From Science to Selling Moose Nuggets

The Day I Bought a Motorcycle

          It was not often I got to drive the green Camaro.  It was Ray’s car, and I had my own beloved “Olsen,” an Olds Cutlass bought used two years earlier in California, shortly after my arrival in the United States.  At the ripe old age of 30, I was a first-time car owner and darn lucky that it turned out to be reliable.  But the Camaro was more snazzy, and under different circumstances I would have savored the experience. 
          Today, though, my attention was concentrated on the shiny blue Suzuki 90 up ahead going south on I-5 from Everett towards the north end of Seattle.  Ray was riding the bike, while the matching blue helmet, size small, was on the seat next to me.  I could not quite comprehend that I had just bought a brand-new motorcycle.  The thought was both awesome and scary, seeing that I did not know the first thing about riding it.  It sort of symbolized that being associated with Ray meant that anything could happen.
          I decided on that trip that I had to start a journal.
          Back at our apartment’s parking lot, it went something like this, “You use your right hand for gas, left is clutch, while you shift gear with the left foot; up is up and down is down.  Right foot is rear brake and right hand is front brake.  Never apply front brake without rear brake or you will fly over the handlebar.  Now GO!”
          I was totally confused, full of doubt about the wisdom of this new venture.  But after a few tries I did manage a couple of trips around the building without stalling the bike.
          During my lunch break the next day, I bought a 4x7 ring binder with a package of filler paper.  I wrote in English from the start, though at that time I was still thinking in Danish.  Maybe I had some subconscious idea that some day I might have English-speaking descendants who might be interested.

The author, Kirsten Badger, grew up in Nazi-occupied and post-war Denmark. After graduating with a master's degree in chemical engineering, she emigrated to the U.S. "to try it for a year or two." Then she met Ray! Deciding that adventure was more important than careers, the two set off on a life full of surprises. From the sub-tropical Texas Gulf Coast to the sub­-arctic Canadian bush; from motorcycles to airplanes; from research to selling trinkets to tourists; from publishing a scientific paper to brokering raw gold; from trailer life to building a house nail by nail, Kirsten Badger weaves her fascinating life story, including a tip on how easiest to get water from a lake through four feet of ice for a household with a baby in diapers.

Kirsten Badger currently lives with her husband Ray and three cats off the grid on a tree farm on the south slope of the Wallowa Mountains in Eastern Oregon, where she writes, weaves and prunes their Ponderosa pines.

Autographed copies available soon directly from the author. $15.50 postage paid.