Name My New Bike

My husband used his year-end bonus to buy me a commuter bike.  No, ladies, he doesn’t have a brother.  It was incredibly sweet of him, especially since I tend to receive bonuses in peanut butter handed hugs and blocky lettered love notes.  Although the other day one of my little ones did try to pay me a shiny penny “for being a good teacher”.

Here’s my beautiful, new, pearl white bike.  You’re allowed to drool.

Electra Amsterdam Royal 8i
Electra Amsterdam Royal 8i

Isn’t she gorgeous?  Like all the ladies I like to hang around, she’s beautiful and she’s got brains.

Eight gears mean I’m able to easily get back up the hill from my school to my house.

The skirt guard means I can wear dresses and skirts to work and not get them tangled in my spokes, not that I’ve ever done that or anything.  Ahem.

The chain guard makes it impossible for me to chainstamp myself on my way to work.  This is important because when I ride The Rocket, I manage to get a greasy, black chainstamp on my leg nearly every ride.  Sometimes I even manage to get one on the opposite leg.  I’ve got skills.

The rack and strap on the back mean that I can attach panniers and haul a TON of stuff, important stuff like ice cream.

Lights on the front and back mean drivers see me.  And get this, they smile at me.  Farmers and cowboys can be friends.  Sorry, I was watching Oklahoma! the other day.  This bike is some sort of magical ambassador between motorists and cyclists.  Strangers smile and wave at me from their cars.  Passerby make comments like “Beautiful bike.” and “Sweet ride.”

I bought my new bike a handlebar basket and decked her out in matching Basil panniers and a bike purse with an adorable Babushka print.  No way was I putting plain old bags on this classy gal.  The Hubs even moved her from the garage to the bedroom on her first night at our house.


I’ve tried to make her feel welcome by riding her to and from school every day.  The other day we raced a squirrel almost a full block.  We totally won.  Okay, it was by default because the squirrel ran up a tree before the end of the block, but a win is a win.  On our rides to school in the morning I play music.  On the downhill part, I stick my legs out and let out a shrill “Wheeeeeeee!!!”

At school I even took her out during P.E. to run with the kids.  She and I rode up behind the kids while they were running and then I’d ding the bell.  The kids would shriek and dissolve into peals of giggles.  Then they would run next to us, their little legs churning to keep up.

I rode my new bike to dinner the other night and to breakfast the following morning.  I think she’s starting to like it here.

I take good care of her.  I lock her up everywhere we go.  I pumped her tires until the pressure was just right.  I parked her in the garage so she can make friends with The Rocket and my hubby’s bike, Suck It Trebek.

But my new bike is a shy gal.  She still hasn’t told me her name.

The Rocket told me her name straight away, had it written right on her frame in fact.  Frank the Tank told me his name the first time I picked him up.  But my beautiful new bike is remaining quite tight-lipped when it comes to introductions.

So, dear reader, perhaps you can help me figure out her name.  I’m convinced that once we’re on a first name basis we’ll enjoy our daily adventures that much more.  So put on your thinking cap and meet me in the comments section with your brilliant suggestions.

Men of Goodwill

I have a friend, Jason, who has three noteworthy talents.  Wait, that came out wrong.  Sorry, Jason.  He has many noteworthy talents, but three in particular that I greatly appreciate.

1. He orders well off the In N Out secret menu.

2. He can play pretty much any instrument just by looking at it.

3. He picks out the most perfect music for me, music that I wouldn’t normally give a second glance to.  Then he points it out and lo and behold the songs he suggests are now all of my favorites.

That third one may actually verge on the side of superpower and it’s that talent/superpower that brings me here today.

A few weeks ago Jason tweeted about loving this Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth mash-up that Bing Crosby and David Bowie sang together.  Rub your eyes all you want, you read that right.

Bing Crosby.

David Bowie.



When I read Jason’s tweet, my eyes rolled so hard they almost got stuck, which would have been terrible because moms all over the world would have rightfully let out a global, “I told you so.”

My eye roll was impeded by a teensy niggling thought.  Jason always recommends brilliant stuff.  But David Bowie and Big Crosby???  No.  Just no.

So with my eyes set on auto roll and my scoff turned on high, I watched the video.

And then I swallowed my scoff back down past the lump in my throat and my eyes were too busy blinking back tears to even think of rolling.

The sorrow of the Newtown shooting was still a bleeding wound, soaking through my days in the classroom and staining my pillow with nightmares.

So when David Bowie sang these lines, I found myself weeping and echoing his prayer.

I pray my wish will come true for my child and your child, too.

He’ll see the day of glory,

See the day when men of goodwill live in peace,

Live in peace again.

Many Christmas songs wish goodwill to others, like goodwill is a thing to be gifted with a plate of cookies.  I stopped in my tracks at the phrase “men of goodwill” because as it turns out, all this time goodwill is something to be, not to have.

I get that it’s a Christmas song and that you’re on an eleven month sabbatical from Christmas music, but that verse has been loping in my head for the last few weeks as my little ones and I studied Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his call for all of us to be a people with spirits devoted to equality, a people with minds set on peace, and a people with hearts pulsing with goodwill.

This Monday as we honor Dr. King, his words will ring in my heart and in a surprising twist, David Bowie and Bing Crosby will be singing the soundtrack that plays in my mind as I seek opportunities to be a woman of goodwill.

Thankful Thursday #86


This week I’m thankful for…

  • this graffiti heart That Laura and I came across on a walk home from lunch
  • teaching my little ones about Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • the shooting star I saw while soaking in my spa
  • the little one who said my new haircut, “looks just like Justin Bieber’s hair.”  Um, thanks?
  • parent volunteers
  • the sounds my hubby makes in his sleep
  • reading the Bible in chronological order-fascinating way to read it!
  • my new bike (but that’s a story for another day.