Not ready to part with my “beauty”…


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If some of you have been following my year 2014 you will know it’s been one struggle after another.  Break up of my marriage/relationship after 17.5 years, the sudden death of my 10 year-old beagle, job issues, and now I am in the process of actually selling my house and transitioning back to the USA where I was born and raised.  I promise to end this post on a high note. 😊

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The For Sale sign threw me for a loop to be honest.  I mean I knew I signed the contract papers but I was expecting this sign to be installed last Thursday not Wednesday.  When I rode up to my house and saw this?  I was like “WOW” it’s true I am moving.

DUAL

DUAL

Some might say moving back to the USA should feel natural and easy to do.

USA Flag

USA Flag

Well, I am certain it will feel like “home” but getting from point A to B seems like a long road ahead.  Just like this year.  Every day there seems to be twisties and turns, not the ones I like when I ride my bike but real life twists.  I know many of my posts have a very heavy sigh to them, maybe better words would be depressive and morose?   This is real for me, many uncertainties, navigating waters I have never done before by myself.

Again a lot of support from those who care about me but this is really about me and how I can ease myself back into the country I came from and start over.  I still don’t have a job…I think I should be able to get one when I am ready.  Still don’t know what state I will live in when I arrive but that should be eventually worked out.  I do know I want to live in the New England area.  It’s funny.  Ever since I moved here I have been called a Yankee.  Many Canadians believe all American are Yankees. 😏

The term “Yankee” and its contracted form “Yank” have several interrelated meanings, all referring to people from the United States. Its various senses depend on the scope of context. Most broadly:

  • Outside the United States, “Yank” is used informally to refer to any American, including Southerners.[1]
  • Within the United States, it usually refers to people from the north, largely those who fought for the regions in the Union side of the American Civil War, but also those with New England cultural ties, such as descendants from colonial New England settlers, wherever they live.[2] Its sense is more cultural than literally geographic. The speech dialect of New England is called “Yankee” or “Yankee dialect.”[3]
  • Within Southern American English, “Yankee” refers to Northerners.

The informal British English “Yank” is especially popular among Britons and Australians and sometimes carries pejorative overtones.[4] The Southern American English “Yankee” is typically uncontracted and at least mildly pejorative, although less vehemently so as time passes from the American Civil War.

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Then there is this…one love of my life.  I am trying to figure out how to import my bike so I don’t have to sell it here in Canada.  The plan..I always have plans don’t I?  I want to leave for another trip across the country on New Years Eve.  I have checked the Almanac weather web site and it appears if I stay south and head up the east coast to New York I should be hitting freezing weather towards New York.  I will be prepared.  Been then again we all know how the weather can be at this time of year.  I think I am up for the challenge.  I would leave my bike in New York and fly back.

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When it’s time to say good-bye for good…I will drive my car after I import that as well to the east as I wave good-bye to my home for almost 18 years.  Only a few know of this plan but after I post it many more will know.  Things change day by day but this is how I would ideally like to see my initial move begin.  A winter challenge RIDE through states I have never been to on my bike.

I am leaving behind everything.  Whomever buys my house can have their choice of contents.  Whatever left I will offer to the neighbours, try to sell some items and then donate the rest.  I want my bike tools of course and clothes.  Some personal items but everything else? TV’s, stereo etc?  All materialistic items that can be replaced and when I start over I want to minimize my materialistic cravings.  I feel I have lost sight over the years and things have just become things.  I want more meaningful items and maybe one day share them with someone special.

I have met someone but she will remain a secret for now.  As in all lives timing is everything but I will reveal that someone has found me and I have found her.  Slowly we go and let’s hope this one starts off with a really strong base and takes me on another journey in 2015.

64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards

Okay I’m no Ellen and my mysterious grrl well?  Could be a dark-haired Portia 😏  What I do know is I want to continue my profession in Organ Donation.  I have to in some respects.  It’s my calling, my passion and seriously, being a social worker by trade having to learn to be a nurse/doctor through intensive medical training I BETTER utilize my new skills somewhere in the USA right?

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What defines me as me?  Not just my job but my resolve.  I have been tested this year from almost every stressful event that can happen to one person.  I hear all the time stay strong as new curve balls get thrown at me.  I am staying strong and can only HOPE that 2015 will show me WHY life for me has been so tremulousness in 2014.  5034_1__41584.1405347022.600.600

On December 29th, my ex will be taking my last 2 dogs for good to her home.  We have been sharing custody but because of their ages, 14 & 12 I could not fathom moving them into uncertainty. I love these guys too much to take that chance and they know my ex, they trust her and I know they will be cared for and loved.  Another good-bye for me…another loss but this comes with the territory.  I am fortunate my ex will take them for the rest of their lives.  I will never forget Cruizer

Cruizer RIP June 10th 2014

and of course never forget Xander my million dollar dog.  Heart failure since 2008, 4 months prognosis at that time and is still kicking.  And then there is Sierra.  Age 12 and such a beauty.  A gentle soul who has been a source of comfort for me no matter what mood I am in.  She loves everyone and I will miss her tremendously.

