Yes, I’m late with this. I’ll explain why later.
Friday, April 29 through Sunday, May 1.
We arrived in Staten Island Friday night in time for dinner and then drove to the Ferry Terminal to check out parking options.
My sweet friend, Camille, arrived about midnight.
We got up Saturday morning and had a nice breakfast before heading to Manhattan. It was set to be a beautiful day! High in the upper sixties and mostly sunny.
We went to the Expo for the Five Boros Bike Tour to pick up our rider packets. We were all excited to wander the Expo and to see all the goodies in our rider packets! A new jersey, helmet cover, handlebar bag, our numbers, and a few other fun things. Ron and I bought some new lights for our bikes and Camille bought a new warm vest. She needed it Sunday!
After visiting the Expo, we headed to Times Square to see if we could score some cheap tickets to a show. We got great seats to the matinee showing of Jersey Boys.
The show was amazing! I loved the music. The vocals were outstanding. The show, however is definitely not family friendly. I could have done without some of the language and actually blushed at a couple of the scenes. Overall, I enjoyed Jersey Boys.
After the show, we took a cab back to the Ferry and went for an early dinner. We spent the next couple of hours getting our bikes and gear ready. We had to switch pedals, air up tires, put on new lights, attach bike bags, and much more. We tried to get as much done as possible Saturday night to make Sunday morning easier, including filling water bottles and setting out everything we planned to wear.
Sunday morning we got up about 4:30. In the morning! It was still very dark outside! It was crazy! I’m never up that early! And this was Eastern Time. 3:30 my time! Yuck!
We left the hotel about 5:15. I had on arm warmers, base layer, jersey, fleece vest, and rainproof jacket plus bike shorts covered by thermal tights. I had earmuffs and a warm cap under my helmet. Long fingered gloves and wool socks. It was cold!
We were amazed at how quiet it was walking from our truck to the Ferry Terminal. Then we saw a long line of cyclists. There were over seven hundred of us on the six a.m. ferry on a Sunday morning! Here are a few pictures. Yes, that guy was dressed as Mr. Incredible and had a loud sound system on his bike. He played Sing-along songs the whole way on the ride.
We got off the ferry and headed towards the start. 8000 cyclists in the first wave. 32,000 riders total in four start waves 45 minutes apart. We got to our position about 7:00 and had to wait until 7:30 for the start. It was 49 degrees with light but steady rain.
Here is what I posted at the end of the day on Facebook:
Got off the ferry at 6:30 am. 48 degrees and rain. It rained steady all day. Temp was 46 when we finished.
Event started at 7:30 am. That’s an hour to get a mile from ferry to the start and wait. In the rain and cold.
Got back to the truck at 1:00! That is 43.50 miles in 5.5 hours!
We were actually going just about as fast as we could the whole time with only two potty stops. Lots of stops for pedestrians and cross traffic. Plus very crowded ride.
Imagine the start of the HHH. [Large cycling event in our hometown] The first five miles with the masses of riders.
This ride had 8000 riders in the first wave. The crowd was thick the entire ride.
Even after a hot shower I am still shivering!
Glad we did it. But I am COLD!
Heading to D.C. now.
We stopped in each borough except Staten Island to take a picture. We were too cold by the time we arrived at the finish line in Staten Island to take pictures. Plus we still had four miles to ride to get to the truck. By then, we didn’t care about pictures; we simply wanted to get dry and warm.
After we got back to hotel, we each had a warm shower and got into dry, warm clothes. We hugged Camille goodbye before she went to the airport, and we headed towards Washington, D.C.
By the way, Camille turns 65 the end of this month! I love my biking buddy! First day on Social Security and she rides 43+ miles through New York City in cold rain without a single complaint! Just look at the smile on her face!
Monday, May 2. Ashburn, VA
I slept late then did laundry while Ron was in meetings in Arlington.
I spent the afternoon working on my James homework. It was a great day after a great weekend spent with people I love.
Tuesday, May 3. Ashburn, VA.
I woke to a very ugly, hateful message from someone we care for deeply. It hurt. I cried. It threw me into a slump. I had planned to write my Trip Log and work on my blog that day. But after reading the message, I wasn’t up for writing anything. I knew if I wrote, it would not be pretty.
Ron had already left for meetings when I read the message. (He saw it before he left.) I was alone in the hotel, still tired from our weekend, and felt like I’d been kicked in the gut. A few dozen times.
We discussed the hateful words when Ron got to the hotel that night. He absolutely disagreed with every accusation. But I was still hurting. I was sad that this person felt that way about us. And worse, they had posted the message in a Group Me group for others to read.
I know! I can hear friends say, “Don’t give her that much power! Don’t let her words hurt you! Let it run off you like water off a duck’s back.”
But you see, I once watched a baby duck drown in our pond.
The little guy was head down with his little feet up in the air kicking hard. There was too much water to just let it run off his back. Plus a snapping turtle had him by the head and kept pulling him under until he drowned. Then the turtle devored the little duck.
