History Was Made This Week

…and we were present. I was moved to tears more than once.

I don’t ascribe to a political affiliation because I tend to vote for the most qualified candidate, regardless of party affiliation. I want the best, most qualified person to be our fearless leader.

I was moved 8 years ago but didn’t actively campaign, I gave money and didn’t have the courage to leave my name. I really thought Obama would lose. And when he won, I was so moved, that our country could vote an African-American into the highest office in the world, was stunning. I supported him in his second election and although I don’t agree with everything he’s done, I’m more onboard than not.

Now we have Hillary, the first woman to be nominated by a major political party. I know that she’s not everyone’s jam.She wasn’t mine, 8 years ago. Yet given the alternative I’m more with her than not. I’m so moved that I’m considering joining her campaign. My Texas in-laws will object, as they always do, with lack of facts, and because I’m related to them by marriage (and I love them unconditionally, they are my family, and I don’t have to agree with their views to love them as my relatives), and I’m still with her. Hillary for president!

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A Week Full of Events

Santa Barbara county is burning, midway between where we lived in Lompoc, and Santa Barbara city. I hate that it’s burning but there’s nothing I can do from 400 mi. north except pray that it’s contained and snuffed out ASAP. The smoke, according my friends in LA, is already detectable in their area. I remember the all-too-close-for-comfort fires from last summer, and I feel for those affected by the Sherpa Fire.

It’s been quite a week, with our Bike the Bridges on the tandem, then driving home after a very fun event, listening to the massacre in Orlando on NPR. Just give those people space, media, unless they approach you. I cannot imagine, and I hold those affected in my thoughts, which isn’t helpful, but I don’t know what else to do. My way of keeping good thoughts and praying aren’t the usual Christian way, because I don’t limit myself to that, and I hope the positive thoughts for healing and peace land on those families and friends who were so abruptly affected.

I implore you, media, and fame-seekers, just let these people be. Do some back-story on the perp, without mentioning his name, so as to minimize his “fame.” Investigate who his victims were, and lift them up, and minimize the perp. They deserve the mentions; he does not. Otherwise, leave those people to grieve, and to learn how to incorporate their sudden loss into their lives. Because you know there’s not getting over it. You just learn to live with it. Nobody sets up a ladder to climb and get over it.

In local cycling news we showed up for the Monticello Cycling Club ride which only went Hammerhead-adjacent for the first 3rd; we managed. I took a monster pull at 24 mph (thank you, tail wind!) and the five in my draft were impressed. I guess I thrive on front, hate being boxed in, and am wary of new and/or sketchy riders. I can tell I’m getting more fit, and so can my friends. I’m stoked to hit the July, August and Sept. races. Full disclosure: I couldn’t hang on the last climb. Our climb to the start of the ride was 12% for ½ mile, and I put it all there, and on the pace lines. I can live without that QOM…for now.

Today we attended the Centennial Dog Park committee meeting for updates and ideas how to proceed with fundraising. This park will separate small and large dogs (the Schipperkes are in favor of that) and the city of Vacaville can give us $40K. We need $95K to do it right — shade for humans and dogs, water, benches, etc. Please hit me up if you can help. The dogs and their humans love you for it.

Hug your loved ones, talk to your dads, and if you’re a dad, hugs to you. There would be no children if not for you. We moms love you for that.  Happy Father’s Day.

 

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Another Club Ride

So this club ride, which I’ve done many Thursdays since 2006, is a love/hate affair. It’s a standard  Winters Loop, and for the first 4 years I did this ride, it was a total hammerfest. If you were new to group riding you learned as you rode; there was little emphasis on etiquette or safety. I learned much and generally enjoyed them.

After my crash and broken wrist in the Solvang Century of 2009, I spent weeks trying (and failing) to keep up with the group, as I’d lost fitness post-surgery, during the 8 weeks I spent angrily grinding out trainer rides. If I’d been able to get past my anger I could’ve made those trainer rides matter.

