Fall off the bike and get back on

I had the horrible feeling this morning that I had fallen off my bike and couldn’t get back on.

Had the people of America really chosen Donald Trump?

We did and I’m appalled. So I got on my bike and pedaled around the neighborhood, thinking about why this happened.

My conclusion is that there is still a glass ceiling against women in charge. Was Hillary Clinton warm and fuzzy? No. But she shouldn’t have to be. What she should be is capable and smart and intelligent and savvy in the ways of international affairs.

She is all of those things. But all Donald Trump had to do was start calling her “Corrupt Hillary” and the game was over. I guess voters were looking for an excuse.

It seems that Trump backers found it OK that he decided not to pay people who did construction work for him. If you or I decided to do that, we would be hauled into court.

Sure, Trump has built things — mostly homages to himself. If you’ve ever been to NYC and seen the glittering gold Trump Tower, you know what I mean.

He treats women badly, utters casually racist comments, and seems to think money is king. He treated his fellow presidential hopefuls so disrespectfully that some of them said they couldn’t even vote for him.

So what did the Average Joe see in him?

I really don’t know.

My guess is he’s never ridden a bike or walked a paper route. He’s probably never sold anything on Craig’s List or placed a want ad in the local newspaper (for him that would be the New York Times).

He hasn’t had to choose between health insurance and a house payment.He hasn’t limped along with an oil-belching car for just one more year because he couldn’t afford to trade it in.

Maybe I’m not the typical voter. I’m one of the few people in America who voted twice for Jimmy Carter. In my lifetime of voting, Carter is still my favorite president, mainly because he is such a good person. And through old age and illness, he’s still that same good person, building homes with Habitat for Humanity.

I’m guessing Trump would want a cut of the profits if he decided to work for that organization.

But life goes on so I’m still riding my bike, and I’m still cleaning up after my fabulous holiday sale. And like everyone else, I’m waiting to see what a Trump presidency is going to mean to this country.

But I’d feel better if he went for a bike ride.



Autumn Joy

If there is a better autumn than the one we are experiencing right now, I can’t imagine it.

I just finished a three-day holiday sale held in my house and have been denied the pleasures of nature pretty much all week. I could see sunny skies and the accumulation of leaves, but I was chained to the checkout desk in my sunroom.

In fact, I’ve been cleaning and prepping for this sale since August and I’ll be cleaning up from the sale likely until Christmas day. I now feel genuine sympathy and empathy for those folks who cleaned furiously and laid new carpet before I arrived with photographer in tow to do a story on their house for the Home section in the La Crosse Tribune. I used to say, “Don’t worry about the dust. It won’t show up in the photos.”

But, of course, they worried about the dust, just as I did. I knew people who had long wished to see inside my house would arrive ready to inspect every nook and cranny available to them. And I had a mysterious black ring on my hardwood flooring in the sunroom. I haven’t yet figured out how to fix that.

Still, I survived and so did the house. My sister has left town with a loaded van. I am left with weeks of work to return my house to what it was (but maybe better) before the sale.

So most of today I spent moving from one task to another — not hurrying, but getting work done.

I got the sheets on the line and they are now back on the bed. Empty ornament boxes have been returned to the basement. The microwave and toaster have been set free from the garage and returned to the kitchen counter.

Perhaps I should have raked, but at 5 p.m., as the light was fading on this first day where we turned the clocks back an hour, I decided I need a twilight autumn bike ride. So my trusty Schwinn and I set off through the neighborhood streets and alleys, guided by a bright almost half moon.

The scent of wood smoke wafted through the still night air even as one homeowner set the sprinklers going on his lawn.

Is this really Nov. 6?

Yes, I have a lot of packing and cleaning and rearranging to do. But that can happen tomorrow and the next day and the next day.

Yes, there are leaves to rake. But while the rest of you drag yourselves to work on another busy Monday, I can go out and increase my leaf piles.

But in the twilight autumn, a bike ride just seems more necessary.