Monday, September 19, 2011

Gearing Up

I am writing this while sitting by a huge cornfield in Illinois. I am reminded of what my curly hair does when it is 99% humidity outside. And for several hundred miles I have seen field after field of corn or soy beans. Isn’t anything else grown in the midwest?
Mike and his brother are doing the Nauvoo to Kirtland Temple to Temple Ride. My doctor strongly recommended we go ahead with this ride, and I will have surgery two days after we get back. I have been going over the volumes of information she gave me, and I can see why she wants us to do what we can before the surgery. So much will change afterwards, and since we know part of that will include at least 7 weeks of radiation, and I won’t be able to leave town during that time, and Mike needs to be recharged, prepped, energized, geared up and fortified with more than 47 vitamins and minerals in order to hang in there through this with me, going ahead with this planned trip was important.
I’m enjoying this, too.
We were able to drive to Missouri and see some church history sites around there before picking up Brad in St. Louis. Then we went on to Nauvoo. This is the first time we have been there since the Nauvoo temple was rebuilt. I will write more about that in the next blog.

It has been nice seeing Mike and Brad doing this ride together. We have not lived near Brad since we were in college, so it has only been short visits at reunions and during travels for 25+ years. This is a rare chance for them to spend time together.
Like any two siblings, they have much in common, and they are also completely different from each other. So this is interesting for me to see the dynamics.
When I periodically pass them on these farm roads, I like seeing them in active conversation, sharing their thoughts and experiences as they ride through this beautiful countryside. They are catching up on all their childhood to middle age stories.
When we sit down for dinner each night, and the conversation goes in all directions, I can tell when Mike is either just relaxing and enjoying it, or keeping his opinion to himself so everything stays relaxing and enjoyable.
Each also brings a different physical experience to this ride as well.
Brad lives at sea level. When they go up a slight hill, he can feel the air thinning.
We live at 6000 feet. Mike is feeling like he has to chew each time he breathes in, the air is so thick. When we were driving over the state line from Colorado to Kansas there was a sign that said that was the highest point in Kansas at 4039 feet. It’s been downhill since then.
Brad is in good shape, but has not been riding a bike as much as Mike. So they stick together and Brad drafts off of Mike. But several times a day Mike has to stop and be on a business call. Brad will keep riding to get ahead for a while. When Mike is done he “time trials it” until he catches up, and he loves that. I love that crazy man of mine.
I think of what it would be like to have this much time with just one sister at a time, or my brother, doing something that we both really wanted to do. Or just having time together. What an unusual and precious experience that could be.
I am glad Mike is doing this. He is covering a long road this week.
The much longer road starts next week.


Melanie said...

Well said, Jody. I know you are breathing it in deeply as well. We love you. I looked at the photo, and was reminded of the traditional Irish blessing, and thinking how that could apply to a bike ride (after a great century ride on Saturday). This is my hope for you, my friend, in the coming weeks. May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face,and rains fall soft upon your fields...and may God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Season and Isabella said...

You are amazing in every sense of the word. You inspire me. Am praying for you. Love you!

Barbara Bee said...

Hi Jody,
I am glad to hear that you on another adventure. I just heard about your situation and wanted to wish you the very best. Your faith and strength will see you through this as it has seen you through so many other things in life. God bless you.

Jody said...

I too was riding a century the weekend before your blog - my first in over 15 years. very hot - 107 degrees...and one of the things that I drew strength from was thinking of your mental and physical battle right now. No-where near what you are going thru; my task was challenging by choice. God keep you strong through the next weeks and know that many, many friends and family members are thinking of you and of Mike.

California Jody