Denise Goldberg's blog

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Escape artist

Oh, Bailey! I can't believe you did it again, and to Marta this time!

For those of you who haven't met him yet, Bailey is the wacky dachshund who lives with my parents. Right now he is with his (really our) mom in Philadelphia while she is spending time with Neal. Although Bailey might make some patients smile, he isn't allowed at the hospital. And leaving him home alone with Coco (the cat!) doesn't work too well either, so he has somewhat happily been attending doggie day care, hosted by Marta. Today she had to go out for a while, leaving Bailey and a few other dogs on their own but behind gates in several rooms. When Marta returned, Bailey greeted her at the door. He doesn't seem to understand that he is supposed to stay behind the gate and somehow always manages to issue an "open sesame" command.

What do you mean I'm supposed to wait behind the gate? I thought that gates were put there to be moved.

Crisp air and sunshine...

...a good riding day

Weather last weekend and shorter daylight hours (and my one-day jaunt to visit my brother in Philadelphia) contrived to keep me off of my bike since I got home from Nova Scotia. I should be able to squeeze in short rides after week for the next few weeks, but that means I need to be at work early enough to head out at 4 o'clock. Somehow, that didn't happen this week. No complaints though, because I think I really needed the rest.

Today was a gem though, sunshine, a blue sky spotted with bright white clouds, temperatures in the high 50s, the feeling of fall in the air. And while the trees are still predominantly green, the colors of fall are starting to emerge. My bicycle wheels rolled down quiet roads not too far from home, and my baby camera came along for the ride to capture some early fall scenes.

A little bit of bright orange and a few yellows dressed up the green trees along the edge of Harold Parker State Forest.

Blue sky and cloud reflections

Friday, September 29, 2006

Blue through gray

Fog hung over pieces of the road this morning, and gray clouds hovered in the sky. Heavy rain is predicted, but for now the pavement is dry.

Ah, a present! Through a hole in the clouds a patch of blue sky appeared. Blue, with wisps of clean white clouds creating patterns across a clear blue background. Perhaps a glimpse of tomorrow?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Laughter, courtesy of Southwest

A long day, book-marked by flights between Manchester and Philadelphia...

Early morning flying was marked by quiet skies, a plane with mostly empty seats, and arrival before the scheduled time. Returning home was a very different story.

Since Philadelphia is normally a busy airport, I listened to the recommended arrival time of 90 minutes before flight time. Today, that wasn't necessary, and I was through security in no time at all. Next stop - the departures board, which dispensed news of a flight delay. My 6:20 PM flight was expected to leave at 7:10. Oh, I guess those wild thunderstorms that blew through this afternoon must have been scattered over flying territory. I grabbed a snack, and found a place to sit for a while. At 6 o'clock, I wandered over to the gate and joined the passengers sitting quietly. And I waited. And waited...

Finally a gate agent announced that the plane was in the area. At that point everyone stood up and queued into A, B, and C boarding lines. It was still a while, but we were treated to the gate agent's sense of humor. She decided to run a form of Southwest "Jeopardy", handing out free drink coupons to the folks who could answer her questions. Most were Southwest Airlines trivia (like who founded the airline? and what were the first three cities that they serviced? and others too). The last question wasn't really a question but for a request for a passenger to come up and entertain us with a song. Unbelieveably, someone sang. And we all laughed. At the end of the song, a plane was parked at the gate.

The captain came off the plane, grabbed the mic, apologized and then advised that anyone that needed the bathroom go now, stating "I'm not turning off the seatbelt sign in flight; it's bumpy up there!". As it turned out it was a smooth and fast flight.

A day trip from home to Philadelphia and back again? It was a long day, but that little bit of humor at the end certainly helped. And our departure time? My scheduled 6:20 PM flight pushed back from the gate at 7:50, a bit late.

Visiting, hoping

It was a very long day today, beginning with a very early flight from Manchester, and ending with a later than expected flight from Philadelphia back to Manchester. I needed to see my brother, to deliver a kiss to him in person as opposed to sending it winging through the air. I suspect that my long day pales in comparison with Neal's though; I hope beyond hope that he has no memory of the very difficult days he is living through right now.

Severe pain was finally stilled (for the most part) by the use of serious doses of painkilling medications. Unfortunately, over the last several weeks, something took Neal into another world, one that doesn't appear (from the outside looking in) to be a rational space.

