimanjaro in the Background

The journey from Moshi to Mombo was uneventful.   I covered miles and miles of asphalt with nothing particularly interesting on the horizon except the beautiful Usambara Mountain Ranges riding on my left.  Today’s ride was a hard ride.  I did not stop for my usual rests.  Instead I rode standing or sitting until Mombo where I stopped for lunch.  Lunch was a plate of Pilau (sweet tasting rice cooked with meat).  I meet some South Africans who were touring this part of the world.  Within 30 minutes I resumed trip toward Dar es Salaam.  

Soon I reached the junction to Tanga; it was drizzling.  But rain never bothers me.   I would not stop unless it was windy or it was thunder storm.  But riding in rain was not a very good idea so I throttled down.  I  was still mourning my rainsuit which fell off the bike on my way to Uvinza.  In spite of the rain, my Kilimanjaro TPG touring suit (rather a curious name) was adequate.  It kept me dry as a bone because of the membrane underneath, but importantly it would dry within 20 minutes after the rain stopped falling.  So I continued to enjoy the scenery and rode on until Chalinze where I arrived to find a long distance bus was burnning.  I was feeling very tired; I did not stop to ask what happened.  So I rode on dreading the remaining 90km ride to Dar es Salaam.  It is never a good idea to ride whilst you are tired.  But this distance was managable. I turned all my attention to the task of taking myself safely to Dar es Salaam.   
 A Rest On the Highway of Arusha to Dar es Salaam

I do not remember much except that I stopped over at Ubungo in Dar es Salaam at Mr. Assenga’s home.  He was the father of my ex-girl friend.  It has been two years since we saw each other.  He was someone I had great respect for; hence, this was a courtesy call.  Inevitably, there was plenty to talk about, but as you might guess, it was all about the odyssey.  In conclusion, we spent some time drinking coke.  Sadly, Mr. Assenga passed on two years ago.  May his soul rest in peace!    

Later,  I rode to Ma Setebe’s place where I was to spend the next four days.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Memories of Arusha

Arusha city is roughly a 100km from Namanga border post.  It is the capital city of this region of Tanzania and is populated mostly by Wa-Meru and the Masai nomads.  Seen from the west, Mount Meru which forms the crest of the city sits behind the city with outward flanks that stretch as if they were embracing the city.  From a geopolitical stance, Arusha is a tourist and a diplomatic hub, as well as the de facto capital of the East African Community.

Well, I had driven down the Nairobi-Arusha road myriad of times from 1995 when I first moved to live in Arusha.  The stretch that particularly fascinated me was the Namanga-Arusha road.  It is mostly a barren road with vast open plains adorned with stunning round hills that are green during the rainy season and turn light brown during the dry season.  Furthermore it is also decked by occasional acacia trees and the appearance of a zebra or some other game in the distance.  

Travelling down this road always reminded me of the sublime beauty of the savannah plains that is unique to the African continent.  It is a home that I embrace ceaselessly.  Riding through it was a great way of exploring this vast expanse.  It is no wonder that David Livingstone found it irresistible; in the final analysis he died in Africa. 
The Savannah

As I rode towards this magnificent city in its own right, I settled in my reveries as I was accustomed to do on this odyssey.  I recalled an incident a couple of years ago, I was travelling on a Scandinavia Bus en route to Dar es Salaam when it run into a bull giraffe.  It was the most frightening experience of my life: The noise of the impact, the shattering glass flying all over the place, the noise of the passengers screaming in all manner of languages and descriptions, the bus veering off the road, and the reek of the giraffe flesh.  It was simply horrendous to say the least.  When the bus finally came to a stop because of the dexterity and calm response of the driver, I was shaking like a leaf in the winds, but glad to be alive.  It seems to me that the giraffe was foraging on the acacia trees beside the road when it was startled, unfortunately it turned into the road and the bus ran into its neck and the head killing it on impact.  This entire event traumatised the passengers.  And in addition, our trip was delayed by about six hours since the matter had to be reported to the police.  I overheard someone say this was because the giraffe is the Tanzanian national symbol.  Well, in this manner I rode into Arusha.  It had been a gentle ride that I enjoyed thoroughly. 
 Tumaini Host
I spent four days at Njiro Arusha with a family I had known in the past.  I also meet old friends and rode around the city on a couple of occasions.  The place felt strange: anyway I had been away since 2004; it was enough reason to make it feel strange.   I also took notice of two things: it was without a doubt that there was more traffic on the road and that the food prices were exorbitant.  What was most rewarding was the time I spent resting and preparing for the long trip back to South Africa. I must say in conclusion that Arusha is one of those places I happen to like because of its curiousness.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Memories of Arusha

