Knee Deep In It

I found myself in a funny predicament recently when visiting my son, daughter in law & my granddaughter for a few days.  Funny, that is, if you happened to be a bystander watching me & the comedy show that ensued.

In an attempt to offer Mom, my daughter in law, a bit of time to herself, I set out to take our wee LAM for a nice, long walk.

You see, our precious girl is not so fond of sleep these days, preferring instead to wake after a half hour or so, regardless of how tired she is.  My mission?  To have her nap last longer than 20 minutes, ideally working towards the 2 hour mark!


Me with the baby on my front & lots & lots of snow!

Suiting up with my granddaughter strapped to my body in a carrier, and the dog at my side, we made our way to the dog park, in the hopes of the fresh air lulling our wee gal into a deep sleep.

Having received about 2 feet of fresh snow in the area, walking was a bit of a challenge but with the sun shining & high hopes of giving Mom a break, we set off on our little adventure.

Grandma, grand baby & grand dog, making their way to the dog park.  We were a happy lot for the first little while.

LAM fell asleep without much fussing & seemed quite content against my increasingly, sweating body. Fozz (the dog) was elated to be running in the dog park, & seemed unfazed as he frolicked in the snow up to his chest.

As for Grandma, the fresh air, the beautiful snow & the opportunity to have my precious LAM sleeping blissfully against my chest, filled my heart with absolute contentment.

Hurry up Grandma!

Hurry up Grandma!

After a beautiful walk, I was feeling victorious as we were approaching the 2 hour mark.

This is when the comedy show began.  Deciding it was time to head home, we began making our way back to the gate of the dog park, when I inadvertently stepped off the beaten path.

Into snow above my knees.  With a baby strapped to the front of me.

The dog took this as a cue that I wanted to play, thinking I had purposely dropped to my knees to engage at his level.  Running circles around me excitedly, I waved him away, quietly muttering, “no Fozz”, trying not to wake the baby as I struggled to get myself up.

As I stood there knee-deep in snow, I couldn’t help but thinking I should be yelling “MAN DOWN!”  I did not, for fear I would wake the baby.

With LAM now starting to fuss, I somehow managed to work my way to a small little tree sticking up out of the snow, just big enough to grab hold of the trunk to use as leverage to pull myself up.

The baby was nice & dry; I was not.

Covered in snow with the dog still running circles around me, I watched in utter panic as he ran right out the gate of the fenced dog park, which was pried open because of all of the accumulated snow.

FUCK!  Crap!  Now fearing I would lose the dog, I willed my feet to act like snow shoes, as I gingerly made my way back to the main path, all the while gently bouncing & shushing the baby, & cursing the dog under my breath.

Making a b-line for the gate to capture the dog & trying not to raise my voice in a panicked tone, the stars aligned for a brief moment as the dog came to stand beside me so that I could put on his leash.

As I attempted to fumble with his leash with my snow laden mittens, Fozz noticed a dog he didn’t particularly like, & lunged forward pulling me down to my knees once again.  I think it was at this point a passerby asked if they could help.

Being the stubborn mule I am & determined to get myself together, I politely said, “no thank you, I’m good!”  Finally managing to right myself, I chuckled most of the way home, thinking of how I must have looked to any onlooker who happened to witness my shenanigans!

I am sure this is not the last time this Grandma will find herself knee-deep in it, in some sort of comical predicament.  The good news is, baby, dog & Grandma, all managed to survive the ordeal unscathed, although admittedly, cocktail hour may have come early that day!

See, she is as right as rain❤❤❤

See, she is as right as rain❤❤❤

Wishing you a wonderful day.




Posted in Stories from the G-Ma Crib | Tagged , , , | 74 Comments

Share the love❤️

Cone on in & stay awhile.

Come in & stay awhile. All are welcome.

This morning, I was impacted by a post written by my friend Norm over at Norm 2.0.

Norm hosts a weekly feature called Thursday Doors where he invites fellow bloggers to share their favourite door photos from around the world.

But this week, Norm’s weekly feature shares a very heartfelt message we all need to hear.

I couldn’t agree more with his thoughts.

Please take a moment to read and to share. You can find Norm’s post here .



