Tuesday, July 20, 2010


On Saturday at Eastern Market, there was a stand with all those wood signs and magnets that say witty things that are supposed to make you think hard about life. For once, there was one that actually made me think hard.

"Once upon a time, there was time."

This pretty much sums up my life right now and most of what I think and feel. I've written enough recently about life and how it slips away, mainly about how it's so hard to keep in touch and how time flies and I don't even know where it's gone. But tonight, time has flown and I'm not sad about it. I leave for Ragbrai in less than 48 hours and I can't wait. It seems like yesterday that I was sitting in my parents living room working out logistics with Joyce over the phone, my mom yelling at me from upstairs about how Joyce needs a good quality bike as Joyce and I try to figure out how to either get her bike from Florida to Iowa or how to get her a new bike. Two months later, the logistics are all worked out, we have my "type A" (ha! sorry mom!) mom to thank for that. She just came by and picked up my bike and gigantic, packed to the max backpack so there's not much left to do on my end but wait. It helps, of course, that tomorrow is my birthday. And that, for once in our 3.5 years of being together, Josh and I have waited until the actual holiday to exchange presents. We are usually too excited to resist performing this ritual early but, this time, I've held strong. The presents are wrapped on the table in front of me (in black and white polka-dots!!) and Josh encouraged me to open one of them but I am holding out! Till the morning, when I'll be 23, and I'll be only one day away from hitting the open road.

There are things that I didn't get to. I never rigged the bike attachment music contraption that I have been so creatively imagining. I have yet to wrap my head around a way to execute that. I didn't purchase the headlamp flashlight that I hoped to have for the trip. I never watched breaking away. Or field of dreams (which we're riding by next week!). I didn't ride a century. I forgot to buy soap. Oops. I planned on laying out some so that at the end of ragbrai my bike tan would be a contrast of tan and lighter tan not tan and pale. I laid out once and my stomach and upper thighs are still as pale as ever. To be honest though, I really kind of hate laying out. I did it all the time in Florida and it is semi enjoyable when you're with a friend and socializing. Now it just feels like a waste of time and it is so hot and boring and I can't even read because it's too bright and the book ends up shading whatever part of skin I'm trying to tan anyway. So screw being tan just to be tan. It isn't good for you anyway. I am very aware of the damage I've already done to my skin and am paranoid about skin cancer, so I feel I've grown out of the need to be tan. I guess that's all that I never got around to.

I'm sure that 11 days from now I'll be back to moping about how fast the week before flew by. But for now, there is time. There is time for me to spend an evening with lots of friends together at once eating and drinking wine, in true french fashion. There is time for me to take off work and not check email or answer phones for a week. There is time for me to road trip a third of the way across the country with two friends, plenty of cheez-itz, and a soundtrack for life. There is time for me to ride my bike across the hawkeye state, from river to river. There is time for a weeklong hoorah with one of my best friends before she moves so far away in August. So there is still time, I just have to work harder to find it these days. Hopefully I can find the time to buy some soap!

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