The cause of this change is still unknown, but there appear to be two possible causes. It may be caused by drug toxicity, or (I don't want to even think this) it may be the cancer, moving, spreading. We are all hoping that his condition (which has been tagged with a diagnosis of acute delirium) is caused by drugs.

Please come back to us Neal...

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Sliding into fall

Shorter days and disappearing sunlight jumped out and surprised me during the last weeks of August. I know that I shouldn't have been surprised since this is the natural cycle of thngs. And even though I expect the changes in daylight, at some point that change seems to leap up and hit me in the face.

The first day of fall... yes, I do welcome the crisp days, changing trees, and sunlight splashed across brightly colored leaves. Shorter daylight hours can still bring magic to the landscape, and my bike is hoping for more good riding days to come.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


No blog entries for the next two weeks, but no, I'm not hiding!

I'm heading out with my bicycle for a much needed vacation. I'll be touring in Nova Scotia for most of the (missing) time, and I'll spend a day on bike and foot in Acadia National Park when the ferry returns me to Maine at the end of my wandering.

If you'd like to follow my trip, I hope to update my biking journal, "So near and yet so far away: An exploration of western Nova Scotia" from the road. You can read it here.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Last minute nerves

Or - maybe I should call them "last day nerves"...

Yesterday was packing day for my upcoming trip, and tomorrow is my departure day. Today, and last night? My very nervous day! Honestly, I have no idea why I get an attack of nervousness right before I take off on a vacation. It's not like I haven't used my bike as my primary mode of transportation for a vacation. And it's not like traveling solo is something that is new to me. In fact, I love traveling on my own and on my bike.

So, crazy nervousness, be gone!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Departing daylight

I looked outside at just the right moment this evening. Attracted by the light playing behind the clouds, I grabbed my camera and headed outside.

The sun is disappearing ever earlier in the day, but the disappearing daylight brings beauty to the clouds scattered across the sky.

Rainy Sunday, quiet Monday

Rest, write, read, organize, pack, bike...

Yes, I know I said this was going to be a resting weekend, but one of my bikes insisted on taking advantage of the dry pavement and pleasant temperatures this afternoon. It was a slow 20-mile ride, so I think it still qualifies as a rest. And now that I'm home again, the sun and blue sky have once again been covered with clouds. It looks like there's more than a chance that this is going to be a wet week; I'm having an ongoing conversation with the weather wizard requesting dry weather for Thursday, the start of my trip to Nova Scotia.

Yesterday's persistent rain helped me treat the day as a real rest day. Resting, reading, writing journal entries, thinking about packing but not taking that next step...

Today is my real organization and packing day. I'm not leaving home until Wednesday afternoon, but I've learned that I'm a lot more relaxed if I pack for my trip a day early. If I discover I'm missing something that I think I need for the trip, that gives me enough time to calmly deal with the missing pieces. And it also provides the prize of a relaxing evening at home the day before my departure. My habit of packing a day early may seem wacky, but it makes me happy.

Clothing is still scattered on the floor, waiting to jump into my panniers. I need to do one more pass through to make sure that I'm covered for the expected (and unexpected) riding conditions, but that I don't have too much with me. It's funny, but as I start packing, I always think that there is no way everything will fit in my panniers. Somehow it always fits.

Almost ready, Nova Scotia bound...

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Howling wind, riding...

I woke this morning to the sound of the wind howling past my windows. The sky was gray, clouds scudding across the horizon. Dry, but with storms forecast to descend on the area later today and tomorrow...

I think the weather wizard is assisting me by making it easy for me to have a quiet weekend before I leave for Nova Scotia with my bicycle next Thursday. My plans? To ride today (and I did), to take a total rest day tomorrow, and possibly to give in to my bike's request and take a short ride on Monday. My biking mileage for this week was just over half of my usual summer week's mileage, so (hopefully) I've already started to bank some rest.

My ride today was a series of loops. Given the darkness of the sky, I didn't trust the wet to hold off until I returned home, and I figured that if I was still on the road when the raindrops started falling, at least I wouldn't have a long way to go to reach shelter. Luckily, my ride remained dry.

Listening to rain falling can be pleasant when you're not actually experiencing the wetness...

Just opening flowers still delight the eye, even this late in the season

Buds too... I wonder when the flowers will decide that it's time to stop blooming. Some trees are already confused and turning colors - but my eyes are still delighted to see these new buds.