Category Archives: Cycling

Being Grateful

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With our stay-at-home order, it is easy to get grumbly. To combat this negative thinking, I am listing 10 reasons for being grateful. I hope you enjoy these, and why not give it a try?

10 Reasons for Being Grateful

What a view!
I always wanted a window.

I am grateful for now having an “office” with a window…and a view. (My kitchen table is now my desk, and I have a lovely view of the backyard outside my sliding glass door.)

Fresh flowers on my “desk”

I am grateful that I can have fresh flowers on my table. These flowers are free and from my own backyard. They seem like such a small thing, but they brighten my “desk” and remind me that spring really is coming.

My super fashionable mask…Thanks, Emily!

I am grateful that my daughter sewed 156 local-hospital-approved masks and gave me two. Most of the rest were donated to local facilities. Since I had a mask, I finally went to a store yesterday after over a month of staying at home. My mask kept me fashionable and safe.

She selflessly sewed those masks night and day and generously donated them to essential workers. And…when a delivery man from Amazon came, he got a mask. The grocery delivery man who came with her groceries? He got a mask. When the men at Home Depot needed masks? Yep, they each got one. What about my mom who is 86? My sisters who are nurses-one in Ohio and one in Virginia? Yep, yep, and yep with packages showing up on their doorsteps. What? The mailman didn’t have one? He got one, too.

What about others who need one? There is a bag hanging on the door knob on her front door with a sign inviting people who need one to take one. That makes me feel good right down to my toes! Wow, this blog is making me feel happier by the second.

I am grateful for gas prices that are less than $1.00 a gallon. I never thought I’d see that again! I filled up yesterday (in my mask) with minimal pain to my wallet. I don’t really do any driving right now, but it is good to know that I have the gas if I need to go somewhere or if the stay-at-home order ends.

I am including a photo of the sign at the near the pumps at the gas station. Have you guessed where I went yesterday? Ah, yes, Costco!

Can you believe it? Go, Costco!
Do you see him? He’s the little bird who brought me so much joy.

By the way, something wonderful happened while I was pumping my gas, a little bird was cheerfully singing.

Yes, I am grateful for that little bird who serenaded me the entire time I was pumping my gas. Little things like that make me smile. I’m smiling right now thinking about it.

I am grateful for one of my sons who is an essential worker at Costco; the Costco at which I strategically shopped. And, guess what? Yes, you guessed it. I saw him and had short, but wonderful, time to talk with him…from 6 feet away, of course. At least I think it was him-not sure-it’s hard to tell with the mask he was wearing.

Was the masked Costco worker really Jimmy? Hmmm…
A personal best!

I am grateful that outdoor exercise is an approved activity during the stay-at-home days in our state. Riding my bike makes me feel free; I love the wind on my skin and just going fast. (Well, as fast as my legs can pedal me.)

My husband and I rode on the bike trail on Sunday, which was a sunny, warm day, albeit windy, but I earned a personal best! With a ride of 31.92 miles, it was a milestone for me. Wow! That made me feel good.

I am grateful that I do not live alone. Even though my husband is an essential worker and goes to work each day, I have a real, live human being with whom to chat and to read and to give person-to-person hugs.

My husband and I like to walk in the evenings, but it is eery. The streets are empty with spooky shadows from the bare branches of trees silhouetted on the road. This new normal doesn’t feel normal to me!

The mailmen are still going strong!

I am thankful for the United States Postal Service. I have been able to put my little notes out in my mailbox with the red flag up. (In case you forgot, that is one way to signal that you have a letter to mail without having to go to the post office or a post box.) I look out my front window later in the day and, wallah, the flag is down. I know my card is safely on its way-hopefully to brighten someone’s day. I wish I could be there to see their faces when they open the envelopes. Getting a real letter is so much fun!

Last by not least, I am grateful for you! Thank you for reading this little slice. I thought 10 might be hard, but I guess gratitudes are like tears for me. Once I start, I just can’t stop. I thought of one, then another, then another. I could keep going for hours. It is fun. Why don’t you give it a try?

I hope you’ll take a few minutes and write 10 of your own reasons for being grateful! Link them below. I’d love to read them!

