What is important to you in life?

9 02 2018

Today, through a random happenstance, I realized what is “really” important to me.

You see, before Michelle & I got married, I jokingly told her to “hang on, it was going to be a HELL of a ride”! I have proven to ring true on that promise…

Fast forward to today, February 9th, 2018. Most who know me, have heard me speak of a little town in Western N. Carolina named Sylva. We (really meaning me) have been looking for a little cabin/house that we could fix, and spend some time in the summer up there, relaxing, fishing, antiquing, and just enjoying life a little, away from the overwhelming summer heat.

I found, negotiated, and signed a purchase contract for a 3+ acre property (2 lots) at the top of a mountain, with a small 2 room log cabin. The cabin, was a little “rustic”… it needed some work, but nothing that I could not accomplish with a little dedication and time. We came up today 8+ hours driving to see the cabin in person. Although the cabin was certainly something that I very well could fix, it was on the side of the mountain. It had no power, no septic, no running water (was supposed to have a spring, but not that I could see. Problem was, there was only ONE, ONE flat spot on the property and it was where the jeep parked. Just wide enough for 2 vehicles, with just a little space to try to turn around (because you did NOT want to go off the edge of the mountain.

I am a “flatlander”, I have lived in Florida all my life and I am a little out of my element when it comes to hills, mountains, or elevated land. SOOOOOOO, I attempt to turn the jeep around and the snow had just melted, the area had recently gotten rain, the jeeps tires were not new, but not slick either, and the ground was a little muddy. (Do you see where this is going yet?) I was working on a “97 point turn” and the jeep hit a few rocks that pinned it between the steep edge of the mountain, and the mud, with about 4″ to spare. NOT QUITE turned around enough, and pinned in. Having a winch would have been helpful. Michelle WAS FREAKING OUT, almost hysterical! Thinking that I am going to drive, slip, slide, or inch my way way off the cliff.

Fortunately, I am smart enough, to know when I am in over my head. A call to the local towing company to send help. 45 minutes later a 4×4 jeep with a winch speeds up the hill, gets behind us and winches us back safely to the point that we could drive out of the property in one piece.

It was at that moment when the tow guy “Mike” was winching me out, that I realized that my wife, Michelle is the one piece of the puzzle that glues the craziness of my life together. I have done some stupid things in my life, but fortunately she is in the back of my mind with the thought of “here hold my beer” comes into my head. I love her with all my heart, and am VERY, VERY lucky that I found her. One of us has to be the level headed one.

After decompressing, having a little lunch, talking it out 3 or 4 times and letting it settle in that I am not really as smart as I like to believe, we have decided that I am going to narrow the search to something “in town”, a property that already has the septic, power, and running water, something that needs a little work, but not A LOT of work. Still somewhere in the same area, just not up the side of a mountain!

Total cost of today’s education? $189 for the tow company, $30 for lunch, and $65 in the wine shop for alcohol = $284. But as I told Michelle, it was cheaper than a funeral!

-Be safe, and remember nothing good happens after the phrase “here, hold my beer”!



Through a Track of Time…

16 08 2017

It is funny how things happen. Yesterday I posted about getting a new motorcycle. Today, facebook sent me a message to re-share a memory that I had posted 5 years ago. It was of me on the black Honda Shadow that I posted in yesterday’s post. TOTALLY not planned, but how weird.


Top: 2012 first day with bike Bottom: 5 years later, new bike same guy!

With the help of my OH-SO-AWESOME wife Michelle, she took a picture this morning of me in the exact same place, on the new bike that I was 5 years ago when the first picture was taken. I even tried to find the same shirt, which I think has been shredded and used for rags in one form or another. She even did a side-by-side setup…

The resemblance is striking. Even though I am just 5 years older, I have tried to start taking care of my health and have made a firm commitment to be “fit by 50” and losing the 50+ pounds that I have put on over the last 10 or 15 years. I may look the same, but in the last 5 years, I have learned SO MUCH… “Education is VERY expensive.”

LasVegasElvis1Stephen Woodin has a unique take on his unique life. He
is the father of 2 grown boys who have taken the "right
road". Steve is a professional trainer & mediator who 
specializes in eviction  and Family mediations. Along 
with his wife Michelle, he runs the Flagler Mediation Center 
to serve the citizens of Flagler County. He can be reached at (386) 206-2954.


Some things just make you “happy”!

15 08 2017

Call it self-centered, call it self-serving, put whatever label on it that you like. I don’t care… Life is a story that I feel a need to document.

Saturday, I purchased another motorcycle. 2 years ago, I sold my Honda Shadow 1100, it was rusted, it had LOTS of miles on it, but, IT RAN LIKE A TOP, and never, ever left me stranded. I rode in the 9/11 parade a couple of times and I regretted selling it the moment that I signed the title. Why did I sell that bike you ask, not sure really, it just seemed like the right thing to do at the time. I can tell you, it did NOT start with the statement, “Here, hold my beer”.

Over the last 2 years, I have debated on, and came close to, buying another motorcycle. I have had more motorcycles that I can recall since I was 15. I remember certain ones like the first motorcycle was a Honda 125 enduro that my Pop gave me from the back of the RV that he purchased. My ticket to freedom! I remember the Yamaha Seca 400 that my father and I bought as an insurance total and rebuilt the front end, and I remember the Suzuki bandit that a Pinellas Co Sheriff gave me a speeding “warning” ticket on just 15 minutes after I bought it from the dealer! Yes, I was speeding, but in my defense, I was passing traffic to give it a little air… That very ticket is framed and hangs in my office that I look at regularly. But, on to the latest bike purchase. Fond, fond memories.