I had covered the distance between Bungoma and Nairobi (350km) in about 5 hours.   I went to Hekima College where I met my host Fr. Leander Kabutta, SJ.  He was missioned as a financial administrator of the retirement home for old and infirmed Jesuits situated in a Suburb of Nairobi.  Fr. Kabutta and I were friends at a college of Philosophy in Zimbabwe, but we had known each other way back in 1995, so I was in good hands.  I met many old Jesuits I knew who were now retired.  Leander and I spent many hours reminiscing the old good days late into the night.  This late hour did not bother me since my itinerary for the day was as far as Arusha, a distance of 269.6 km only.
Signpost designating Namanga border post ahead

The next day, which was the 4th of January, I departed soon after I had something to eat.  As it were, Nairobi is a huge metropolitan and a visitor can find rather overpowering.  In spite of this, I snaked my way through the early morning traffic to Mombasa Road (A109).  Thanks to my Garmin Zumo ― one of the greatest inventions of the 21st Century.  Just before reaching Athi River, I turned into a Total petrol station to buy fuel as well as to ask for some grease for the chain.  The chain lube had run out and so the chain was very dry.  I thought I would scrap some grease from the lubrication garage but the attendant firmly refused.  He said I had to pay for it.  I was exasperated.  I thought this was rather mean.  This little incident reinforced my beliefs of people in this part of the world, namely that capitalism was powerfully entrenched in their psyche to the extent that hospitality and generosity were alien to these people.  Indeed there was a popular joke that said: if you wanted to know if a Kenyan was actually dead, jingle a coin.  If he turned around and said ‘that is my money’, you knew for certain that he was not dead.   But this aside, this episode was a blessing in disguise.  It turns out that I bought 0.5kg of lubricating grease, which was essential for lubbing the chain for the remainder of the journey. 

I departed, turned into Road A104 towards Namanga. When I arrived at the border, this is about 10:30 am, I cleared Kenyan immigration and then went to clear the bike at customs.  It turns out that a Kenyan policeman became an annoying spectacle.  He was insisting that I pay third party insurance.  I could not understand why a Kenyan policeman was insisting that I buy third party insurance for the Tanzanian side especially given that I was leaving the Kenyan territory.  My travelling experience had ensured that I had developed a bag of measures for dealing with border-post-crossing.  On this occasion, I determined that pure cold logic was the way to deal with this rogue policeman.  So I began by establishing the facts:
“Sir, are you a policeman?  I asked.  
He looked at me suspiciously as if to say don’t you have eye before he replied, “yes”. 
“A Kenyan policeman?”  I pressed on.
“Yes.” He was visibly uncomfortable.
I went for the jugular, “Sir with due respect, how come that you are now an insurance broker for the Tanzanian government.  Yet by your own admission you are an officer working for the government of Kenya?”
“Oh no, I was only trying to help,” he quickly responded.
“In that case, you have already been most helpful.  I will be pleased if you let me pursue this matter at my own pace,” I said with finality in my voice.

