Monday, July 28, 2008

Could be a big week

It is Monday night. Today was the day my friend was planning to speak with a potentially important fellow to see about hooking me up with a sponsor. I COULD do the ride just on my own, but it seems to continue to be important that I work with an organization and that they collect funds from my sponsors and that it all becomes more lasting, more meaningful than it would be just if I was to do a bike ride on my own.

A while ago, when I first did a leadership development course, (actually it was the second course in a series of three I would eventually take) my group did an exercise. The point of the exercise was to understand how to do exercises with groups. It was assumed that each of us would eventually go on to become a group leader so the exercise was not, in itself, supposed to mean anything. The exercise was simple. Each of us put one dollar into a pot. And then each of us was supposed to make a compelling case for being the one who got all the dollars. I REALLY wanted the dollars. I didn't care that it was just an exercise. I REALLY did want them. And what I wanted to do was to take all of the dollars, about 9, I think, and use one each time I filled up my car's tank with gas. I was about to drive across country, and I was nervous about it, about where I was going, about doing the trip alone. I felt that I could feel better if I had each person's dollar with me on every mile.

I ended up with the money and though that was not the point, it mattered a lot to me, and I DID think of each person and send that person a post card each time I put more gas in the car.

I want to have a bunch of people I am thinking about as I do this ride. I want it to mean something. I want to have a reason, something greater than just me, on this ride.

I hope their meeting went well. and I hope that means I can soon start writing letters and telling people about the ride in hopes that they will join me on this journey.

I have been confused with dates for the whole weekend. I just went to Chicago and made the plane reservations for the wrong day - an expensive mistake - and also told my hosts the wrong day for when I was going to be there. That was not such a bad thing, fortunately. Today, I think, is Monday, July 28. It is 2008. Still.

The Cicadas, the August kind, not the once every 17 years kind - are chirping. Today I got the parts to build a fountain which I will install and fill with plants for my bees tomorrow. The bees matter too. This ride, this journey, is about them too. Bees. Light. Health. Life. (and handblown glass.)


Thursday, July 24, 2008

July 25, 2008

Whee! Two posts on one week. I'm off to a grand start.

The chin worry has turned into a minor, yet very visible case of poison ivy. Alas. Yesterday's almost full-day photo shoot for WNC magazine was fun but I kept wondering if my poison ivy bumps were showing. Not to worry.

Shopped at the market for fresh things from about 6 farmers, all the while followed by a sweet photographer and his sweet assistant who carried a very large reflective disc. Sheesh! Not that the thing was supposed to be hidden, but wow - the big camera was one thing and that huge disc was something else all together. I kept waiting for someone to say, "THIS way, Laurey!" Of course no one did - just my silly imagination.

I got a call today, which I didn't even have time to answer, about the fund raising for my bike ride. Tomorrow I'll call and see what my friend thinks. I have let things go as I prepared for the big photo shoot day, but now it feels like time to get back to it. I'm gong to Chicago for a very fancy dinner on Saturday, back home on Sunday and then back on the bike on Monday.

Things I need to do:
Make a training schedule
Write the fundraising letter
Come up with a list of possible sponsors
Find a house sitter
Get a plane ticket
Get new bike tires
Get rid of my poison ivy

By the end of August I want to have a sponsoring organization
By September I want to have the letters sent out.
And a training plan laid out.

That's good for now.

What a thrill!!!

Hmm, maybe I should state a few goals right here:

The top 5 off the top of my head are:
1. I want to raise at least 50,000.00 for Ovarian Cancer early detection
2. I would like to raise 5,000.00 in sponsored funds to help me with my trip expenses.
3. I want to raise awareness of the importance of paying attention to one's body, knowing that this sort of attention can make a huge difference in living a healthy life. Early detection means early treatment, which means survival.
4. I want to figure out how to spread this word, and how to focus on health, not on illness.
5. I want to have a big team of people who support me on this ride, financially and psychically.

Tra la! Today life is good.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Here we GO!!!

July 22, 2008

Though I did not ride today, nor do I PLAN to ride today, it seems like a good day to start writing about my bike trip.

On March 1 (give or take a few days) 2009, I will start riding my bike across the United States. Roughly speaking, that is 8 1/2 months from now. I decided to take on this project in May after completing a nice, fairly easy one week ride on the Outer Banks of my current home state. It would have been REALLY easy except that the weather was not so good and we found ourselves riding with big wind and, one day, high water. Still, the week was healing for me, a first trip out on my own after the unexpected end to my life partnership. So it goes. I did the trip and now am going to do another one.

But today is today and this is my new blog and tra la for that, I say.

And, more about today. Today could be like any other day, but it could also be a significant departure. I mean, here it is, my first blog post.

Tomorrow, not just any other Wednesday, is the day that WNC Magazine comes here to shoot a story about me cooking with all local foods. Instead of vacuuming or straightening, here I sit, typing, dreaming of a date 8 1/2 months from now (or is that 7 1/2?) I should be cooking, organizing, planning the meal, making lists of things I must not forget. Instead I continue to write and worry about the outbreak of - poison ivy? - on my chin and the chigger bite on my belly. The chigger bite will not be seen but the chin thing is cause for concern. No makeup! Yipes!!

Okay - the bike ride. 3100 miles. 50 days of riding on a 58 day trip. Yee ha! Me and 30 strangers. I wonder about them, wonder who I might meet.

I want to make this a fundraiser for Ovarian Cancer. This is my 20th year of cancer-free life. Seems worth celebrating, don't you think? And it is my Golden Year this year, the year my age and birth year match. 54. Seems worth celebrating, yes?

But now, yes, I should and will go tend to my chin and to my lists and will accept this as my first entry. First of many. An auspicious day.

One aside, I've been wishing for someone to "make it all better' for a long time. i keep wishing for that. Things keep happening to me, as they do to others, no doubt. And I search for something outside of myself for solace. It doesn't come. So I've been practicing "Let's jsut see what happens..." as a mantra. Today I altered it somewhat to, "Let's imagine that that solace is IN you right now and you can reach it and use it." It made me calm down some. A good first day for that too.

Ciao for now.
Asheville, North Carolina
35°34'48”N, 82°33'21”W .