October. It should be a month of color, and crisp. Crisp, colored leaves on the ground - that's it!
But it's been a month of drought. No color on the trees - no green, red, yellow OR orange. There is no chlorophyll-breakdown by which to make the beautiful colors; the leaves are falling off the trees because THEY HAVE NO MOISTURE. They are falling off because of drought, not autumn.
I have been running and bike riding up & down our country roads. They're like talcum powder. A car or truck passes, and the cloud stays in the air for long, long minutes. I carry a handkerchief tucked into my running or cycling shorts, and sport the cattle-rustler's bandana look, over my nose and mouth, if a vehicle passes me on the road.
On a more-cheerful note, I called a friend this week, told her to pack a sack lunch to work, and I would pick her up at noon. We picnicked at the K-State Gardens, which was very nice. Nice for me to socialize with a long-time friend, and nice for her to get out of her office and into garden for an hour.
After lunch, I went to the K-State Police Department to file a missing bike report.
This is so irritating.
That Spouse o' Mine and I have several bikes. We happily loan our extra bikes out to anyone who may need a bike, or may express an interest in cycling. This summer, that Spouse o' Mine was out on a group ride, and there was a new grad student, fresh from Ecuador, who was riding in the group. Later, that Spouse o' Mine remarked that her bike was "really crappy". I replied, "Well, loan her my Panasonic, if she is interested."
She was, and so we did. Fast-forward to the end of summer, when she was to return to Ecuador. She neglected to return the bike back to us, but rather, left it in the care of a neighbor at the university apartments. Two days later, said neighbor noticed that the bike was missing from its bike rack. (Hello? No lock???)
Since then I have traveled the internet highway, Craigslist, our many local cycling networks, the pawn shops, and finally, I am filing my reports with our police departments. I have been told that most likely this bike is GONE. Period. Most likely to a pawn shop. GONE.
What does this mean to me? Frustration, but little else. I was always so happy to be able to loan a bike out to someone, to encourage someone. I always want to share cycling with anyone, and enable anyone. But, if we don't get that bike back...I suppose that is one less thought and worry for me.
* sigh *