I could see he was rattled and thoroughly disliked me.  In my view, he definitely was out to make a quick buck from an unsuspecting traveller.  I wondered how many he had robbed in this manner.  But when you are a seasoned traveller like me, you become accustomed to meeting all manner of characters at any border post, some of whom collude with custom and immigration officials in making a quick buck.   Well, finally I was on the Tanzania side, where I was welcomed like a long lost cousin.  I filled in all the papers required to clear customs, as well as immigration and was soon on my way to Arusha. 
Mt Meru in Arush

I rode without stopping to Arusha.  I liked this city.  I had lived here from 1995-1997.  This meant I had friends.  At the home of one of them, I arrived and sojourned for three days.
My hosts in Arusha

Friday, 20 April 2012

Enroute to Nairobi

It is seven O’clock in the morning; the air is crisp and moist in Bungoma.  It had rained during the night, and having fallen into a deep slumber, I had known nothing of it.  What an unholy way to sleep!  It had surprised me that if someone had stolen Scorpion, I would have woken up to a grave crisis.  And moreover, the unimaginable might have happened.  Needless to say, I was so tired that when I hit the sack, I had simply passed out.  But, the good news was that I was so refreshed and in a great spirits, which was good for riding.   I had a long day ahead of me.
Ready to Go

Scorpion was laden, refuelled and ready to go.  I decided as it had become my custom to find Simone who was the night duty attendant at the petrol station to bid him farewell.  We exchanged email addresses.  I also begged him to accept a token of appreciation from me, which he did reluctantly.  He said he would keep me in prayers.   With the last farewells, I departed. 

This was going to be a hard ride, but I gently eased myself into it.  This route towards Nairobi forms part of the great North Road; it is a very busy road.  It has also another reputation, vehicle carnage.  It was the more reason that I rode with all my guards on.   My preference would have been to ride through to Arusha (Tanzania), but that was easier said than done.  I decided to take a mile at a time.
The Virgin Bride On the Day I Collected Her

As I rode, I thought about Scorpion.  She was a good bike with a solid bulletproof 650 cc motor.  She had come more than 5500kms, she had tumbled over 15 times, but apart from a shattered wind screen, and a broken handguard, she was rock solid and still going strong.  I couldn’t but love her.  The more I rode her, the more I fell in love with her.  In areas of sand and mud she was deemed heavy, but in on a paved road, she cruised effortlessly.  In South Africa, if you rode a BMW, a KTM or a Ducati, you had “the” bike.  If you rode the DL 650, no one gave you as much as a glance.   In other words, the DL was an underrated bike.  I had spent a year researching on a suitable bike to undertake this adventure.  I had read and reread all kinds of reviews on the DL.   The facts spoke for themselves. The DL 650 was undoubtedly the most suitable bike.  Even the yellow colour was a matter that was weighed carefully.  My reasoning was that it was more visible and it was chosen specifically for reasons of conspicuity.  With these thoughts, I covered many miles.

Meanwhile, I stopped once to stretch and again at Nakuru for Lunch and to replenish my water stock.   As I rode on toward Nairobi, I mused over the first time I had come to this city in 1981 to visit my uncle.  In those days, Nairobi was the most sophisticated metropolitan city in East Africa: A city of culture: fashion and music; business, very tall modern shinning buildings, the best paved roads.  The entire city exuded glamour and refinement.  Coming from rural Uganda, all these things were breath taking and a source of great wonderment.  For a naive youngster like me, it came as a shock when I greeted a man standing on a Nairobi street who responded aggressively by asking me: “why are you greeting me; are you a thief?”  This profoundly perturbed me and offended my cultural sensibility.  Where I come from, my people will greet you even if they don’t know you; more so youngsters are expected to greet those who are older.  What wrong had I done!  Even though I was a kid I also had my pride.  I still shake my head at the thought of this event and feel the chill run down my spine.   Every time I have thought of this experience in my adult life, I have attributed it to the proliferation of individualism in its most corrupt and extreme form.   It is a cancer that is eroding “Ubuntu”.  It is has been reduced to a shell or a mere theoretical construct. An instrument used to control the African mind.
First Stop Enroute to Nairobi

Well, I reached Nairobi around 2pm.  My deepest desire was to continue to Namanga and into Tanzania, but I decided to catch up with my Jesuit friend, Fr. Josephat Kabutta who was my host for the remainder of the day.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Family Reunion