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Family Traditions

Many of us practice family traditions, particularly around this time of year.  One we established with our kids from a very young age, was making the annual trek to a local tree farm, in search of the perfect Christmas tree, a few weeks prior to the holiday season.

With the exception of a bit of grumbling during the teen years, this has been a tradition we have enjoyed taking part in as a family. Even the debacle of our less than perfect moment, didn’t dampen our spirits when it comes to this annual ritual.

Over the years we have had trees of all shapes and sizes in our home.  Trees we have had to stand up in our garage for days, to melt the ice off of before moving it into the house. Trees we mistakenly cut too much off of the bottom, causing us to feel the need to build a platform to stand it on, in order to recreate the proper height, & of course the most common mistake made by Christmas tree cutters, selecting the tree that appears relatively small in the woods, but explodes to swallow up most of the room when untied in the house!  Remember the Griswolds?

In search of the perfect tree!

In search of the perfect tree!

A tradition may seem like a small, little thing, but they are part of what define us as a family.

They begin to weave a tale of our time together, a story that is unique to us as a family, often passed down for generations to come and shared with those that we love.

Whether we are smiling or whether we are grumbling, they are all part of our journey of growing together.

A few weeks ago,  at the tender age of 7 weeks old, we bundled up our little LAM, making sure she was all nice & toasty, & made the trek to a tree farm close to my son & daughter-in-law’s home, in search of the perfect tree for her very 1st Christmas.

Although she will most likely be too young to remember this particular outing, it brought this Grandma great joy to see this tradition continuing on in the next generation.

As difficult & challenging as it may seem some years to continue this annual little trek, my hope is that they continue making the effort.   The reward of doing so & the stories gathered along the way, are far richer than giving in to the grumbling years!


Whatever traditions you may honour as a family in celebrating the holiday season, I wish you precious time spent together with loved ones, creating your own stories to share for years to come.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas & extending my sincere gratitude for continuing to read & share all of your wonderful thoughts & stories!





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All Hail the Queen

If there is one thing I have learned in my lifetime, it is the value of true friendship.

Those people in your life who stand by your side through thick & thin, through the good & the bad.  Their friendship never wavers.

The Queen & her subjects

The Queen & her royal subjects

Today I am writing about one of those friends, in honour of her 70th birthday.

We call her the Queen.

I can’t recall exactly when she took reign but I do know that she received the title based on being the Queen of all things in our minds.

15 years my senior, there are countless times in our 30+ year friendship, I have turned to her for sage advice.

Her wisdom in knowing when to just listen & when to offer encouraging direction,  when to question & when to just nod in agreement, when to be open to a new perspective & when to cry bullshit.  She can cry bullshit like no other person I know!

She is one of the kindness people I know, happily & unselfishly bestowing the most thoughtful of gifts upon you when you least expect it.  I cannot recall the number of times I have opened my mailbox to find a beautifully handwritten note on a card sent just because.

imageBecause the Queen’s birthday falls but a few days before Christmas, her special day often gets overlooked due to the craziness of the season.

And so, as we celebrated the 25th anniversary of girls weekend this past fall, we opted to also celebrate the Queen’s 70th so that this significant milestone did not sneak by unnoticed.

A weekend filled with reminiscing, sharing, & gift giving but most importantly, it was a celebration of the beautiful friendships formed through this remarkable group of women.

Birthday kisses for the Queen.

Birthday kisses for the Queen.

To the Queen on her actual birthday,  I humbly bow to your majesty.  The laughter & the tears we have shared over the years are tucked deep in my heart.

I am so grateful for your friendship & the impact you have had on my life, simply for having had you in it.

I wish you the happiest of days today & always my dear friend.  I hope the joy you spread so willingly on others, comes back to you tenfold on your very special day.

I love you with all of my heart.

All hail the Queen!




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Welcome to Shamwari

Originally when K & I talked about travelling to South Africa, our intent was to participate in a volunteer project while we were there.  Unfortunately, due to some time restraints, we were not able to participate in this kind of experience, however, in doing our research, we were led to the Shamwari Game Reserve.

Looking over a small piece of Shamwari.

Looking over a small piece of Shamwari.

Shamwari is a private reserve located in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. We chose it for a few reasons.  Situated in a malaria free zone & covering an area of approximately 25,000 hectares, we liked the idea of being able to visit the reserve we had hoped to volunteer on but more importantly, we were impressed with the very close attention paid to the conservation of the land & the animals who live here.

