Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘Middle of June

The Lyrics

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For those of you who didn’t have time to sit through the slide show of the song I wrote, and also for me, because I have a hard time remembering all the words… here are the lyrics to “The Middle of June.”

What if it fit in the form of a perfect song?
The trial of surviving a ride through a daylong storm?
Some things come ’round only one time a year
You need to grab and hold tight or chance missing the magic parts
That live in the stories and sweet spots of our minds
You know so many friends who can’t fathom that you do this
And fashioned a bond with the rest of us
Who’ve joined you once again

It’s the middle of June
And here I go again
I’m getting back on my bike
To go Jaunting with Jim

You might call it neurotic, that pallid look that arises
When all too quickly I discover my time for packing has expired
And I’m suddenly in some form of campground in some outstate small town
The faces are familiar, though sometimes names come too slow
A ritual of pack and lock the auto, a parting glimpse to ways of yore
You can watch it as it blossoms and the trip so deftly is born

It’s so great to see you, tell me how have you been
I want to share within your laughter and bow my head to hear your tears
Who is it brought a new bike there, who hasn’t changed theirs in twenty years?
If you put a piece of tape there it might work fine, just look at his
Can I be your tent neighbor, will you snore more than me?
Once I’m packed in the morning, I’ll have much more than I meant to bring

How can that be Jim’s whistle? Good morning right back at you
Do I wear the new tights yet or will it be 95 degrees?
I can’t see yet if it’s cloudy, nor discern if there’s any wind
Where’d I put my water bottles and oh my god do I have to pee
We thank you oh Conductor for this special opportunity
Please forgive me if I waver and consider a jaunt to a B & B

We eat like we think we have to, then have some more when it tastes so good
Wait in line to use a restroom and see our bottles all start out full
Then just repeat Jim’s instructions, did he say 59 not 23?
We’ll snack in eighteen hill-free miles, can it be this easy?
The road just rolls past our tires, “On your left” so you say
Who’s that singing while they’re riding? Haven’t you passed me twice today?

We fan out across the horizon, dodging roadkill and debris
Shouting Gravel! Hole! & Bump! while speaking with whomever we happen to be
We notice wild flowers ‘tween the farm fields, gaze on lakes as well as woods
Wave at gawking rural town folk and race with dogs past the point they should
It isn’t always smooth sunny tailwinds, yet it always ends up manageable
And we should out the joys of elation the sight a water tower can tend to bring

Soon one day gets confused with others, it’s hard to say where we’ve been when
I remember bits of one funny incident, though in which town I can’t quite claim
Shared meals more than nourish us, joint accomplishments give common bond
Communal showering to humbles us and ties like family are coming on
Mere words can’t describe it, when you ride with us then you know
After years of having done this, it gets more important for me to go

All too soon the trip is over, the time just comes, the dancing’s done
Bittersweet to reach the start again, don’t want to stop, can’t wait to get home
What will it feel like back in my bed again, how’ll I do riding on my own
I’ll pretend to hear a morning whistle, the sound of tent poles breaking down
But I’ll rarely find convenience, such as the freedom from planning out
All the details of my day’s plan, as on Jim’s annual ride around

It’s the middle of June
And here we go again
We’re getting back on our bikes
To go Jaunting with Jim

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Written by johnwhays

June 21, 2017 at 6:00 am

The Song

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For those of you who are unfamiliar with the great June bicycle trip, I am once again providing the YouTube video of the song I wrote about the event. It is set to a slide show of photos I took during a couple trips that happened in northern Minnesota a bunch of years ago. It pretty much describes the week from start to finish. That’s why it is over 8 minutes long.

When I wrote this, in the days after a fabulous year when I couldn’t get the trip out of my mind, it was simply a chronicle of the routine, but that made it a little wordy. I unsuccessfully struggled to fit it into a song. So, the next year I told Jim Klobuchar, the ride conductor, that it was a poem I wrote and that I wanted to share it with the group.

He asked to read it, but when he took the sheet of paper from my hand, he just put it in his pocket. That’s the kind of leader Jim is, and I chose not to challenge his methods. He would read it at a time of his choosing. Not long after, he approached me and shared his approval, but he said that he wanted to read it to the group.

Really? I was a little taken aback by this, but at the same time, honored and humbled. I was happy to have him read it. In my mind, the initial gathering of the Friday night or Saturday morning was a time that made sense. He had other plans, but I’m guessing they weren’t firm.

