Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Day 23: Another close one for last-chance Tuesday

Day 23 miles to/from work: 26.8
Dental appointment miles: 9.2
Total miles for S4S: 603.7

In yesterday's post, I rhapsodized about football and my love of the game. To continue in that vernacular, this is a "fourth down and long yardage" kind of post. It is pushing midnight. Scott went to bed over an hour ago asking, "Have you even started your blog post?" Uh, no. "Then this is the night you reserve the right to one paragraph." I don't think I could give you directions from my sofa to the fridge in one paragraph. Just be alerted that this is not my highest and best, and I am attributing it to either "the cats ate my homework" or "I was busy herding cats." 
This morning started as another perfect October day. I awoke to a parfait sunrise, low 40s temperatures, and no wind. The perfect biking day. I want to savor every moment of my rides, to feel my senses heightened and on the alert to take in every scent, sound, sight, and feeling. I want to, but I don't. There is something about repetition that dulls the senses. Maybe it's just that I'm a Philistine. I still enjoy the ride, the feel of the fresh breeze hitting my face, the feeling of freedom in being part of the elements, the knowledge that I'm saving $3.40/gallon of gas. But the euphoria that came with the initial experience is simply not as keen. On the other side of the coin, the familiarity also makes the miles melt away quickly. I could tell you within a tenth of a mile the distance from my starting and ending point of any landmark on the ride. When I first started doing S4S, I would cheer myself on and manage the demands of riding with 1.4 miles, 10% there!  2.8 miles, 20% there! And so forth. What an odd little balancing act. Even as I was enjoying the euphoria of being the intrepid traveler, transporting myself to work under my own power, it was also an endurance feat in which part of me couldn't quite believe I'd ever get there and demanded demonstrable metrics.

This morning I was a bit saddle sore and not as attuned to the wonders of the ride as I would have preferred, but it was lovely; and the miles evaporated.

I had a dental appointment at 12:30—garden-variety cleaning and check-up—so that put some additional miles into the mix. My gums were declared "pink and healthy", and I snarkily shared, "That's because I don't have to lie to my dentist about flossing like my husband does to his." Isn't that terrible to throw one's beloved under the dental bus? I can only exhibit so much virtue before I must seek balance.

Coming home, I stopped to photograph a house that I pass daily, and love that its colors are the same as the turning trees. I noticed a FB message on my iPhone (also my camera)—my Texas animal rescue buddies were in high gear on the Carrollton urgent rescue list (described in Day 14:  Saving the Gator).  I'd been so concerned about Cleopatra, a deaf, black German shepherd estimated to be 13-15 years old, and I'd even had dreams about her. Her chances of adoption or even rescue were that of the proverbial snowball's in hell. I texted my JAH buddies Phyllis' number at Sunflower Hill Rescue in Terrell, TX—"on my bike. cll hr. alwys gd abt tkg srs. b online aftr gt hm & dnr" Pedaled on. Bike lights are now a necessity by the end of the ride.

Scott, bless his heart, fixed dinner. Then I got on the computer and started updating the pledge sheet for the Carrollton shelter urgent list. There weren't many adoptions over the weekend, so we were looking at six cats and ten dogs most likely booked at 7 a.m. Wednesday for their date with eternity. Joe sent word that Cleopatra was safe. (Turned out Joe had already talked to Phyllis, and she was going to take two of the "special needs" cases, including Cleopatra. Then it turned out another rescue was taking Cleo for an adoption! Double coverage!) Huge relief. There were also other dogs that had been pulled by rescues. We were down to five cats—one of them solid black, which is almost a death sentence at this time of year. Rescues will not adopt them out because of some of the abusive practices on black cats during the Halloween season. Nor will they take them in.

Sissy, Judy Ann, Leticia (my JAH buddies), and I were texting back and forth. It seemed that every rescue they were calling was full to the gills and either rejecting new rescues or not responding. I remembered calling one rescue, Texas PawPrints, late at night a few weeks ago to confirm an address for sending donations. I had been surprised to get a human, Angie. She had been surprised that any group actually had a formalized pledge system. At 11pm this evening, I was desperate on behalf of the lives of sweet, furry creatures. I called. Angie answered. I identified myself and said, "I'm working with the Carrollton shelter, and I have five cats with total pledges of $420. I know you're full. Would there be any way you could save them?" She took the details for each cat and said she would call her director. Within 30 minutes she called back and said to tag them. They're saved.

Let's have a big, celebratory victory lap for Tuesday. From the wilds of Wisconsin, we saved five Texas cats from execution. Yea!
 By day's end, I passed the 600-mile mark for S4S! Thank you for celebrating these wins and these milestones with me. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to bed.


  1. Liz, your animal loving friends in Texas sound like angels! As you are!! By the way, I keep forgetting to tell you, I love your pictures you take along your path, but the sunrise photo in front of your home is outstanding! And I love the orange house! Almost painted my shutters a beautiful coral color after I moved here.....love the crisp brightness of the "sun"like shades. Have a super day!

  2. What an accomplished day :) Dentist, 600 mile mark, rescuing all the animals. Woo, I'm tired for you! Love the pictures in each post as well, they're pretty great.

  3. HI Liz! I'm quite proud of myself -- as you can see I joined your blog! My story to date about doing such things has been riddled with reasons why I can't -- too complicated, I don't understand, I'm not techie enough, I don't have the time -- blah, blah, blah. I want you to know that I simply bulldozed through my resistance and figured it out. I am using you as my model of commitment, follow-through, dedication and bravado. I also want to thank you so much for what you are doing. You are a fabulously generous and magnificent human being, not to mention a wonderful writer. Thank you for who you are in the world. You make a huge difference to so many! With great love and appreciation, your fan, Mary

  4. MARY, I am so proud of you too! Your kind words brought tears to my eyes. Keep in mind that you're one of my teachers, so a lot of what you're seeing is a reflection of yourself. Thank you for all of this.

    Dorene and Carrie, thanks for your great comments and loving kudos--I appreciate them so much! xoxo

  5. All I can say is "WOW!" You continually amaze me with your dedication and determination. I wanna be you when I grow up. ;-)