Friday, July 23, 2010

Pound cake, fawn encounter, still bird & 108 degrees (Bike Post #2)

I left too late this morning as hauled myself on the saddle at 9:30... but I only realized my error later. Shortly after beginning, sweat started to drip off my nose like a spigot. This would not be an easy happy venture into the countryside.

Lesson learned: do not eat a healthy portion of granola (with honey and blueberries) followed by a quick sneak of a slice of pound cake and then go biking -- I felt bloated and heavy as I placed myself on the saddle. Hmmm... pound cake, now I know why it's called that... I felt like I was carrying additional weight up the hills this morning.

(My son thinks it should be called "gain a pound cake".)

Fast forward as my uncomfortable self traveled past the Salisbury Country Club and saw correctly attired ladies batting the tennis ball back and forth. The well manicured lawns and golf course reminded me of a recent conversation I had with my doctor.

I had been trying to schedule a physical. Teachers know that there's never a good day to miss a school day. Not only do lesson plans need to be created but then there's the worry of what happens while we're away. There are good substitutes as well as horrible ones -- those are the ones that fall asleep in class or ignore those plans that took me till 7 pm the night before to create (both have happened to me). Then there is always some type of mess to clean up the next day when I play the role of detective as I sift through the previous day's history attempting to figure out what really happened... and what consequences need to dished out.

I centered on a good day and made that appointment after learning from the receptionist that the good doctor is out every other Friday -- which, after having learned of this, I promptly asked about as he arrived in my exam room. It seemed he had elected to schedule bi-monthly "me time". A decision that he reported to me had paid dividends at home -- less stressed, healthier, happier to be with -- as his wife had told him.

Two children (eight and five years old) have demanded time at our house. Yes I know that all children demand time from their parents. We guessed this before the first one's birth -- but had no idea what type of demands would be asked of us.

Add second child, eliminate more time for oneself.

So all energy is spent toward children -- as it should be, right? But then I noticed that doctor's yearly appointments are scheduled for children first, clothes shopping is always scheduled around what children need, grocery decisions are made according to children's desires -- grocers have learned this and place those sweet sugary cereals at children's line of sight. I'm all for making children the focus of our life, after all my wife and I planned for their appearance... but I think a little bit for me is ok too.

It may seem selfish, you may be looked down upon by some, and you might even feel guilty like I have... but it's imperative that everyone takes some time for themselves. Do what makes you happy and that happiness will return to those you surround yourself with.

Perhaps like this biking thing.

I pedaled on. I looked to my right to a spot where I spooked a fawn two days ago. It bounced through the woods next to me for a few seconds... its white camouflage still doing its job as I failed to see it close to the road where it had settled into the grass when I came upon it. Thinking back, good thing it didn't decide to turn direction in vengence and show me what a fawn vs. bike collision would feel like. Funny image to you, but road rash vision for me plus the embarrassing story I would have to share about how a fawn took me out.

Man it was hot as I watched drips fall beneath me each time I dipped my head.

A few miles later I passed a sparrow lying next to the road. One with its feet straight and pointed up. Apparently it had met the wrong end of a vehicle at the wrong time. Such a precious little life ended by our desire to get to our next destination in a hurry. Odd how it lay quiet next to the road, as if it took its last breath while in mid flight.

And then I thought of cancer and all the people affected. I thought of my grandmother again. Of Jenn's grandfather Joseph. Of Scott's McEver Sr. Of Patty Moore who I knew through my wife and who is survived by three young daughters and a husband. She battled cancer for close to a decade if memory serves correct. As the cancer returned yet again, she thought ahead to write letters to her daughters to be opened at momentus occasions. Each of their daughters has grown into a beautiful young women - grounded and making their own way in the world. I only hope that we raise Annaliese to be as strong.

I was reminded of my son's classmate who was stricken last year with Leukemia at the tender age of 7. I am happy to report that she's recovered and back in school after many nervous months of wondering whether she would live. The initial shock of a life impacted so young, the induced coma, her tears brought on by her loss of hair. Benson delivering (unprompted) his piggy bank to a fundraiser in support of costs associated with her parents constantly being at her bedside. I thought back to how she passed along her cards of goodwill to other child patients in the hospital who didn't have the same amount of support. Inspiring.

The heat today was overwhelming: the weather app on my phone read 98 degrees / feels like 108. But as tiring as today was (no more pound cake in the morning for me... thank you), I was inspired yet again.


Mr. Hughes said...

Really enjoying reading your posts. You have such a way of saying things. I like thinking about things in new ways, so thanks for that. Also, is there a website to sponsor you? I am proud of you for getting involved. Sounds like you are still in school...are you year round?

Steven B. Kaminski said...

Mr. Hughes: Thanks for the note. Definitely not in school all year -- I hear that's the trend but I relish the time with family over the summer.

Go to for more info on that ride (if that's what you're referring to -- thanks.)


Mr. Hughes said...

Hey Thanks! I hope you summer has been cooler than ours! We have hit at least 100 degrees EVERYDAY and we currently have at least 80% humidity! So, not all that fun. I have been enjoying watering the lawn and garden and working on little around the house projects (even though I am far from handy). I start school in about 3 weeks again, so I have been working in my classroom to clear out the clutter and look through all the "stuff" I have gathered for 10 years but not really used. lol- Have a great day!


Mr. Hughes said...

Good Luck with the beginning of school! We start tomorrow. Maybe you are already in session. Either way, I wish you a fantastic year!