There is something about women of a certain age that when they ask you to do something you just do it. I guess you could call it the Grandma Reflex. So I showed her my badge and we talked briefly about my job and then she made another comment that threw me a bit.
“I like your hat.”
Now, when an old lady makes that comment most people think of wide brims, loud colors, and feathers. I doubt anybody would think motorcycle helmets. What followed was one of those little life moments that just makes the day.
She told me about her brothers and a sister that rode. There was no hint of jealousy when she talked about her father decreeing that one girl in the family riding was enough. An old Shovel Head was mentioned. Today’s bike, my 1985 Honda Interceptor, was admired. Rides with her husband of 50 years were glowed about and my use of safety gear was praised. The bike she talked about most was a Honda Goldwing that they shared which led to my favorite quote of the entire conversation.
“We could never go too far, too long, or too fast.”
She mentioned that they could no longer ride, and while there was a touch of sadness in her voice the smile on her face demonstrated a joy of remembering adventures. A hint of longing for another ride was also there, the call of the road.
I would have loved to spend more time with her and her husband and listened to their tales but alas the real world called as our lunch orders were filled and we parted ways, they back out into the world and me back to work.
I doubt the entire encounter lasted longer than two minutes but the effect will last much, much longer and I offer my thanks to the universe for letting our paths cross.