I’ve been out of town, in South County St. Louis, for a couple of weeks, no bike in sight. It was good to be there with family, especially since part of what we were doing was saying goodbye to my wife’s grandmother. Gma was much beloved, the kind of grandma who took every grandkid on a solo date before school started, for food and a show. A devout Catholic who said the rosary every single day, she was delighted to have two queer granddaughters and their wives join her for Christmas Eve mass last year, her only request: “No kissing!” No problem, Gma. She showed me so much love in the five years I knew her. She was so kind when she found out I had been diagnosed with breast cancer, just like she had been the day before. That the disease should take her now is unfair, but she was happy to go home to see her husband of 67 years, Otto. I don’t share her faith, but I respect it, and I really do hope they’re together right now.
And it was hard to be away from home for so long, and away from my bicycle, my city, my regular old life. But I’m back, it’s unseasonably warm, and for what feels like the first time in weeks, the sun came out. I put air in the tires, rubbed the Brooks proofide saddle dressing I lathered on a couple weeks ago in, and got on my bike to head down to Mt. Vernon for a gym class. Yep, just like riding a bike, I was back on and happily heading west and south, saying my how you doin’s and yelling at drivers to wait wait wait don’t turn into me. It felt so good to be back home.
I exercised, ate the best sandwich I’ve ever eaten, and then rode home, uphill into a headwind. I took my time, eyes up and out. I snapped this picture at the intersection of 27th and St. Paul, an intersection I’ve crossed innumerable times. I like being home with my intersections. And blue sky? Haven’t seen that in far too long. Today I’m alive, I feel at home in my home, and it is such a gift. I rolled the rest of the way home, did a little work, went to the grocery store for a basket of fruit and vegetables, and cooked my own dinner in my own home for my wife. Perfection.