What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

Wanderlust and Bicycles August 9, 2014

Filed under: Starting Off Strange — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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I need a vacation. I know you’re probably thinking Poor baby, you’ve not been on vacation for eleven months, and now you’re whining. I live in Alaska, soon to be Pennsylvania, and then on to Florida. I have it very rough, I know. But I miss sleeping in a tent. I miss seeing a place I’ve never seen. I have an incurable case of wanderlust.

I could camp in Alaska, but honestly, I hate being cold. And wet. Those are my two least favorite things, and it’s been a very cold, wet summer here. And sleeping in a tent at less than 50 degrees is not my idea of fun. So, I have decided to devote the next week of blogs to my favorite summer vacations to alleviate my need for a beach through memory.

Growing up, my family would go to Cape Cod every summer. Not fancy, schmancy, spend thousands of dollars and rent a private cottage on the dunes Cape Cod, but the rent the Girl Scout camp that is closed for the summer and get the rest of the troop to go with their families to make it even cheaper Cape Cod.

That camp was where I thought my friend had rabies, and where I decided a boy was very scary. He later turned into a tragic tale for another day. But one of my favorite times was when my mother decided to take all the girls on a bike ride up the cape. Only problem being, I couldn’t ride a bike. Not that I didn’t want to or hadn’t tried. I had just never successfully managed to peddle a bicycle without ending up on the ground bleeding and in tears.

But seven-year-old me was not going to be left behind. So, I cried and probably pouted up in some tree for a while, too, until my mother came up with a plan. She rented one of those little carts that gets pulled behind a bike for me to ride in.

Now, those things are meant for three-year-olds, not seven-year-olds. I was way, way, way too big for my mother, who has horrible knee problems, to be dragging thirty miles along the cape. But, by God, the woman did it. In a show of motherly affection unsurpassed except by childbirth, she peddled my happy little behind across the cape while I ate ice cream cones in my mosquito proof princess cart.

I don’t really remember seeing beautiful things or learning life lessons while I was dragged backwards on the rail trail. But in retrospect, it did teach me what motherly love is. And to enjoy a free ride. Because the next time we rode that trail, she made me peddle.


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