ADJUST: verb: ad-just: to adapt or conform oneself (as to new conditions.)
And that, my Feline Friends, was the word of the day on Saturday, October 14th. For the days leading up to the Kitty Road Trip, I studied not one, not two, but three weather apps, hoping that someone, anyone, would give me better news. I celebrated with each minor drop in the chance of rain, but while it may have improved in the morning, it worsened in the afternoon. If it improved in Wichita, it worsened in Peabody. With the soggy return trip from Milford Lake still fresh in everyone’s minds, I knew that I had to get this right. To knowingly take a pack of 17 Kitties out with a better than 50/50 shot of getting wet would result in an unquestionable dethroning from my Queen Kitty status. Done. Kaput. Never again to be heralded as the Queen that I think I am. So, I self-imposed a Friday evening deadline for making the call. Option A: we ride. Option B: we ride….in a cage. As I was about to start my long post on Facebook about my final decision, I got a text from Paula Franklin who said and I quote, “Hey, you Black Kat of the Krome Kitties, you did it again! You’re like Pig Pen from the Peanuts cartoon, but instead of a dust cloud you bring a raincloud everywhere you go. Well, I for one want nothing to do with you and your stupid wet crap! Call me a Puss but I’m out!” Ok, I may have taken a great deal of poetic license on that quote, but I heard her loud and clear and I took that as a sign that I was doing the right thing by pulling the plug on the conventional way of Kitty riding. We’re going by cars bitches! And to my great pleasure, every single Kitty who had signed up to motorscoot their way to Peabody agreed to pile in cars and caravan their way to Peabody! You guys rock!!
Of course, then I started second guessing myself and I especially had judgement anxiety when on Saturday morning, it was all bright and shiny outside. After a quick check on my not one, not two, but three weather apps, I saw that the chances of rain had actually decreased! What. The. Hell? Oh well, what’s done is done and there’s no turning back now so onward we go, but for the first time in Kitty history, I was actually HOPING it would rain! I needed validation! Needed it bad!
And I didn’t have to wait long to get it! As Alice Friedman, Denise Johnson and I were heading north on Highway 135 to meet at the Park City QuikTrip, it was very dark and stormy looking ahead of us – right where we were going. That’s when I knew that I was just as smart as I thought I was – brilliant even. Not to mention that my Kitty crown was safe from confiscation, so there’s that, too.
After all the Kitties arrived at the QuikTrip in their non-traditional Kitty Road Trip clothing of capris and flip flops and we all gathered around the non-traditional Kitty Road Trip mode of transportation of Toyotas, Fords and Chevys, Suz Tiede started pimping the 50/50 tickets. We chatted a bit and then I started assigning passengers to cars and did my best to keep Alice Friedman from getting in the wrong line. After potty breaks and drink purchases, we were on the way to the metropolis of Peabody USA!
We hardly even realized we were in Peabody before we were pulling into the Coneburg Grill and Pub. What was the very first thing every single one of us saw? The parking lot! It was perfectly suitable for Toyotas, Fords and Chevys, but for motorcycles…not so much. There was about a postage size spot of pavement and the rest was potholed gravel, which by then were water filled potholes from an earlier rain. Shelley Bonnell sized it up perfectly when she said, “Every single one of us would be crowding into that wee bit of pavement over there had we been on bikes.” True dat Shelley!
Just after we got seated, we were joined by Amy Hammer, who drove in from Newton, and Annette South, who resides in none other than Peabody. This was Annette’s very first introduction to the Kitties and in fact, she officially joined on Saturday. So how did she hear about the Krome Kitties way out in Peabody, KS you ask? Well, let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, a Kitty named Alice Friedman was at Hartman Arena purchasing Willie Nelson concert tickets. Right there in line with her was a gal who had the most darling Harley Davidson handbag. Not one to ever let a sweet handbag escape her attention (and trust me, I know this for fact; I saw the tubs of purses Alice moved to Kansas from Colorado!), Alice commented to this gal, who just wanted to buy a couple of Willie Nelson tickets, about how lovely her purse was. “Why thank you”, she says. To which Alice says, “Do you ride, I mean like your own bike?” “Why I sure do, Nosy Stranger. And since your hellbent on knowing all about me, I just moved here from New York and am ever so lonely since I don’t know a single soul here other than my Mom and sister.” To which Alice aka Nosy Stranger replies, “Well, have I got a group for you! You see, there’s this here group called the Krome Kitties and oh my gosh, they are so awesome and friendly and fun and wild and crazy! And don’t even get me started on the Founder, Janice. She is SO amazing and pretty and smart – I mean like, she’s the total package!” (In full disclosure, this is a very loose interpretation of the conversation, but it’s my story so I get to say (or embellish) however I darn well please!) By then the New Yorker, who Alice learned was named Annette, was either too scared to say no or too intrigued to say no, shared her contact information and agreed to meet this girl biker gang for lunch on Saturday right there in her hometown. And they all lived happily ever after. The End. So that’s how a girl who just moved here from New York one month ago found 25 new friends right there in her own backyard. And for those of you who weren’t able to make the trip Saturday, let me tell you that Annette is super friendly and super fun and super excited about all the adventures she’s about to have with her new friends. As we were chatting over lunch, Annette said her sister has lived in Wichita for years and doesn’t really have friends. I said, “Well, you tell your sister you’ve only been here a month and you’ve already made 25 new friends!”
