This morning I was at our country house and outside having coffee with Bill Bennett, via is blog. As most of you know, Bill is an Austalian film producer and director, author, and photographer and all round accomplished guy. We became great friends, half a world away last year through our respective blos, and then met person to person in April as we walked part of the Portuguese Camino from Porto, Portugal to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. And finally, he is in the states raising money for a new film he is directing on what he calls Personal Guidence System (Intuition). Jill and I are his first investors. We met again in Palm Springs, California last week with Jill. A great time was had by all.

But back to this morning. After a little communication back and forth, I realized how great Bill is at finding interest in little everyday things and simple photographs. So, I took a picture of my iPad and coffee that were connecting me to Bill. A simple thing in a simple country setting.

Soon I was joined with my “almost brother-in-law, Doug Gill and my sister Lynn Langham. They had been in Kerrville playing at a music festival and were on their way back to Nashville, TN.

I hitched a ride with them to the country place as my motorcycle was there and I wanted to get it back to Houston where I will be living permanently when my new condo closes this month.

Now the interesting thing about these talented singer/songwriters is that Don Williams, who has been recording for 50 years put a song Doug wrote, “I Just Come Here for the Music” on his latest album, and the song was one of the top five nominated for a grammy in 2013. Don is cutting another album this year and Doug's song “Stronger Back” will be featured on it. Lynn wrote song called “Old Yeller Moon” which is the title song of Emmy Lou Harris' last album of the same name. This album won Americana album of the year at the 2014 Grammys. Nice to have that talent in the family. Before they headed out to Tennessee, we had a country breakfast of bacon, eggs, hash browns, pancakes, and coffee. Now Bill would have taken a picture of the food. I am still learning.

So, after sending them off to Tennessee, I went back to the house, loaded up the bike and cranked it only to hear click, click, click. Sitting most of the winter took it's toll on the battery, so the next bit of time was spent putting a battery charger on the bike.

So, while waiting for the bike to charge I drove in the pickup about 20 miles to the little town of Arp where I was given a speed trap ticket on March 8th. Not having a ticket in years, I elected to take defensive driving and get it dismissed, which I have accomplished, but needed to take the completion certificate to court for the final dismissal. A nice way to spend an hour or two while the bike charged. Thinking again what would Bill do, I asked the clerk if she would let me take her picture. I thought I was going to be arrested. How does Bill get all these folks to pose. She said I could take a picture of the building. So…..


Now you have seen downtown Arp. Watch your speed there.

Returning home I decided to give the bike a little more time to charge, so dropped some scrap iron off at a neighbor's place who crushes and sells such things. Last year while practice walking a Great Pyrenees puppy started following and walking with me along country roads. He was homeless, and I would have kept him if I was at the country house full time. Since I was not, one of my neighbors adopted him, but he seems to favor the neighbor close to him who has another dog named Fred. Well, to this day, when I go for a walk along the country roads Sarge and Fred accompany me. Well, when I want to the scrap dealer's place today Sarge and Fred ran up to greet me. I felt like an Afganistan veteran returning home and seeing his dog. Sarge, all 120 pounds of him, is just all over me anytime I have not seen him for a while. Crying, whining, jumping and slobbering all over me. We really have a special bond.

Unfortunately, the scrap dealer decided to give Sarge a summer haircut. Here he is with Fred. He looks like an albino lion.

I returned home, accompanied by Sarge and Fred, and put the bike back together and made my way to Houston without further incident. It was a hot 3 ½ hour ride. I need to get used to it though, because I am planning a trip to the Sturgis bike rally in August combined with my usual meanderings through Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico. Probably be a bit over two weeks and between 4 and 5 thousand miles. Maybe that will provide a more interesting blog.

This blog reminds me of people who want to tell you what they had for breakfast on Facebook, but it is a start, and I promised myself and Bill that I would write a blog today. One day at a time, huh? Promise I will improve.



