The Heart of the Matter

It was the end of a cool autumn day, and I was sitting on my yoga mat. I thought back to the morning (albeit late morning); my ablutions were complete and I got out on my daily constitutional. (That means walk for those not in the American South.) Walking is good for the heart, I thought, and then I remembered that I was supposed to have some heart tests this year. They were too expensive without insurance, so I didn’t have the tests. What with the pandemic and not getting younger, I’ve been wrestling with the beast that is U.S. health insurance (and losing). So after my walk, I read some stuff on the internet and called some people.

On one of those calls, I got some bad news from a friend, a colleague, really. They were pretty ill, but getting through it. Although I wasn’t raised to pray to a deity, this person was and has a good heart; I’ve always admired their sunny disposition. I’ve also known some Quakers and always appreciated their practice of sitting in silence, and their concept of “holding someone in the light.” So tonight after my bike ride and daily yoga, I flipped my Insight Meditation Timer app over to meditate and chose a five-minute one about compassion in honor of my friend. Usually I wait until I’m hitting the hay to meditate, so I tend to pass out before it’s done, or it doesn’t make much of an impact. Today, for some reason, it stuck with me.

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Nostalgia for My Grandmother on Winter Solstice, the Longest Night of the Year

It’s winter solstice here in Austin, Texas, United States of America, and I’m feeling nostalgic. Not only because of the holidays, or working in a place with a long history here in town and in the country that’s closing down, or because a year ago I had ridden my bike alot more, and the year before that, even more. It’s mostly because my maternal grandmother died 20 years ago on December 22, 1998. This post is dedicated to her memory. (Check back after the holidays for more photos.)

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Do It for Doug, Who’s Living with Multiple Sclerosis:  How to Support My MS 150 Ride from Houston to Austin

Please click to donate to A Dude Abikes MS 150 page:  http://Main.NationalMSSociety.org/GoTo/ADudeAbikes

We Are the Champions, My Friend

The MS 150 bike ride is here!  It’s April 29-30, 2017, from Houston to Austin, Texas. I On a bike.  Without a motor.  Unless you count my legs.  Which I do.   Anyhoo, it’s first about the fundraising:   last year, 13,000 cyclists inspired donations of over $16 million dollars for research and treatment.  But it also promotes awareness of Multiple Sclerosis.  I first signed up for this ride as a logical next step in my amateur bicycle riding journey, and because a fellow rider Bill offered to donate since he couldn’t ride.  But I wanted to learn more about the cause, so I became connected with a Bike MS Champion.

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Doug, pointing out his  own featured Bike MS Champion bio

The Champions program aims to communicate “why we ride” by highlighting the many different faces of MS and the different ways the National MS Society meets the needs of individuals living with MS through the generous support of Bike MS participants and fundraisers.  So A Dude Abikes was connected with Doug.  Here is the first message he sent me: Continue reading