Thursday, January 31, 2013

It's Good to Be Alive!

Sometimes it feels like I'm watching from the outside, sometimes it feels like I'm breathing,  but am I alive? 

I love this song by Building 429

So when the walls come falling down on me and when I'm lost in the current of a raging sea I have this blessed assurance holding me.

All I know is I'm not home yet, this is not where I belong...take this world and give me Jesus...this is not where I belong...

But it's where I reside for now, and even when I'm not sure of my purpose or where I'm going, I know that I'm suppose to "work 'til Jesus comes" and live each day to the fullest.


The past few weeks have been glorious! There's been a break in "winter" - if you can call it that, after all I do live on the Texas Gulf Coast...seriously, it's been an answer to prayer to have beautiful sunshine after some dark days. Makes me feel more alive.

I did it! Got the dream machine! January 18th I took my maiden voyage on my new bike for almost four miles up and down the Galveston seawall. It's an old cliche but oh so accurate I'm like a kid with a new bike!

Seriously, who knew that riding a bike would make me feel young again, alive!

So my first day out I'm trying really hard to NOT fall off the seawall - its a huge drop off to the beach below and trust me, not something you'd wish on your worst enemy. Being winter and a weekday it wasn't too crowded, yet it still made me nervous every time I came upon someone and had to pass them - especially if they were walking in front of me and had their backs to me...Bike to the right sir .... lady driver....  Or Bike to your left - it's my first day out...  Yeah, it was a good thing that it wasn't very crowded on the seawall. After my return to the bike shop (where the car was parked) I decided that I needed to accessorize the bike with a bell so I could be a little more sure that folks could hear me coming and jump out of my way!

Oh how I hated to pack up and head to the mainland...I think I could just live on the island and ride my bike every day! 

But alas, a little quilting needed to be done...and this time on a personal that I pieced the blocks almost a year ago and left hanging on my design wall... it was time...

I took a little longer to quilt than anticipated...only because I decided to overquilt the feather was like quilting it three times (see top photo for close up - one side is the original design, the other side shows how it looks after adding the "overquilting" design element).  This is one of my dizzy quilts, yet unnamed (open to suggestions). I love the purple zebra type print that pulls all the scraps together as well as the purple checked print on the border adding to it's dizzy youngest son said the checkerboard reminded him of a tablecloth - perhaps this will be my biking picnic blanket...all I know is I almost like the back better - you can see the quilting design more!

I have to admit, it's been very hard to stay focused these past two weeks. All I want to do is "ride, Karen, ride"  Since it is still January, even in Texas, there's been a few days that the weather wasn't just picture perfect but I'd get out there and put in my miles as best I could - even  on a few foggy days or the days where I needed to wear my rain slicker.  What can I say, I'm addicted! I can't explain how alive I feel when I'm riding my bike!

I've found a couple of different routes around the neighborhood. Some that are just 2 or 3 miles for those days with limited time because I really need to be quilting and some as long as 7 to 8 miles. I realize that's not breaking any records, going an average of 7 miles per hour - but it's just what I need...The view is pleasant and I've been blessed to be accompanied by various family members at various times. Bike riding is contagious!

Speaking of family...I just had to take a picture of my youngest son making a baby quilt for a friend. He pieced it and I quilted it. 

Working with him on this project and having multiple bikes rides with my husband, my youngest son, and my daughter-in-law  as well as many many solo rides (total 85 miles in 12 days) has made me really stop and reflect on the importance of being with my family - something that I've put on the back burner for way too long. How easy it is to get caught up in the busyness of life - deadlines, to do lists, obligations, what's for dinner?  Stuff like that. Or distractions that keep you from focusing on the important things of the day...that of just rejoicing that I'm alive!

So here's to more bike rides, more quilts, more time with family, and more time to just stop and reflect that   ITS' GOOD TO BE ALIVE!


Muddling Through said...

I SO need to get my bike down from its hook in the garage and get it back in shape and me on it! Thanks for the inspiration. Obviously it is agreeing with you - you look gorgeous! XOXOXO

Michelle said...

Ooooh, I love those quilted feathers. I'm afraid of what would happen if I tried to ride a bike now -- my daughter has happily claimed my bike as her own.