Eventually I rode myself back into fitness to hang onto those Thursday rides and back into racing. And the following couple of years I (and my husband) found ourselves displeased that a “social” ride demanded so much attention and fitness that we no longer enjoyed those rides, so we did our own rides, with people who also valued the social aspect of riding together. I went from miles per hour to smiles per mile. That was quite a revelation for me, and to this day I incorporate those kinds of rides into my schedule. (Sunday’s Bike the Bridges ride on the tandem was definitely a “smiles per mile” ride.)

I climbed hills on Tuesday, and two of my GFs were going on tonight’s ride, so I showed up…and was able to hang on, even taking a monster pull (I thrive on the front, it seems) at speeds that impressed those on my wheel. Many thanks for the encouragement, you guys, it was what I needed.

Husband and I definitely feel the effort and — I can’t speak for him — I’m very pleased with my effort and contribution to the faster riders — I’m reminded of how I rode myself back in shape 7 years ago, and I see it happening again, and I’m stoked.

Next up: Tuesday hills with the girls. Team E FTW!

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Sometimes There Are No Words

While we were fast asleep on the eve of the Ride the Bridges benefit  bicycle ride on Sunday the 15th, a ride to benefit the Northern California Special Olympics (we were riding the  55 km on the tandem), a horrible, horrible person killed innocent people in Orlando for no reason. I couldn’t comprehend it when I heard it on NPR as we drove to the start of the ride, and 4 days later, I still cannot. I see outrage, grief, outpourings of feelings on social media, outrageous words emanating from the mouths of people who command a huge share of media content, and none of what they say makes any sense, or adds perspective, or comforts the families and friends who are suffering loss.

You all know me, I have words and I use them, usually (I think) cleverly and interestingly, or you wouldn’t read my blog (all 3 of you; I love you!), but in this instance, I have nothing. I have feelings, and I have not the words to describe them. Mostly, I want to cry, and cry for the parents whose child was dragged into a man-made lagoon at the Disney Resort in Orlando (why not “alligators live here; pay attention” signs, Disney? Boo!). So many feelings, so much sadness, and no words.

I read the words of other people with a fair amount of social media influence, or opinions, or more words than I have, and I wonder what drives them to say those words, to opine on a topic of which they have no actual experience or knowledge, and their words are splashed all over periodicals and the Internet. I halfway admire that, and halfway am repulsed that they can sum up their feelings and knowledge of what happened so quickly.

I suspect it will be months before the people immediately affected by this awful, terrible action by a disturbed person can even begin to process this event, especially given how the media is in their faces, looking for their words before those people have even begun to understand their lives without their loved ones. I wish the media would relax and let these suddenly and unexpectedly bereft people deal with their awfully-altered lives.

I have no clever words, no time to refine my feelings. I wish I could hug all those survivors and families who lost loved ones, to give them a piece of humanity,because the virtual stuff is okay, but cold, and these people need a human touch.

I offer sympathy and peace to them, and to the Universe, and hope these two tragic and unrelated incidents offer ways for people to reconnect and share peace and love with the world.

Orlando, I’m sorry for your losses. That is all.

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Musings

I’m awake far too late. Beau, the elder Schipperke, the blond one, isn’t feeling well. I suspect he’s having another bout with pancreatitis, and I’m monitoring him as he lays by the open back door, the coolest spot in the house. Last year he sought out all the cool spots, as he had internal inflammation, and that (and his ugly diarrhea) clued us in that he wasn’t well.

It’s been a busy spring…I ended my business partnership for strictly business reasons (I was doing all the work and still splitting my commissions 50/50; duh, why?) and immediately got busy, our daughter got married in April and we had a mini family reunion (my sister & BIL, son & his SO, daughter and now SIL, and us; love how close we are); we took a week to ride Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park with 4 of our best cycling friends. That was amazing! The beauty, the views, the climbs & suffering, the company, the learning about how unfit I was for those hills, how gratifying it was to summit those climbs. Yeah, that was special.

We rode through a nearby state park close to our friends’ home, and it was pretty and fun. Then we rode some good roads to the Atlantic Ocean. Of course I had to step in it; I haven’t been in the Atlantic since 1997, at Ft. Lauderdale, before my mother died. So of course I shucked my shoes and socks to go push Doris in and scrabble in the water. Doris had not seen nor touch the Atlantic, so we fooled around there a bit. And it was fun!

