Of course, you're not supposed to say that kind of thing. You're supposedly tempting fate. Just when you admit that things are going well, everything is supposed to turn to crap.
But that seems like a lousy way to go through life ... denying everything good out of fear that it might go away. So, I'm going to just say it again, out loud:
I'm a lucky guy.
And ... what do you know? I'm still here.
Most of the good stuff in my life now is obvious. I've got a beautiful, loving wife who's the perfect life partner in every way ... and I'm not just saying that because tomorrow is Valentine's Day. We've got a gorgeous daughter who is bright, kind, and growing into an incredible woman. All of us right now are healthy and pretty stable financially, with either good jobs or the skills necessary for gainful, rewarding employment.
And then there's my current work situation, where I have the flexibility to go out and grab a quick two-hour ride on a chilly morning like Tuesday, knowing that upcoming commitments will make it the only outing that I get for the next few days.
But that's better than nothing, which is what a lot of my friends will get to ride this week. And that's lucky.
I went up Parker's Branch onto the ridge, then turned left onto Hargrove Road. A school bus turned onto the road just behind me, and kids out by the road cheered me on for the next few miles with cries of "faster, faster" as I fought to stay ahead of the bus. It had to stop to pick up kids -- I didn't -- so it was an easy race to win.
Then it was down Pinewood Road and up onto the Natchez Trace for a bit -- just extra miles with a couple of hills to get in enough of a workout. Going over the first long hill, I saw turkeys off to the left.
The males were strutting, with their tail feathers in full fan behind them. Supposedly, they do this in March and April to woo prospective mates, but I've never before seen them do this in February. I take it as a sign that spring is coming early.
I was running out of time and getting hungry, so I headed back into Leiper's Fork to Puckett's Grocery. As it was a weekday, things were pretty slow there and I was able to get a cinnamon roll and a cup of coffee. The past couple of times that I had been there it was later in the morning, and they were all out of cinnamon rolls.
I took Wilkins Branch up onto the ridge, and then came down Parker's Branch again to get back home. It was still chilly but sunny, and the winds were light. I barely had time for a shower before heading in to work, but I'd gotten my ride in, had a tasty breakfast, and saw something that gave me hope of warmer days just around the corner.
Did I just hear thunder?
Did I just hear thunder?