Saturday saw me trudging up Prince Hill a wee bit overloaded with groceries from the local Walmart. I should’ve known better but we were out of nearly everything and the local feed store charges a fortune for birdseed. Even though I selected the smaller, 10 lb. bag of birdseed, it was dead weight…and in 90+ degrees, I really should have know better. Needless to say, I had scarcely cleared the Walmart parking lot before I was huffing and puffing…and feeling an oh-so-familiar twinge in my right leg, wishing I had something to pedal home instead of lugging everything by hand.
I won a bicycle many years ago when I was taking belly dance lessons. Proceeds from the raffle were for Relay for Life so it was a good cause. And, to be honest, I fell in love with the bike. It is an old, vintage-style Schwinn, similar to the one Margaret Hamilton rode in the Wizard of Oz (I’ll get you my pretty…and your little dog, too). Three raffle tickets were enough for the win. I proudly brought it home.
And it sat for a few years. It became one of those “someday” events. You know the ones. Those tasks, or events, we tell ourselves we’ll get to “someday” and seldom ever do. Others may call it their bucket list.
Finally, I decided to give the someday bicycle a try…and discovered it pulled way too hard to the left. I brought it back home, told the then-boyfriend, and he adjusted the screw at the base of the handlebars. It should be okay now. But, after having nearly veered off into the middle of heavy traffic along Interstate 6 too many times, I confess to being a little intimidated by it. Traffic slows for no man…or woman…on Route 6. The someday bicycle went back into storage.
Two weekends’ ago, I decided to pull it back out again. My dream bicycle is actually an adult-sized tricycle with a big basket sitting between the two back wheels for hauling groceries and such. But, not having the $250+ to purchase one right now, I decided to give the ol’ vintage bike a second try. To overcome the apprehension about familiarizing myself with it on a major interstate, I walked it across the street one Sunday afternoon to the empty parking lot there. Well, it still rides a little to the left; worse, it doesn’t want to turn left…unless I gently tap the brakes to slow it down. It’s also way too tall for me–and I’m 5’8″ tall. I could only teeter-totter back and forth from one toe to the other; I could not put both feet down at once. That destroyed whatever confidence I have left in it. I’m thinking it may work as one of those stationary bikes…either for winter fitness or, for another “someday” something, a future bicycle-powered generator when I’m finally able to transition to more off-grid living. But as an eco-friendly form of transportation? Nope. Not happening.
So, while I dreamed of my dream trike, I continued huffing and puffing, and every few feet, stopping to set the groceries down a moment until the circulation could return to my fingertips from the weight of those bags.
That’s when Mr. Eye Candy pulled into the parking lot of Danielson Glass in front of me, stepped out of his car and came towards me, hands out as if to grab my heavy bags from me. He offered me a ride home. Well, though he looked quite a bit like Val Kilmer when he played in the movie “Willow” (long, dark hair pulled back in a ponytail, blue/green eyes, nice build), and while the biggest part of me wants to believe he was just trying to help when he saw me struggling, I grew up in a family of police officers. Every alarm bell went off in my head. Again, he could’ve been harmless. I mean, someone that handsome probably wouldn’t need to lure a woman into his vehicle and do away with her remains later on; he was definitely someone who didn’t strike me as having trouble attracting someone. However, that little warning bell in my head reminded me that serial killer, Ted Bundy, was also considered attractive and that was how he lulled unsuspecting females into his car; with that pretty face, and that false image we have of bad guys being the least attractive by societal standards, those unsuspecting females let their guards down. So, despite my struggles, I thanked him politely but assured him I was almost home. He looked perplexed. When I kept walking, he actually followed me a short way, asking if I was sure. Yup. I am…and picked up my steps a little more. He didn’t pursue further. But he sat at the parking lot entrance for a few minutes and watched me walk up Prince Hill…probably growing more and more perplexed at my refusal. Trust me, had we “met” in a bookstore or a cafe somewhere, I would’ve been more than happy to sit and chat with him awhile…just not alone in his car.
It took another 20 minutes to make it home. I had two more offers for a ride home, women both times but also strangers; I just decided to keep going. They didn’t worry me as far as safety is concerned; I was just tired and, at that point, didn’t want to trouble anyone. I thanked them both and continued on.
And crashed when I got home, heat exhaustion overtaking me. Yesterday, my leg aching and muscles spasms making me very uncomfortable but not quite as incapacitated as before.
Time to beef up the savings for that tricycle…maybe, if I apply some creative visualization of myself actually riding said tricycle, the Universe will finally send it my way. In the meantime, I will have to remember smaller loads, more frequent trips…and thanking God for those little warning bells. Mr. Eye Candy may have been harmless…and my apologies to him, if his intentions were pure. But you never know. And those warning bells may have just saved my life.
May God bless you & keep you!