Tuesday, November 20, 2012

come ride with me

Sometime in the middle of the night it struck me that this fall I rarely biked to work. Understandable: it's 50 minutes each way and that's if you put some muscle into the effort. Yoga filled what free time the work week offers. But I had this nagging thought that maybe I should get up earlier just this once so that I can bike before it becomes too difficult (cold) to do so. Today has the unexpected pleasant temperatures and I have no meetings after my classes. Come on, just say yes!

Whatever reluctance I had washes away as I glance at the morning headlines in the paper. 96.5% of my fellow countrymen and women do not even get to the 150 minutes per week level of movement. Let me not ever turn away from movement! And given that so much time will be spent on eating this week, shouldn't I work ahead to earn what's soon to be heaped upon my plate?

So I ride good old Mr. Red. And I am in a hurry.  I pant all the way to campus and I can hardly take the time to smell the roses (besides, there aren't any roses). But it is a fine ride!

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leaving the country

entering the city

The campus starts to empty out on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Looking out my office window at the quiet Bascom Mall, I can hardly believe that it's the late November holiday already. The trees are quite bare, but still, our grasses remain green and our students continue to be scantily clad.


Going home is the more pleasant ride. Not needing to rush, I take the longer loop.

The sky is a pale hazy blue, or gray, depending on how hard you stare at it. Fishermen are out on Lake Monona and I can pause now to admire them (on Rosie, there is no pausing by the lake -- the stretch of road doesn't permit it).


Home. Where there's already too much to do and too little time for it all, but as always, Ed distracts me and we walk the land together. He has a new fencing system in mind for the young orchard and we talk about the new strategy.  Isis tags along.

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In other news:

After a not too easy day at work, I ignore all impulses to crawl under the quilt at home and I throw myself into cleaning the farmhouse. It doesn't need it, but I have become one of those odd types who must clean to a shiny gloss the house that my girls (and their guys) will be visiting soom. I laughed at this very trait when I was young: why would parents (in-laws in my case) clean and prep a home because the kids are coming?  And now here I am, scrubbing my knuckles bare because the kids are coming.

So tomorrow, if all goes well, my younger girl arrives with her guy and on Thursday morning, my older one and her guy will be here and then, well, let's not run away with ourselves here, on Ocean. Then will be then. Let's keep our minds and hearts open to all possibilities. So long as we're under the same roof, who cares if the turkey fails and the pies collapse. (But I'll tell you if that happens because it will be entertaining.)


Ed is out playing pick-up volley ball. I'm done with cleaning, prepping, working. Right now, I band in solidarity with all those who have a person in the house who configures the TV/PC/DVD system to such an art that no one but said person can understand how to jumpstart it. So it's quiet at the farmhouse at this second. The "no signal" sign parades across the TV screen, Isis sleeps by my side, the work for today is done.

Tomorrow my whole being will focus on getting food into a state of preparedness so as to make Thanksgiving flow effortlessly, smoothly, without panic, without complication. In the alternative, I will try to pretend that all the above is true and that any mistakes are intended and not mistakes at all.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday because, despite the challenges and mishaps, it always, always is joyous.