Day after day went by, and he made no mention of it. I soon gave up any expectation and chose not to fret over not knowing what he had in mind. Finally, at lunch of the second-to-last day, he told the group to gather outside after the meal. He called me up to stand next to him, and he did a wonderful job reciting my prose.

I figured that was it. My composition worked just fine as a poem.

Until it didn’t anymore. Somehow I figure it was always meant to be a song. On a year when my family gave me a Baby Taylor travel guitar for my birthday, I decided it would be appropriate to be able to sing the song during the bike trips.

With some minor tweaking, I figured out a way to make it fit. That led to the added intro:

“What if it fit in the form of a perfect song
The trial of surviving a ride through a day long storm…”

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Written by johnwhays

June 19, 2017 at 6:00 am

Mostly Ready

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Today I depart for my week of vacation and I believe I am, for the most part, ready. That is, I finished the majority of necessary tasks at work and got my “away message” programmed in my email. I completed the task of mowing all the grass areas that we regularly mow. Most amazing to me, I took care of two tasks that have been successfully neglected for a loooong time.

It may have something to do with the fact that we have Elysa’s celebration planned for the day after I return from my adventure. I won’t have much time to tend to things in the small number of hours after I get home. What I find curious is how particularly easy it was to address both of these issues. It was like changing a light bulb.

Well, one of them was, anyway. Except, the light bulb(s) were high enough to require a tall ladder to reach, and were a unique size which we couldn’t buy until we climbed up to pull one of the burned ones for reference.

The other task was to adjust the hinge on one of our french doors to the deck. That’s not all that hard. I’ve done it before. But it requires a wrench and instructions that were down in the shop. I just kept neglecting to get around to remembering to bring them up to the house.

The real kicker is that the act of fixing the hinge adjustments put me in the mindset to finally also look at the lever mechanism which has been a curious nuisance from the day we moved in. To set the latch on the three doors to the deck, the levers needed to be lifted upward, which is entirely counter-intuitive. Visitors are always baffled by the anomaly, and often fail to successfully set the latch.

Since we plan to have a lot of visitors soon, I felt added incentive to take a crack at solving the riddle. It was a case of the simplest and most obvious possibility being the answer. There was a plastic plug holding the conventional latch retracted in all of the doors. Popping the plug out released the latch that automatically catches when the door is closed. Now when the handle is moved in the more typical direction of down, the doors will open.

It was a huge fix for us. Now it’s done. How much more ready could I now be?

Bring on the trip, and then bring on Elysa’s celebration.

In the mean time, for those of you who haven’t already seen it, I’ll offer the song I wrote about the week of biking and camping which I have participated in for many years around the middle of June…

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Written by johnwhays

June 17, 2016 at 6:00 am

Bike Week

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I’ve been riding the “Jaunt with Jim” bike ride in the middle of June for probably 15 of the last 20 years. Jim Klobuchar has retired and passed the ride along to the leadership of my friend, Bob Lincoln, who has rechristened the ride the “Tour of Minnesota.”

The usual routine during my travels is to compose and schedule Relative Something posts in advance, to provide continuous content while I’m away. However, we’re in the year 2015, and I think it’s time I stretch my abilities and join the craze of mobile technology being promoted everywhere I turn. I have downloaded the WordPress app, and this year I endeavor to achieve a “live” daily peek into my experiences biking and camping by posting from my phone. Oy.

Wish me luck. And carrier service. And battery life.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the great June bicycle trip, I am once again providing the youtube video of the song I wrote about the event, set to a slide show of photos I took during a couple trips that happened in northern Minnesota a bunch of years ago. It pretty much describes the event from start to finish. That’s why it is over 8 minutes long.

Today, we will be leaving Chaska, MN early in the morning and will ride a mere 50-some miles to Faribault. I hope you will find a post here tomorrow morning about the first day of this year’s ride.

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Written by johnwhays

June 13, 2015 at 6:00 am

Middle June

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Today is actually the first day of riding for the Tour of Minnesota bike trip I am on. After camping in Jackson, MN last night, we will be riding to Worthington where our visit coincides with the 2014 U.S. Windsurfing National Championships.

To give you a taste of what this ride is like, I am going to re-post a video slide show I created to a song that I wrote about the annual week of bike touring and camping we have been doing for decades. It’s a bit long, but if you don’t have time now, it will still be here when you check back with time to spare.

I figure I should update the lyrics this year to reflect the change in leadership. It is no longer “jaunting with Jim,” but it could easily be sung as “biking with Bob.”

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Written by johnwhays

June 14, 2014 at 6:00 am