Posts Tagged ‘bike ride’

Treasure Junking

October 2, 2011

In Phoenix, the trash collection authorities are quite gracious by granting us permission FOUR TIMES A YEAR to leave large lumps of litter on the curb in front of our homes.  They come around with a huge truck and take it all away for us.  When we lived in our previous house with 32 full-grown trees, this plan was a godsend.  We would have had to make a trip to the dump four times a year without this blessed service.  Large Garbage Pickup even has a map with zones and dates so you never miss your turn to display your trash.

My kids figured out when this would all occur as interesting items started showing up along our street.  They asked if I would drive them around the neighborhood to see if there was other people’s junk that could be their treasure.  I’m not sure why I fell for this…. but I did, and hard.  We found a fish tank, a garden cart, a sand box, a Little Tikes Doll House, an ice cream freezer like in 7-11 (which we gave to the youth group), shutters and a bird-cage, etc. etc. etc..  I’m sure there are other quality items I’m forgetting too.  This practice got named “Treasure Junking“.  It’s sort of down-scaled garage sale-ing with no money needed.  Fit right into our budget.

Well, it is still alive and well in the Crosby house.  Last weekend my bug-spraying husband was spraying bugs over in the next city, and lo and behold, it was Large Garbage Pickup in that same neighborhood.  Destiny.  Rick watched as the man who lived across the street from the fully sprayed house went in and out of the garage three times and placed three bicycles on the curb.  This fascinated my husband, Mr. Wallet.  He strode over, as he’s been known to do in all parts of the world, and asked about the bikes.  Sure enough, the guy was DONE with bikes in his garage that no one used.  Rick asked if he could take them for our kids.  And now I have ELEVEN bikes parked in the garage where my van should be.  (It’s hopeless.)  Anyway, the bikes Rick brought home are OLD… old like dirt.  Two are black Huffy cruisers with white walls and springs under the seats… and the dream of my 17-year-old daughter’s heart.  Truly.  She is outside washing it right now.  She’s never washed a bike in her life, I’m pretty sure.  She went to Walmart and found large wicker baskets that you can put on the handlebars…. and foamy grips that look like wood.  She’s really into this.

The third bike, as far as we can determine, is a 1970 Schwinn with a small wheel in the front, large one in the back, a banana seat and long handle bars.  Something Beaver Cleaver rode.  To my astonishment again, our youngest son claimed it.  Yes, it shocked me.

Needless to say, our youngest daughter, who is eight, is thrilled because now there are all sorts of people wanting to go on bike rides with her.  And now, for the first time in about 10 years, I have a bike to ride.  These bikes even promote good posture!  Win win.

The Alliance

September 24, 2011

Yes, it sounds like a movie title but in this case it’s not.  The Alliance is a group of age-old homeschooling families who have walked in their own moccasins for more than twenty-five years and have come together to support homeschool state leaders.  They put on a conference, to which my husband and I attended this week, sort of like a family reunion but we were just meeting the family for the first time. I haven’t mentioned here on MSJ that my husband and I are on our state’s homeschool board, partly because I don’t feel worthy to be there half of the time… and the other half of the time I can’t figure out why they let us on after hearing my husband’s stories.  (Yes, he did it again.)

We were invited to a “refresher weekend” in January so the current board could get to know us casually over a buffet lunch and some chat time on a Saturday.  All went well until my dear husband started telling a biking story as we were moving from tortellini to cheesecake.  Rick and I were sitting next to each other in the middle of a rectangular table.  He was speaking to one end and I was speaking to the other.  I kept one ear on his conversation the whole time in case I needed to run interference…. but as the forks went into the cheesecake, realization hit that I was too late to save the day. Mercy sakes alive.

The story went something like this…. we were attending a new church that had Saturday night services.  Rick and our son went on a bike ride Sunday morning in the direction of our old church.  Rick has been going to church on Sunday mornings for 44 years… if he is out bike riding on a weekend morning, in his brain it is Saturday, even if it is Sunday.  So Rick and our son agree to meet at our old church, as our son needed to pump out an extra 10 miles without killing off his father.  So my husband pulls into the packed parking lot of the church and sits in a patio chair out front… in his biker stretchy shorts.  He visits with a few friends and keeps asking what is going on that brought so many people on a “Saturday”.  Many people told him that it was for church.  He didn’t get it.  Finally our son pulled up right as the main service was getting out.  A dear friend finally explained that it was Sunday and approximately 300 people would be leaving the building soon.  Rick minorly freaked out and ran to fill his water bottles, jumped on his bike and they peddled out of there as fast as they could.  The story simply sounds funny at this point.  If only he had stopped there.  He continued telling the homeschooling board members that after he arrived home he discovered holes in the back of his stretchy shorts……(story still sounds mildly okay)…. here was the clincher… he finished by laughing and saying “and we go camou under those shorts.”  Yes, he meant COMMANDO, but I was not about to correct him at that point.  It was an out-of-the-body experience for me.  Why, oh why, did that story seem appropriate at that moment??  I have no idea!

They smiled and said goodbye nicely, like there was never a holey-bike short story ever told…. and they said THEY would call us. (Like ‘don’t call us, we’ll call you.’) I assumed that if God did not want us on the board, this was his way of working that out.  Lo and behold, no call came the first month.  No call came the second month.  THEN a call came!  Unbelievable!  Maybe they forgot the end of the story!  We were invited back for another round of questions and the rest is history

Back to the Alliance.  I thoroughly enjoyed the conference, especially being surrounded by like-minded people who are sold-out on homeschooling their kids and/or training the next generation to stand strong.  It also made me realize that there is a whole other level of politeness, respect and love that can cross generations and keep families tight.  It was like coming home… all over again.

(Steve) Austin = Bionic Man

June 24, 2011

Once again, my motherly buttons have burst and are scattered all over the floor.  My 14-year-old son never ceases to amaze me with his drive, determination and athletic ability.  This past Tuesday Austin and his dad rode around Lake Tahoe…. 72 miles of hills… including a 1200 ft. incline.  Not my idea of a good time, AT ALL.  But hey, if it floats their boats, more power to ‘em.  BUT, get this,…… one day of pain and agony was not enough.  Austin wanted to beat the five-hour time with his father slowing him down, so he rode around the lake a second time on Thursday.  His father drove the pace car and handed out granola bars when needed.  Austin shaved more than an hour off his time.  No big surprise!  Three hours and 56 minutes. 

As his mother, I’m so proud of his incredible perseverance…. WAY more drive than my husband or I have….. or ever did have!  We don’t actually know where this drive originated from.  Maybe it goes back to Austin’s 1/4 Native Indian heritage WAY back when they had to run after buffalo or moose or some other wild animal…. for days on end.  But that was for survival, not thrills-a-minute.  I don’t get it.

Here are some more photos for your viewing pleasure.  :o)

There we are.  The proud parents.  See!  There’s no buttons left on our shirts.


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