Yes, the new bike is a Honda Shadow 1100. This one is fancy, with a Corbin seat, chrome crash bars, foot boards, wind screen, and a fancy “ghost flame” paint job! Just 8500+/- original miles and she runs like a top. She is a 2002, but has been garage kept all of her life and I bought it from the original owner. It even has a set of speakers that you plug your phone into and you can listen to Pandora or Spotify so long as you have internet data working. Unless you look really close, you cannot tell that it is 15 years old. It was a steal of a deal, and drove to Tampa to pick it up. We trailered it from downtown Tampa to Ocala, and I drove it home from there. I forgot just how much fun riding in the rain without rain gear is. For not riding a bike of any kind in over 2 years, making my first trip home in the dark AND the rain was a bit of a challenge. BUT HEY, no risk, no reward!

Now, why am I telling you all of this, that you may not care about? 1. I have not written on this blog for a while, 2. I am going to get to my point here in just a minute 3. Just because I would like for you to share my joy… or not, it’s up to you.

I just forgot my point… OH YEAH, now I remember.

There are few things in life that make one truly happy, at least me anyway
1. The unconditional love of my wife
2. The feeling of skipping the check in line while boarding the cruise ship
3. The feeling you get when you land after a GREAT flight
4. The joy I feel when you are one with the road, riding with no helmet, tackling the curves of “the loop” during a muggy day, air thick & heavy after the rain, while listening to some GREAT music by Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Lynyrd Skynyrd (Think Sweet Home Alabama, TURN IT UP!)

I know, some of you are going to tell me that I should wear a helmet, and I will tell you that you only live once, and if I die while riding a motorcycle, or flying a plane, then please understand that I am OK with that! Believe me, I will go with a smile on my face and great hair… ALWAYS looks great for the rest of the day after riding with no helmet. NOTHING wrong with that.

See you on the “flip side!”

alex17thbdayStephen Woodin has a unique take on his unique life. He
is the father of 2 grown boys who have taken the "right
road". Steve is a professional trainer & mediator who 
specializes in eviction  and Family mediations. Along 
with his wife Michelle, he runs the Flagler Mediation Center 
to serve the citizens of Flagler County. He can be reached at (386) 206-2954.

My own mortality… (read through, it is actually funny)

31 01 2017

Urn1.jpgOver the holidays, by choice, I spent alone in thought about my life and current situation. I started thinking about my father and his death. How nobody other than me took care of remains and saw to it that his last wishes were followed.

Out of curiosity, I was looking at urns for keeping ashes. I found a place that had “scratch and dent” urns and urns that could not be sold (due to some defect in manufacturing) so they were free except for shipping. SO, I bought one… Not what I would have picked had all things been the same (price) but hey, it was free except for the $30 to ship it to me…

urn2After I ordered it, I got to thinking about how that is just so “me”. Warehouse sales, garage sales, discounted store merchandise, used items, free at the curb items, that has been my life. I LOVE it. If it is old, worn, not so perfect, or a little “beat up”, that is what defines me, so this urn (which only has a couple blemishes on the outside) is so perfect for a temporary place to put my remains… As you can see, I opened it, and have it on display next to my TV for now. I may re-box it and put it in the closet for storage at some point. BUT very fitting for me…

Not at all what most people would do, but as I said, I have been doing a lot of thinking and I want to be as prepared for the end as possible, not to be a burden on anyone, since at this point, I don’t believe that I can rely on anyone to make the “arrangements”. I love michelle, but I certainly don’t want her to worry about what to do when the time comes.

There comes a time in your life, some sooner than others, where you look back in your life and then look ahead and wonder how much urn3time you have left. I will only be 48 this year but if my grandfather or my father are any indication, I only have a good 20 maybe 25 years left! Not much time if you really think about it. Step back and think about this little detail for a second and you will realize how quick life can be. Month by month, year by year, ticking by quicker than you may believe.
Make everyday count, live with no regrets, and by all means by a scratch & dent casket if you can find one! Do you REALLY care what it looks like, you will be dead!!

Until then… enjoy the ride!


Day 5: EPIC FAIL!!

23 11 2016

I went to bed last night in Amarillo, TX to the house power being out. The Interstate batteries that looked (relatively) new, turned out to not be so… We lost power just after finishing the second movie.. with just a computer, a screen, and a dvd player using house juice, no lights. Plus the power to the refrigerator.

IT WAS COLD, Awoke to 41 degrees! We had no power for the fridge, and none to power the fan for the gas furnace. SO, we bundled, and I awoke to michelle in 2 blankets, pjs, and her sweatshirt with the hood up! She was so cute… but I digress…

First thing, I went into the “blue box”, returned the movies, and got 2 new house batteries, replaced them, and I think that we are A-OK… Good deep cycle marine batteries, that will keep us powered up until I get the solar back in place.

Today was also a moving day, in several ways. Made our way from Amarillo, TX to Oklahoma City, OK and finished at sundown at the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial. It is something that I have been wanting to so (bucket list item) and I am glad that we did. Very humbling experience. That was a very electric time, sun going down and the lights coming on, it was a very humbling experience. See that part at the end of todays’ video.

Tomorrow, off to Little Rock, AR!

See you then..


Day 4: West New Mexico to Texas!

22 11 2016

Today, we drove 368 miles across New Mexico to Amarillo, Tx. RV is performing well, having some “power” issues, but for the most part, the coach is performing very well.

We stopped at a couple of thrift stores, and found a few “treasures”, luckily we have plenty of storage to bring them all home…

More driving tomorrow, planning on checking out the Oklahoma City Memorial.

Until then…


Day 3: The longest drive…

22 11 2016

Day 3.. Not much to see in eastern Arizona, or Western New Mexico. Very friendly people, we boondocked with the big trucks at Sky City, NM and started experiencing “power” problems.

More to see tomorrow, hopefully.


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