It felt like Christmas as a jolly old man guided his big yellow sleigh to my house in the wee hours of morning and carried my children away giving the best gift of all—peace on Earth and good will toward me.
This summer has been a blast, a blur, and a brute at times with constant youth supervisory and management duties, so I’m ready to hand them over to the government for a while.
I love getting back to an organized schedule of getting up at the crack of dawn to help my kids get off to school and my breadwinner to work, so I can go back to bed. That’s just what I did to observe the first day of school.
Ahhhh, it was heavenly!
Not to worry though, I didn’t lounge for long because I had big plans for the day. A friend invited me to bike into town with her for a celebratory breakfast at a hip new waffle place. We pedaled our way there as we discussed all the things we’ve idealized in our heads about accomplishing now that we have so much time to ourselves (euphoria can cause delusion).
We munched on waffles topped with local peaches and slathered in fresh whipped cream. We kicked back in the contemporary café chairs and sipped hazelnut steamers, letting time pass since it would be hours before anyone would need us.
We got cocky. I see that now.
“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before the fall,” Proverbs warned.
Though we originally planned to go back the way we came, with time and freedom on our hands, we decided to take a longer loop home. While pedaling on a thoroughfare west of town, I did see the railroad tracks crossing diagonally through the road and I thought I’d angled my thin roadie wheels adequately, but apparently not.
My front tire caught in a groove causing my back tire to skid out from under me. My nearby biking buddy saw me go down and quickly tried to maneuver around me to avoid the wreckage, but my front wheel barely nicked her back one, which was all it took.
We rolled like Wyoming tumbleweeds.
Luckily, my most generous anatomical proportion took the brunt of the fall, though I could feel the immediate sting of road rash down my arm and leg in addition to my throbbing hip. My friend sustained similar injuries, which were assessed by some kind drivers who witnessed the spill and pulled over to help and offer a ride home. We assured them we were fine and let them go.
With adrenaline still pulsing through our shocked bodies, we unrealistically thought we were able to bike home. Attempting to remount quickly offered proof otherwise. We were wobbly, achy and nauseous. We found a nearby patch of grass and sprawled out to rest, moan and laugh at ourselves until the rescuer we called arrived to take us safely home to our responsibilities.
Freedom is heady stuff. It can make you get all rowdy with waffles, bikes, laughter and hazelnuts. If you’re not careful you could find yourself caught on the wrong side of the tracks.