Friday, June 26, 2009

bennettism #101

In an honestly frustrated, nearly angry voice: "But I just don't get it, why is it named after a magazine?!"

Bennett - while discussing whether or not we should go see Battle of the Smithsonian this afternoon.

Grandma's influence on my children will be everlasting. At our house, they read Horrible Harry and Harry Potter; at Grandma's house, they read The New Yorker, Tintin, National Geographic, and, yes, Smithsonian..

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Color Pink

I have reconciled myself to the color pink. This pink. My new bike pink. The color my hair might be in a few weeks, if I can find the right shade of pink. The color of Olwyn's pink tiara I wore at my Done With Chemo Party. The Pink Brick Box my boys bought me for Mothers Day.

The bike is a new cruiser, fashioned to look like an old one. I drove past it every day on my way from school to radiation at the end of May. Finally, one day, I stopped. Test rode (this pic). Bought. No deliberation necessary.

It makes me happy to ride it. Happy to go at the speed of one speed. Happy to be a Rose Parade, with myself as the only entry. Happy to throw everything into the front basket (purchased later) and just go.

Today, I filled my basket and headed out to do some errands at about 4:00 pm. First stop, the post office, where I mailed my husband's 12-inch braid to Locks of Love. Two nights ago he let me cut it, and shave his head with the 1/2 inch attachment. Wow. He's had that hair for 20 years. Now he has hair that looks like mine.

While at the post office, I left the bike unlocked, but it was out of sight. A real lesson in trust. I only got out of line once to check on it. But I refuse to lock it up everywhere I stop, because it's impractical! Especially if I've got four or five places to get to before dinner.

Next stop: The Medicine Shoppe on Colorado Ave. I parked my bike out front (it has a kickstand!), and carried in my wallet and new scrip for Tamoxifen I had gotten from my oncologist earlier that day. While waiting, I decided to browse The Bookman. The pharmacist said the bike would be safer in front of his store, and he could watch it for me. When I came out of the bookstore and looked towards the pharmacy, my bike was nowhere to be seen! For a brief nano-second, I feared the worst. But when I looked in, there it was, parked in the middle of the pharmacy. The pharmacist had brought it in! I love my neighborhood.

I placed the bottle of pills in my basket, as well as the book I had picked up for Bennett for two bucks, and rode off towards the garden. We have a small but useful plot in the new Old Colorado City Community Garden, which is about six blocks from our house.

At the garden, I discovered new locks on the gates, and it just didn't feel quite right. They were definitely not Locks of Love. They felt like locks of exclusion. Even though we've got a deranged crazy lady roaming through, picking onions, and calling people names, that still didn't seem like reason enough to put locks on all three of the gates. Anyway, after calling Elise and getting the combo, I went in and picked some spinach and some greens, which I placed in a plastic container I had brought with me. Again, in the front basket of my unlocked bicycle. Needless to say, the salad I made for dinner, with some boiled eggs on top for protein, was second to none.

Baskets on bikes are not "cute"; they are PRACTICAL! It's so easy to just throw in what I need, and pedal out the driveway. No special shoes or dorky neon shirts with pockets in the back. I prefer skirts.

At some point in our recent history, "biking" became a sport, and not a way of life. I hate exercising, but going to the post office, the pharmacy, and the garden (I was also going to return a book to the library, but my neighbor I stopped to talk to was on her way there and said she would drop it off for me) on my new pink cruiser is just fun. I look for a reason to ride it every day.

I have a lock for it, but I lost the directions on how to set the combo. At some point, I will call the bike shop and have them help me figure it out. I will most likely use it if I park downtown and have to leave the bike for a few hours (yoga, for example). Until then, I will continue to roam the Westside lockless. With love. Like my husband.

Friday, June 12, 2009

overwhelmed by goodness

The past week or two has been jam-packed with amazing experiences. I marvel sometimes at how so many good things can happen in such a short time! Life has found me smiling more often than not these days....

A simple yet thrilling four-hour rafting trip down the Arkansas River returned my lost sense of strength and bravery. The next day, I wandered alone around Valley View Hot Springs until I found the pool where John and I sat nearly 14 years ago on the day before he proposed.

A week ago Friday, I had an amazing "love from strangers" day.... I held drawings of me and my mom in my hand, sketched by a woman who had seen our pictures on the blog. I received a bracelet with the word "HOPE" on it from another radiation patient. Later that afternoon, I met a woman in King Soopers who said, "I made your skirt."

Last Sunday night I hiked half-way up the Sand Dunes with two friends under the light of the full moon.

Yesterday, I took the time to teach my boys how to make scrambled eggs and french toast, instead of just doing it for them. Cooking is so much more than just food.

This evening, I danced barefoot on green grass in the pouring rain to the sound of Quetzal.... some cuban-latin-funk-fun.

Each one of these events would be worthy of its own blog post. Filled with details and photos and lessons learned. The problem is, I never seem to have enough time to reflect and write about them, because each and every day is filled with something special and magical. And I can't seem to choose which event is most worthy of a story. And I don't have time to write them all! I really shouldn't complain about this abundance, of course, but it's getting frustrating that I never seem to sit down long enough to actually record and reflect.

What to blame it on?

Facebook? That's an easy scapegoat.

The end-of-school-year/beginning-of-summer/middle-of-radiation madness? Perhaps.

Mostly, though, it's this strange feeling that if I can't share it all, then I shouldn't share any.
This needs to stop.....

....... Oh yeah, did I tell you about the purple penstemon and prolific peas? Or about how I swam 12 laps and did a back dive at the pool today? Or about the pleasantly slow speed of life on my new pink cruiser? Or about the fact that I have completed 23 out of 30 days of radiation?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

poem in facebook status update format

Sue Spengler
wants a job which would require her to drive a Chevy pickup on dirt roads, wear gloves, and look through some sort of lens
has amazing experiences, because she expects to
likes going to places that feel like foreign countries but that are only a half-day's drive away
is writing while driving on roads she's never been on before
slipped, fell down, brushed herself off, and remembered to slow down
thinks wars should be forgotten
picked things up and put them in her pockets
communed quietly with two winter coat-shedding deer
pulled over to take some photos; didn't pull over to take some others
is following a silvery sleek Airstream dream
worries that she missed the turnoff
has a thing for boxcars and junkyards
should not have doubted her instinct
has proved her intersecting point