Blessings

Lance Armstrong would be a stud if he’d done nothing but kick cancer squarely in the butt and then win the Tour de France umpteen times. But if switching from cycling to running is half as hard as switching from running to cycling, Armstrong is not just a stud — he’s the Godolphin freakin’ Arabian.

I rode my bike six miles this evening, and it opened up a can of you-know-what on me. I loved every minute of it, too, even if I did have to get off and walk up a few hills because I was too tired to pedal.

Did you go walk around the block today? If not, get out there! You don’t have to run today. Just walk. And if you want to peek ahead at next week, I’m updating the training schedule for you as soon as I finish this post.

I have lots to be thankful for today. My bike, for starters, and the fact that I have the strength and balance to ride it, even if I’m not very good at it yet. I’ll get there. I remember when running a mile was this hard, and now here I am with three Tulsa Runs, four half-marathons, and two full marathons under my belt … so Roger had better not laugh too much at my rookie incompetence, because I’m just liable to show up in Staunton some bright summer morning and nip at his heels for 30 miles. (Given my appetite for Krispy Kremes, it’s entirely possible that I could end up with a minus sign in front of my finish time, so I might do more than nip….)

Speaking of Krispy Kremes, I’m thankful for whipped-cream-filled doughnuts.

I’m also thankful for our great Thanksgiving service at church. I’m sure it’s kind of inconvenient for some people to get there (it starts at 10:30 a.m.), but it’s such a great way to start the morning — it’s kind of like a combination of a Sunday morning service and a Wednesday night testimony meeting, because you’ve got a Lesson and a solo and stuff like on Sunday morning, but the Lesson is shorter than usual, which leaves time for the members of the congregation to stand up and talk about the healings and blessings they’ve experienced over the past year. Their stories really focus you in on the point of the holiday.

We had an unexpected blessing this afternoon.

I had planned to pick up some stuff at Wild Oats on the way home from church and just fix a batch of posole or something before Ron went to work. (Posole has become kind of a holiday tradition at our house.)

But I am supposed to be leaving town in a few hours (I’m headed for Texas to do a Route 66 preservation project this weekend), and Ron didn’t want me to have to mess with cooking lunch and cleaning up afterward, so he announced that he would be taking me to Golden Saddle — a great restaurant over on the Admiral Place alignment of 66 — instead.

We figured we’d just hit the buffet, but we got there and discovered that the buffet was closed — because they were serving a free Thanksgiving dinner to all their customers. Ron is going to put an article about that on his blog tomorrow.

In the meantime, I will just tell you that the food was amazing (they serve sweet tea — need I say more?) and we got an extra treat in the form of a singer who performed while we ate. I had a ball watching a little girl struggle valiantly to suppress the urge to dance to “Brick House.”

I love it when businesses thank their customers — and their community — by doing stuff like that. You see it all the time on Route 66. Tally’s Cafe here in Tulsa does it every year. Al’s Route 66 Cafe, over in Sapulpa, did it today. I want to say it was the Midpoint Cafe in Adrian, Texas, that opened up one time during a blizzard and fed all the travelers who got stranded, and the owners of the Vega Motel have been known to share their dinner with customers who slide in on a glare of ice.

There’s so much love and kindness on this road, it almost makes me cry when I think about it. These aren’t wealthy people. These are ordinary folks who appreciate their blessings and who understand a basic concept that Mrs. Eddy explains like this:

Giving does not impoverish us in the service of our Maker, neither does withholding enrich us.

Add Route 66 — and the wonderful people who live and work along its shoulders — to my list of things I’m thankful for today.

I’ll be offline and on my beloved road for a couple of days. Don’t forget to check the training schedule and keep up with your runs this weekend. I’ll be back late Sunday or early Monday, and you know I’ll have pictures for you.

Emily