Monday, May 31, 2010

A memorable weekend

This weekend we have worked real hard on our backyard. I use the term "we" in the loosest possible sense. I try hard to help but mostly am a glorified gopher/cheerleader while all the heavy labor gets accomplished by the man with the muscles. He huffs and puffs loading gravel in the wheelbarrow, pushing it around the house, and then unloading the rocks in the trenches he laboriously dug. I huff and puff picking up single rocks that try to go rogue in the lawn. I guess I did okay with one lung tied behind my back (thanks O2 backpack that likes to conk me in the back of the head when I bend over too far--not nice.)

It's been warm and sunny the past couple of days and with the long winter and cool spring we've had here in Colorado just being outside is wonderful. Last summer I spent most of my days in the hospital or in the house trying to recover from being in the hospital, so working out in the yard feels like an extra treat.

One thing I missed this Memorial Day however, is going to the cemeteries. As a kid I used to think it was an odd thing to do. But as an adult living away from family burial sites, I wish I could be there to pay my respects, tidy up the plots, and see the beautiful flowers and flags lovingly placed on the graves of those who still mean a great deal to me and my family. There is a feeling of reverence and respect which I feel when I visit on Memorial Day--a beautiful tender mercy.

Thank you to all those who have fought valiantly for the defense of freedom. I am so blessed to live in such wonderful country.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Ode to my bike

I miss the good times we've had. I miss our adventures. I miss your free spirit. I miss my mobility! My bicycle is on the fritz and so I'm least for a little while.

About eight years ago, Rheid gave me a wonderful birthday present. Bright red and shiny, it was love at first sight--or should I say pedal. I didn't want to admit at first that I was the owner of an electric bicycle. My hesitation was two-fold: not wanting to look like a freak and not wanting to admit that my trusty 5-speed was becoming more than I could manage.

When we moved to Fort Collins over nine years ago, I couldn't wait to join in the throngs of bicycle riders who rode seemingly everywhere. Living in a ridiculously cyclist-friendly city, I watched as others cruised in the bike lane or ventured off onto one of the many trails around town while I nearly coughed up a lung just riding the 4 blocks to the neighborhood park. To say I was jealous is an understatement. I was not only jealous but I was angry at my inability to keep doing something I had been able to do for as long as I could remember. So I stopped riding since it made me feel more frustrated and angry rather than carefree--something else to add to my "guess I can't do that anymore list."

When he first brought it up, I balked at my husband's suggestion to try an electric bike. CF makes you stubborn I guess and if I couldn't "do it the right way" then I'd rather not bike at all. I've always believed in pushing myself not coddling the illness and after all, I thought, wasn't riding an electric bike taking the easy way out? Luckily, with pride firmly swallowed, I decided to give one a test drive. I loved it!

It's a lesson I'm still trying to learn: never let the fact that you can't do everything you want to do keep you from doing what you can. Maybe I can't do things the old way (and it's okay to feel sad about that loss) but then I need to look for the things I can do, modify if necessary, and do them with gusto.

So maybe riding a nerdy-looking bike isn't so bad. And now since I have to strap on my O2 backpack , I've ratcheted up nerdy a bit higher than before--but hey, sometimes the nerd factor becomes so large, you actually skip clear past nerd standards and become instead "extremely cool and unique"--at least that's how I choose to view it.

Hopefully with a little bit of mechanical assistance, I'm back in the bike lane soon looking pretty awesome.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Welcome Blogging World

I've finally done it. I've made the leap to cyberspace to start my personal blog! After two+ hours of dinking around with the program, I turned to my computer-smart husband for help. Of course, he had things figured out in milliseconds. The design is still a work in progress but I'm having fun trying to come up with "the look." SAS are my initials and my last name means castle in German...hence the blog title. Since this all took much longer than anticipated, I will have to save all my profound thoughts for another day :) Here's to seeing the tender mercies!