Today, at last, everything came together. The sun was shining, it was almost warm, I didn't have to work and my husband wasn't riding with "the guys." Which somehow to me implies the same group of guys, but no, it means whichever group of guys he picks on a particular day. I swear they line up to ride with him. But today he was all mine.
Looking at the calendar it's been far too many weeks since I was on my bike. Enough perhaps to even make a month...no, that's just too depressing. When he suggested a ride last night I was all cool, like....sure, I suppose if you want to we could. Cool, right? I'm sure he bought.it.
Spring has definitely arrived here. Even though the temperatures aren't always spring-like nature is going ahead with it anyway. Trees are flowering everywhere. Pretty lavender flowers and pinks and whites, even one tree with absolutely no leaves at all but covered in giant white flowers. The ditch weeds are blossoming too. Tall yellow flowers sway in the wind while little purple flowers peek out from the short grass. Everything has that hazy, yellow green color of new grass and tree buds. There was even the hint of manure in the air, a definite sign of spring in Benton County. I was surprised to find it here, which was probably silly on my part. This is farming country after all, there's just a different kind of crop.
My favorite spring sighting today wasn't any of the pretty flowers, but an old woman about a meter tall with perfectly coiffed white hair in a proper navy blue wool dress, white apron and fuzzy slippers sweeping the winter dust and dead leaves off the stairs leading from her house to the street. Sigh....this is Italy, I thought. And as I was having that moment I passed her and she gave me a look and threw a broom full of winter right at me. Oh yeah, this is Italy.
The other inevitable spring sign is potholes. Leif is good about warning me what's coming up with a little point at the possible problem spots. Sadly past experience has taught us that pointing it out usually only encourages me to ride right into the middle of the hole. As time went by (and he would hear me hit the hole and possibly although not always swear just a little) he became a little more animated in his sign language. He would point at the offending hole several times, sometimes wagging his finger back and forth in essence telling me "No, don't ride there." Of course I do anyway. It's like I have no control over my body when he does that. I think "OK, move over," but nothing happens. I can't explain it, I only know we're both a little frustrated by it. Leif because sooner or later I'm gonna break something and he'll have to fix it, me because it's just painful sometimes to bounce in and out of a hole. And frankly, I'm a little embarrassed. How hard can it be to miss a hole in the road, when it's not even a big hole?
Today he was gesturing so hard a more sensitive soul might have thought he was yelling at me "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DON'T RIDE INTO THIS HOLE!" He probably was, but I'm totally insensitive. I even missed a few of the potholes today. Although, to be honest I think the potholes I missed are ones that he wasn't pointing to. But still, I missed them, which is better than before so I think we can call this progress.
Of course I'm already scouring the weather sites, doing my usual forecast averaging between the Norwegians and the Americans to come up with a probably scenario for the coming days. Sadly, it doesn't look good. Warm temperatures are no good if they come with a layer of rain. So I guess we'll just have to wait and see.