Monday, April 18, 2011


LuLu-ism #3:
Let's be honest here, they simply don't make a comfortable bike seat. I don't care how big the honking thing is, it's going to hurt your cowgirl, period. And, it's going to hurt for a very long time.

You may have heard that yesterday (April 18) was my birthday. Thanks to so many who e-mailed, Facebook-ed or called with such sweet wishes for the day. As I had hoped, I did get to ride my bike yesterday. The wind died down, the sun popped out and 42 degrees it turns out is okay bike-riding weather. So I jumped on LuLu and did something I always do on my birthday, I visited a graveyard.

I've been snooping around in graveyards on my birthday for many years now. No, it's not the morbid in me, it's the writer in me that calls me to these places. Do you know how many stories are buried there? So much history. Yesterday, I visited with a guy who was born in 1773! He lived almost a hundred years! You might be wondering what he told me, yes? Well, grave stones can tell you a lot about a person. He was a beloved husband, father and German. He lived very close to where my house is now. I know that because this little graveyard is across the road from an old church building that used to be the worship house of a congregation of German Lutherans. Several years ago, the old church building was renovated into a house. A lot of Swiss and German folks settled in this area when they got off the boats. They started farms, built a church, raised their families and lived and died in this ten-mile radius around my house. Cool, huh?

Others folks were lying near by like Heida, Gertrude, Wilhelm and about seventy-five others. I sat there under a tree and wrote a couple of vignettes about a few of them. Someday, one of them might show up in one of my stories.

LuLu looked out of place in the graveyard-- all that pink and those shiny spokes surrounded by all that old, mildewed stone. Yet, she turned into a metaphor right before my eyes: Never forget the past, but don't linger there too long. Visit and remember those who went before and what they can teach you, then hop on your bike and get out there and live. Make your own memories. Tell your own story. Leave your own mark.

So, I did. I paid my respects and then LuLu and I took off. I sang out loud as I peddled. I can do that because I live out in the country and no one can hear me. And, I'm now sixty years old. I've decided that sixty-year-olds can get away with a lot if we look pitiful enough at times. The Fake Knee had a hard time keeping up, but the old gal hung in there. The Cowgirl, on a pain scale of one to ten, with ten being screaming-out loud-painful, was still at about an eight, yet, we peddled on. I spied my first spring Cardinal, a big fluffy guy perched on a branch looking like royalty. A couple of bunnies hopped across the road in front of me. And, a rooster had the audacity to chase me down the road. If looks could kill, I'd be laying in the gravel right now with that feathered bully still picking at my flesh.

All in all, it was a good day. I've decided to make this a birthday week. I'm sixty. I can do anything I want.

love you guys,

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