I saddled up my horse and hit the open trail today for the first time since last fall. And by my horse I mean my flashy, orange bike (orange is awesome) and the Macomb-Orchard Trail (a long, paved path of converted train tracks) which is now blessedly free of ice. I like to name stuff because it’s fun to have personalities assigned to inanimate objects- my cars, the camper, my bike, and everyone else’s stuff too. I wanted to come up with some brilliantly cool name for my bike, but unfortunately early on my husband referred to it as “Ol’ Orangey” (just to tick me off with what a lame-o name he could come up with) and it stuck. It is the dumbest name ever, but I am powerless to do anything about it now (which makes Jim laugh) but it doesn’t change the fact that I sure do love hopping on that bike and riding off into the sunset, or sunshine as was the case today.
The speedometer thingy dingy that he installed on the handlebar said we covered over sixteen miles and I was very pleased that I rode hard that whole hour and a half. On the ride back the wind was slamming into me and today it made me smile. The springtime sunshine brought on a can-do attitude: “Bring it on! I can take it.” The more the wind responded to the gauntlet I tossed at it, the more I smiled until I laughed thinking on how anyone coming from the other direction would surely give me a wide berth. Here comes some deranged, grinning old chick in sunglasses and a cool orange bike.
A thousand thoughts breezed through my brain like the wind and blackbirds chirping their summer songs on the dried pampas grass as I pedaled past. From my ailing friend Kirk, to what it is going to be like running along the course into Boston, and finally settling on family and especially my brothers. I have four of them, one older (Mark) one two years younger (Craig) and then a lull in the action until KC and Kris came along when I was nine and eleven.
I have always been the rose amongst all them thorns, (as is perfectly obvious) but them thorns are pretty wonderful. We have a close family, and since my brothers all married fantastic women and then went on to make beautiful babies, we have an even larger pile of Joneses to make every festivity or ordinary get-together a winner.
We are all loud (it is a pre-requisite to be allowed into this elite group) and we all love to laugh. We have brilliant things to say, and we are usually all saying them at the same time. My sister-in-law Cheryl always said we grew up in Disneyland- not necessarily with all the amusement rides and cartoon characters (well maybe there were a few of those stumbling around), but home was always joyful, and active, and good. It was in this safe, supportive refuge that I was encouraged to follow my dreams. I was lead to believe in myself.
And as I pedaled my way along on this beautiful spring day, my big dreams and goals in place, I think on my brothers as kind of my pillars, my support staff and part of the foundation that is always there for me. I can count on them, no matter what. They laugh with me, listen to me, and give me advice. I, in turn as the only daughter boss them all around and get my way in most everything. That makes me very happy, and very blessed. Pretty good stuff to think about when out riding on a spring day…
I rode that bronco all the way back to the homestead, and when I got off my bike I must say I walked a bit like a cowboy who’d been in the saddle too long, like I had a hitch in my giddy-up, a load in my chaps. But, as has been my amazement since Saturday’s brutal twenty mile carnage, my body is actually springing back. I just shake stuff out a bit, fluff it up, freeze it in ice, and darned if it isn’t all falling back into place. Go figure.