Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Retro-Rama Show

Retro-Rama Show
Originally uploaded by Frauenfelder
Was looking for information on some of the art I own and found this picture of Bob with one of the pieces. - Miss you Boo.

Motivating to get Back on the Bike

I have beautiful bicycles and haven't been riding any of them - and have been lacking motivation to get back out there. I've lost some fitness, gained a few lb's, and its Winter now in Seattle which also brings the motivation level down but then I come across a quote like this.

"Talking about bicycles," said my friend, "I have been through the four ages. I can remember a time in early childhood when a bicycle meant nothing to me: it was just part of the huge meaningless background of grown-up gadgets against which life went on. Then came a time when to have a bicycle, and to have learned to ride it, and to be at last spinning along on one's own, early in the morning, under trees, in and out of the shadows, was like entering Paradise. That apparently effortless and frictionless gliding--more like swimming than any other motion, but really most like the discovery of a fifth element--that seemed to have solved the secret of life. Now one would begin to be happy. But, of course, I soon reached the third period. Pedalling to and fro from school (it was one of those journeys that feel up-hill both ways) in all weathers, soon revealed the prose of cycling. The bicycle, itself, became to me what his oar is to a galley slave."

"But what was the fourth age?" I asked.

"I am in it now, or rather I am frequently in it. I have had to go back to cycling lately now that there's no car. And the jobs I use it for are often dull enough. But again and again the mere fact of riding brings back a delicious whiff of memory. I recover the feelings of the second age. What's more, I see how true they were--how philosophical, even. For it really is a remarkably pleasant motion. To be sure, it is not a recipe for happiness as I then thought. In that sense the second age was a mirage. But a mirage of something."

"How do you mean?", said I.

"I mean this. Whether there is, or whether there is not, in this world or in any other, the kind of happiness which one's first experiences of cycling seemed to promise, still, on any view, it is something to have had the idea of it. The value of the thing promised remains even if that particular promise was false--even if all possible promises of it are false."

--C.S. Lewis, Present Concerns. "Talking About Bicycles."

Hopefully the New Year will bring me back to Stage 2 and the fever will return- It's hard to think I have lost that love also - I think it is only dorment.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Learning a new Lingo

Everytime you take on a new sport there is a new lingo to learn. Bob and I had spent a few vacations paddling - 11 days on Glacier Bay for our honeymoon and 8 nights in Baja for his 50th birthday just a few months before his cancer diagnosis. So the new year found me recovering from losing him and yet seeking to stay connected and honor him in some way. I also did one thing they say not to do when you loose a loved one and that is to make a major move. Well its not like I moved out of state or even across county lines - just 100 blocks north to a different condo development and now have a few ammenities I was lacking before. Best of all fresh walls to make fresh memories and not see him at his worst and have some breathing space.
Okay back to the new Lingo - our kayaking had been done in our big A$$ Klepper folding double which is an awesome boat but meant I would always have to find someone to paddle with and would be folding and unfolding it a lot which is a project in itself. I found a new home for Bob's single which is also a big A$$ boat (Bob was a big guy) and is now being used by my friend Mike who has the stature to paddle it.

I set off to find myself a boat -
a few requirements, weight - 50 lbs or under
cost - couldn't break the bank
Stability - I'm mostly a beginner but wanted a boat that could grow with me

Okay now I'm feeling like I should have been blogging all along about this process of boat shopping etc. Went to boat demo days at REI and Kayak Accademy, ruled out thermoformed boats due to weight and ruled out a new fiberglass / Kevlar / carbon boat due to cost. I did look at Craigs list but wasn't finding what I was looking for.

I bought a composite plastic boat from a company in BC Canada through REI - The boat is fairly light seems a good fit. I have now been on several overnight trips with it and am pretty happy with my choice, I feel safe in it and have no lack of space for camping gear etc in it and it moves along at a fairly steady pace though due to my lack of experience it is hard to keep up with folks in zippier racier boats that have more experience but I'm not out there to win races.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Out of and Into the Boat

A friend of mine ran a short session to make sure we were safe to go out on the big water with him in a few weeks.

