It's hard to put into words all the emotions I'm feeling right now at the end of my weekend. Let me try...
Friday night Todd, Jan, Noah and Ella had plans so I got to rest in their home and catch up on some things. Saturday morning, Todd cooked Noah and I omelets and the girls (Jan and Ella) were off to Lexington for clothes shopping for Kindergarten for Ella. Todd, Noah and I picked my bike up at Danville Bike and Footwear, a bike shop that hooked me up with a great tune-up and trued my trailer wheel, which somehow became a little wobbly! Noah and I played some soccer outside, Todd's other daughter Alison stopped by while Todd was practicing guitar and we left the house around 6 to meet up with many more of my school health colleagues for dinner- teachers, Alliance for a Healthier Generation staff, Department of Education and Department of Health staff. There were 16 of us in total, including spouses and kids. We went to Wallace Station in Versailles KY, suggested by Jamie (who wasn't able to join us), and it was a great suggestion. Live music, footballs and soccer balls in the field in back for the kids to run around, picnic tables outside and awesome hamburgers. My burger had bacon and bleu cheese on it. I collected 5 pickles from those not interested in MY favorite food and ate every last pickle on my plate! I felt loved, supported and energized as I shared stories of my trip and checked in with everybody. I was amazed how many people really follow my blog and refer to stories or experiences. This happens regularly, even with people that host me and I'm amazed that you all are engaged. I have to admit that writing is incredibly challenging for me. And, this blog has been the first time in my life that I've voluntarily written something so personal and willing to share. Ok, ok, I have performed in Mortified in Portland and Los Angeles... but that's different!
This morning, I choose to leave later and spend more time with Todd's family. We all went to church together. I really wanted to see Todd play guitar during the service, and, organized faith hasn't been a part of my trip. I mean, this journey has been incredibly spiritual, but I haven't attended any services. I'm Jewish, so haven't attended a church service in years. But, I enjoyed going and felt very welcome. In fact, the minister, even asked me, "I know this sounds weird, but doesn't your butt hurt?" Ok, I did NOT expect a Christian Kentucky minister to ask me that one. He was concerned the question offended me... he obviously doesn't know it would take a lot more to offend me and I loved his question. I just told him that believe it or not, your butt gets in shape and seat breaks in. So, no- it doesn't hurt! I had some quiet time in church (never thought I'd say that sentence) to reflect on my trip and continue to pray to the energy out there that I believe in, to keep me healthy and safe for the rest of my journey. I was able to appreciate my mental health, emotional health and physical health to allow me to do something so challenging. I was able to give thanks to those that have been part of my journey in any way. The people back in Oregon supporting me to those that have bought me meals, hosted me, texted me that they're proud of me, joined me to cycle, contacted me to tell me they religiously read my blog and so on.
We got back from church and Jan made a delicious lunch so we all ate family-style. We have had many laughs this weekend, something I really appreciate. Ella said a prayer and when I gave thanks to the Davis family, I got choked up. I really loved staying there this weekend and feel part of yet another family that supports me. As I left the Davis family, gave my hugs and cycled away, I reflected on how I am the one pedaling, but there is no way I could do this trip without everyone who has been so generous and loving. Todd did text me tonight and sent me a video of Ella and Noah saying goodbye. Todd- I do expect a video of them singing my family's "Here we go again..." song! :)
Todd also told me his kids were pretty emotional when I left. I was too. So what is it? A human connection after only two days so deep that grief and loss is felt. I feel it too, almost daily on this trip. Somedays, I cycle away with tears streaming down my face. And, it's amazing.