Friday, January 22, 2010


An email landed in my inbox today. If you travel and if you make many of your arrangements through the Internet, you will get these occasionally – emails reminding you of your past inclinations. For example, I get a Joyeux Noel message from a place in France that I once wrote to asking for room rates. The rates were too high and I never went there, but each year, they send me greetings.

Today’s message was from Paul over at Ed and I had biked with Paul’s bikes once -- from one town to the next, with nothing but a change of clothing and a laptop strapped to the rear.

I wondered if I would ever do that again.

Walking home at night after closing the shop, I saw a woman unlock her bike. It’s cold, just at the wet freezing level that I find so disheartening. Warsaw weather. Does she bike by choice? Yes, in this town, it’s usually that.

At the shop, just before closing, I hear a customer ask me – aren’t you Nina Camic? It turns out that our paths had crossed before. Twenty-nine years ago. He had been my attorney then – (for a will? The purchase of that first home?) We talk now about law and about bike trips through France. He and his wife had done one. Their hills seemed steeper than my hills. But my load was bigger. For one thing, I pedaled with my laptop.

Earlier in the day I watched students play Frisbee outside my office window. They’re regulars. When I see them, I know it’s late afternoon and I know that I am at least one generation removed, as the very last thing I would want to do at the end of the day is to toss a plastic disc on Bascom Hill.

Especially in January.