Yes, I’m still here!

Guess I’d better write something. Spring has seemingly finally wrested the icy grip of a much too long winter in Wisconsin. Seriously. Nothing like a year in Arizona to really make you appreciate how mind-numbingly LONG winter gets around here. One thing, though. When the snow finally melted about a month (?) ago, the grass was green. I seem to remember it being brown post-snow… Maybe it was just a weird thing, I don’t know.

My bike finally is sort of operable again, after being neglected in Arizona and subject to my nemesis, the automatic sprinkler system (…note to self: rant sometime on another entry about lawns in the desert being an irresponsible and ridiculous idea. Possible title: If You Really Want A Lawn, Live Somewhere With RAIN!). The chain was seriously rusted and upon trying to ride it last fall, made a grating “clunk chunk kachunk” sound caused by the rusted-stiff links trying not to bend around the cog. I know. If you really know bikes, you’re probably cringing that I even TRIED to ride it in that condition. What can I say? I was desperate.

After an hour of playing follow-the-google on “fixing rusty bike chains,” I got out the can of WD-40, a toothbrush, and a rag, and finally wrested the last few stiff links apart last night. Now I just need to find out if the rest of my bike is suffering from its being doused for too long and ridden in less than optimal condition. I have a feeling it needs a tune-up, and maybe a new chain (nothing like two hours of fruitless labor…). Hopefully it’ll be good enough to get by until I can get it in to the shop or to someone who knows more than I do.

Our dreams (well, maybe just my dream, since I’m the only one who thought it was remotely possible) of getting a second car have been erased by the sign down the road at Ryan’s proclaiming that gas is now over $3 a gallon again. Suddenly, a bike trailer seems to be a much better option, even if it won’t probably work in the winter. It’s relatively flat around here, so I don’t think lugging a 25 lb. 2 year old and a 35 lb. 4 year old will be that bad. I hope. Strange how sometimes being financially limited has environmental benefits… I suppose my overwhelming thought on not doing the 2-car thing is relief that we didn’t go ahead and do it only to find we couldn’t afford to gas up two vehicles. And global warming aside, this’ll be better for my personal health anyway. Anyone want to buy a moderately-used double stroller?

One more thing that needs to go into the Parenting Manual that no one ever gives you when you have kids. How on earth do you teach a kid to ride a bike without training wheels when you’re terrified to let them fall. Now, I know that I need to let go of the fear of Elanor crashing, but the mommy thing makes that nigh unto impossible. So, for now, my six-year-old daughter rides to kindergarten on (gasp) training wheels (…as I follow at break-neck pace with the double stroller. Yeah, a bike trailer would be nice…). But at least she’s riding, and hopefully by mid-summer, she’ll be on two wheels. …Just as soon as her daddy can donate a few Saturday and Sunday afternoons to help her learn to crash, because it’s looking like it won’t be me.