Saturday, August 29, 2009

Bike riding has changed

When I was a kid, I owned Stonington on my bike. I rode from one end of town to the other, and never looked back. I would ride from dinner time until 9:59 pm. I had to be back home by 10 pm to help pack my Dad's mine bucket (he worked third shift). I rode my bike five miles to the farm where I worked in the morning in the summer, and five miles back home. A bike was freedom!

I still have the bike I rode all those years. It is a swing bike (not Schwinn, Swing) and it has a headset under the seat, and the back wheel turns like the front wheel. Mine was originally orange. I painted it several times, but the last time, I painted it black, and put on five spoke black mag wheels. Here is a picture of a swing bike:

So picture me on the back of this thing now, 100 pounds heavier than when I rode it all the time. But, I still got it! It is fun to ride, but I decided that the time was right to buy a new bike. I ordered it today. Here is a picture of the new one:

Now, while I am ordering mine, I approach Carl, and ask him if he would like a cool new bike, since his old one has seen its better days. He was like, "Eh." The girls have cool bikes, and Lara also indicated she would rather have surgery than ride bikes. This is a fundamental way in which we are different.

The title of the post, however, relates to how as parents, we just can't let Carl, Maggie, or Katie just go riding, like I used to when I was a kid. I'm not one of those who look back and say, "In my day, we could...(insert your own hyperbole here)." BUT, there is no way in hell I would let Carl ride over to his buddy's house across town by himself, let alone take a five mile ride in the country on his own twice a day.

If the times haven't changed, if bike riding hasn't changed, then I can only ask "What the hell were my parents thinking 30 years ago?!?!?"

Of course, the times have changed, and riding bikes has changed, too. But, I'm looking forward to the new cruiser.

Monday, August 17, 2009

A Sweet Day To Share Sadness.....

At the end of July and the first part of August, we took time off to work on the house and spend time with the kids. It was during this time that we learned that Sean, Lara's cousin and dear friend, died. It's hard for me to talk about his death, because I didn't really get to know Sean very well, but I know by the depth of pain felt by those close to him, like Tanya, Lara, and Dee, that he was a wonderful, sweet person. Some people were angry because Sean took his own life; some attempted to understand the nature of addiction which drove him to his end; some simply missed him and wished he were still here, and would have done anything to change what had happened.

Despite the somber circumstances which brought us together, these were wonderful pictures of Tanya with the family.

Our thoughts continue to be with Sean's family. May you rest in peace, Sean.