March 13: Fresh.




Best definition of fresh:  the way kids smell when they come in from playing outside.



I’ve been challenged by Renae’s self-portrait study for several reasons.  For one, I don’t like pictures of myself.  I always chalked it up to being vain.  However, as I’ve thought about it more, it has something to do with being vulnerable.  I’m not sure I’m comfortable with someone just staring at an image of me, without focusing on anything else.  I don’t really want someone drawing conclusions about me from just a glance.  Can’t we just have a little conversation so you can see a glimpse of what is under the surface?

I am also intrigued by Renae’s study because I love her insights as she takes photos of herself.  When trying this myself I realized a glimpse of your life, if not your face, usually has an interesting or funny story to go along with it.


The above picture shows my legs pumping my sweet cruising bike on the Jamaica North Trail.  You can tell by my flip-flops I’m not a serious biker.  I bike for fun.  I do like the exercise, and I am thrilled that Katherine likes to go, too.

Unlike Ashley, Kat isn’t a talker.  You have to give her opportunities.  Yesterday, when we took this bike ride, we were reminiscing about the wedding.  Then she said, “Mom, what would you do if I went out with This Guy (name has been changed to protect the innocent)?”

Me:  “Hmmm.  Well, I don’t think you’d go out with This Guy.  You’ve always honored Dad and I, and you know how we’d feel about you dating now.  We also trust you.  So I don’t think you’d go out with This Guy at all.”

Kat:  “You’re right.”

Me:  “However, if you liked This Guy, you could go out in groups, and see what you think about him.  You could see how he interacts in different situations.  You could determine if you thought he was honorable.  You could invite him over to our house to hang out with us.  (And so Rebecca, The Tester-of-Men’s-Hearts, could put him through the wringer.) If you two still thought you were interested, he could come ask Dad (standing at his full height with arms akimbo) if he could take you out.”

Kat:  (smiling) “Really?  That’s cool.  But I really don’t want to go out with This Guy.  I just wanted to see what you’d say.”

Me:  “Whew.”  (pedals faster)

The end.

Countdown: 9

Photo by Collin Geldmeier

I am quite at my leisure 9 days out.

Rebecca accidentally deleted my inbox, which had many pertinent wedding-related messages I planned to respond to.

So I guess I’ve planned enough.

I actually did do some wedding stuff today, like looking for hair accessories, finding earrings for Maddie, checking the program, and fretting over the Saturday luncheon.  I know I shouldn’t fret.  Marcus did say he would take care of the lunch.  But he doesn’t seem to be worrying about it, yet.  That is why I am.

In other news…

Katherine and I have been biking a lot lately.  I enjoy the Jamaica Trail with her company.

It doesn’t seem like merely exercise with a cool breeze, nice scenery and good companionship.  It is almost like cheating.

Queen Anne’s Lace envelops the path.

And you can always munch on mulberries if you get hungry.

Early summer is definitely the time to get out.  Is it not?


Katherine tries to exercise, but finds walking and aerobics painful, in a boring way. She asked me about biking a while back, but I thought I’d wait a bit to see if she was serious. That’s what you do with kids – you never take them up on their idea right away, in case it is just a passing fancy. However, Kat kept bringing it up, so I told her we would go bike shopping. I also thought it would be good for us to spend some time together. She doesn’t have quite as much to say as some of my children Ashley, so I was hoping to have some time to see what was on her mind.

First, I put out an email, asking all the bike aficionados where to look. Cycle Works received 2 votes, so we started there. We found the comfort bikes, with the big, cushy seats and tall handlebars, so you don’t have to lean over. We took to one model quickly, and drove around the alley with glee.

But we had to be wise consumers, so we went to Target, Scheel’s, The Bike Rack, and Bike Pedalers. The Electras at Bike Pedalers almost swayed us, but we went back to Cycle Works after a couple weeks and bought our rides.

I had found a great bike carrier at a Zion rummage sale a few years back, so two Sunday mornings ago Marcus tried to hook it up for me. We did this after we loaded kitchen cabinets into his van for him to install the next morning. Bad timing. After much sweating and frustration, we finally decided that Kat and I would bike to the bike trail, even though we didn’t really want to take the highway there. It was rather hot by the time we got started, and by the time we hit the trail, Kat was done. Oh, well.

The next morning Kat and I hooked up the bike rack, managed to get the bikes onto it(learning curve, you know), and drove to the parking area of the Jamaica North Trail at about 23rd and Saltillo. It was fantastic! There was a cool breeze, a lot of shade, and many sights on the route. Salt Creek is very pretty in the morning sun, and we stopped and looked over the bridges to take it in. There were many bunnies(a herd) on the trail, which didn’t seem too alarmed at our passing until we were almost on them. They looked like they were eating gravel, but I thought only birds did that. I didn’t know birds ate gravel until my daughters told me. They watched Dad dissect a pheasant, and he opened up the pheasant’s crop to see what was in it. “Guess what was in it, MOM!” I couldn’t. “CORN AND ROCKS!” There you go. Now you know, too.

We also passed a knot of baby toads. I hope I passed them all, and didn’t deter any permanently.

Last Sunday morning Kat spotted a lanky figure ahead. It looked like a little dog with long, long legs. It had black feet. It was a fox!

This Monday we started in Roca, and went to Hickman Road. We passed the entrance to Roca Berry Farm, which was interesting. I didn’t know it was so close. We never go. Why would I pay to pick stuff somewhere else, when I can’t keep up with my own garden?

Then we passed a rafter of turkeys. They didn’t want to move either. I started gobbling at them, and they started trotting. Then a couple of them attempted lift off, and made it to the ditch. But one started sprinting. Ever see a turkey sprint? They aren’t graceful, but they are fast. It was very funny, but wouldn’t be if they were after you. It reminded me of Kelli’s old geese: Fred and Wilma. If Wilma was sitting on eggs, you didn’t bother visiting Kelli. You just called. Fred wouldn’t let you out of the car.

On the way back there were more turkeys up the road we crossed. The sentinel turkeys were lined up across the gravel, and the baby turkeys were filing across. It looked like a school crossing.

Needless to say, biking has been very enjoyable, with many discoveries of the natural variety, and a few discoveries about Katherine. Delightful.