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And how was your week?
by Lori Vest



What a time to remember! Or perhaps, a time to forget?

There is no way my family can have the bad luck it has without our being cursed. My mother and my brother have always insisted there is a Sutphin curse. The older I get, the more I agree.

Take a recent day in my life, for example.

First, my husband David found a nail in my bike tire. At least he was able to plug it and save us some much-needed money.

Then the pool sprang a leak.

David had wanted to go for a bike ride all week, and we also needed to check out the water park in Hurricane, West Virginia, before we took our son Daniel over to make sure the trip was worth it -- the park is about 2 hours away.

Okay, no problem.

We traveled the back roads on his bike and enjoyed the ride. There were lots of kiss-your-ass turns but we were having fun. Then we hit the interstate around Charleston to speed things up.

About two miles from Nitro, the little town just before Hurricane, we hit a bump in the interstate and the bike just quit. Blip . . . nada . . . nothing -- so we pulled off the road.

We thought we might have jarred the kickstand switch. Nope! After close examination, we discovered we had blown a fuse.

Okay, can fix that . . . bam! The bike blew the fuse again as soon as we hit the starter switch and then blew the main fuse to boot.

For TWO FREEEEAKIN HOURS we sat there on the side of Interstate 64 with traffic blowing by us at 90 mph, in the heat, no shade, steam radiating from the pavement. We tried all kinds of tricks to get the bike to the ramp. Then we started pushing.

Ugh . . . omg! That bike weighs around 800 pounds uphill; at least it's easier to push than some, though that was a small pleasure at that moment.

We were getting sunburned -- and we were hot. AND DID I MENTION HOT?

We finally made it into Nitro to a truckstop, bought the fuses and got the bike going, but we still couldn’t find the messed-up wire. We’d hoped and prayed the pesky wire had unjarred itself.

We hit the interstate at last, going towards Charleston and back home, thinking it best to get home ASAP.

On EXXXACCCCTLLLLLLYYYY THE SAME SPOT, but on the opposite side of the interstate -- POP!

Oooh Nooo! There goes the fuse again!

I swear, I told David the bike does not like that little section of the road. So what were we up to our necks in this time? Oh yes -- heat, burning heat, and cars whizzing by at 85 again . . . and again . . . and . . .

At least this time we were able to push the bike under a bridge and into the shade where it was a little cooler. Mad, David just about gutted the wiring system right there sitting on the side of the road, but he eventually found the wire and fixed it.

By now the time was early evening -- about 7:00 -- and, tired and sunburned, back on the road we went.

I soon remembered I’d left my leather jacket at home. Do you know how cold it gets on the back of a bike in the mountains of West Virginia going around 85 mph? I went from so-hot-I-can't-breathe to shiverrrring. We got within 2 miles of the Lewisburg exit, and yep . . .

WE RAN OUT OF FREEEEAKIN GAS!

David's bike doesn't have a gauge, but we can make about 150 miles off a tank -- but not in West Virginia.

So here we were in the dark. The reserve tank must have kicked in on its own because we had not a drop. Not a drop, I say! We tilted the bike. We tried everything. NO GOOD.

We were back to pushing the bike up the side of the road.

We tried the cell, but it appeared this little section of interstate is cursed. It doesn't like us. It was either punishing or testing us, but we didn’t know which. The cell was blocked from making calls.

We started puuusssshiiiing again. We figured we had pushed this doggone bike about 4 miles or more at this point, all on the side of that hot interstate.

David swore the bike was going on E-Bay that very day.

At last a courtesy truck came by – and omg . . . the driver had GAS!

We got enough gas from him to get to the nearest exit where we found a place to fill up the bike tank. Then, to keep from freezing the rest of the way home, I bought a cup of hot coffee. This presented new challenges. Imagine drinking hot coffee on the back of a bike, going 85 mph. But it can be done.

We got home around midnight or a little after and still had to feed the animals. While David followed me around with the bike so I could see to feed the goat, I ran my knee right into the back of the truck's trailer hitch!

Limping from the pain, I went into the house, put on my gown and drank another cup of hot coffee. Then I gulped a Darvon and went to bed, daring David to touch me. I told him women have gotten divorces for LESS than this. Finally, I fell into a troubled sleep.

Oh, please, Powers That Be – let me have a halfway-calm week. PLEASE!

Oh, by the way, how was your week?

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Lori Vest is the mother of three boys and has been married 21 years to "the first one." She was born and raised in Covington, Virginia, and will be bured there unless the town blows up. Her favorite quote is: "Baby, I know you think I'm crazy and I know it's true . . . if you knew what I knew, you'd be crazy too!"

Lori is the sister of David Norris, prolific and talented USADS writer. Write Lori at trinityx3.

Read more of her work here at USADEEPSOUTH: "Black Birds In A Dead Tree"


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