Friday, December 06, 2013

Prairie Life at 70




Yesterday, when she came to a stop on her mountain bike, it was on the front lawn, up close and in her face. She fell.  There was enough time between her awareness that she was falling and her actual connection with the ground to swivel her knee; her hip hit first and she rolled onto her back beyond where the bike landed. 

Today she felt confident as she pushed the bicycle out of the garage onto the pavement.  A five mile ride sounded perfect.  She pushed off with her left foot on the pedal and swung her right leg over the middle bar.  Alarm! Her balance was off; the pocket of her jacket caught on the point of the bike seat.

Almost panic - she dropped her foot, stopped and released the fabric.  Looking around to see if there had been an audience, she sighed.  Alone on the road.  Nothing new about that.  In this little prairie town of eighty, it was unusual to run into someone on a late Saturday afternoon; no school bus full of tykes waving as they rounded the corner on their way home.

Try again.  She zipped the pocket closed, pushed off, swung her leg and pedalled off towards the farm.  Two and a half miles closer to Canada than her prairie house in the town of Flaxton, the farmstead was closed down for the season.  Her friends had fled the oncoming blustery winter to soak up the sun in a warmer border zone – Arizona.