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It’s the PEOPLE

Keep it Real Wednesday

September 27, 2023

It’s the people

Yesterday I was riding my bicycle to meet a friend for coffee and reminiscing about my rides with Rosemary.

I recall how people took notice of this funny-looking front passenger bike and were drawn to Rosemary.  People often stopped to chat or talk about the bike. (For those of you out of state, YES, Idaho is still a place where people just stop to chat).

On the blessing bike Rosemary and I were catapulted back to simpler times of human connection which has been diluted along the way with rushed lives, and technology.  The bike made her feel young and whole again and engaged in her community, instead of viewing the outside world from indoors and feeling isolated because of her physical limitations.

Here are a few of the strangers we met over the years and the lessons we learned along the way.

Meet Annie Lou who was 93 and walks every day for 30 minutes.  She told us the devil tapped her on the shoulder and said to her “Stay inside today instead of walking”.  Annie said to that devil “Shut up devil” and got her walker and went for a stroll.

That’s when we met her and spent 20 minutes chatting on a sidewalk. The lesson we learned from Annie was to push past our doubts and fears and to forge ahead.

Meet Jeannie, whom we met at a busy intersection and shared a street corner while waiting for the light to change.  Jeannie inquired about the Blessing Bike and then asked if she could share a song with Rosemary.

Jeannie then sang the most beautiful church hymn to Rosemary with her gorgeous voice, right there on a street corner.

It was a touching moment. The lesson we learned from Jeannie was to be in the moment.  Don’t be afraid to sing loud and proud, even at a busy intersection, and never be afraid to share a song.

Meet Holly, an urban artist who was painting in the parking lot of a local park. Rosemary was mesmerized as she transformed blank canvases into beautiful art pieces with cans of spray paint. One piece with vibrant greens and pinks caught Rosemary’s eye, and she asked Holly to explain it. Holly smiled and instead asked Rosemary “What do you see?”.  Rosemary said, “When I have had dreams of heaven, all I see is pink and green, I think it is heaven”. 

Holly nodded her head, picked up the piece, and gifted it to Rosemary. 

We rode home with the painting on Rosemary’s lap and then she asked me to hang it on the wall above her bed.

The lesson we learned from Holly was that beauty can be created out of nothing, and that heaven is only a stranger away.

These people, Annie, Jeannie, and Holly were some of the MANY people Rosemary met along the way on 3,000 miles of riding.

So, when people ask what was so special about the Blessing Bike, my answer continues to be how this beautiful bike brings people together.

Just like it did for Rosemary, Holly, Jeannie, and Annie.

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