Sunday, May 28, 2006


I distinctly remember my last bike ride in 1978. We loved to ride our bikes in those years when we thought we'd be young forever. Long trips--even overnight--and short rides. I frequently rose at 5 am and biked the short distance to Lake Michigan. The birds singing interrupted quiet stillness as I watched the sun slip above the horizon. The morning before our first son came into our lives I knew it would be the last ride for a while. As I savored the solitude one last time, I pondered that life would never be quite the same again.(Indeed, but far richer!) My next bike ride was with a baby on the back of the bike.(And how we enjoyed those rides!)

I've continued irregularly to do short bike rides up and down the highs and lows of our deceptively hilly neighborhood. But in recent days we've enjoyed rides again in earnest. It's much the same as years ago except for a few differences. The left knee aches as the peddles rotate around. I no longer ride a racing bike with low handlebars and I'm not as agile as I use to be. But the REP will never change! We enjoy a little break on a park bench, as I find I don't push myself to the degree I used to. When my legs feel like rubber, I'm not ashamed to walk part of the very significant hill we meet on the home stretch. And I fight off the desire for a big nap when it's over. But otherwise the thrill is just the same, and I think I'm 25 again.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Did I Get it Right?

My mother is visiting my sister for a few days. I find myself calling each day to check on things. It's hard to let go when you are used to watching out for someone, and thinking about their well being all the time. Mom used to live where my sister lives, and this is her first time back without Daddy, and seeing old friends she hasn't seen in a good while. A couple of them met for lunch. My sister said, "If you had been with us you would have blogged about this." There they were--three old friends--two with walkers and one with a cane, missing a lot of important people in their lives, but still sharing friendship and remembering old times together. A mixed bag for sure, but in the great scheme of life, a big blessing. I decided to blog it anyway. Did I get it right?

Monday, May 15, 2006

A Bouquet of Providence

Sometimes, in the life of faith in the unknown and unseen, we are allowed a good picture of why something happened as it did.

This Mother's Day I had to work. I tried to focus on the joy of caring for new mothers and their babies, on a day that celebrated motherhood. But in the back of my mind was my own dear 80-something mother at her retirement community, eating Sunday dinner alone in a room filled with mothers and children celebrating together. Later in the day Mom called me at work to tell me that my brother had taken the all night train in order to surprise her Mother's Day morning! She had a wonderful day with her son. And Tom had no idea when he made his plan that Mom would be alone that day. But God knew and choreographed the whole thing.

I discovered a "divinely-allowed" nail in my tire just in time to drive my brother to catch his train home in the wee hours long before dawn--and not to the safest part of town. I embraced my faith and thanked God for this opportunity to trust Him as I drove through a darkened city. By the time Tom called to make sure I had made it home, I was snuggled back in bed. Meanwhile he sat on a "train station pew bench" with other dozing riders, awaiting an increasingly delayed Amtrak. But he did good to come, a thoughtful son leaving a generous, caring wife and daughters to spend Mother's Day on their own.

God graced us with a celebration of His providence.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Blue Sole Shoes

The blueberry farm was a bevy of activity when we visited last week. Both men and women worked the fields, covered from head to toe to protect them from the Florida sun as they rapidly picked the lush berries off the bushes. One bucket on their belts, and three waiting on the ground. When all four were filled, they marched up to their foreman who scanned their cards and credited them their four buckets. Inside the packing house blueberries were everywhere. A small group of men hovered over the belt, picking out bad berries and making sure they fell properly into little plastic containers. These were put into boxes and the boxes were stacked and placed in a huge refrigerator the size of a small warehouse. Before this harvest scene came months of careful growing, including fending off swarms of hungry birds, and staying up all night to protect the fruit from heavy freezes. We're just beginning to learn what all there is to farming as we visit our farmer nephew. When we left, savoring the sweetness of our blueberry dessert, we checked the bottom of our shoes as we got in the car. Blue soles!
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