“If were not a man, I would like to be a bird. As I am a man, I do the next best thing, and ride a bicycle.”

The house was cold this morning. I put on a sweatshirt and turned on the heat until the house felt warm. When I went to get the papers, I found outside warmer than inside.

The day is lovely. Bright sunlight is glinting through the leaves on the trees in the backyard. Everything is still. Bird songs are the only sounds. It is the perfect fall day.

The tourists are back for the long weekend and the good weather. Yesterday I had to use back roads because the main road was clogged with lines of cars waiting at the lights. The parking lot at Cuffy’s was filled with buses filled with people buying Cape Cod t-shirts with sharks on the front I’m guessing.

When I was a kid, today would have been the perfect day to explore, to ride my bike all over town. I had favorite places like Weiss dairy farm. I remember watching the black and white cows walk from the barn to the field. Their path was mud with grass on each side of the path. The barn was white and had a conveyer belt to the loft. It sometimes had bales of hay on it. I thought it was neat to live in a town with a farm.

A field where a couple of horses grazed was a short bike ride away. The house was in the far back of the field. I remember it was red and looked like a block, a square. I used to grab some grass and stand by the fence hoping to entice the horses to eat. My big dream was to ride one. It is a good thing I never did. Who knows what I would have broken falling off.

I used to bike the trail pass the swamp as it was a shortcut to the road leading to the next town and its lake. I didn’t stop at the swamp. It wasn’t all that interesting this time of year. The tadpoles were now frogs and had moved on. The flitting bugs we called knitting needles were also gone, driven away by the chilly nights. We would return to the swamp when it was ice, and we could skate on it.

We’d bike to the lake and ride around it. I remember the Indian Trading Post at one end of the lake. It had two teepees, one on each side of the building. It was neat place to visit. The trading post had beautiful handmade feathered Indian bonnets, beaded clothes and stuff like arrowheads which had been found locally. My father bought his headdress there when he became sachem of the Red Men.

All my favorite places are pretty much gone now. The farm has no cows. It sells mulch. The field with the horses is now streets with rows of houses. The swamp is long gone, replaced by apartments for the elderly. The Indian Trading Post was torn down. I, however, still have vivid memories of all those places. They helped give me the best childhood and the most wonderful places to ride my bike.

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11 Comments on ““If were not a man, I would like to be a bird. As I am a man, I do the next best thing, and ride a bicycle.””

  1. Bob Says:

    Your quote was interesting because the Wright brothers were bicycle mechanics which was instrumental in their success in being the first to fly a powered airplane.

    Every day I drive to work by the neighborhood in North Dallas where I grew up. The horse and cattle farms are long gone replaced by high end homes and strip shopping malls. The neatest farms are over 30 miles of suburban sprawl north of where I lived.

    Today is the big football game in the Cotton Bowl at the State Fair. It’s the Red River Showdown between The University of Texas Longhorns and The University of Oklahoma Sooners. It’s a perfect day for football, partly cloudy with 81 degrees at the halftime. Texas leads 24 to 17. Hookum’ Horns. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      The quote is from 1892 so maybe it was an inspiration for the Wright brothers to fly for real.

      Everything has changed so much. What were idyllic small towns have sprawl with big malls and strip malls. My town has strict laws which curtail rampant growth. We have a Burger King but no McDonald’s as the town has a limit on drive-up windows. There are land preserves the town has bought. My taxes are low in comparison.

      I know people are rabid about college football. My sister’s family watches all Saturday then the pros on Sunday. I don’t have any special allegiance.

      • Bob Says:

        I’m not a fan of college football but my better half went to UT and watches this game every year. The game was very exciting and was tied until the last couple of seconds when Texas scored a field goal to win 48 to 45.

        Unfortunately, in Texas there’s no such thing as preservation. Houston has no zoning laws and a developer could build a 40 story office building right next to your house. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I remember The Indian Trading Post. As a kid I never went in there but as an adult I did because I bought beading supplies there. Mr. Bayrd was always very helpful about techniques and showed me how to make some items that he had in his shop. He had also developed a beading loom that was much better than the ones sold in the craft stores. I still have it though I don’t do beading anymore. Sometimes I use it to weave yarn bands as it works equally well for that.