Yes - I have done numerous kayaking trips but most were with Bob in the Klepper which basically unless you were hit with a rogue wave you couldn't tip over

He required us to rent dry suits - so we would be comfortable in Lake Washington if it took awhile to get back into the boat. Dry Suits are pretty cool contraptions which basically allow you to push the season on water sports and if some thing did happen should save you from hypothermia. Dry suits are not cheap so unless I start doing a lot of crossings I'll be in my spray jacket, farmer jane wetsuit and pfd while out kayaking.

He explained to the group the process of the boat rentry on shore and we all practiced tucking a foot into the boat so it wouldn't float away, and blowing up the paddle float. One by one we went out on the water with Saul or with Roy.

After you capsize your kayak you need to un do your spray skirt, surface and flip your boat over. After your boat is upright - attach your paddle float to your paddle (a paddle leash is a good idea) and blow it up. Then you run the end of the paddle without the float through the bungee cords on the stern of the boat. This creates an outrigger stabalizing the boat and also gives you something to crawl up on. You climb up facing the back of the boat and slide your feet into the hatch and then roll back into position and sit down. After that you breath a sigh of relief and pump the water out of your boat.

When I returned the drysuit on Sunday I rented a boat and went out to the Arboreteum for a few hours. Sunday was one of those days which are why I chose to live in Seattle.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Meet Up to Move Forward

I know Lance Armstrong says to Livestrong and encourages everyone to get out and stay in shape but when you are the primary care-giver it isn't easy to leave when all you want to do is spend every minute with that person that they have left. I would take a break every day to take a short walk read the paper and have a coffee just to get away. Friends sometimes would come by and stay with Bob so I could have a break or they would take me out to lunch. I lost Bob back in November and have been trying to get back to my / our pre cancer life. So I find myself this spring out of shape, not really feeling like getting back on the bike though in the past the Need for the Bike has gotten me through rough times it's hard to go riding without my compadre. I joined Meetup to make sure I get out and keep busy. I spent a nice weekend away with the meet up folks and met a few folks also in transitional points in their lives. I did take our Klepper Kayak with me and assembled it and paddled it with other folks - just 2 years ago we were paddling the boat in Baja Mexico for Bob's 50th Birthday and it hadn't been out since. So good to get back in the water even if I don't find myself back on the bike yet - I'm moving forward making some new friends and keeping busy. I would recommend Meet up as a great way to get back out there and move forward with your life.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Missing Bob and Moving Forward

A full size safe - one of the many surprises Bob left behind.

I miss my honey, I miss his company and his wit. This was so not the plan but the plans got changed and I'm on my own again. No longer have the go to guy - no longer able to plan trips without booking the single supplement or sharing with friends, no longer able to enter married on forms there is no blank for widowed just a blank for single. I want to interrupt people when they are talking about feeling lucky about not being out there trying to find that go to person that person with whom you share your life and tell them to feel blessed and not to take a day for granted because it can all turn around on your in a heartbeat. At least cancer gives you a little bit of time to put your ducks in a row, to adjust to the idea of the person not being around but you also get caught up in being the caretaker and having to go to all the appointments and seeing the person that you loved go through a horrible transformation from someone so big and strong to someone unable to even walk around the apartment on their own and it happens right before your eyes. One of the hardest things to deal with was the uncertainty of the future with a stage 4 diagnoses you know what the future holds which means you can't make the changes in your life that you had expected to make. The offer on the house was pulled and the money needed to be reserved just in case not enough money was coming in, or insurance didn't cover enough. Trips that we normally would have done could not be done because he wasn't and wouldn't be up to them anymore. We did have a nice trip for my parents anniversary before he started chemo but he reserved his energy and was not his usual self. But I was so glad to have memories of that trip and one last kayaking experience with my honey on the bio luminescent bay in Peurto Rico.
So I have started to go through his stuff and what stuff he had and now I have - he continues to make me laugh and make me happy with memories and the surprises that I find. Several of his bikes have moved on to new homes his co-motion has already traveled to Israel and his Jack Taylor is back in the hands of a brit and will be in the Jack Taylor show at Seattle Bike Expo.
Next Saturday February 13 I'm holding a celebration of his life and showing his collected works at the ART NOT TERMINAL GALLERY.

And me - I'm moving forward with some of the plans we had before the cancer struck - a new place to live with a garage to store the toys not the mid century modern place we were going to buy but a new place with a bit more room to call my own. A few trips on the agenda, a trip to Texas for my niece's wedding and maybe a cycling trip to Wisconsin over what would have been our 5th wedding anniversary.