Autumn is coming to a close and winter will soon be here.

As always there is more toothpaste in the tube if one squeezes carefiully enough.

My last two bicycle rides cross country have not ended well, the first cut short by several days of very strong headwinds, a lack of team spirit and help amongst riders, and finally a daughter in law with liver disease in the final stages of pregnancy….and this years ride…well a pack of dogs made a quick meal of my ankle and gave me the pleasure of first hand experiencing rabies treatment.

Nevertheless …I am going to ride again…

I am not one to quit…anything…ever…

I recall several years ago my nurse telling me I had to stop working-in patients each day , adding to a schedule already often double booked. I never had the heart to turn away someone in pain so I just tuned her out. One day, exasperated with me, she lost her temper and told me I was “killing myself with work” (her too I suspect). I calmly turned and said ” there is always a little more toothpaste left in the tube. We will just squeeze harder”.

So ended that discussion.

Autumn is almost over and Winter is coming…

Maybe I should rest now.

But as I ponder the seasons of life I see no reason to stop. I can still ride, I still have remarkable stamina and endurance, and I can still outride most people half or even a third of my age. So no, its not time to sit in front of a warm fire reading a book with a blanket wrapped around my knees…

Instead I will start training for a 6900 mile ride…four months from April until August from St. Augustines, to Bar Harbor to Seattle then a victory lap around Olympic National Park.

This time the white rabbit will stay in the hat and instead I will pace myself like the old grey mule who is still what she used to be.

Sometimes I might have to bring out the rabbit, to remind the young folk how it’s done, but that will just be for a surprise on dreary days.

Wish me luck with my perpetual need of wt loss and 4 months training.

I also need to get used to my new 40 lb back pack filled with 6 gallons of mace for any strays…

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks…

5 thoughts on “Toothpaste

  1. Nick, priceless! And so wonderful. Mary and I really admire you and wish you God send! (Your writing is colorful and engaging.)


  2. We have been doing 5K since 2012. Not as many as first. This group of runners had a motto on the back of their shirts. ‘One day I may not be able to do this-today is not that day’. That has made me think twice. We just finished one a month ago. We finished- and we’re not the last but finished.


  3. Audrey and Charles Taylor think of you often. We are hoping this will be a great ride for you with no surprises or accidents. Charles


  4. “We will just squeeze harder…”. The image that comes to mind when i ‘hear’ those words! And you say them in such gentleness. I hope someday soon your ‘tube’ will feel full again and your nurse can rest! You are a dear person and i pray you won’t need that mace! ❤️


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