From the moment we arrived on Shamwari, we knew we were in a special place.

There are 7 choices of accommodations on the reserve, each beautifully incorporated onto the property.  They are small by North American standards, with the largest of the 7 only accommodating a maximum occupancy of 30.  This is part of what makes them so unique, creating not only an intimate experience, but a very tranquil one.

*We chose to stay in the Bayethe Tented Lodge, which consists of 12 private “tents”, each strategically placed to ensure privacy for guests while being surrounded by the quiet of nature.

We were blown away when we were escorted to our “tent”.


Walkway up to our “tent



The view from our tent. If you look closely, you can see another tent off to the left.


Inside our tent


A bath perhaps?


Or maybe an outside shower?


Or would you prefer to just sit & watch the world go by!

Over the course of the next 3 days, K & I would find ourselves speechless many times, drinking in the beauty of this place & the utter sense of calm we felt in being here.


Making our way to the dining area. I believe “K” may be saying, “no seriously, we are never leaving here!”

After freshening up a bit, we made our way down to the common area where guests are treated to beautifully prepared gourmet meals 3 times a day as well as high tea each afternoon prior to heading out for the late day game drive.

Pool outside dining & common area

Pool outside dining & common area

Outside eating area which overlooks a watering hole on the other side where animals are often sighted.

Outside eating area which overlooks a watering hole on the other side where animals are often sighted.


Dining area

Lounging area just below the dining area

Lounging area just below the dining area

Lounging area below dining area

Lounging area below dining area


The Spa & yes, we booked a full body massage for ourselves!

Guests are assigned a ranger who is responsible for taking you out on your game drives & acting as your host for the duration of your stay.  I cannot say enough about our ranger, Alistair.  His knowledge of the plant & animal life on the reserve, his charm in making us feel so welcome, his patience in driving all over the reserve in search of animals we hoped to see & his enthusiasm for the work that he does, were all part of what made this experience so memorable.

We were so excited at the prospect of the sights we would see over the next few days.  Like two little kids in a candy store, we happily tucked ourselves in for an experience that would leave a lasting impression on our hearts.


Our chariot awaits!

After briefing us on the dos & don’t of going on safari, we headed out for our first game drive.  We were barely out of the road that leads into our lodge when we spotted  a group of these magnificent creatures!


Well hello!

First sighting!

Loved how the majestic this giraffe looked standing against the darkening clouds.

Stay tuned for many more wonderful sightings!



*Our tour was booked with African Welcome Safaris who were incredibly easy to deal with, responding to any concerns or questions in a very timely fashion.


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Our Little LAM

Our first meeting

Our first meeting

For the past 9 months, we have been waiting with great anticipation, for the arrival of our first grandchild.

Because our son & daughter-in-law chose not to find out the gender of the baby, we knew not whether this precious being was a girl or a boy until our first meeting.

Personally, I think it’s more fun that way.

Allow me to introduce you to our precious granddaughter, or wee little LAM. (her initials)


How is it one little person can cause your heart to practically explode?

img_2109  There is something magical about looking into the eyes of your grandchild for the very first time.  An overpowering sense of awe & a knowing that this is a connection that promises to reach the very core of your being.

img_2175I was so grateful to have been invited to stay with Mom, Dad & our wee LAM for the first week after their arrival home, helping out in whatever way I could, & of course sneaking in as many baby snuggles as possible.

As I sat there with this little bean in my arms, listening to her little breaths & simply staring at her for hours on end, I often found myself overcome with emotion.

Just when I thought my heart could not feel more full, I look at her perfect little face & somehow my heart grows just a wee bit more.

My son & his daughter.

My son & his daughter.

Mom & her baby girl.

Mom & her baby girl.


How fortunate this precious little life is to have been born into a family with so much love to share.


Parents who, I have no doubt, will be there for this little one each & every step of her life.



img_2151Above all else, our little LAM will know that she is loved more than words can ever express.

Of this, I am sure!

Welcome my beautiful girl!  I am so excited to share in your life and to learn how to be the best Grandma I can be as I watch you grow.


Grandma L💛😘

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The upside of social media

At the age of 16, I took a job at a summer resort about 2 hours north of where I lived.  As a child, I had spent many summers vacationing here with my family.

