On the way home from critique group the other day, Hubs mentioned he wanted to take a drive. A drive, I thought, smiling inwardly. Visions of the open road and lovely spring vistas tiptoed through the recesses of my mind. Deep and meaningful conversation punctuated with loving side glances.
We’d taken a lot of drives over our shared three decades together, from dating days to early marriage and parenting years and beyond–although our excursions in the beyond category had been few and far between as of late. So imagine my delight when he suggested it–until he added the part about wanting to drive the route for his upcoming fondo. (That’s cycling lingo for an organized endurance ride.)
SIGH. Road closed and barricaded.
“Did you want to go alone?” I asked.
“No, you can come along,” he said.
Sigh. Road reopened.
So the next day we headed to Defiance–town, not attitude–to the location where the fondo would start. Open road–check. Inspiring view–check. Soul-baring conversation with occasional nods from mostly attentive husband–check, check.
Finally we arrived at our destination, a parking lot that would serve as starting point for the fondo. Still conversing, I looked over at him midsentence, waiting for his knowing glance. He stopped and took in the area, then his eyes met mine.
“Here’s the route,” he said, thrusting a paper with street names toward me. “Keep up.”
Aha! It all made sense now. He needed me along to navigate.
SIGH. Okay, good attitude, good attitude. Sigh. “Sure.”
He drove on as I fed him the directions. The roads were curvy and hilly, winding in every which way. I took in the scenery between downward glances at our itinerary. This was fun.
Until a sick feeling descended upon me. Nausea. Me and winding roads have always had a temperamental relationship.
I dug into my purse for a peppermint. Out. SIGH. “Can you slow down? I feel sick.”
“Don’t look at the paper,” he said. “I can do it.”
He slowed down and opened the windows. I stared straight ahead and breathed in the cool spring air and let him know we’d need to stop for some peppermints.
“I don’t know where we’re going to find a place that has peppermints,” he said. “By the way, what’s for lunch?”
SIGH. “Cooking is about the last thing I want to do.”
After several more miles, we hit the interstate, the winding roads finally behind me. A few more miles and he turned off and took another highway, heading into a small town. I spotted a drugstore–peppermints. He pulled into a barbecue restaurant next door, the smell of grilled meat permeating the air. I gave him a questioning look.
“You said you didn’t want to cook. We can get the peppermints after we eat.”
Oddly, at that moment, I wasn’t sick anymore. After a plate of pulled pork, cole slaw, and baked beans, I was a new woman. Call it male intuition, but the man gets me. Sigh. We headed over to the store for the peppermints, anyway.
Just in case.
Update: A couple of pics from Mike’s (Hubs) fondo.
Cyclists line up for the Vino Fondo 2017. Mike’s bike taking a break.