Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Three slick gals

We were so hot today that we stopped, just twenty miles before Palatka. Sometimes it is just too hot. My rejuvenation drink of choice, when I am OUT, is a chocolate milk. This little store did not have chocolate milk, though there WERE cases and cases of beer. A case of beer is too hard to drink on a bike. ONE beer is not a good idea. And the only gatorade they had was purple. It tasted, well, purple. Not grape.

The best part about the stop was that the clerk was wowed by us.

"You're going WHERE?"
"You started in San DIEGO???!!!"

She was a relative youngster. Her stare went from one of us to another of us to another of us. We were mostly just thirsty and hot and we all had to pee but we answered her questions, in between taking turns to pee ("never pass up a flush toilet" is a truism of a ride with a bunch of women)and allowed her to take our picture.

It IS an amazing thing.

We have ridden our bicycles across the whole bloody, friggin' United States of America for cryin' out loud!


Today was our last long ride. It was not easy. We had a head wind. Connie ran out of energy. All of our crotches are sore. Jan's legs are tired. I am tired. We're TIRED.

But we're also thrilled. I am thrilled. This is a huge accomplishment. Even if I missed nine miles after I crashed my bike. And even if I missed 23 miles trying to avoid being flung into Oz like Dorothy on tornado day in Lafayette. Even so, this is a huge deal.

Whatever conclusions I ultimately draw over the course of the rest of my life, this has been a gigantic thing to do. Tomorrow we ride into St. Augustine. We have been invited to wear our group jerseys but I am going to wear the one that was made for me for this ride, the one with my shop's name across the front and the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance on one sleeve and the Mission Hospital logo on the other. It has the logo for Women Chefs and Restaurateurs and for Jubilee, my spiritual community. It has the name of the guy who made the jersey. And it also says "Don't Postpone Joy" and, for now, most importantly, "Live. Love. Bike."

Someone suggested I keep writing this even after I get home. Frankly, between you and me, I might not be able to stop just like that. Keeping this going feels comforting to me. Of course it is up to you to check in or not, as you wish.

Anyway - I am getting ahead of myself. First I have to eat and then go to sleep and then wake up and get dressed and ride my bicycle into St. Augustine. Some Chamber of Commerce people are coming. Maybe some chefs. Maybe some cancer survivors. My sisters are coming. And my girlfriend is already here. We're going to celebrate.

Big time.

Tomorrow I'll send you a picture of me and my bicycle and my teal toes and the Atlantic Ocean. Imagine that. Imagine that.

Love to you all,

P.S. One of my favorite church signs said (forgive me if I already told you this one) "Never pass up an opportunity to say I love you."

Okay? Okay.


Nancy said...

You go girl! I am so proud of all of you.

Surprise...see you tomorrow with champagne.

Anonymous said...

Wow--congrats girlfriend. I, survivor, remember meeting you at the launch gathering in San Diego where they took our photo. Been following you gathering inspiration and amazement. I agree, you'll never know how much you have helped others--survivors, caretakers, etc.,

Please do keep writing and I hope to see you at the Conference in Washington DC in July.

Warmly Peg Ford

Kate said...

Laurey, I've been following your journey since its start, and I have no idea why, but your post today brought very sudden and unexpected tears to my eyes. I don't know you (I know your business in Asheville - your wonderful staff catered our wedding 3 years ago - but I don't know you personally). I think what you've accomplished is nothing short of amazing, and inspirational too.

Cheers to you, Laurey... enjoy your much-deserved celebration.

Anne Cowan said...

I can't stay away from your blog! I hope you continue it.


Vicki Lane said...

It's been a joy following your adventure -- and yes, it's a TREMENDOUS thing you all have done!
You SHOULD be proud -- we're proud of you.

Oh, yes, keep writing.

BC said...

The whole friggin USA - is that something or what?

Told my Wed morning group ride about your journey today - some cross usa riders among them nodded knowingly. You're now part of a very elite group!

And yes, I think you'll keep on writing?? as well as riding.

Heather Masterton said...

Love love love from your TWO extremely PROUD sisters now awaiting your arrival with bated breath in ST. AUGUSTINE! We are full of red beans and rice and can't wait to see you! Bringing huge bear hugs from Emily and the staff at Laurey's Catering in Asheville... Love Lucinda and Heather

Binner said...

Hi Laurey! Wow, you are biking into SA as I write! Congrats! I am a BC survivor/former Asheville-ite and now huge Laurey Fan! I was just visiting Asheville and went to Jubilee on Easter-love that church, many of my friends go there! (Tom Heck/Shawn Barger..) I am forwarding your story to many other survivors-BC and Ovarian-doesn't matter, you are an inspiration to all of us! Glad you are going to keep writing! Peace & hope to see you on Ellen! ;-)

Rob Campbell said...

As usual now, tears flow when I read your messages. More than usual today. Something about the genuineness - the commitment - whatever. I have been very touched. Thanks for sharing.

Byron Belzak said...

We'll all be at your May 14th party at Laurey's to celebrate your coast-to-coast feat (and feet!), and especially your irrepressible joy of life. You're a colorful and, yes, muscled inspiration of what it means to be powerfully alive and uniquely human. Our helmets are off to you! We should make May 14th Laurey Masterton Day in Asheville. You more than earned it. Congratulations is not a strong enough word for what you have done and why you have done it. My mother, rest her soul, was a very much alive cancer survivor, too.