I was hired as a chambermaid, but after the first 2 weeks, I was moved to the dining room as a waitress.  It may have had something to do with the fact that after a particularly late night with my coworkers, the bed I was supposed to be making, looked very inviting. Thinking it would be awhile before the occupants of the cabin returned from breakfast, I decided to crawl in & take a little nap.  Like a scene out of Goldilocks & the Three Bears, I was rather startled when the returning guests found me with a wee bit of alarm, asleep in their bed.  True story.

I discovered I much preferred serving food to cleaning toilets & making beds anyway.

For many of us that summer, it was our first time away from home for any length of time, out from under the watchful eyes of our parents.  I look back and wonder how our employers managed to keep that many young people in reasonable order.  Let’s just say, it was a summer to remember, for many reasons!  A living soap opera of sorts! 🎉😎

Working in this kind of environment, your colleagues become your  family, living under the same roof together, working together & hanging out in your down time together.

I met a number of great people that summer but sadly lost track of most of them not long after we departed ways when the season was over.

But there was one friendship that remained for many years beyond the age of 16.  My friendship with Karen.  She & I immediately clicked as friends, developing a friendship that would span a number of years post our summer job at the resort.

Karen & I - 1977, Winter 1978 when Karen came to visit.

Left to Right – Karen & I – 1977, Winter 1978 when Karen came to visit.

Keeping in mind it was 1977, these were the days before cell phones & Facebook, which made it a little more challenging to stay in touch.  Letters were hand written & sent via snail mail, as there was no internet or email.    You know, the dark ages!

Parents rarely offered to drive you.  Anywhere.  If your friends lived within the city limits, you were expected to walk or ride your bike.  If they lived a distance away, as Karen & I did, you got on a bus & made the long trek to visit for a weekend.

The picture below was taken the first time Karen took the bus down to visit, in the winter of 1978.  As cool silly as my local group of friends were, we decided to create handmade signs, don party hats & paper horns, to give her a fanfare arrival when she got off the bus.  We were given more than a few strange looks but what did we care, we were 16!

The welcoming committee as Karen came off the bus!

The welcoming committee as Karen came off the bus!

Karen & I stayed in touch for a number of years, but as happens in life, once we began having families, our worlds just got busy & for no other reason than not living within close proximity of one another, we fell out of touch.

That is, until a few years ago when we reconnected through Facebook.  The upside of social media.

It has been over 25 years since we have seen one another.  Until today.

Karen & her husband Paul, own a beautiful piece of property, formerly a family farm where Paul’s father enjoyed the hobby of tapping a few trees on the land to make maple syrup.  Their son has inherited the love of the trade from his grandfather, expanding to now tapping over 2500 trees on the property.

Having recently taken down an old barn to build a new one, I was interested in purchasing some of the barn wood,  which is what led us to our visit after all of these years.

Within minutes of our arrival, I was reminded of the reasons we so quickly became friends all those years ago.  It was as if no time had passed, as we chatted away catching up on each other’s lives.

Karen & I today.

Karen & I today.

I think this is the beauty of true friendship.  Whether you are friends who see each other on a regular basis or friends who reconnect after 25 years, the ease with which you share one another’s company is a testament to the reason you became friends in the first place.

Loaded up with beautiful barn wood and a few litres of fresh maple syrup, as we departed with full hearts, we vowed to not let another 25 years pass before we meet again.   In fact, we hope to go back when the sap is running to help with the harvest of this years maple syrup.

The sugar shack where the magic of maple syrup happens.

The sugar shack where the magic of maple syrup happens.

The boys (Karen's son on the right) filling the shed beside the sugar shack with wood.

The boys (Karen’s son on the right) filling the shed beside the sugar shack with wood.

Turkey lunch for everyone!

Turkey lunch for everyone!

Thank you for such a fabulous day my dear friend.  How wonderful to have been able to reconnect after all of these years & still enjoy the pleasure of each others company.  The gift of good friends knows no time.



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Cape Town – The Best Laid Plans

The V & A Waterfront in Cape Town is a popular area for visitors to explore, filled with a number of shops, places to dine, the ferry dock & a variety of tour company experiences.

