Saturday, February 21, 2009

Simple pleasures, capturing ideas

We went out for a ride today. The sun was out, the sky was blue and it just seemed like a good idea. During the ride, I had lots of great thoughts that now are forgotten, but a few still remain.

We had a bite to eat at a country store that has just changed hands. It had been run by a woman who was an employee of the operator, and though she had some great ideas, the owner squelched her creativity. Another local guy picked it up and has taken off with a roar. I stop for coffee and a bite to eat there as often as convenient while I'm working and, though it's a bit out of the way for us, our ride started out more than anything else as a lunch date.

Maybe part of the reason I make a point of patronizing the place is that I have a soft spot in my heart for small, family owned businesses. My dad raised us while self-employed, and I admire anyone with the umption to follow his, or her, heart. Hopefully, this guy will make a go of it.
Another reason I'll likely go out of my way to patronize him is that only a year or so ago, my wife and I thought we'd be helping our son and daughter in law in a similar venture; so it's fun to watch this family and speculate what it would have been like.

Though I'm happy for this fellow and his family, it was somewhat sad to see the former operator close up shop. Not that the operator was a great loss, but the woman she had running the place was classy and had ideas that could have made the place take off. It's a shame that the operator didn't listen to the advice of the person who knew the business best.....probably a good lesson in there somewhere.

Our ride took us through four counties, not counting our own, and the scenery--complete with freshly fallen and blown snow--was pretty good. But we never think to have the camera ready! I had just stopped to shed my jacket and gotten moving again, when we saw a large hawk--or was it vulture--or even an eagle? I dug out the camera and Peggy Picture got a couple shots of it, but only after it had moved twice and was not giving us a very good view.
When we got home, we dug out the Peterson's Field Guide and powered up the computer. Though my first guess was a Golden Eagle, it turned out to be a rough legged hawk--but a big one. It was fun working through what we saw--and what we remembered--to figure out what it had been.

Now we're back home, making a pot of soup and wondering what the weather will bring us tomorrow.... Seems like the more hype the weather folks put into a forecast, the less unpleasant weather we get!

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