More Better than February

I’ve been a sloven blogger lately. Mostly I’ve been out of town and off the bike. Friday was a day of unusual events. In preparing to go to Dulles to drop my daughter off, Mrs. RC blew out her right calf muscle while attempting to kill a millipede on the top of a door jamb. White wives can’t jump. Actuallu, it is the first time she has jumped since she was run over by the driver of an SUV. As she sprung up, my daughter heard a pop. It was her calf muscle tearing. Her days of playing small forward are over, we fear.

So the three of us drove to Dulles to see our 20-year old daughter leave for her semester abroad in Sydney. Our daughter moves through airports like water in a stream. She has now been to nine foreign countries, four this summer alone. (She’s been to France and England twice, so she should get extra credit.) When I was 20, I hadn’t been to 9 states!

My wife and I then drove to southern West Virginia, not far from where a fracking oil train derailed a few weeks ago. Large gatherings of people are an introvert’s idea of hell on earth. Suffice it to say, that I had burn marks before the entire thing was over. I caught up on some reading and wrote long emails to friends when I could get cell service.

We arrived back at home Sunday night at 10. I think I managed to get 6 hours of fitful sleepbefore getting up for a visit from a plumber.

After working from home all day, I was preparing to mow the lawn in the blazing heat when Kirstin sent me a message asking if I wanted to go to the Nats game. Yeah, baby!!!

I rode The Mule the 16 miles to Nationals Park in DC. I stopped to buy ice cold water and peanuts, then parked my bike with the bike valet. While waiting for Kirstin, Katie Lee rolled in. I was going to sing “Happy Birthday +1 to You” but the extra day just messes the whole song up. She looks seven years younger than when we got together in March.

Kirstin arrived. After some introductions, Katie left to join her friends inside. Kirstin and I  bought some more water from a street vendor (two of our bottles were intentionally frozen solid.) and went in to our seats. Lower level 26 rows from the field. Way to go Ultrarunnergirl!

The game was a great one with a half-dozen superb fielding plays by the hometown team. Kirstin spent an inning hanging out with her friend Kate. I saw a tweet from Rudy who was sitting in the stands above us. After seven innings, I actually spotted him. It helped that he was waving like starving man on a desert island.

It was hot and muggy. Between the two of us Kirstin and I downed five liters of water and two beers by the sixth inning. As I returned from the bathroom I bought us two more beers only to find that she had bought herself one while I was away. We were thirsty.

Well, the Nats won 7-2 and we all met up at the Bike Valet. We rolled down First Street in the mugginessand darkness. Kirstin and I split off after four blocks and rode together almost to the Washington Monunment. She headed north for a long slog up to Cathedral Heights. I headed to the Mount Vernon trail.

I love riding late at night. The heat and humidity brought out a symphony of bugs and frogs. Peeps and chuckling sounds and rattles and screeches. Since my ears were filled it was somehow only fair that the trail was crisscrossed in places by spider webs. Ack!

Beneath the Wilson Bridge a homeless man as usual was sitting on the bike path in the dark. He was waving a small amber light so I wouldn’t run him over. A little further south I startled a fawn who silently ran away to my right across the Parkway. I listened for the squeal of a braking car but there was none. .

I pulled into home at midnight.

This morning, on 5 1/2 hours of sleep, I rode to work in the most oppressive muggy weather I have experienced in many a year. My legs were covered in sweat after a mile. The humidity never abated. It was just gross. I was pretty happy to get to the office but the garage in our building was a blast furnace.

After a day or reading a paper chock a block full of equations and differential calculus, I eagerly jumped on my bike and headed home. It was less gross than the morning, but it was still gross.

When I got home I decided to mow the lawn. Not the best idea I’ve ever had.

This is summer in Washington. It’s more better than February.

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