  1. Thanks Clare. I am plagued by “what would Bill do?”. I really do want to pick it up again and I am sure I will have a few false starts, but nothing ventured…….

    1. Hey Steve – a great blog…..but stop worrying about what Bill would do and just do what you want to do. It’ll be so much easier for you. I can’t wait for your next blog.

      Maybe I can have breakfast will you and Bill.

  2. Steve
    The “headroom” is not quite right on Doug nor on Fred. Tee Hee.
    Enjoyed the post! I don’t do Facebook so its interesting to see what friends are doing.

    1. Fred kept moving. What a great pair of dogs. They are real buddies. I don’t pay any attention to Facebook and only look at it when I get an email saying someone commented about or to me. Then, since I am already on, it is kind of interesting to peruse the comments.

  3. “… usual meanderings through Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico” – WOW, Steve, can’t wait for your blog postings from a trip like that, although I did enjoy this gentle meander through Arp and surrounds 🙂 Long before I even heard of Bill, I took photos of food (just ask Janet and Jenny who sometimes had to delay eating for me to get the camera out when we were on the Camino!!) and still love all my ‘foodie’ memories 🙂

  4. Many years ago, my first wife, Deana, and I were loading up the car on a bright, crisp, fall morning in Yellowstone and there was a couple from Dallas loading a motorcycle right next to us. I thought then how great it must be heading out on that chilly, clear morning on a motorcycle in that spectacular surrounding. I have since done it several times and never get tired of riding in the west. I had thought about heading to Maine this year, but alas, the pull of the west is too strong. I love riding in the west, and you can throw in Canada, Oregon, Nevada, Washington coast, and the entire length of California a couple of times also. I have really travelled the west on the back of a motorcycle. I love it.

    1. I love going over the border into Canada. They don’t clear cut the forests. Soooo pretty up there. Go up there once in awhile for 222″s (better than Voltaren) Steve have you been to Victoria, BC? Coming in by seaplane into the harbor and seeing the Empress Hotel is really fun!

    2. When I was married I loved being the pillion on my husband’s bike. There’s something about the freedom of riding with the air in your face that I just adore. Can certainly understand that you’d prefer riding in the west, except, except … what about Maine lobsters?? Whenever I visit my – adopted – family in Connecticut, I ALWAYS ask for Maine lobsters. Much as we have stunning seafood here in Australia, nothing compares to Maine lobsters!! 🙂

      1. Honestly, I am not much of a lobster fan, but of course, if I make it to Maine, I will have to try again.

        The freedom of traveling across the land on a motorcycle is something that can not be described. It has to be experienced.

  5. This is from me: Dogs, bikes, cops, speed traps, sexy clerks with short skirts… all the ingredients of a great blog. Oh, the clerk wasn’t sexy, and didn’t have a short skirt? Ah well, still a great post…

    1. I think the guy I bought it from last August had a new battery and it just ran down from not being run much during the cold and wet winter we had. Hope it cranks this morning. That will be the test.

      1. I only mentioned that as a joke. I think you have bought a battery a year since 2000!! You must start cranking your battery more often! Lol. Xo

  6. I like it, the threads of life. You probably don’t know my only son killed himself 2/22 and I remain in black grief. Little things like your blog distract me for a moment, and that’s a good thing.But the important question is why Houston and not Austin?

  7. Just trying to see more of what is around me and Bill is great at that. You can see that from the pictures he takes. He sees humor or beauty or art in the strangest places.

  8. Victoria, So sorry to hear about your son. One can never know what demons posess someone to make such a tragic decision, but you as his mother must remember that it was HIS decision. Life continues on, and with time, you will move on and be warmed by the memories.

    I left Austin in 1965 upon graduating from UT. Spent most of my professional life in Houston, and have mother, sister, son, daughter, grand sons, business partner and best friends here in Houston. It is a booming metropolis and I am glad to be here.

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