After chatting and eating and chatting some more, the long-awaited moment had come. Who was not going to win the 50/50 pot (me and Nellie Taylor immediately came to mind.) There was $43.00 up for grabs and as much as I would love to have $43.00, I have resigned myself to the fact that I will never, ever, not in this lifetime, win the pot. I gave Annette South the honors of pulling the ticket and when she read the number, all you heard were crickets. Not one Kitty claimed it. Well, Linda Moreland tried to but she was a liar liar pants on fire. My heart skipped a beat as I thought maybe, just maybe, my time had come and it was me! I hadn’t even bothered to pull my tickets out. I mean, why should I? It isn’t like I even thought I had a chance to win. Just as I was fumbling in my purse to see if I actually had the winning ticket, Annette dashed all my hopes said, “Oh my gosh, it’s me! I have that number!” I tried, really really tried, to not resent Annette just a little bit for her stupid, uh I mean good, luck and we all were dumbfounded as this was like the umpteenth person who won on her very first outing with the Kitties. So, I guess the moral of the story is I gotta quit the Kitties and then rejoin to win that dadgum pot! Is that what you want?? Please don’t answer that….
And then the most amazing thing happened! All of us are still trying to wrap our heads around this monumental event, but as hard as it is to believe, I promise you, it’s true. Brace yourself….are you ready? OK, here goes….Paula Franklin doesn’t have a flip phone anymore! That’s right, she now has a brand spanking new IPhone! We’re all absolutely flabbergasted over this major life event and now she can not only TAKE pictures, she can actually SEE them on the bigger than a one inch square screen! Congratulations, Paula, and welcome to the world of smart phones!
After commandeering our waitress, and the only waitress in the joint, to take our group picture, we all made our way to the door to start our long journey to the Flint Hills Gypsies store. Why, what do we have here? Rain! I mean like real rain! Not that drizzling stuff but rain that made every single one of us so glad to not be struggling with rain suits and sitting on wet motorcycles. Finally! Finally, I get to be a hero and not a zero! I guessed right on cancelling the motorcycle part of our day and I hope in some small, tiny, miniscule way I’ve been redeemed from the 143rd St. gravel debacle in August.
We made our way through town, which took like 4.5 minutes, to the Gypsies store, while we listened to the sound of raindrops pitter pattering on the car. We did our ladylike run to the door and Holy Moth Balls! this place was jammed packed full of vintage everything! Everyone scattered in different directions to scope out what little treasures they just had to take home with them. Colleen Williams, Maureen Stout and I proved that you are never too old to play dress up and tried on the same vintage dress and yet not one of us bought it. I’m still kind of regretting that; it would have been so perfect for the Bridesmaid Christmas Party. As we were meandering through the store there was a big clap of thunder, followed by darkness. The lights had gone out in the store right when I was about to go to the bathroom…..in a room with no windows. Thankfully, technology came to my aid and my phone, now turned flashlight, lit the way so I in fact, peed in the toilet and not the sink or some other vintage pot in the bathroom.
After we hugged our good-byes to each other, we all piled back in our Toyotas, Ford and Chevys for the dry (you’re welcome!) ride home because you see, it never….stopped….raining….all the way home. So, on October 14, 2017 Mother Nature gave us a one two punch, but we brushed ourselves off and rolled with the punches and made a gloomy, wet day another fun Krome Kitty day with a bonus. We didn’t have to navigate on that teensy weensy parking lot!
That’s a wrap and drop the mic! We had a great season of rides and comradery; we added six, yes I said SIX, new Kitties (Sue Harman, Tricia Carruthers, Mona Thomason, Sherri Carver, Chris Emond and Annette South); we patched ourselves up with member numbers; we added our mascot, Kit E. Kat, to the litter; we gave a whole new meaning to Kitties Rock with Kitty Rocks; we rolled out a kick-ass website and then quicker than we got it, we lost it (see more about that in the website article); we tu-tued our way to Burrton, KS in April and a new opening ride tradition was born; we acted like Pioneer women at the Mercantile in Pawhuska, OK in May; we Zoo’d it with the Wichita Family Crisis Center Moms and Kiddos in June; we tried to go to Wilson, KS in June, but ended up in Dexter and Winfield and no, I wasn’t leading!; we escorted a croquet champion in July; we tried to go to Wakita, OK in July but found ourselves in Anthony, KS because sometimes family situations are more important; we got gravel road experience and camped out (Janice style) at Milford Lake in August and nearly drowned coming home; in the same month, we dished up ice cream for the Moms and kiddos of the Wichita Family Crisis Center and over-stuffed their van with badly needed items; we Tom Katted our way to Elk Falls in September (which is ironic since we Tom Katted our way to Cottonwood Falls last year. I guess we better find another Falls town in 2018!); and we made the best of a bad weather situation by driving to Peabody, KS in October. A great big HUGE thank you to each and every one of the Kitties for making our 13th riding season one to remember. A MASSIVE thank you to Nellie Taylor and Maureen Stout for finding us fun and interesting places to go to this season! The Kitties rock in so many ways, but the friendships we’ve made and strengthened has to be at the top of that list. Winter activities will be announced soon so make time to stay connected and until we ride again in April 2018, keep the shiny side up!
Those on board for the Rolling with the Punches Road Trip were Janice Friedman, Paula Franklin, Annette South, Shelley Bonnell, Kathryn Langrehr, Melaina Phares, Alice Friedman, Bobbie Cole, Chris Emond, Maureen Stout, Christine Allsman, Denise Johnson, Colleen Williams, Suz Tiede, Nellie Taylor, Linda Moreland, and Amy Hammer.