Archive for October, 2013
In my work life, occasionally, I get to travel. Travel involved my great co-worker and best friend Roberta. Trips were monumental adventures. I’ve been telling Roberta all about the great fun I’m having on a bike. She’s interested. She decided that she needed a bike of her own. She bought a beautiful maroon bike. Almost the next day, something was mentioned about a trip to Iowa. Roberta and I were going to be on the road again and we were thrilled. I told Roberta that I wanted to take my bike and go on bike rides after work. Roberta was thrilled at that. We chatted about getting two bikes to Iowa. We chatted about how she would lug her bike around. The next day, Roberta drove to work in a new maroon mini van. It matched her bike and was perfect for lugging two bikes, our luggage and training material. We were excited and set to go.
It was a chilly time of the year. I’m thinking it was March. The weather had already warmed up in Kansas City. I forgot about Iowa winter not being over till April.
Off we went on our great adventure in the new maroon mini van containing one brand new maroon bike and my used yellow bike. We got to our desination town and discovered a bike shop. Turns out it was a lucky bike store as Roberta needed the bike pants, bike shirt, bike coat, bike gloves, bike helmut, bike winter coat. I named Roberta as “Shopper of the Year”. Matching her maroon bike with a maroon mini van put her over the top!
Our travel overnight stays at that time were Bed and Breakfast rooms. We shared a room and had some amazing adventures withB&B’s. Enough that I should make another series of blog about Susan and Roberta B&B Adventure We had found a B & B in the farming country of eastern Iowa and checked in early in the afternoon. What an amazing wonderland…the country! This place was beautiful. …beautiful country home, red picturesque barn, grass and view. Oh it was lovely! We checked in, looked at our room and left to take a bike ride on a nearby Iowa bike trail. We returned after dark. Our hosts were worried about us. They should have been worried about us! We would have been smart to tell them exactly where we were going so they could have picked up our frozen dead mangled bodies. Thankfully, our bodies ended up alive!
Let’s think about Roberta. She just got her bike. She hasn’t had the time to develop bike fitness. Let’s think about a bike seat and constant pedeling. Sadly, I didn’t think about that when I led her down the bike trail. We rode and rode on the beautiful path. Sadly, we had to turn around and ride back! There was pretty frozen snow on the ground. Since it wasn’t melting, you can tell that it was cold outside. Somehow, the daylight seemed to be fading and it seemed to be getting chilly. I had been riding my bike for enough time, that I had become accustomed to the cold. I wasn’t bothered by it. Roberta was on her first ride, in a cold cold place.
Roberta has lots of “go”. She has fortitude. She has spirit. We had finally turned back and were on our way back to the parking lot. We stopped occasionally to rest. Roberta decided something was wrong with her bike’s front wheel. We stopped and looked at the front wheel, made it move and there was no flaw. The front wheel was flawless. The next time we stopped, Roberta said, “I think there is something wrong with the front wheel because I can no longer feel my feet.
“Susan, you go on. Just leave me here to die!”
OH! Roberta’s legs had frozen. It’s tough to ride a bike when you can no longer feel the pedals. No wonder she thought the front wheel was broken! She was tired and her legs were frozen. It’s bad enough when your feet freeze. It’s unimaginable when your legs freeze. There was no complaint in Roberta, just “Leave me here to die”. The “Leave me here to die” people are true champions! They go until they can no longer go.
Somehow I convinced Roberta that I wasn’t going to leave her to die and she had to get back on the bike and ride. I might have lied and told her we had just a short way to go. I don’t remember, but the Roberta Champion got back on that bike, frozen legs and all…and we made it back to the trail head! Oh we were happy and exhausted.
We just got the bikes in the car and were starting to get into the maroon mini van when we both saw something on the other side of the road. It was hurtling towards us. We both reacted and leaped into the car. I slammed shut the driver door when BLAM, SCRATCH, TEETH and paws ripped against the door and window. Good LORD! BANG FLASH all I saw was a dog-like creature about ten feet tall, blood dripping out of its mouth attacking the side of the car! GOOD GOD! I started the mini van and we screeched the heck out of that place of hell! Roberta nearly froze to death and now the both of us had narrowly missed being shredded alive. What if we had been outside the car when that twenty foot meat eater attacked us with the ten foot long blood dripping fangs?
SCREAM! Thankfully, the car obeyed and we sped down the road leaving the thirty foot monster with the twenty foot bloody fangs behind.
We returned to our B & B. They had a hot tub. They gave us wine and cheese. The hot tub was outside. Tough that we were, we got our bathing suit bodies out in the March Iowa winter and leaped into boiling water! Oh the warmth! Oh, the alcohol! We soaked our frozen bodies in the hot tub and loved it. It is dark in the country. There are no street lights. We looked up into the sky and saw a million billion stars. Neither of us had seen a million billion stars in a long long time being city residents!
As we were looking up at the stars, Roberta said these following life-changing-words. These words changed both our lives…dramatically, physically, emotionally and any other words you can imagine. Our lives took a big turn. Roberta’s life changed the most. Her life change also affected many many others in a continually cascading life journey. Without this Iowa trip to the country, ….well, let me explain.
Roberta said, “I love the country. Henry has been asking me to marry him and move to the country. I think I will marry him and move to the country”
Those were the words that started the dramatic life change.
The next day, we both took a pledge to start looking for a place in the country to live. We love the country! The idea that I might have horses came into my mind. We pledged to move to the country and buy a horse.
I went home and told the spouse about wanting to move to the country. He reminded me that we had only four years yet to pay on our city mortgage. I agreed that it was a stupid idea.
Roberta told Henry that she would marry him and move to the country. And she did just that! Her house in the city sold immediately after they got married and they had to live in a hotel for a couple of months. Her sons became independent of their mother and established their own residences. Finally, Roberta found the perfect country home. Then she searched for a horse and found an older suitable horse. She also became a “chicken lady.” Roberta has many many stories of her first years in the country. Country learning years is what I call them!
I visited Roberta when she got her horse and immediately renewed my vow to buy a place in the country and get a horse! Poor Terry never had a chance after that. I looked up country homes in the paper. There was only one. We drove out to Pleasant Hill and fell in love with our new home to be. Terry was happy. No longer did he have to hide and store antique pickup part in the back yard, basement and garage. He decided to start restoring antique John Deere tractors. I also got to enjoy country learning experiences!
My horse adventures made it a book. The book is titled Susan FoxTrotter. You can find it in Amazon and on Kindle.
Our Iowa country adventure changed our lives!