Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Happy Birthday, Mark

Today is Mark's birthday. He quips that he used to celebrate it until he moved to Utah, when he found out his special day is the same day as Pioneer Day. But we celebrated it anyway. For this is his first birthday since he found out he has inoperable (at this point) prostate cancer.

We went for a bike ride with a friend this morning to the top of Big Mountain. OMG, I thought I was going to die. Well, not really. But pretty close.

We had cycled this a couple of times last summer in preparation for our cycling trip to France. This morning, I was wondering how the hell I had ever been able to ride such iconic Tour de France rides as Alpe d'Huez, Col du Galibier and Mt. Ventoux. 

A picture I took last year as we rode up to Big Mountain.

I guess it was appropriate that we rode this route this morning, it being Pioneer Day and all. Cause this is the route the "pioneers" took into the Salt Lake Valley back in the summer of 1847. 

There's lots I could say about the "pioneers," but I will forebear. Except to say that I can't number the times that it used to drive me crazy to hear people talk about "the Pioneers." Yeah, they were pioneers, but so were my ancestors, only they weren't Mormon. They pioneered places like Plymouth Colony, western Massachusetts, Vermont, the Hudson River Valley, western Virginia and North Carolina, Tennessee, then on to Illinois, which was my nest. 

But we (me and those with whom I came to a certain level of maturity) didn't really think about these people being "pioneers;" nor did we celebrate them in verse and song and effected patriotism. They had just done their thing, just like I was doing mine. And it frankly never occurred to me to celebrate their memory as "pioneers." Cuz we're all doing our thing, right? We're all pioneers in our own lives, because we haven't lived our lives before (or have we?).

But they weren't "Mormon Pioneers."

And, like, I'm digressing.

Today is Mark's 59th birthday. And I love him. We're going to Market Street Grill in Cottonwood Heights tonight to celebrate. Because we are here, and we are in love, and life is good. And what more reason do we need to celebrate?