For years and years, I’ve started off Sunday with the newspaper and a cup of coffee, followed by the Today weekend show, the CBS Sunday Morning 90 minutes. Only vacations or conferences kept me from this Sunday routine.
But today I woke, had a breakfast bar, 2- bottles of water, put a load of laundry in and it was 8:30. This is my usual time for a ride.
So I put the puppy on her sofa, cleaned up the litter box, and roamed into the cool morning air.
Less traffic because of the earlier time, I enjoyed the smooth easy pace. Pass a couple of early morning cyclist who wave and smile. Cyclists seem to have a gentile wave of acknowledging each other in passing.
The hill up to Libbie wasn’t too bad and the glide down to Patterson wasn’t too swift. My mind still had not kicked in. I was in automatic drive.
An old rusty brown Ford station wagon filled with “stuff” and writing on the side passes me then pulls to the side. I slowly come up to the driver’s window noticing him looking in the side mirror at me. He leaned out the window and I stopped. I didn’t recognize his face as he said, “So you are wearing a helmet now?” I tapped the black plastic with my gloved hand and replied, “ Yes, at least in the mornings.” There was a pause and I check back down the street for traffic. He smiled and gestured for me to ride on. “I thought you were my brother.” I rode on and he sputtered down the avenue.
At the Malvern stoplight, I started waking my mind. I noticed my old house had a new red door and storm door, but the rest looked the same as the 30 years ago I’d lived there.
The music that filled my head was “the Archie’s” probably because I just made a 60’s CD for Joel. Catchy tune that luckily I could quickly forget.
Next to the Robin Inn, I stopped for water and to let trucks go by. The board out front said “Chicken Stroganoff and salad $8.00” I don’t know if that is a good price or not. I don’t get out much. All I remember about the Robin Inn was coming there as a teenage usher at First Baptist Church between services and having a beer.
Stopping by the Kuba-Kuba coffee shop and realized why I take these rides every morning, no matter how routine. I looked across the street at the triangle park. Normally on my Sunday ride it is full of mothers and children playing, but due to the early hour, the park was vacant. Then I looked up to see the birch trees waving in the cool breeze. That is what I suppose to see this morning. That dancing tree clicked my mind on.
Around the corner and back again. People walking in the middle of the street, pass Fox school getting an addition, up to the closed museum, watching the car without the blinker turn as I had expected.
I was aware of my surroundings and the sounds and sights lit up before me.
Even the climb up the hill to Malvern was not as difficult.
Back home passing another couple starting off their Sunday ride and smiling.
And I had time to watch the Walter Cronkite session of Sunday Morning, though I think I liked the turtles the best. Taken it slow.