Aug 19

Pedal pedal pedal

We had a nice bike ride this evening. Part of the ride was the regular basic route, through the neighborhood that has it’s own private Fourth of July parade that we’ll see one day, through the roads surrounded by corn fields, into the giant subdivision where I always see the same lady running, then over a small, but respectable, hill that would take you to the ice cream shop, which is a turnaround spot. Back over that hill from the other direction, which is a little shorter and sharper, then through the outskirts of two or three other little random subdivisions that aren’t especially distinct.

This takes you to a road that ends in a T-intersection. And, like all T-intersections, the only important things are the stop sign and where each direction will send you. If you turn left, as we usually do, you go about four miles down the road to the water treatment plant, the lake and a turnaround.

Let me just tell you: today we turned right.

We were on this road named after an ancient local family. They’d come to Bloomington from South Carolina — the first of their children was born here in 1837, just 12 years after the city was incorporated — and their ancestors had come over from Ireland before the American Revolution. That first kid, William, grew up to be a Presbyterian minister. He graduated from theological school, got a job and got married all during the first month of the Civil War. He worked in Illinois and Ohio, had five kids, lost his wife, got remarried, took on a church in Iowa, then moved to South Dakota in the 1880s and farmed and preached there until his health took a turn. He would move back to Ohio, where he died in 1916. About the time that William left Iowa, his younger brother David, the second son born here, moved to Florida to grow oranges, which makes sense. I looked up the family name, and there are still some of that family in town today.

We weren’t on that road for as long as it took me to look all that up. But there was time enough there for you to read that paragraph before we turned left onto a road named after a village that isn’t there anymore. The post office there, says the Wikipedia stub, was closed in 1904. Just down the road, at the manmade lake, there’s a beach that bears the name, but otherwise you’d never know of the place. And anyway, it’s a quick right-hander onto a road named after a thriving local family farm. They raise free range things, all organic groups. Anyway, the road they are on gives you views like this:

This is a road we’ve ridden before, but not recently, and it was a scenic treat, which was followed by a less interesting road named after another family that moved here in the town’s earliest days. I supposed that’s the way it is with roads and other named features. They have to be called something, and, Hey, you’re a family has been here forever and there’s still a lot of you around, so you’re it.

Maybe that’s a downside to being a Smith. You never know if this thing was named after your people or not. (Nothing has been named after my people, of this I am fairly sure.) But that’s an upside to being a Smith, too: I get to claim them all.

Anyway, it was a 25-mile ride, with a lot more negative splits than positive ones. It was a fine evening, and a delightful part of the day.

Apr 19

Maybe it is really spring?

The weekend looked like this:

Well here. You sit inside and look at everyone else’s photographs and wonder how it could be beautiful in every other locale. Surely that’s not possible. Everywhere in the country?

Everywhere in the country. Except here, where the state color is gray. (The colors are actually blue and gold, like the flag. But that’s only because there was a run on charcoal gray dye when Paul Hadley designed the thing in 1917. Had to be.)

It was pretty today, finally:

A picture perfect postcard day, indeed:

This is the show that wrapped on Friday. It got a bit sappy and silly, but that’s OK. It is the last episode of the award-winning Bloomington Breakfast Club for the year.

Apr 19

And down the stretch …

Spring might just be here.

Because, you know, middle of April is about when it should show up.

The Little 500 races were this weekend, which is how spring finally knows to make its appearance. I got to go to the men’s race on Saturday.

(Spring, when it does make its grand old way here, can be rather nice. This means there might be more than a few flower photos in our near future.)

Mar 19

A tale best told in gifs

All day long with this stuff:

Mar 19

But who’s counting?

This came together better than I thought it would at mumble-mumble thirty this morning.

On the news, they’re doing spring break stories:

Outside, we’re waiting for more snow.

This, for the record, is about two weeks after that nonsense should have stopped.