Autumn’s awakening – shaking off a late summer malaise

I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus from this blog since Melissa and I returned from Czech Republic last month. I had grand visions of all of the articles I would write chronicling our time in Europe – the food, the Martin-led forced march of “turbo-touring” (his term – an apt description), Prague and all of it’s wonders, summiting Czech’s tallest peak and discovering the singular and unexpected pleasure of cold beer for sale at the top, our time in the tiny village of Plesiste and “two quick beers” with Martin’s dad and friends… I was going to write about all of it. And then, within several days of our return it seemed like the world went haywire. A totally unexpected earthquake on the East Coast had me working over-time in Northern Virginia for several weeks. The earthquake was followed by a hurricane, which was followed by news of devastating drought in Texas, continued chaos in the Middle East, an escalation of the already chronic ineptitude and disfunction in Washington, rumors of collapse in the financial markets and the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks. Suddenly, Czech Republic seemed like a distant memory and blogging about my life seemed obtuse and self-absorbed.

There was also the mammoth distraction of college football starting up and swirling rumors of conference realignment. I am fascinated by the realignment topic and could talk for hours on end with anyone who indulges me (Melissa is not one of these people) about the various possibilities. (Texas to the Pac Ten, SEC or Independent? Who will be the 14th team in the SEC… Clemson? Georgia Tech? FSU? Missouri? Will the Big 12 try to pick up the pieces and forge ahead or will they attempt to merge with the Big East?) I never get tired of it. It’s a sickness, really – I don’t know what is wrong with me.  Add to all of this a general late summer malaise, a dash of writer’s block and, let’s be completely honest here, my own innate laziness, and you have a recipe for accomplishing very little in the way of writing for what is going on two months now.

But with fall comes renewal. I guess the whole renewal thing is supposed to correspond with spring, but for me, it’s fall. The cool weather seems to have a medicinal affect and it has me thinking about writing again. And I’ve come to the conclusion that the hardships in our world – natural disasters, anniversaries of tragic events (even one the magnitude of 9/11) and the general un-ease of our time should not be parlayed into an excuse to stop writing. These events should be observed with reverence, but life goes on – life continues to be good and worth chronicling.

Melissa and I are getting ready to embark on an epic (for us, anyway) cycling trip – the Cycle North Carolina (CNC) Fall Ride. This is our first time on this annual west to east ride across the State of North Carolina. This year the event begins in Elkin, N.C. in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and ends seven days later in the tiny Outer Banks town of Corolla. We’ll pedal a total of 492 miles over those seven days, averaging 70 miles per day. I figure, if nothing else, I’ll get a blog or two just from chronicling the size of the blisters on my saddle-weary rear end. But I have a hunch I’ll find a bit more of substance to write about beyond that. Melissa’s Dad (Fran) has been kind enough to “sherpa” for us on this trip. He’s flying out tomorrow and will follow us all week in his SUV, helping to set up camp (yes, did I mention we’ll be tent camping each night?), transporting our luggage and assorted gear, and even volunteering to help the CNC staff along the way. A few days into the trip, Melissa’s Mom (Nita) will join us. We start the ride this Sunday.

For now, it’s good to be back writing again. More later…

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