Friday, April 10, 2020

Bike, Clean, Happy Hour, Repeat...


For years, on Tuesday evenings, a few of us that ride bike and live in our neighborhood would meet at the clubhouse and have a Happy Hour.  We would bring our own beverages and a snack to share.  There was always a lot of stories told and news to catch up on.

When social distancing was needed because of the COVID-19 virus, we stopped meeting at the club house.  Then a small group of us decided to continue with just the beverage, outside on one of our back patios, and plenty of distance between us.  It is just six of us catching up and sharing time with each other.  It is a special time, the conversation never lags into silence, there is always another story waiting in the wings for its chance to be told.

This Tuesday was my day to host on my back patio.  I cleaned up the patio and sprayed the furniture with bleach water.  It looks nicer now than it has in months!  I like that part of having company over, we get to enjoy a nicer, cleaner looking space for awhile.

Mari arrived first.  She is also in my neighborhood book club.  The book we are reading this month is one that I chose.  I loved it when I first read it years ago.  This time I listened to it on audio and loved it again.

Haven Kimmel is the author of A Girl Named Zippy.  I am amazed at her writing of her early years growing up.  She writes in the voice of her 4, 6 or 8 year old self.  Mischievous,  creative, simple... you know the saying... kids will tell it like it is.... no filter.  And that is how the little Haven Kimmel is.  The result is a joyous fun read.

Mari said she was listening to the book and she thought that Haven Kimmel writes just like me!  Wow!  What a compliment!  My heart skipped!  Thank you Mari for sharing that sentiment!  My head is so big now I can hardly sit upright!

While I was still beaming and patting my chest, Margaret and Zip arrived.  Both in their 80's they looked great and reported they had biked 50 miles that day.  How can I not be inspired surrounded by strong, up-beat, and active people?

I don't have a speedometer on my trike anymore.  So I don't know how far I have ridden lately.  I know the last time I did a long ride was on my way home from my attempt to fly my trike and me to Wisconsin.  That was a bit over 80 miles in July 2019.  I don't think I have ridden over 40 in a single day since then!

I got a flat tire yesterday so I didn't ride more than a few miles.

As I was strolling the neighborhood later that day, my neighbor and fellow yoga practitioner, Marilyn waved me over to chat on her back patio.  Her husband Dave was there and asked about my Weeroll.

"Do you need anything done?" he asked.

He explained that he likes to build things and he was going a little nuts being stuck at home due to the COVID restrictions.

"Oh?" I asked feeling my heart pump faster, ("Be still my heart.")  I almost jumped out of my seat.  "I need some shelves and a counter... but you would have to go out shopping..."

He nodded but didn't seem deterred.  So I told him I was thrilled with the offer and I would draw something up.  I was very happy!

I went right away and took measurements.  The next day I drew up a counter with shelves under it for the front nose of the Weeroll.  I actually wore my mask to do the writing so I wouldn't breath on the paper.  I then disinfected some cash to give to him to shop for supplies.   I texted Marilyn to see if he was home... I wanted to deliver it before he got another "job".   Ahh, too late... Marilyn said he was busy this week fixing their bathroom.  But my project was next on his list.  I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed.

One day this week I went to the bike shop to get a 20" tire for my trike.  I had gotten a flat and could see the tires was worn and it was time for a new one.

YES, (I know you are wondering,some may be shouting "stay at home!") I did use hand sanitizer and my face mask.  The shop has a large bright-pink sign in the door.  Call for an appointment it says and it explains that they can not have more than two customers in the store at a time.  I called on my cell while standing right outside.  They had no customers inside so I got right in.

Sherry who owns the store and got my tire for me said that people from the Tampa Bay area were calling wanting to ride the Withlacoochee Trail because they are "bored with their Pinellas Trail".  They are often looking to use her bathroom, she tells them no. 

The time in the store was very short and Sherry pointed to the hand-sanitizer right by the door to use on my way out.  Thank you Inverness Bike and Fitness!

I hoped to put the tire on and go for a little ride the next day.

I was doing well changing the tire but I could not get the last little bit of the tire over the rim.  I pushed and pulled and twisted and used tire tools.  No luck.  I went over and knocked on my next-door-neighbor's door.   Jerry, came over and he pushed and pulled and twisted and grunted and strained.  FINALLY it popped over the rim.  Wow!  I hope he didn't pop something in the fight.

The COVID Numbers

For those of you that are TIRED so tired of the COVID19 news... skip this section and jump ahead to the gratitude section.