By late Tuesday, I felt like I was too far under water to let it just run off my back. I had made the mistake of rereading the message a few times. I felt like I was drowning, being pulled under by hateful words and accusations. As this is not new behavior from this person, I felt bruised and beaten. I felt like I was being devoured by hate.
I had trouble sleeping Tuesday night and was very down all day Wednesday. We ordered pizza both nights and I didn’t even leave my hotel room.
After a conference call Wednesday evening with our accuser to try to work (unsuccessfully) towards reconciliation, I felt grateful for my strong, godly husband. He tried to love and encourage me, but I was still bruised and beaten. And now I felt hopeless.
After Ron went to bed, I contacted a friend from a 12-step program. She spoke truth and strength to me in a way only another mom who’s been there can. After our long conversation, I felt stronger and more able to swim my way out of the dark waters.
Another friend posted this on Facebook. It spoke truth to me.
I woke Thursday feeling better. Still not over all the hurtful words, but I had a plan to get back above water.
I wish I could say I just brushed myself off, quoted a few scriptures, and chose to be joyful!
But deep hurt isn’t fixed that easily. Depression, whatever the cause, is not just something to “get over”. Even after forgiving someone, it may still take time for our emotions to get stabilized.
I spent some time in prayer and study. I talked to another friend. I had a good lunch. I got outside even though it was cold and rainy. Then Ron picked me up and took me to the next hotel. After his last meeting, we had a nice dinner. We talked about the issue, and he encouraged me with his love once again.
Friday, May 6. Winchester, VA
Ron’s day was crazy! Drove all over Baltimore for meetings with various schools and engineers. He didn’t pick me up until close to five o’clock.
I spent the day working on my James study and reading a great book. I was beginning to see light.
We hoped to drive farther that night, but the weather was awful causing traffic to be terrible! So we stopped for dinner about eight o’clock and found a hotel nearby.
Saturday, May 7. Chattanooga, TN.
We drove to Chattanooga. It was a long but beautiful drive! I love driving Interstate 81 through the Shenandoah Valley! In the spring it is bright green dotted with lovely white houses and barns with colorful roofs. We saw freshly shorn sheep, baby horses and cows, fields ready for planting, and lots of flowers. It was a sunny day. Perfect for traveling to see family!
Our youngest daughter and a friend met us for dinner. We laughed. A lot! Margaret is so full of love and joy! She shares the love of Jesus everywhere she goes. Her friend Hunter is a sweet gal. We had a great time! And, of course, Ron took us for ice cream at Marble Slab. Being around two silly, loving college girls who are thrilled to be done with finals will bring joy to anyone! I was smiling and feeling lighter than I had felt in days!
I’ll be in Chattanooga for the next two weeks.
Sunday, May 8.
We made a choice not to go to church. I knew all the Mother’s Day stuff would be too hard. Ron agreed.
Ron and I slept late. When I woke up, I had a very sweet text from Margaret inviting us to go to church with her. She said she would gladly sit with me. She even called about thirty minutes before church started to be sure I had received her invitation. Her call woke us up. She understood when I turned her down. I love her for that.
We ate brunch at Waffle House. If you’ve never been to a Waffle House, you are missing out. It is an experience! Waffle House is a staple of the South. I love their pecan waffles!
We planned to go on a twenty mile bike ride Sunday afternoon. It was a warm, sunny day in South Tennessee. We got dressed, filled our water bottles, and headed to get our cycling shoes out of the truck.
When we opened the back of the truck, we caught a whiff of stinky, wet shoes. A very strong whiff of stink!
Although I had washed all our wet clothes Monday, we had forgotten that our shoes were soaking wet when we finished the ride last Sunday. We had thrown the wet cycling shoes into a plastic tub in the back of the truck and put on dry shoes for the drive back to the hotel. Our cycling shoes had been wet for a week, in a closed bucket. So gross! (Camille’s shoes were dry because they were in a paper bag.)
Change of plans.
We went back to the room and changed into walking clothes. We also laid the wet shoes out to dry. I planned to spray them with Fabreeze once they dried completely.
We went to a local walking trail and walked about three miles. We held hands. We watched baby ducks and geese swimming under the protection of their mommas. We watch a blue heron fishing in a shallow creek. We saw a pair of blackbirds dive bomb the heron until he moved down the creek to another fishing hole. Apparently, he had gotten too close to their nest. It was a lovely time walking and watching nature with my sweetheart.
After our walk, Ron went to airport. He flew home for the week. He’s needed at the factory.
I am staying here because the James Study starts Wednesday. I worked on my homework and got takeout for dinner. Then I went to bed early.
Monday, May 9.
This morning I went to get a manicure and pedicure. I dropped some clothes at the cleaners. I went to Chick-Fil-A for lunch. Then I came back to the hotel to work on my James homework. I also had a fun phone conversation with my son Adam.
Yes, this study has a lot of homework. About fifty hours worth. Precept Upon Precept studies normally have about five hours per week of homework. During this Spring Study Program, we are covering ten weeks of work. Usually we have afternoons to work on homework, but since our kids will be in town for a family reunion next week, I need to have it all finished before the study starts.
Tonight I talked with Ron on the phone and watch The Hunt for the Red October.