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On Friday we leave for an 8 day motorcycle trip and as I prepare I am once again faced with the impossible task of condensing 8 days worth of clothes, makeup and hair tools into the teeny weeny luggage compartment of a Harley Ultra Classic touring bike.  Big bike – little storage by my standards.

I start by putting the bag that fits inside the luggage compartment of the bike on the couch and patting the sides to puff them out so it looks bigger.  I do this several days ahead of time.  I carefully fold into a neat pile four pair of jeans, two turtlenecks in case of cold, six tanks in case of warm, two long sleeve shirts for layering, a sweatshirt, underwear, socks, sandals, tennis shoes, curling iron, hairdryer, makeup, sun screen, assorted hair accessories, book, journal, e reader and nightgown.

I stand back to look and notice the tower of items I’ve placed next to the bag looks like the stepsister’s size 10 foot next to Cinderella’s size 5 slipper.  Not good.

I begin subtracting by pulling out an undergarment.  The stack does not shrink noticeably.  Darn!  I begin to negotiate with myself.  “I can wear a pair of jeans three days instead of two can’t I? “ Out comes one pair.  “It’s June – bound to be warm, right?” Out comes the turtlenecks.  “Who needs tennis shoes?  We’ll be riding not walking.”  Nix the tennis shoes.  “Book or e reader? ”  “Air dry the hair?”

I check the weather reports for areas we will be visiting.  Out come three tanks, back in go the turtlenecks.  I pull out, put in, fold tighter, sigh and start over.  I am an unlimited-luggage-for-the-cruise type girl in a black leather biker world.  I have enough clothes in my closets to make sure I don’t repeat an outfit in any 30 day period.  But I love a guy who sees changing from a black T-shirt with the HD logo to a white T-shirt with the same as a major wardrobe overhaul.  Needless to say he doesn’t understand the packing challenge.

The funny thing is, once we’re on the road I don’t find it quite so difficult to wear the same thing two days in a row or even (gasp) three if necessary.  I’m not so caught up in how I look as I am in the scenery around me.  And, I’m too busy enjoying uninterrupted time with my husband to think about impressing others.

The craziness of multiple projects, plans and people coming at me in a constant deluge disappears the minute I crawl on the bike behind him and we set off on yet another roaring adventure.  This is pure togetherness – so close we are constantly touching, our direction perfectly matched, sharing thoughts and impressions as we sail down the highway. I can almost feel his heartbeat when I wrap my arms around him and our bodies sway in perfect harmony to the movement of the bike. 

We need this trip.  Life has been like a speeding train lately.  It will ramp up again when we return.  But for the next 8 days it will be just us, our timing, our choices, our quiet talks, our laughter, our frayed bond healing.

“Scarcely had I passed them when I found the one my heart loves.  I held him and would not let him go ….”  Song of Songs 3:4

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