Or, just add one thing for which you are grateful today in the comments below. I know I’ll enjoy reading it. Gratitude is contagious! I hope this IS something you will catch.

The First Bike Ride of the Season

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Yesterday, the day, fresh and warm and gorgeous, beckoned me,  “Come play!”

I answered.  My bike, with flattened tires and dusty body, sat stoically behind winter storage-the wicker chairs and pillows, the planter, the shovel, and an assortment of other items.  Ugh!

Determinedly, wiggling this item, moving that item, scooching the other thing, I managed to roll out my royal blue Peugeot.  It’s like an old friend; we know one other well The seat is comfy; the handlebars are adjusted just right; and the frame is perfect for 5’3” me.  I wonder where that pump could be? Usually, my husband and I ride over the rolling hills along the bike trail to a lakeside deli that overlooks a marina together, but today, my husband is working.  I think I can do this by myself this time.  After wasting a good bit of time looking for the elusive pump, I decided to call my husband’s work.

“Do you know where the pump is?” I asked.

“Are you going on a bike ride?” he answered, somewhat disappointedly.  I knew he wished he was free to ride along.

“I know I’m out of shape so I thought I would just go on a little ride. Maybe 20 minutes or so.  Do you think it will be OK? Both the tires are flat, though,” I added. The last time I rode by myself, I got a flat tire and had to be rescued by the sag wagon.  The bike dealer had repaired the rim, noticing that there had been little metal shards that sliced the tire.

“I think if you go 20 minutes without any problems, you should be ok.  The pump is over to the left of the garbage cans. Have fun!” he added wistfully.

The yellow pump was shortly attached to my tires.  Pushing down easily and quickly at first, it became harder and harder until, at last,  I was using my entire body weight to force the air in. Reaching out with my right hand, I squeezed each tire hard.  Neither was mushy or soft. I’m good to go!  Quickly, I detached the pump and put it away.

Just to be sure I didn’t overdo my very first ride after a long winter’s biking hiatus, I set the stopwatch on my iPhone for 24 minutes.  Twenty-four minutes out, turn around, and come back home.. The return trip for me is traditionally a bit longer.  Max time about 45 or 50 minutes.  Just get my legs warmed up for the season.  

Click! My chin strap latched as I put on my helmet.  On slipped my gloves, first the left and then the right..  Right foot on right petal. I’m off.  Looking both ways, I navigate out the driveway onto the suburban road in front of our house.

The saying, “It’s like riding a bike,”  is so true. My bike and I start to fly along in perfect harmony, just as if my bike hadn’t been waiting patiently all winter long for me to come play.  The unseasonably warm day, 55 degrees to be exact, brought more than just me out. I think every two-legged creature alive was out walking, and many with their four-pawed friends. Couples with pouchies.  Moms with strollers. Parents with children. Joggers. Bikers. Scooterers.  Is that a word?  Oh, I don’t care.  The air was fresh and clean and it breathed new life into my winter-weary soul.  As I slowed to cross one road after another, I noticed I didn’t even have to stop.  No one was driving their cars! All werel out, like me, soaking up this seasonal medicine.

My alarm, annoyingly, started to ring, reminding me that I must turn around.  Seeing a little turn-around spot along the bike trail, about halfway down the hill  I”d been zooming down, I slowed my bike and sharply turned the handles. Time to head for home. 

The return trip was full of delights. Two cardinals-one a brownish female with just a hint of red and the other a male wearing his scarlet robes twittered a merry hello as I glided by.  Then, a pond slipped by, complete with a goose and her goslings swimming in an orderly line…like children following a teacher. Rabbits hopped from bush to bush; squirrels scampered here and there.  All were out-human and creature alike.

I slowed as I spotted a familiar gray house with its red door and inviting forsythia wreath..  Carefully, I steered into the driveway and came to a gently stop. Reaching behind me, I unzipped the pouch in my neon yellow windbreaker where my iPhone was ticking off the minutes.  I checked it. Twenty-eight minutes return trip. That figures!   A little pride puffs up inside me, I know pride goes before a fall, but I am happy with my accomplishment- this little goal for the day.  I can’t wait for the second ride of the season!