    A couple of houses around me had horses when I was a kid. My experience with horses back then usually involved the horse trying to eat my hair. Yes, it was sort of light brown hair but not really hay colored. I don’t know why they all tried to eat it.
    I did once get up on a neighbor’s horse when it was alone in its paddock. Bareback and no bridle. It took off around the pond at a gallop. I got scared and baled out before I could get bucked off into the pond. Nothing got broken. The horse’s name was Texas Mustard.

    Today started out very cloudy and cool. The sun has been playing peak-a-boo now and then but mostly it’s not showing its face.

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      That was such an amazing place. It was too bad no one could take it over. The Trading Post was sold after both he and his wife died. I loved going inside and just look around.

      It is sort funny that your hair appealed to horses. One maybe but a few strange. I’d be the same about riding bareback with no bridle even though I hoped to get on one of the tow horses. I would have fallen and probably broken an arm.

      It stayed sunny and cool all day. I went out to Agway for dog and cat food then stopped at the hardware store for a couple of things. I’m settling in to watch the Sox game.

      Have a great evening!!

  3. olof1 Says:

    We’ve had a rather nice day here even though the sun only shone for a few minutes in the early morning. It was around F all day so it was a bit too much to wear a fleece sweater but too little not to wear it ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

    I liked to bike or walk to the huge park I lived close to, we had it all there. A zoo with mostly Nordic animals and of course horses and a petting zoo. We also had small lakes and a shallow pond where we could watch newts, frogs and toads. There was also a lot of wildlife there and sometimes those animals went in to the city, like moose and deer ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

    Have a great day!

    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Christer,
      I wore my flannel shirt, and it was warm enough, but it is getting colder now that the sun is gone. I’m going to put on a sweatshirt.

      You had a great park. I would have loved the petting zoo.

      We did have a zoo which was free so we often rode bikes there and watched all the animals. The zoo is still there, but it costs money now. It is much bigger than it was when I was a kid.

      Have a great evening!

  4. Hedley Says:

    The bike was the road to freedom, socially and economically. The 26โ€ wheel meant you were โ€œgrown upโ€ I borrowed around ยฃ12 when I was 13 and next I was zooming around Ashtead and gainfully employed as a paperboy.

    I renovated my Cannondale this year, and sadly it has gathered dust in the garage. Big Rick has not lifted from his Lazyboy sic and I have walked more than ridden.

    Iโ€™m not quite sure how I made it through my boyhood without a helmet – goodness knows how many cars and posts I hit while trying to read the tobedelivered newspaper as I rode – had to check out the football.

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      I also felt free when I got my first bike. I could ride anywhere I wanted, and I did. My mother went crazy when we rode to visit my grandparents. They lived in east Boston, and we had to travel on a busy highway together there. My brother and I thought nothing of it.

      I remember you and Big Rick and your weekend riding. I’m sorry that has come to an end.

      None of us wore helmets back then. I never fell much on my bike. I remember once I slid in sand and fell and got scrapped all over, but that’s it. In Africa I had a motorcycle and Peace Corps sent us helmets. I never wore that one either.

  5. Birgit Says:

    It was a crazy day in this part of the country, besides the usual soccer chaos we had three major rallies at the same time. The biggest was a climate rally to end coal, another one was against new police laws that resemble nazi laws and a local rally for Mediterranean sea rescue, better support for refugees and safe and legal ways to Europe. I had to decide and took the local one which I could reach by bike. We’ve had a nice sunny fall day here and many people were on the streets today.

    • katry Says:

      Birgit,
      I too would’ve been torn as to which rally to pick. All three issues are important. I’m leaning toward the one to protest new police laws. Here there are rallies all the time, most are anti-Trump and his policies.

      The roads were quiet when I was out doing my errands.


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