This and that

By Keith Strange

July 16, 2013

It isn’t often that I get truly jealous on this job.

But I did Friday morning, as I watched seven motorcyclists embark on what I can only describe as an epic journey — a more-than-cross-country ride to Hyder, Alaska.

As an avid two-wheel enthusiast who received his first mini bike, complete with training wheels, at age 4, I’ve ridden all my life. Until, that is, the economy tanked, I lost my job and ended up selling my bike.

The open-road loving, foot-peg-dragging bug is still alive and well in me, however.

Just ask the little lady, who keeps pointing out motorcycles she notices for me.

“I don’t even want to look at them,” I often respond, cranky. “It’s like looking at a banana split in an ice cream shop window and not being able to eat it.”

But watching those guys almost vibrate with excitement at the thought of a 7,600-mile ride, it was hard to not be jealous.

One can only imagine the things they’re seeing, all while enjoying the open road in front, another mile behind, and the rumble of a powerful engine below.

Have fun on this once-in-a-lifetime journey, gentlemen.

I envy you.


Mason and I can’t for the life of us understand why the little lady started crying with joy Sunday afternoon.

It happened like this:

For the past few weeks, we’ve been putting the lad on his belly for a little while at a time, mainly because he doesn’t scream as unmercifully when he’s on his belly as he does on his back, but also because he seems to be pretty active on his belly.

The decision to put him on his belly was undertaken by consensus after what she called yet another “milestone,” holding his head up and still. (Mason and I didn’t think that was that big of a deal either, but she went all gooey and tingly for some reason the first time she saw him do it. As for Mason and I, we’d been there and done that for a while, so we looked at each other and shrugged.)

Anyway, to get back to Sunday afternoon, my little guy, a week-and-a-half shy of being three months old, was fussy so we did what we could to quell his fussiness — put him down on his belly on one of the 10 million baby quilts that now litter our house.

We stepped into the other room for about 30 seconds, and he starts crying one of those “I’m not having this,” cries of his. Parents may be familiar, it’s that high-pitched, nails-on-a-chalkboard scream that’s much more mad than sad.

I glanced in to check on my little bundle of joy and turned to the little lady.

“Well it’s no wonder he’s fussy,” I said. “You put him on his back.”

She just about ran me over getting where she could see him.

“No I didn’t,” she exclaimed. “He rolled over!”

So we flipped him back over and just stood there, watching.

Sure enough, within a couple of minutes he started fussing and flipped himself onto his back.

Which is where this little story began, with the little lady crying and smiling.

“It’s another milestone, baby,” she said over and over.

And so I checked.

Sure enough, from baby development websites as varied as The Mayo Clinic and BabyCenter (it’s supposed to be “expert” advice), a baby isn’t supposed to do that until nearly 6 months old.

So my little preemie is doing just fine, although nowadays he’s also sucking on his arm and giving himself hickies…

Heaven help us when he starts crawling!

Keith Strange is a staff reporter at The Mount Airy News. He can be reached at or 719-1929.