Share Your World – April 10, 2017

Have you ever participated in a distance walking, swimming, running, or biking event? Tell your story.

I was going to say “no” … but then I realized that actually, I did. Sort of. It was 54 years ago. That was so long ago, it’s as if it were another lifetime.

All photos: Garry Armstrong

When I and my friends were in final summer between high school and college, we got serious about bicycle riding. For that last summer, we rode between 10 and 30 miles every day unless it was raining. We rode out to another county, and deep into New York city. We didn’t have fancy bicycles, either. None of those 10-speed racers. We had whatever was available, ranging from my friend Carol’s bike which had been her mother’s bike, to Mary’s Schwinn . It wasn’t a race or a marathon. The only prize was we could say “we did it.”

At the end of that summer, I was in the best physical shape I have been in. Ever. It turns out it isn’t just a rumor: serious exercise gives you serious muscles.

Name one thing not many people know about you.

My official college major, after I dropped music, was Speech. To this day, I’m fascinated by the way people talk.

What is your favorite flower?

Lilac. It’s the scent.

Things I want to have in my home (paintings, hot tubs, book cases, big screen tv etc)

Art is probably the most important. I need beautiful and interesting things near me. Art makes my world sane. If you don’t love art, you won’t understand.

Otherwise, housewares make me happy. New pots and pans. Dishes. Flatware. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Having things that work well but are also beautiful give me a sense of satisfaction I can’t entirely explain.


    1. I couldn’t do it now, but I was pretty balanced at 16. But, at 19 I had by spine surgery and that was pretty much the end of balance and a lot of other things.

      The lilacs are another month away here. Typically second week in May. But the forsythia came out today and I think the daffodils will be up tomorrow. So it’s happening, one flower at a time.


  1. I love lilacs the colour the scent, on and did I mention, Im tragically allergic??? dang of all things to be allergic to. And geraniums which I can’t abide. Beautiful picture of the lilacs though, loving it from afar, haha literally. If those bowls are yours? I love them, so colourful and pretty. Who wouldn’t look forward to eating out of them? I love to set a pretty table colourful and I know matchy matchy isn’t in, but I love bright and pretty set of against stark white, or perhaps one of the colours in the bowls.


    1. My son was born during lilac season, so my room was full of them. They always bring back happy memories, though they do not grow as well here as they did in a sunnier space. Pity to be allergic, but maybe you can find the scent somewhere. They really are lovely.


  2. The riding bike bit, touched me, as in my youth days this is what I did with few friends at that time. Until one day an elderly man, racially abused us, set his dog on us that my love affair of riding a bike to a new place 20 to 30 miles away and explore came to end. I have now revived it and with the same group of friends.


    1. I remember it, but I couldn’t get on a bike these days and not just fall off again. But yes, that is exactly what we did. Get on, ride a long time, scrounge together a few pennies (life was cheap and we didn’t have allowances) for something to eat, then ride back. And we did it just because we could. That was probably the best part.


  3. Another two things we have (had) in common: bike riding and lilacs. Yours are much denser than mine though – my tree has quite ‘spindly’ flower bunches, but the perfume at night is unmistakable! In my 30’s i used to ride to work and then do longer rides on the weekends 200 km a week was not uncommon, my best was 200k in one day and 980k in a week. Now i’d struggle to do 1 without needing to rest afterward.



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