V & A waterfront, looking back towards Table Mountain

V & A waterfront, looking back towards Table Mountain

It was also the place where we met up with Mark from AWOL tours, who would guide us on a city bike tour.

Making our way through the city, we stopped at various points of interest to learn a little about the history of this area.  One of my favourite areas we cycled through, was in the Company Gardens.

The Company Gardens, created in the 1650’s, are situated in central Cape Town, in & around a number of landmark buildings.

The gardens and park are open to the public, free of charge.  People meander through, enjoying the quiet beauty in the center of the city.


Taking a break in The Company Gardens, behind Tuyrhuys, the presidents residence.

In the picture above, we are standing in front of the Presidents residence.  During Mandela’s time in residence, Mark explained it was not uncommon for him to be found walking in the park, engaging in conversation with people.  Wouldn’t it have been a wonderful experience to have a chat with such an incredible man?


Statue of Cecil John Rhodes

Mark also shared an amusing story about the statue of Cecil John Rhodes, pictured above, which sits in the midst of the Company Gardens.  It appears Cecil was not a popular guy for some.

In January of 2016, it seems a group disguised as workers, made an attempt to cut the statue down with a grinder.  Hearing the commotion, a city manager caught on to their antics, forcing them to flee before completing their mission.

We chuckled over what they would have done with the statue, had they been successful in knocking him off of his pedestal.  Imagine that conversation at a pawn shop!

If you are history buff, you can read more about Cecil here.


The incision made by the vandals before being forced to flee.

Our next stop was the Bo Kaap area, a community dating back to the 1760’s,  formerly known as the Malay Quarter.

Bo Kaap has an interesting history, with many of the residents being descendants of slaves from Malaysia, Indonesia and various African countries, who were imported to the Cape of Good Hope by the Dutch during the 16th and 17th centuries.

With their cheerful & brightly coloured exteriors, these houses definitely catch your attention as you make your way up the slopes of Signal hill.

You can read 5 fascinating facts about this unique neighbourhood here.


Just a few of the brightly painted houses in the Bo Kaap area.

Returning from our cycle tour, after a lovely lunch at the waterfront, we headed to the ferry dock, excited about our trip out to Robben Island.

Sadly, Mother nature had other plans for us.  Apparently she was creating high swells in the ocean that day, resulting in our ferry ride being cancelled.  Rescheduling for the next day, we hoped the weather would be more cooperative but sadly it was not, thus taking away our opportunity to get out to Robben Island.

Please note, if you are planning a trip to Robben Island, it is advisable to book your tickets in advance of your trip as tickets sell out.  You can source information here.

One of the things I have learned about travelling, is that even the best laid plans don’t always work out.  The need to be flexible in your plans can be paramount to enjoying the experience.

Flexible we were.  Checking to see if the winds had affected the cable car that goes up to Table Mountain, we confirmed it was still running & opted to head up the mountain rather than out to sea!

Table Mountain, appropriately named for its flat top, is South Africa’s best known landmark.  The cableway, which is the primary mode of transporting visitors to the top, opened in 1929, although has been refurbished to accommodate the approximately 800,000 visitors who come here annually.

Cable Car going up Table Mountain

Cable Car going up Table Mountain

Table Mountain offers a variety of hiking paths, ranging from easy to difficult.  One of the more popular routes is the Platteklip Gorge hike.  It is free of charge to do it on your own or you can hire a guide through a tour company to take you.

Our original intention was to hike up the gorge & take the cable car back down but with our change in plans that day, we did not have enough time to safely get in the hike so we opted for a return trip on the cable car.


View from the top looking down at some of the hiking paths.

K enjoying the view.

K enjoying the view.

On a clear day, one is greeted with a beautiful view of the city below.

Robben Island in the distance.

Clouds starting to roll in but at this point you could still see Robben Island in the distance.

Up in the clouds.

Mom & daughter up in the clouds.

Whether you hike up or ride up, it is worth the trip just to see the view.  Once at the top, the terrain is very easy to have a wander about, enjoying both the view & the many species of plants native to the mountain.  If you would like to stay awhile, there is also a restaurant to have a bite to eat or perhaps just a glass of wine.

Regardless of the changes in plans, with a little flexibility, we experienced another fantastic day in this beautiful area.

Beautiful sunset from our balcony.

Beautiful sunset from our balcony.

