Saturday, August 23, 2014

Mile 7,164: Another Day in Paradise

You wake up, have a cup of coffee, and then get on your bike to make a donut run for your kids since school is about to start. Last hurrah of summer.

On your way home to your usual exit, the exit that actually wound up beginning and ending the day, you see the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile next to you, and don't find it the least bit unusual. Big city living, and all that. You honk and yell at a woman in her oversized SUV who drifts over into your lane while playing on her portable electronic device. A freeway, for crying out loud!

You eat donuts with your kids, get back on the bike and head to the northwest side of town to go have lunch with your Gypsy brothers for a couple of hours. Good times with good friends.

You leave to go back down to the medical center to go spend time with a family whose son is on life support. You wish you had just the right words, but you also know that the most important part of the visit is just showing up. Just be present. Show love.

You leave there and ride down to Galveston to meet your family and your family friends who drove down for the weekend. Ride through a little patch of rain in crazy traffic with everyone wanting to go down to the beach. Hold on to that one last bit of summer. It rains on you for a few minutes, just enough to cool you off while rolling down pavement hotter than a cast iron toilet seat in West Texas.

It is a hot day mixed with clouds, and the salty air coming off the Gulf of Mexico is growing more apparent as you get closer. You can almost hear the sound of the waves over the sound of the motor.

On the highway you do a little over the speed limit at a couple of points to get out of the packs of cars that seem to cluster around 18-wheelers like the fish that swim beside Great White Sharks, and then once past, ease back for a nice ride. No hurry. Ease your mind.

You get to the beach, shed your clothes and gear in exchange for your swimsuit, and then sit on the beach for a couple of hours. Ease your mind a little more.

Back on the bike to a good restaurant on the seawall with your family and friends. Fried shrimp and all that good stuff.

On the bike one more time for the ride back up into the city. The sky is blue. Everyone with the same goal. Home. Take the proper roads as the sun continues to slide down the dome of the sky toward the horizon.

And before you know it, you are back at the same exit where you started the morning. No wienermobile, no one texting while driving, and the lane opens up for you at just the right time. Same exit, but the world has changed just a little bit.

Just another day in paradise.

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