“It’s just like riding a bike…”

Riding a bike.  It’s such a freeing  feeling.  The wind flowing through your hair, the fresh air tickling your nostrils…. the handlebars steering you into fresh new roads, that maybe, you hadn’t thought to travel to before now.

It just so happened the other day, that while shopping with my Mum and son, that we found the cutest little “cruiser” bike, which coincidently matched my “Dot,” the polka dotted beetle.  I saw this as a definite sign, that she could be purchased, and with that, “Delores,” the “Canadiana cruiser bike” came onto the  scene.

I’m spelling her name this way so that the two gals  can be called Del and Dot., and yes, of course they are girls.  It just pleases me.  That is why, just in case you were wondering.  I’m picturing them becoming fast friends already!

She can carry things in her basket, like flowers, wine, a baguette, etc… really she is quite the practical little bike.

IMG_5779C’mon now, the cuteness quotient is kinda off the charts here!  She has s basket after all, and a removeable recycling shopping bag.  Could it get any better, do you ask?  Why yes it certainly can.  I found a fleece red and black checked blanket, that matches the bag  in Fel’s basket, in my Mum’s hall closet, and now Delores has a picnic blanket to go with her on her travels.

Whew… when things just match, I’m almost beside myself with joy!  It is the little things people.. For me, matching just puts the icing on my cake.  Actually it puts the cherry on top, but more like all the ice cream, and candles too.

I’m going a little overboard  here, but can I just say, that living my life with Jesus by my side, feels like this.  I don’t want to go all “preachy” on you, but the way that He fills me up, and takes care of me, just feels like the proverbial cherry on top of my life.

Delores turned out to have a few issues.. poor thing.. First my Mum and I couldn’t adjust her seat, but once we had conquered that  issue with the right “socket wrench,” yes, I know what those are now, I was ready to hit the road.  That kinda sounded foreboding didn’t it?

Turns out “Del” has very noisy, and squeaky brakes.  Mum and I used “WD 40″ quite liberally, and thought we had solved the embarrassing loud brake issue.

Well… let’s just say, they heard me coming.  I took her out for her premier ride, feeling proud, full of energy, and actually kind of athletic and fit, and all that good stuff.

That bible verse that says something like , ” pride comes before falling,” should be my life verse.  In my defense, I didn’t actually fall all the way off the bicycle, and there was a decline, and incline involved, and  as my Mother used to say to me…”way to go Grace.”

Apparently, crashing and falling had been something that I’ve done exceedingly well throughout the course of my life!

I was coming down the hill, wind in hair, helmetless, feet not needing to peddle, then  came the corner, the incline, and the workmen!

Why oh why, does it seem necessary for people to see me, and bare witness to my failings? …I get it.. I’m living in my body, I am well aware that I’m a “hot mess,” but I so do not need witnesses to stop and stare like I  am a runaway Pee Wee Herman!

I suppose watching me try to conquer the hill problem was an amusing site.  How did this wretched hill get so steep?  I thought maybe I was kinda in shape, but alas…uh no!

Since I had an audience, I decided I was NOT getting off the bike and walking it up the hill… So, I stood up to peddle, which apparently takes more poise and balance than I possessed, or had first envisioned.  Also forgetting that I was in 8th or 80th gear did not help either.  I literally stood up to peddle, and”Del” halted dead in her tracks, like I had jammed on the brakes.

My handlebars, began weaving back and forth, and before I knew it, I haphazardly  had to make a quick dismount..I had almost made it up the hill, but almost does not the summit make.

I was unhurt, well except for my pride.  As I looked up, the workmen grinned at me, and me with a “beet red” shame filled face grinned back.  What else could I do?

I dusted off my pride , and wait,  did I mention, that when I was trying to corner before coming up the hill, I had to lay on the brakes, and the screech that was heard, would make dogs cover their ears and howl!

Alas, it was yet another lesson that in fact” just like riding a bike,” takes practice, balance, and being in shape, and prayer… why oh why, had  I not prayed for a uneventful and safe cycling experience?

Sometimes it feels like the simplest things can be the hardest to conquer.  Things that I once took for granted, like riding a bike, and standing up while peddling, are of a greater challenge in my middle aged years.. yikes.. did I just say that?…  oh well., looks like the cat jumped out of the bag…. too late for a quick recovery.

I wanted my Mum to try the bike, and she did on the driveway… thankfully.  I walked alongside her, but she did tip over at one point, and fell onto her hip and hand!  Why would I let that happen?  I was so frustrated with myself.  She could have broken her hip…?

She wanted to try, and how could I not let her? She did not break anything, which we were both so grateful for…


IMG_5778Can you believe that her Westie puppy “Brody” fit into the basket.. it was the cutest photo op ever!  I think she should model for the “Zoomer” channel on tv.  Perhaps I’ll suggest the idea to her?

I’m kidding.. my Mother would be mortified , and probably write me outta the will!

We visited my Dad’s grave together the other day, and remembered how much we loved him.  He was such a good man, and it seemed impossible to us that he has been gone 10 years already, and yet the Parkinson’s Disease had robbed us of him far sooner.

Spending time up at the cottage is so reminiscent  of it being, ” Jigg’s place.”  That was my Dad’s nickname.  I am so grateful that he and my Mum built this cottage of relaxation, out of their love.  It has been a blessing to so many who have entered these Pine walls, sat around a roaring fire, and enjoyed many meals, a swim, or a comforting slumber.

Riding a bike, learning to waterski, to swim, to be welcomming to others , are all chatacteristics that my parents taught us.

These cornerstone principles they lived out in the forefront, and us kids knew they were important because they practiced them.  Their love for one another was undeniable.  There was utmost respect one for the other, and while learning many things, one the best modeled principles was the ” loving one another in sickness and in health.”  How painfully beautiful this was to watch lived out in front of me.

I had also seen this lived out in my grandparents lives  on both sides of my family.  They just kept loving each other no matter how difficult the obstacles that arose were.  They did not give up.  I’m sure it was unbelievably challenging… but they stuck to their vows.  I have such respect for them, for that.

“Caregiving” well is such an honor. I’m beyond grateful to these loved ones who gave me these examples to follow.  Such a legacy  of living to love that I have been given, no matter what occurs… to just keep on loving and caring…is priceless.

Maybe bike riding, and living well, like caregiving and much in life, is best when continually practiced?   There is always more to learn, and I’m learning for all that I thought I knew… really the heart is big, and it’s ability to heal, and repair itself is quite miraculous, and yet their are some heart repairs that need a Savior… just like Jesus.  I’m ” casting all of my cares on him, because I know that he cares for me..”……


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