Next up…a trip out to Cape Point.



Posted in Camp's Bay, Cape Town, Uncategorized, Wanderlust | Tagged , | 27 Comments

South Africa – Cape Town – Getting Settled

Africa has long been on my list of places to visit.  And so it was with much anticipation & excitement that my daughter & I had the pleasure of exploring a tiny piece of this massive continent, the southwestern tip of South Africa.

Our first stop – Cape Town.  Arriving late in the evening after a 12 hour flight from Amsterdam, we were incredibly grateful that our gracious host from the property we were renting, had offered to pick us up at the airport.  The combination of jet lag, not knowing where we were going & the fact that they drive on the opposite side of the road, all seemed like very good reasons to take Michael (our host) up on his generous offer!

Before heading to our rental, Michael suggested if we weren’t too tired, we take a drive up to Signal Hill, given that it was such a beautiful night.  The view at night is spectacular, the coastline lit up like a million twinkling little stars.  A definite must to see, if you are visiting & have the chance to go.  Regrettably, I neglected to pull out my camera to take a night shot so you will have to google it or just trust me on this one!

cape-peninsula-mapThe Western coast of South Africa is dotted with a number of beautiful communities all along the coastline.

Upon recommendation from a friend familiar with the area, we opted to stay in Camp’s Bay.

Sitting just below majestic Table Mountain, Camp’s Bay is a beautiful suburb of Cape Town, easily accessible to the city center.

Booking through airbnb, we chose a lovely 2 bedroom apartment with a fantastic location. Our balcony faced the ocean, with only a half a block walk to the water.

View from our balcony

View from our balcony

If you are heading to this area for a visit, I would highly recommend this property or any other property Michael manages.  He is a fantastic host, very quick to respond to any questions or concerns that might arise & goes above & beyond in ensuring his guests are happy.

As an added bonus, having lived in this area for the better part of his life, Michael is only too happy to share his wealth of knowledge of the beautiful area he calls home, often referring to himself as a frustrated tour guide!

View behind our apartment.

View behind our apartment.

There is no shortage of things to do and see in Cape Town & the surrounding area.

Having only 5 nights & 4 days to explore this area, we had a packed itinerary, making our best attempt at covering off our list of things we hoped to cover during our stay.

After so much travel, we decided to have a bit of quiet day our first day, spending time getting a few groceries & exploring the waterfront at Camp’s Bay.


Waves crashing in at beach in Camp’s Bay

Can you spot the surfer?

Can you spot the surfer?

Although the water was a bit cold for swimming this time of year, it didn’t stop us from taking a lovely walk along the beach & dipping our toes in the ocean.

K, testing how cold the water is.

K, testing how cold the water is.


All smiles before swept away by a wave.

As we were taking this shot to the right, a massive wave came crashing in, soaking us to the knees.

Sending us into loud squeals & fits of laughter, with sand stuck like glue to our feet, we decided to made a quick dash back to the apartment for a rinse before continuing on our walk.

Walking from Camp’s Bay to Clifton, your eye is met with beautiful vistas in every direction you turn.


From Clifton, looking back towards Camp’s Bay. The darker colour building on the left is where our apartment was.

After returning from our walk, we thought we would pop in to one of the lovely establishments along the waterfront in Camp’s Bay, for a wee snack.



There are a number of dining options along this strip.  Any of the ones we visited, the food was delicious & very reasonably priced.  Our favourite meal was at Col’Cacchio.  Check it out if happen to be in the area.

Next up on our itinerary, a city cycle tour & a visit to Robben Island….or maybe not.



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Chasing the Light

It’s been awhile since me & my bike have spent time together.

Autumn brings shorter days, making it a challenge to get in a good ride before the light of day disappears.

Racing home from work to change into my cycling gear, I hit the road and was very quickly reminded of why this so-called relationship is so important to me.


Chasing the light

Chasing the light

As I listened to the rhythm of my legs pushing & pulling, filling my lungs with the crisp, fall air, I could feel the tensions of the day being left on the road.

This is what riding does for me.

To bask in the silence that comes from just me & my bike, working together in harmony.

It is good for my soul.

Quietly, chasing the light as we made our way home.


Wishing you a wonderful day!






Posted in On My Ride Today, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 27 Comments