The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.”
Friday I worked a half-day, staying at work until 11:45 (and that was working 30 minutes of overtime!) This worked out well because I had spent the last three days trapped in second gear on my bicycle, which meant I pedaled like a madwoman on downhills while muttering imprecations at the vagaries of my stubborn front dérailleur. I took my bike to Frank’s Spoke n’ Wheel, where I explained to the nice guy pictured in that my darn bike refused to shift out of 2nd gear. He hoisted it up on their nifty bike suspender, turned the pedal once, and immediately told me, “Here’s your problem: Your whole gear system is bone dry.” I kind of knew that, having listened to the creak and rattle of my chain for the last month, but he pulled out some spray-can lubricant, demonstrated how to apply it to chain, derailleur, and (interestingly) the gearshifts up on the handlebars. He recommended I buy lubricant with Teflon and apply it often; I think this cold, often wet weather tends to wash the lubrication away. And he checked my tire pressure, added some air to my front tire with a really sweet pump, and sent me on my way without charging me a penny for all the help.
That evening I planned to buy some Teflon bike lubricant, but the local hardware store failed me, as did the local car parts store. So I put that on the back burner as Saturday I set a personal record for longest time spent in a bath: from 7:00 to 11:00 am, I read Justice Hall and nibbled cereal while lounging in our bathtub. Eventually I hauled myself out, made a batch of chocolate chip cookies at Ian’s bequest, and washed dishes. I ended up washing dishes three times on Saturday, and by the end of the day found the idea of a sink absolutely abhorrent. Later in the day, though, I made Happy Birthday, Jesus! cake for the church Christmas Traditions potluck taking place tonight. That meant even more dishes, alas and alack.
So we escaped to Hopkinton State Park, where we wandered around and I took lots of pictures (see them here). Then we took a left on 85 instead of right and ended up driving for over an hour around Milford, Hopedale, Upton, Grafton, and eventually Northborough and Marlborough. In Milford we passed a bicycle shop where I impulsively stopped to see if they carried Teflon lubricant. Sure enough, I now have an expensive bottle of spray lubricant with Teflon that will hopefully keep me shifting smoothly through the winter.
This morning Ian and I arrived at church early because he, believe it or not, is helping Dave with the kids program. I brought my camera and wandered around, taking pictures of the decaying portables and smashed-up “mobile chapel” that are rotting behind the main church building. I was extremely creeped out by the whole behind-the-church experience, but it yielded what may be a couple decent pictures.