Sunday, January 6, 2013

Howdy Neighbor

January 4
I am determined to get out on our bikes this afternoon. It is cold, it is windy and I don't care. I have been so invigorated by the last few days I am ready for a new adventure. My first grader loves to ride her bike but since the summer we have only been out a few times. I have a nice cushy seat for my little one on the back of my bike and there is even air in all the tires. See, no excuses! Just a little wind. The sun is finally shining and I don't want to miss it.

When I tell my daughters we are going on a bike ride they squeal with delight. As we walk down the driveway properly helmeted, jacketed and bundled I ask my older daughter which direction we should go. "Let's go left and explore the whole neighborhood!" Off we go. It is garbage day so the side walk poses extra obstacles. But we are so happy to be out that we don't mind and it becomes a game to navigate around them. I am always curious to see what people put in their recycling i.e. how many wine bottles (naughty habit I know).

We meander through our neighborhood and up and down a few gentle hills. My little one is bundled up so snug that only her little eyes and nose are poking out. I figured since she was the only one not peddling she needed extra layers. She looks contentedly up at the sky and is quick to point out holiday lawn decorations that are still out.

Suddenly a car slows and I see a friendly face and a wave. The car pulls into a driveway and I realized this is my new neighbor. We stop our bikes and have a nice little chat on the sidewalk. The neighbor and I make plans to have coffee soon and we peddle off. Suddenly I realize, I wouldn't have seen that neighbor for months if we weren't out on our bikes today. We spend so much time in our houses, we get disconnected from people, even those only a few houses away.

After about half an hour we head home and contentedly shuck off our outerwear. I heat up some apple cider and we sip it while we talk about our ride. My little one is tired and I can tell I better feed her soon because she is about to conk out for the night. All that fresh air and looking at the sky.

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