A family reunion is always an exciting affair as the comedy Madea’s Family Reunion has shown.  In our case, among other things, it was even more thrilling since a member of the family had arrived on a massive dual purpose bike never seen in this part of the world.  For most of my village folks who have never travel more than 100kms away from home in their lifetime, it was hard to work out that I had travelled 5500kms from South Africa on a bike.  This state of affair was understandable given that none one was willing to believe that a bike was capable of travelling such great distances.  This belief was compounded by the Indian made Bajajs they ride, which is not only air cooled, but is of such low power that it was obvious a trip on a bike was not possible.  This said the commonest mode of transport is the bicycle; it is a way of life. 
Bicycles used for Common Transport In Africa

To return to the main story of family reunion, it was the first time we had gathered as a clan.  Naturally my arrival had created a buzz and drawn members of the family from far and wide.  Well, it has always done so.  I have been living out of the country for the last fifteen years, so my return home has always generated excitement not only within the family circles but also among the neighbours, I believe also because I am the only clan member who lives abroad on a permanent basis.   So returning to my rural home is quite an event.

My rural village has neither electricity nor running water as well as most of the modern amenities.  Yet it is home in the most intimate way.  Coming from the hustle and bustle of metropolitan Johannesburg, Abwanget ― for this is the name of my village ― is heaven.  The serenity I find in this remote, quiet wooded land is of its kind.  Such is the peace that you rarely hear the roar of a car engine.  My folks genuinely love.  They will roast their last chicken for you, if you are their visitor.  It is another world where humanity in its total description is without pretence.  It is in this ambience that Christmas descended on us.  We remained in this festive stupor well after the New Year, during which many family businesses took place: meetings, importantly baptisms of three members of the family at Toroma Catholic Church.  Much of the time however was spent on delights of feasting: drinking “ajono” our local brew, braaing and dancing to the local tunes.  In this way the days passed quickly.
Toroma Catholic Church Where the Baptism Took Place

One day, after the last family photo, many hugs, farewells and tears, I set off on a return journey to Johannesburg on the 2nd of January at eleven o’clock.  I had two weeks of rest.  Indeed, my mind, body and soul were adjusted to tackle the long ride to Johannesburg. 

It was a clear hot day with an azure sky.  Fred, my brother, and his wife accompanied me for the first leg of the trip to Soroti where I refuelled, lubricated my chain and headed for the Kenyan border about 160kms South East.    I rode decidedly hard wanting to cover as much rode as I could.  At Malaba, the boarder, it was raining hard.  There was a bit of delay crossing the Ugandan boarder because there was only one custom officer to clear my bike who was busy.  Cleared, I rolled through the no-man’s land into Kenya.  I immediately faced two problems in Kenya: I had to pay for third party insurance of about 35$; I had to persuade the custom officials that I was in transit and did not require a carnet du passage.  I can assure you based on the experiences of riders around the world; it pays to be able to speak the language of the host country.  After much haggling with the custom officials they let me go, but only after paying for the third party insurance. 
Just Me

I wish to recall that when I lived in Dar es Salaam some year back, I distinctly disliking to sojourn in Kenya.  When travelling from Dar es Salaam, I always ensured I spent the night at Arusha, the following day I would drive through Kenya to Uganda.  So, as I rode towards Bungoma the sun was setting on the Western horizon, I wished there was some more day light left so that I could ride further than Bungoma.  I felt uneasy especially since this road was used by transport hauliers and long distance buses; I rode with much caution.

I arrived at Bungoma and went to look for a place to pitch my tent.  The first place I asked was some sort of inland resort, they were hostile to the idea of pitching a tent.  So I went back to the main road to Nairobi and drove some distance towards Kakamega where I found a Total petrol station. They allowed me to pitch my tent.  After some food and a bottle of beer, I passed out thinking that the following day was going to be an exciting day and thanking my dear Lord for an eventless day.

An End to a Beginning.

How the End Begun Although I have never finished my story, there is an end to every beginning.  One such end came many moons ago, when a...