xtracycle

you wanna fly / don’t want your feet on the ground

xtracycle

I get a rush when I bike long distances and today was no exception (I’m already used to the seat, by the way). I had a full day including picking up a refurbished New Home sewing machine (squee!), then later a wonderful coffee date with my sister, just the two of us. Afterwards she took me next door to the bike shop and bought my new head and tail lights, in addition to a very generous gift certificate for the family. What a wonderful gift for us and a real blessing.

But the highlight of my day sticking to me now was about ten PM when my friend D. who’s tended towards shyness in the past agreed to ride on the back of my bike there in west Aberdeen, and we did a few loops in the summer street while people laughed a bit, circling around a big bonfire while P. played Foreigner’s “Records” out the stereo of his impeccably-shiny Harley.

Or maybe it was an inadvertant poem I heard early in the evening: “Pray to be sane / drank a Hurricane”.

Or later as it was cold out, meeting Ralph and Cole for hot coffee and pizza at the Mia.

Either way, things seemed to work out real well all day long.

the Mia

 

no you can’t

NO NO NO

I have simply got to stop grousing, internally and out loud, about our bus system. Yes, it bugs me it takes an hour (sometimes more) to travel seven miles (from the HQX downtown station no less), the commute my husband requires get to the college. Yes, I think the bus system is not designed with any seriousness toward daily commuter needs – an environmentally and socially progressive mandate which would improve our lives immensely. Yes, routes have been cut. Yes, I think so much about Aberdeen and Hoquiam is as pro-car as one can imagine. Yes, I think about all the “bus people” and their needs and their lives and when I see busses leave late or arrive early and the callousness of some drivers I despair.

But I’m not ready to spearhead a campaign about any of this because I have my own life to sort out. So here I sit. It’s not how I long I have to wait (although this bothers me for reasons I won’t go into, here), the worst thing is the noise along what amounts to a highway, and the dust and exhaust fumes. The gawks aren’t that fun either because riding the bus here means there’s a large set of people who pity you or look down on you. For reals.

But whatever, fuck it. Seriously. Some of the people closest to me ride the bus and we can commiserate what it’s like and I can stop bitching so much. I actually enjoy talking to people on the bus and I enjoy helping the mamas with strollers and babies and saying “thank you” to the drivers, every time. It’s been a while since I’ve heard a racist diatribe on the bus although today I heard a man bitching about a couple toddlers who were up front. I turned my head and looked at him, is all. I still do not always know how to handle public asshattery, and I don’t always have the energy, especially days like today with too-little sleep and staggering menstrual cramps.

I walked home from the station. I enjoy walking whenever the weather isn’t miserable – and today it was fine. Most times I walk in Hoquiam I see hardly a soul. But today there was a festive air in town, driveways, block parties: graduation for many adults and young people.

Party Time

These celebrations seem remote to me although I remember the period of high school graduation well. I guess this would have been sixteen years ago. Having been given a tremendously trivial amount of freedoms up until age eighteen (like most USian kids), for me graduation merely meant more praise from grownups (as I had a great grade point and had earned scholarships etc), a pedigree of other people’s required accomplishments for me, a deeply fragile sense of self, a few very good friends, a lot of excitement in my heart, and a desire to party as much as possible. It wasn’t all bad at all, on balance.

It is touching to see famlies celebrate. It’s nice to see young people honored. It’s pleasant to anticipate more activity in the neighborhood now that school is out.

Also, today I met a small kitten, a little black thing that looked younger than I’d think was decent to separate from his mother. His name was, improbably, “Puffy”, and he had not been fed recently, or at least – he was ravenous. I fed him a bit and in his zeal his tiny mouth bit me harder than I’ve been bit by a cat. I loved him up a bit more, eliciting a fragile purr, and then gave him back to the little boy who “owned” him and told him, please feed and water this little one.

And so life goes.

Am I hard enough? Am I rough enough? Am I rich enough?

Today it was suddenly quite hot and I was so grateful to my friend K.; she just sent me a box of clothes she’d sized out of including a simple, light, short-sleeved black cotton dress. I would have wilted without it, truly; I was hardly ready for the heat wave and the footwork I had to make – the dress was so much nicer than jeans. The garment also showcased more cleavage than I’ve ever bared publicly; I got a lot of thank yous for this. I sunscreened properly, no worries.

Earlier in the day I sold some things for taco money (I’m serious), bought my husband lunch and horchata. We wrangled a bit of additional cash to keep us in groceries.* And I brought my working friend an ice-cold Mexican sugar Coke, and I grabbed up some free and luscious yarn for another friend (through Freecycle).

Later in the day: now, I admit I’ll be a bit blue until I have my own working car, but driving back from Aberdeen in my mom’s truck with the windows down, benefitting from sunglasses (my husbands’ that he’d generously loaned me) and big swinging earrings and listening to the Rolling Stones (a guilty pleasure because I find many of their lyrics objectionable) and there was finally a breeze, and I felt pretty good just then, going home to family. Then sitting with friends while they had burger and fries and ice cream and my children ran around on the waterfront, then I followed Ralph and the kids home. I was driving the truck, they were on Ralph’s bike. I got to see how joyful and mobile they are on the bike (I usually can’t see because they’re behind me, natch). And that was just something else.

It was the first day of Summer, far as I’m concerned.

The kids were outside most the day, including a lot of time in the big plastic pool we bought last summer – I’m so glad we stored it and kept it mold-free. I’m not kidding, those kidlets were marathoning it out there. Ralph made homemade pizza and roasted broccoli and cauliflower while they played; they barely ate before zooming out again. By the end of a very rowdy and many-child jamboree, one neighbor kid called another a “fatty” so I gotta talk to them about that tomorrow (we had a great discussion with our kids about this).

Currently, I’m putting my feet up and my face in a book – and Ralph’s pulling homemade bread out of the oven and soaking black beans for tomorrow.

Life is good.

*

No Bread

i didn’t get anything nice like this when i was a kid

Sophie, Nels, Jasmine, my mother and I went to the County Fair again today.  Afterward, we took my daughter to her first session of week-long summer camp.  I didn’t cry or anything.  Not until way later, out of eyesight of my kids.

Sophie would love to receive mail; if you feel so inclined, please write her at:

Sophie Hogaboom
YMCA Camp Bishop
1476 W. Lost Lake Rd.
Shelton, WA 98584

Friday is her last day; the camp asks that any mail arrives by Thursday.

Tonight I make my own recipe of bread: molasses, cornmeal, all-purpose flour, eggs, warm milk, salt, sugar. Believe it or not I like poems, and here’s a favorite:

Bread

Wheat is still.  It makes no sound
As it pushes from the ground.
As it runs its slow, serene
Course in rows of tender green.

Wheat is quiet; as it grows
It only whispers what it knows.
What is mute – till it is fed
To children as a loaf of bread

Then it is laughter; it is song;
It is clamor all day long.

– Ethel Romig Fuller

Bread Is Important, Yall

Bread Is Important, Y'all