Cruizer's memorial in South Dakota

Cruizer’s memorial in South Dakota

Xander age 14

Sierra age 12

So, let’s end this post on some with some good highlights.  In 2014 I have been fortunate to ride my ‘Beauty” over 26,000 Km’s.  Got to see the USA and parts of Canada on my own between May/June.

Rode through hail storms, avoided tornadoes, had some sun and wicked cold temps too…

X country 2014

X Country 2014 Badlands

I met so many virtual friends and new friends on all my travels.  Something new for me as a soloist.

Sea to Sky Gondola with Sandi

played tourist in my own backyard and got really close to my colleague/BFF Sandi

Power ride day 700 KM’s up the Fraser Canyon, BC

Spent one day testing my endurance on and off-road.  Almost 700 KM ride on this day….still 2014.  When I reflect on my trips it puts a 😃 on my face.

Views on a Dual Sport bike can get you…

Highline Road, BC

My weekend in Tofino, BC started out with glorious weather but as the WET Coast can be turn wet but Tofino is a special place to be when a storm rolls in as well.

Ferry to Vancouver Island and Tofino

Memories of 2014 Fall trips?

Wet Tofino

Beauty

Just the comments really…”Are you nuts?” “It’s raining out and it’s not safe.” “OMG you are a chick.” “It’s way too cold, need to stop riding now, come to my house for Moose stew and I can find you a mat to sleep on”.  This was said to me when I rode what I called the Polar Vortex..

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But that trip too was such an adventure.  Testing out my gear and my mental riding skills.  I made it but wouldn’t do it again unless I had heated pant liners and socks.  😊

Annual Fall ride, many a muddy off-road group ride Dual Sport BC puts on twice a year…was a good day, no dumps, no falls, no broken bones…just a good time…

Fall Dual Sport BC Ride

She really likes getting dirty…

Fall Dual Sport BC 2014

Sometimes it does rain too hard…I mean when the rain pounces off your tank bag and soaks the inside of your helmet it’s probably a good time to stop.

More ferry rides, letting my GPS guide me all over, meeting more people and exploring Washington State was my goal.  Spent much of my Fall down there on both side of the mountains.  Soaking the PNW in because I am not sure when I will be out here to ride again.

My 13.5 hour trip down to AltRider for some reason was such a great ride.

AltRider upper crash guards

Different temps, getting lost, almost a break down, meeting new people, riding the Chuck-A-Nut in the pitch black

Chuck A Nut

…all was meant to be an interesting day.

Mount Baker, WA

Of course sometimes I can’t ride but have to fly.  Went to Toronto for business but got to go home for USA Thanksgiving..

Westhampton Beach, Long Island

My 18 year-old niece made this cake

And my numerous trips east of my house to see the majestic Bald Eagle at this time of year.  My love for wild life doesn’t just include eagles but all animals…but when you see hundreds if not thousands of eagles all in one area to feast on salmon…they are my favorite in the winters.

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So, trials and Tribulations.  Leslie’s solo journey continues and I just hope I can get back to the USA with my house selling for a decent price in a timely manner, I get rid of all my contents, work out all my financial crap between the two countries, find a job, get a place to live and start 2015, oh please 2015 start new and fresh.  I need less STRESS for sure and I need a break in life.  To be continued as I figure this all out…thanks as always for reading and baring with me.  Leslie

39 Comments

  1. I don’t know you with the exception of reading your blog over the last few years but I can whole heartily say that I wish you smiles in your future. During my time serving over seas, my sister wrote me and said to “keep my Chin up” Its from Charlottes Web,
    “Chin up, chin up
    Put a little laughter in your eyes
    Brave it, save it
    Even though you’re felling otherwise
    Rise up, wise up
    Make a little smile begin
    You’ll be happy hearted
    Once you get started
    Up with your chinny chin chin!”

  2. Tammy B says:

    Crying after reading, but also happy for you my friend!! You always have a place to visit here at home as well!! xoxo

  3. Jim says:

    You are sounding better as time has passed. Good luck on the move and I am sure it will be a better New Year for you. My big life changes were back in 1987, quite awhile ago, but I still think about the changes I went through, but they made for better relationships, better jobs and a far better life than I could of imagined at the time.
    Good Luck
    Jim

  4. Jo Maloney says:

    Purging is the first activity when one is working at healing the soul – Tears are certainly a valid method for venting those anguishing memories which caused one’s heart to bleed, – Everyone on occasion gets a slice of flesh cut from their heart and while no one can always prevent everyone from taking that slice, especially since no one can be a social island, one does however have the right to REFUSE to be a victim. To be hurt, well that at times sort of comes from just living – BUT – to continue to be a victim THAT is a choice. Vent – Forgive (for in forgiving someone else and their transgression) you set not the other, but rather yourself Free from wearing that dark cloak of being victim. Having followed you through some of your trials and tribulations for some time now, I believe, past the tears and disappointment I see movement in the direction toward your new life. Peace….. and Best Wishes as you walk forward. J . . . And don’t forget to twist the throttle on occasion it’s always good for a grin, now isn’t it.

