Back-to-School Boots

I am blessed with a large family. I have many great nephews, one of whom will be starting high school on Monday. Like all kids his age, he insists that he is “his own man” but dresses like a clone. “Just the right” sneakers, jeans, and t-shirts.

He told his grandmother — my sister — the other day that he wanted a pair of boots to wear to school. “Uncle [BHD]’s boots are bad-ass!” (Direct quote). Both his grandma and mother referred him to me. What happened?
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Guest Blog 2

Hi, this is J, once again. I’m BHD’s twin brother. I occasionally write a guest post on my brother’s blog.

My wife and I have safely returned to our home in Italy, after an all-too-brief visit with my brother and our family last week for our birthday. We enjoyed our visit very much. Did I say it was too short?

We would have liked to have stayed longer, but my wife had to return to work and I have a field assignment coming up for my volunteer position, and I need to get ready for it. I’ll be out in the field for at least two months, hoping to reduce the suffering of war-torn people.

My brother gave me a pair of boots to wear for my field work — a pair of very sturdy and comfortable boots by Belleville. He has a pair and had me try them on when I visited. I liked them a lot, so he went to a local store and bought me a pair for my birthday. Very thoughtful, indeed. This field work requires a much different choice of clothing — no suits! My brother is happy about that. He always had a comment or two about my attire and dress shoes. I must say, I am much more comfortable now in cargo pants and boots. (Ha, you’d never think you would hear me say that, brother, would you!)

I could opine about my feelings for my brother and what he’s going through in assisting his partner to deal with and recover from that persistent, long-term infection caused by a spirochete transmitted by a tick, but I won’t. My previous post was edited — rightly so — as I revealed a bit too much personal detail.

I just worry. I worry a lot. While my brother is out there saving the world, one senior and one partner at a time, no one is really looking after him. Sure, our family reaches out through phone calls and email, but do not visit. His partner does not want anyone around while he is feeling so lousy. I saw that for myself. I love him, but out of respect for his wishes to be left alone, I did not stay in their home nor visit there very much.

My brother sustains himself through deep faith. I know people who say that they are faithful — to God or through their religion. The spiritual and religious aspects are difficult for my brother to resolve, as much hateful and hurtful crap comes from some organized religions just because my brother is gay and committed to a man.

Nonetheless, my brother has deep faith upon which he calls a reserve to sustain his work to help his partner at every tick of the clock, every minute of every hour of every day, day after day, night after night. It’s been rough — he has even said that caring for his partner has been harder than caring for our elderly aunt who passed away last year, but for whom he was the primary caregiver for many years during her Alzheimer’s-induced decline.

What does my brother do to care for himself? He realizes that he requires breaks from the intensity of care. When his partner is stable, which is most of the time, my brother will take a long, long walk with one or two senior pals. The exercise, fresh air, and conversation about anything other than his partner’s illness does him good. He still does repair work for a legion of seniors that he has adopted, or have adopted him (I’m not sure which is which, they are so intertwined.) Doing service for others allows my brother to put his skills to work and makes him feel better.

My brother also tries to get out and ride his Harley for pleasure. More than just commuting to work. Get out and ride. He has a great group of friends who are safe riders with whom he rides. From his smiles and discussion, I can tell that riding with this group of people brings much pleasure and diversion to my brother. He regrets that he cannot ride with them as often as he would like and as often as they schedule rides, but he does the best he can under the circumstances.

He says what he enjoys most about this group is that they “gay thing” is never an issue. Riders in this group are all straight, but accept and give friendship with my brother regardless of his sexual orientation. They accept and value his leadership, and give him good-natured ribbing about his lack of a sense of direction. It’s all good — and their relationship is a testament to the well-educated and well-rounded people he “hangs” with. I enjoyed a ride with that group last Saturday, and I can tell that they do wonders for my brother’s soul.

It has been a different visit this year for our birthday. Through tough times and good, he and I are in this together, as brothers, but best of all, as best friends.


My partner’s health situation was stable, so I felt okay leaving him at home while I led a motorcycle ride yesterday. We went to a little town on the West River near Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay, to a restaurant on the water. I wanted to get steamed Maryland blue crabs, but they were too expensive (US$50 a dozen? How nuts is that???).

I had fish instead. It was great. But what was even better was great weather, good friends, my twin brother J being with me, and not getting lost (despite the GPS directing me to go “off road” just as we were crossing a dam. Yeah, right!) You know, it’s funny how I found this location. I have a visitor who reads this blog regularly who comes from a town near this place. I looked up where that was, then found this restaurant, and decided to ride down there and see it for myself. Very nice! (Too bad I don’t know who this blog visitor is, but you live in a pretty area of our state!)

Life is short: RIDE!

Stopped By a Motorcop

I was minding my own business, thank you very much, when I was riding my Harley yesterday to the gas station to fuel up.

I noticed in my left mirror that another motorcycle was gaining speed and headed right for me. I thought to myself, “oh great, here’s another sport biker who has to go faster than me.” I have learned long ago not to try to hog up a lane and prevent them from passing if they want to — doing that causes many of them to make dumb maneuvers which could risk their life, and my own. I pulled toward the right side of the lane I was in, so if he wanted to pass, he could do so safely.

Then I noticed as this motorcycle drew closer that it wasn’t a sport biker after all, but a huge Harley… with red and blue lenses instead of running lights, and a guy with tall patrol boots riding it. A cop. Pointing at me with that “pull over” signal. Oh crap!
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