Later we walked along the Chesapeake Bay to a diner on the pier, and of course I walked in the tiny waves. I love walking in salt water. I’ve loved it since I was a kid, walking in the Atlantic in Ship Bottom or Beach Haven, on Long Beach Island, where my dad would rent a house for a week. We spent so much time in the water and making sand castles that our fingers and toes looked like raisins. And despite the outdoor shower we always tracked sand into our apartment. Anyway…I love walking through small waves.

Our last day in Virginia we walked along the MUP and veered off into the State Park. I didn’t wear the right shoes; I thought we’d be walking on a beach again. Oops. The park is really pretty and has topography so it wasn’t totally flat. I heard bird calls that I didn’t recognize but liked. We walked about 6 miles.

Then we packed our bags and K & S drove us to the airport. And just like that, back to reality.

That was May 29th, when we returned and found all kinds of vegetables to harvest in our front yard garden, and took a day to decompress. A couple weeks later, boom!

 

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Friday the 13th: No Curse Here

When we moved to the Republic of Korea in January, 1983, we were jolted into a new culture. They love babies and old people. They love the #13 and red doors, and garlic, and fermented cabbage (kimchi). They love red-haired, blue-eyed babies, which we brought them, not knowing the doors our daughter would open for us. And no Asian hotel in which we stayed had a fourth floor. They all had a 13th floor, but no 4th floor.

Because of that, and that we stayed on the 13th floor of the Lotte Hotel, I no longer think of Friday the 13th as a cursed day. And indeed, today was not.

I received all my paperwork for my current transaction, before I asked for it.

My deep purple Gladiolas are blooming about 3 weeks ahead of schedule, and add a Prince, velvety vibe to the garden.

I received my new jersey & bibs & dress today, that I ordered in April.

Our Lagusta’s Luscious organic,vegan, environmentally responsible chocolates arrived today (truffles! cannot wait to try them).

I went to Best Buy for a new MacBook Air sleeve and found a cute Kate Spade pink and orange one (that coordinates with my Kate Spade sunglass case and my Coach tote). I got $30 off because it was on the wrong shelf. And my inner OCP is singing.

We enjoyed a fun wine-tasting and reunion with friends and clients.

We celebrated with our regular Friday night cycling and wine friends and planned a hilly training ride on Sunday (to prep for our hilly bike ride in Virginia later).

So I’m here to tell you, people, if you don’t buy into the myth, your Friday the 13th is a regular, if not stellar, day. Walk under every ladder in your way. Pet all those black cats. And never mind about those myths you’ve been told — they’re just someone else’s stories. What’s your story?

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An Open Letter to My Children

My life has been an adventure, with lots of characters and lots of fun, fright, and adventures. I could rest on those laurels but no, I have to take responsibility for the ones that influenced my life the most. Marrying my best friend and true love,  since 1979, married 35 years in August. is top of the list. You guys, I never thought I’d live this long, let alone be married this long. I wished it, but couldn’t imagine it. And yet here we are.

Our firstborn was a gift we didn’t plan, and never regretted, and we celebrated her wedding 2-½ weeks ago. What an emotional event that was! She & he handled it fine (he’s got a knack for taking his sail out of her wind; a gift to be sure), and we spent time with them and our son & his SO  and every minute was so special…that the husband and SO are people we love, that the kids have grown into adults we love and with whom we love to spend time. (I know, not a sentence so sue me.) My head spins when I think of how  very bold it is that our kids went for their dreams, despite setbacks, and found their partners who support them in their endeavors, and whom they support. Gratifying seems a small word to describe how full my heart is. And I hope they ride the rollercoaster of their lives, together, and I look forward to riding in the back car for it.

Our second-born was more of a choice than #1, and one we never regretted. We were ready to expand our family and rolled the dice.

So if I need to repeat: I’m so proud of my daughter and son, and the choices they’ve made in their lives to become the best versions of themselves. You are amazingly talented and gifted and I’m so happy to have our close, loving relationships. And thanks for putting up with my mushiness; that’s part of the Mom Package.

 

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