Humble Pie

       Undoubtedly the most universally humbling experience has to be that of getting older.  Anyone over the age of 35 would surely agree and if you are not yet that old I say, “don’t worry, your day will come!”  I experienced my share of humbling in the past week, starting with a hike I took with my 14 year old son, Shaun.  I consider myself to be in pretty good shape and felt well prepared for this hike, an 8 ½ mile trail to the top of Mt.Baldy at just over 10,000 feet.  In fact, I thought I was doing great except for the fact that Shaun was bounding ahead of me the whole time and every little bit stopping to call back, “come on mom!”, or “hurry up mom!”  I did take solace in the fact that several hikers who we passed stopped to commiserate with me over the exuberance of youth.  And as if the hike alone wasn’t enough to make me feel my age, it was the next several days when gimpy girl here was hobbling around with sore thigh muscles and Shaun, apparently unfazed from the hike, was off to run 4 or 5 miles with his cross-country team.  Not to be all negative though, I am still proud of myself for getting out there and I am thankful that I am blessed with the good health to be able to do it!

       It’s not just the creaking joints and slower recovery time that served to humble.  I also like to think I’m into what’s current in music.  I watch the Grammy’s and I’m even hip on electronic house music, at least  I know what it is.  But, no, it seems I am woefully slow in that department too.  You see, there are subgenres of electronic music and there is dubstep and all sorts of machines used to make this music of which I am still to be educated on.  And no matter how hip I think I am, I am still behind on the finer points of social media, texting acronyms and slang. 

       The mirror, of course, is the most humbling of all devices.  I don’t care how young at heart you are or how much hair dye and anti-wrinkle cream you apply or even if you partake of the needle or knife…..Mother Nature will eventually catch up to you.  Believe me, I’m sure even Heidi Klum has had her day facing the ever truthful piece of glass.  I am making peace with that vision I see reflecting back to me everyday….I am not always happy with it, but we are on speaking terms and I think we are going to be together for a long time.   The saying “It’s what’s on the inside that counts” resonates more fully as we age.

       Which brings me to my last point, there is humble pie to be eaten when we realize that yes, our parents were right about a lot of things.  Time does heal all wounds and the earth does not revolve around one person.  And remember some of those phrases they said that you swore you would never repeat to your own children like “money doesn’t grow on trees you know”, “because I said so!”, or “I have eyes in the back of my head that’s why”.  Yep, they will pop out of your mouth one day when you are not even thinking about it. 

       There are more humbling moments I’m sure, I just can’t remember what they are right now.

Advertisements

Bicycles….not just for exercise

           Generally, I think of my bike as an exercise device, albeit an enjoyable one. However, on any given day around the world thousands, probably even millions, of people get on their bicycles and head out the door to work, to do shopping, to visit friends, make deliveries…you get the point.  It is a major mode of transportation for many. 

             The first bicycles came into being as people began to explore alternatives to the horse as a mode of transportation.  One of the earliest bicycles made had no pedals and was nicknamed a “hobby horse”.  In 1865 a version with pedals attached directly to the front wheels came on the market and was known as a velocipede, although it was more commonly called “boneshaker” since it was made entirely of wood and later versions had metal tires.  I can only imagine the jarring ride it produced on dirt or cobblestone roads.  Around 1870 the first machine to be called a bicycle was made.  Most of us have seen pictures of these early contraptions with a very large front wheel in comparison to the rear. They were made of metal with rubber tires and were quite expensive, making them available only as toys for wealthy big boys.

             Continued tinkering with the design and components saw the bicycle take hold in the 1890’s as a viable means of transportation for the working class and as a leisure activity.  Women even took to riding them, which led to changes in clothing design and confining elements such as the corset and bustle became a thing of the past.  I’m quite sure that the gentlemen who designed these bicycles did not realize how much of an impact they were having toward the women’s equality movement. 

            Recently, my husband and I discovered an enjoyable, not much of a workout, use for our bikes when we took off to town for some wine tasting.   I live in a town where there are more than 25 wine tasting rooms all within walking distance of each other so not much riding is required but is does add to the fun and is a fairly safe way of getting home post wine tasting.  We limit ourselves to two tasting rooms per outing.  Any more than this and your tasting starts to get skewed by the amount of wine consumed and since we live so close we know we can always go back another day.  Tercero and Pres’quile were our choices for this day.  You won’t find these brands in your local wine aisle as they are both low production boutique wineries, but you can buy from then online through their websites.  My favorites were at Pres’quile, a pinot noir rose and an estate pinot noir.  Yes, I am partial to those pinots.  What I love about wine tasting though is that there is generally a lot of camaraderie.  We always meet interesting people and have lively conversations with others in the tasting rooms.  In fact, if we don’t feel a friendly vibe when we first walk into a tasting room we will turn around and leave. 

Of course tasting wine often leads to purchasing wine and we discovered that the water bottle cage is the perfect size for holding a bottle of wine! 

           Cheers to those bicycle inventors for bringing us such a versatile and fun mode of transportation!  I’m sure we’ll be riding uptown again soon.