Jesus said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.”
Today I got an e-card for The Other Katie Ferguson. I was hoping for something great, a sappy romantic message, or some hilarious family reference, or something equally humorous to share here. Instead, I got a message that thanked Katie for her thoughtful card, said that though Johns Hopkins had confirmed the tumors were not malignant, the sender was still doing therapy frequently and was not driving. Then it asked about The Other Katie’s Christmas plans (I won’t be in Birmingham or Utah, but thanks for asking). After reading it I ended up feeling a bit like a schmuck and instead of replying with my intended response — “Sorry, Katie Ferguson passed away two days ago, hadn’t you heard?” — I just sent my stock “Wrong Katie” response.
The rest of the day has gone like most days I don’t volunteer: I’ve read almost all of James Herriot’s wonderful All Creatures Great and Small and my sole excursion into the outer world took all of about 30 minutes; I rode to Kingsgate Library and obtained three more fat novels, which should last me through the weekend. Except for when I put on bike clothes, I haven’t changed out of my pajamas. However, I did set a date to meet a friend and go to Pike Place Market tomorrow, and Dad and I are going to take sunset pictures tonight — I just hope the sunset cooperates.
In contrast, yesterday I left the house promptly at 8:30, rode to the Bike Alliance on a cold but clear and beautiful day, randomly meeting another cyclist named John Duggan along the way. I commented that the Mercer Slough pathway was exceptionally frosty, and he agreed, and that started us chatting. Turns out he’s a lawyer specializing in bike/motorist accidents and, as a long-time supporter of the Bike Alliance, knows everybody there. We rode together from the Mercer Slough all the way to my destination. Then I spent a fun four hours working on my best practices document and creating two supplementary documents for Every to use. At 2:40 I left, taking a route that Every described as “really very simple” up to Fremont, where Gary and I looked over some financial junk that has been festering on my desk since before Christmas. Then I rode home in the increasing cold and dark.
Partway home, my very expensive headlight, with its brand-new $50 battery, started indicating that its battery was low and it would soon go out. This was patently ridiculous, since I’d charged it all night and had only used it on blinky in the morning. It should have 20-odd hours of life on blinky mode and at least two or three hours on solid maximum brightness. Having the light die would have been particularly bad because my last five miles or so of the Burke Gilman trail are utterly unlit and pitch-black. My back-up headlight light — a dim thing I put little confidence in for lighting up pitch-black bike paths, but which would have been better than nothing — was at home on the counter waiting for new batteries. Despite sensing impeding doom and a desperate need to ride faster, I didn’t want to hurry home too fast; it seemed unwise, lacking particularly brilliant illumination on a trail that is strewn with frosty, rotting leaves and heavily interspersed at random intervals with gigantic, terrifying root upheavals. Fortunately, the light remained on for the entire duration of my ride home (I attribute that to my desperate prayers: “Please, please, please, please don’t let it die!”), but I still felt felt extremely nervous.