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Day Dream

September 12, 2010

I wish I could clone today’s weather and pull it out in the middle of February or any other time I needed a boost. It’s sunny and breezy and a perfect 75 degrees. Fortuitously, I had plans to bike with Julia.

I should mention that this has not been the best biking summer for either of us. The weather has been the kind that makes exercise of any kind seem ill-advised. I’ve mostly done mine in the water. Neither of us had biked in weeks. So it made perfect sense to try the toughest terrain we’ve done yet.

I’ve been thinking about a ride through a town near here for a while. I use the word “town” loosely. There’s no actual town. It’s miles and miles of enormous houses on enormous lots interspersed with horse farms, marshland and forest preserves. I love driving through there as a scenic route to other places. And I’ve wanted to try it at a less mechanized pace for years. Yesterday, I mapped out the route: 20 miles of rolling hills, including a loop around a forest preserve. I was nervous about it. There’s nowhere to stop if you have a flat or need a snack, no businesses of any kind once we got out of the area next to the train station parking lot where we left our cars. And Mr. Spy was questioning my hill climbing abilities.

But it was a great ride. There is an enormous hill right near the start that nearly undid me. I had to stop to rest halfway up at the exact moment and humongous peloton of 15-20 riders, reed thin and sporting colorful cycling jerseys, came pounding up the hill.

“I feel your pain,” one shouted at me.

But having the riders pushing by got me back in the saddle and from then on, it was fine. It was hard work, but the rewards are great, for it was a beautiful place to ride with very little traffic. We may try it again once the leaves start to turn. But today, I was mesmerized by the fields of goldenrod and compass flowers contrasting with the still-green marsh grasses.

When we got back, we undid all our good work with bacon-laden sandwiches and fries at an outdoor table. It was totally worth it. But now I need a nap.

Luckily my responsibilities for the rest of the day are few. Mr. Spy and AJ are using my brother-in-law’s Bears tickets today — a perfect day to be watching outside. AJ is working on a disrupted night of sleep, so I hope he survives. He came into my room last night in the midst of a night terror and I escorted him back to his room, whereupon we had the following conversation:

AJ: Mom, can we just keep the police here?

Harriet: Sure we can.

AJ: Okay.

[a pause while AJ lay shaking in his bed]

AJ: Mom, can I have a worm?

Harriet: A word?

AJ: No, a worm! A worm!

Harriet: Why do you need a worm? Are you going fishing?

AJ: No! You just don’t understand me.

[and after a little more silence and shaking]

AJ: It’s really scary when your brother commits a crime.

Harriet: I’m sure it is. What kind of crime?

AJ: Oh, you know what crime. I’m so scared.

Harriet: It’s okay, AJ. I’m here and you’re just dreaming.

AJ: I am?

Harriet: Just close your eyes and go to sleep.

What he was dreaming about was a complete mystery and, as usual, he has no memory of the event this morning. Just an underlying crabbiness that comes from not getting enough sleep.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. freshhell permalink
    September 12, 2010 4:49 pm

    People love to ride bikes out my way but I’d be terrified on the narrow roads with the traffic and semis that barrel down them. It looks like a quick way to death.

    Dusty will often come in to the family room looking awake but talking nonsense or asking some random question and I realize she’s half-asleep so I escort her back to her bed. You’d think kids could get a break from whatever causes these things.

  2. September 12, 2010 8:06 pm

    Oh….AJ. That sounds a lot like the random pronouncements I would make to my mom or my parents or my parents and their guests when I was sleepwalking. It’s probably a lot less dire than it seems, but I feel for all concerned.

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