Today is April 10, 2020 and those in the future may be wondering where we are in the pandemic right now.  They will know how it went, but we here in the midst of it, we have no idea.  Scientists are saying it will take a long time because we really either need to all get it or we need to create, manufacture, and distribute vaccines.  Politicians are saying by May, by June, we will be going back to restaurants and stores. 

So far I don't know anyone who has it... that I know of.  Except some famous people.  John Prine wrote a lot of songs and died from COVID this week. This info comes from the

World Cases 1,687,857
World deaths 102, 198

US Cases 495,750
US Deaths  18,430

Deaths per million in the US  56.
Testing per million in the US 7,583

Just out of curiosity, how does that compare to other countries?

Deaths per million in Italy 312
Testing per million in Italy 14,999

Deaths per million in India  .2
Testing per million in India 137

Deaths per million in Netherlands 147
Testing per million in Netherlands 5,926

What this all means, I dunno, do you?

The stay at home order for 65 and older now asks that all of us wear face masks when we are out.  The lawyers of course have told the Board of Directors of our HOA to close the pool and the clubhouse.  Now my house-mate Carolyn can't practice piano which she has done at the clubhouse every day.  And our fun little (and safe) yoga group of 4 of us can't do yoga together at the club house.  I was feeling very fortunate to be able to gather at the pool (social distancing) and do the yoga.

Now I will find many other things to be grateful for.


It is fun to see the amount of creativity coming from the stay at home order.  People are making face masks and getting creative about it.

My friend Mark in Waukesha has decided to take a picture a day and send it out to his friends.  Sometimes with just a short sentence, sometimes a whole narration.   I love it, distraction, and a focus on the beauty and fun in the world.

A fellow author and friend, Kathie Heimsoth wrote a COVID song and got our friend Regis Hampton to put it to music for her.   The video quality isn't that great, but the sound comes through good.  I love that they worked together to get this done!

I have been finding videos on Youtube that I love and sending the link to my sister or Facebook.  One has a six year old girl giving tips.  One of her tips is to crawl around the house on your stomach like a caterpillar.  She demonstrates.   Yes, I wanna do that!

Gratitude Corner

My sister (who I am extremely grateful for) sent me a list she had.  for 30 days, each day, there is a prompt to think of something to be grateful for.  For example I am on day three and it says, "A food that you love."

Oh my! I could go on an on and on! 

Top of the list is dark-chocolate with peanut butter.  But then there is good pizza, veggies with pesto, ice cream, smoothies,  cowboy cookies.  I bet you can think of many too.  What a bounty of things to be grateful for.

I am grateful for my neighbors.

Thank goodness the "Shutter-in-place" order allows walks and bike rides and hunting and fishing and boating as long as you keep your social distance of six feet.

Today I saw three Swallow-tail Kite Hawks all floating over the retention pond behind my house.  I saw a humming bird for the first time at my corral-something-or-other flowering vine that I planted last year.  I am grateful for cool breezes that come in my window.  I am grateful for mornings walks filled with bird songs.

I saw a post on Facebook from my friend Connie being grateful for her husband of many years.  Though it wasn't always easy she said she is so glad to have the rich accepting love of someone who has seen all sides of her and accepts and cherishes her.  Sweet!   Yes, long and trusting relationships enrich us and make us better people.  I am grateful for my time with George and for this time after George.

I am grateful for the people who love me with all my pimples and warts and quirks.  I am grateful to be surrounded by love-able and inspiring people.   

What are you grateful for today?

Oh!  And All Authors site sent me a nice mock-up of my book for Easter.



  1. Sue, Your post and your writing and your humor and your heartfelt thoughts are so needed right now. Thank you for sharing with us!
    Like you, I am thankful for so many things. Naturally, family and friends are at the top of my list. I thank God for them every day!!! Keep writing, my friend!

  2. Love your writings as usual. Like your grateful list, & started mine in writing, (nice reminder when I forget to think about when I miss FL friends). I know 2 people who have the virus, they live in, & doing well, told to recover at home, (young & healthy luckily). I also know 3 people who were not tested, but pretty sure what they had in Feb., was pretty close to the virus; antibiotics did not help at all, & all 3 admitted "never been that sick before, while wisely keeping distance from everyone. Just coming off our 2 week FL quarantine in OH, & now our good friend/neighbor tells us his Co-worker is +, so we 3 are back checking temps, while using Masks & gloves when we have to out. This spreads SO much easier than you think. Enjoy the sun, I am wearing 4 layers to do yard work. 😷💗


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