I Couldn’t Have Planned This Better

My big plans for the weekend.  Go to Cincinnati and hang out at the Great American Ballpark for a birthday celebration for a very loved cousin.  Get up early and ride for miles and miles (did a tune just pop in to your head?) and miles.  Stop for a quick visit with my brother and his fiance.  Drive home and go to bed.  Get up and do laundry and maybe do a short bike ride.  But plan nothing real for Sunday, just let it happen.

Instead.  We did go to the Great American Ballpark.  We did have a great time with family to celebrate one of our own.  We met some “strangers” at the game.  We went out to sit in the seats reserved for us.  There were 2 people there in the 60 or so  seats reserved for us.  We asked if they were there for the party, thinking they were friends of the birthday girl.  They were not.  But we sat in the bleachers with them for about 45 minutes or so and had a fabulous time.  It is so wonderful to meet people you’ve never met and will likely never meet again.  There are all kinds of things to talk about because you haven’t run out of things to talk about.  And I told them that years down the road we will all wonder what became of that “nice couple at the Red’s game that one night”.    David and I then walked the circumference of the ball park.  It was like a mall.  And it seemed to have it’s own culture.  But it was fun.  We spent the rest of the night sitting with family.  And laughing.   A lot.  We may see each other once a year.  Or once every five or ten years.  But when we get together?  We never run out of stuff to say.  Because we relive our history.  And we catch up on where we are.  And it creates another great memory to talk about the next time.

Back to the hotel we go.  Get up early.  Put on the news, storms coming.  Bad storms coming.  Pull up the weather on the internet.  Storms coming.  Bad storms coming.  We go to breakfast where the weather is being shown on a large flat screen over our heads.  Storms coming.  Bad storms coming.  I took the hint.  And it really did not please me.   Had I not been planning this day for weeks?  When work or home life kept me from riding wasn’t I letting it go because, well, I’ll get to do a really long ride on Saturday after the birthday party.

We drove to where we were going to get on the trail.   We drove past it.  The storm clouds were there.  Even if it wasn’t dumping on our heads just yet.  I think I might have become a little moody.  I know, hard for a lot of you to picture.   Don’t try.  Instead we head to my brother and his fiance’s house.  And we spent hours talking with them.  Hours I know I would not have spent with them had we gotten to ride.  If we had ridden we would have stopped, chatted, and headed out.  Instead, we drank tea and coffee, and talked.  A lot.  To be honest, we did not talk enough.  My oldest brother.  I picture him throwing the foot ball in the air.   I remember him paying me a dime to clean the kitchen when he didn’t want to.  I remember him crying when John Lennon was killed.  It was a terrible emotion to see on my big brother and it broke my heart, I remember that vividly.  I remember dad taking us to his dorm room when he was the first of us to go to college.  I remember him laughing with my first born when she was but a baby.  Since then, we’ve physically gone separate ways.  Getting together at mom’s for holidays, weddings, graduations and other family get togethers.  We’ve lived more of our lives apart now than the time we had growing up.  Yet I feel like he belongs to me, because of that childhood.  I only left because we had such a long drive ahead of us.  And if it’s one month, or one year, before I sit in their living room again, it will feel as easy and natural as this day.  No matter where we go, he’s my brother.  Being with him is like going home.

So we drove home.  And it was a very long drive.  When we got home we had visitors that we had not thought we would get to see.  We thought the bike ride we planned for the day would keep us away too long and exhaust us too much to visit.  Instead,  we spent a few hours sitting at home, not stressing, not doing.   Just being.  In a most enjoyable way.  David made cookies.   We didn’t even clean the house.  We just sat.  Talked.  Laughed.  And ended the long day with a fellowship with friends.

I woke this morning and went to get some water from the kitchen.  What?  Blue skies?  No clouds?  I thought it was suppose to rain and storm today.   We checked the weather.  Not until 1 p.m. it wasn’t.   We jumped in the car.  Drove to the bike trail.  And rode like mad to get 42 miles in before it stormed.   And, we did it!   It was beautiful like I wouldn’t have dared hope for.  Sun.  Smiling people.  Turtles.  Train stations.  Puffy white clouds.  And the last leg of our journey?  Storm clouds at our backs.  They challenged me and pushed me and made me laugh at their encouragement to get to the car before they got to me.  Did it.

Then….Caramel Cheesequake Blizzard.

This weekend didn’t go my way.  But it went the way it was suppose to go.  And it was better.