  5. Minna says:

    “Strength shows not only in the ability to persist, but the ability to start over”. There is no doubt in my mind that you can do this Leslie. People who are true to themselves have tremendous strength. I often think about what it is we are supposed to learn from hardship and I know for myself that the answer reveals itself when it is time to know and understand. Your house is beautiful but just like your other “things” it does not define you. When you find the place you want to live in you will find the next beautiful house that you make yours. Best of luck with everything – including the ride cross country. Be safe and I look forward to read updates and see your beautiful photos. And know that you have a “cyber friend” in Vermont. Happy Holidays and may 2015 be your year!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Wishing you all the very best for Christmas and the future. Looking forward to reading many more of your riding posts. Enjoy that nice bike of yours, it’s good for the soul. 😉

  7. Anonymous says:

    Very inspiring read, Leslie! I hope everything works out great for you.
    Lisa (sph rt)

  8. kellyva says:

    Looking forward to following your adventures as you open new doors and close old ones. If we are still in the South lands when you come through I hope you will stop in. I’m excited for you!!!! 🙂

  9. Dar says:

    Leslie,

    I wish you peace and that your tomorrow’s are filled with light, happiness, and great joy. Ride safe on your journey and take care.

    Dar

  10. Fuzzygalore says:

    I know that you’ve faced a lot of hurt and struggle over the last year. But, on the flipside – you are now faced with an unfettered opportunity to shape your life in to whatever you want with no strings attached. Your only restraints are your will and desire. Sending hugs from New York~

  11. Matt Hill says:

    Leslie,
    I love reading about your rides and adventures on and off two wheels.
    It sounds like 2015 will be a year of new beginnings after a transition year in 2014.
    All the best for 2015 Leslie. I look forward you reading about your continued journey and adventures.
    Matt

  12. Sue says:

    There’s much for you to do in this next year. Its excellent news indeed that you have found someone to share part of your life with! I hope it’s so one with an interest in bikes?

    • advgrrl says:

      Sue the best part about this secret person is that shes the same age with her own hobbies. She does not ride a bike but is willing to try to be a passenger. I don’t mind that at all. Riding has become more about me. A hobby all my own but willing to share with the right person. 👍

  13. Anonymous says:

    Just found your blog recently and blown away by your perseverance. Your pictures are amazing and you are keeping it real without resorting to self-pity (we all deserve a bit of that, right?) and I think it’s admirable. If your journey takes you up through NC, hit me up. My family and I would be happy to host you for a night or two.

  14. bethlavinder says:

    Not sure why my post above was anonymous. Doesn’t help you at all. Let’s see if this works.

  15. Roelof says:

    Who knows what is going to happen? I don’t, so do you. Just use your best judgement, like the rest of us, and somehow make it happen! Merry X-mas and a splendid 2015,

  16. pawnyourhalo says:

    Happy New Year (goodbye old year) from a fellow Social Worker — hoping you get to go through the Lolo Pass at dawn one day, heading west with the sunrise behind you, because it will give you hope when nothing else will. Cheers ~~

    • advgrrl says:

      Fellow Social Worker? Trip is delayed until I get my letter of compliance from BMW USA to import my bike..I will take it from there. Thanks for the sweet comment too.

  17. heyelsa says:

    Bummed that we didn’t get a chance to ride together, but our home is always open if you’re back out this way. And PawnYourHalo up there ^^ is a buddy of mine, and she’s right about Lolo Pass. Safe travels, and we’ll send you all our best at all times. – Elsa (and Glen Comeaux)

  18. curvyroads says:

    Here’s to a fabulous new beginning in 2015!

  19. ~ B says:

    Leslie, Hope to see updates on your ride. I can relate (many parallels) on 2014 being a turd! 2015 can only go up from that… If you are in San Diego send me a message. I can put you up for the night, Alaskan Fish dinner and a secure place to park the bike,and if the timing is right maybe even ride out to PHX and do the same out there with friends…

    You are awesome.
    Cheers,
    Bobby

    • advgrrl says:

      that sounds great…I hope to take Rt 1 down your way but who knows. Keep an eye on the post where I give all my contact details and SPOTwalla page etc…thanks for the kind offer.

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