Friday, March 20, 2015

Lists, lists and more lists

NOW the excitement is starting to build - I can tell by all the lists I'm making.  Lists of people to call, lists of things to pack, lists of things to buy, lists for cat sitters, lists for stuff that happens when I'm gone, lists of lists I still need to make.

My lists give shape to what still needs to be done and as I cross them off, they provide me with at least the illusion that I have done all I need to do for the trip.  The getting ready is more complex this time because there will be no one here to make sure things get done while I'm gone -- and the thought is always in my mind that there will be no one but the cats to come home to.

Two years ago, the leaving was harder but the coming home was very sweet. This time the leaving is easy but the coming home will be rather sad.  I don't think realizing that ahead of time is going to make it any easier.  I miss my biggest fan and my staunchest supporter.

It's amazing to think that 30 women from all over the map and from all walks of life are now doing exactly what I am doing - getting ready for another trip of a lifetime.  The Southern Tier enriched my life beyond belief and I can't imagine that this tour will be any different. 

Because, epic ride aside, what makes the tour is the people on it and their stories - can't wait to hear them.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Starting over

It's been a long time since I've posted here, so it really is a new beginning.  Not just a restart on the blog, but also a restart on my life.

My husband of almost 47 years passed away not long ago and I must set about creating a new reality for myself.  It begins, of course, being based in everything I've experienced in the past but now I face a future that doesn't include my partner.

It does include the friends and family that are such a vital part of my existence. It includes the interests and hobbies that engage me and stretch my mind and body. And it most certainly will be rich with new experiences and new friends even as I grieve what I have lost.

The beginning has its roots in the past as I prepare for another big cycling adventure. The Atlantic Coast tour begins in little more than a month.  I don't know that I'm exactly ready for it, but I want to do it and I need to do it.  I will find myself in the company of some cherished friends that I met on the Southern Tier tour two years ago along with twenty new riding buddies that I can't wait to meet. As with the last tour, I expect that there will be many new experiences, some growth and probably some comfort found in unexpected places.

Just knowing what to expect in terms of logistics and patterns has reduced much of the anxiety and that certainly makes the preparations less stressful. I'm pretty sure I know what to pack and how to pack it. I am much more knowledgeable about my bike, bike handling, cue sheets, maps and even the more esoteric uses of a smart phone (excellent for locating the nearest Dairy Queen) - though I haven't been able to find an app that will carry my bike up the stairs.

Spring is finally here and tomorrow I will be back on my bike for the first time in many weeks.  

Forward, always forward.