The summer heat had broken in Rochester and we set out on a chill 60 degree morning to cause trouble and do some good. Our inspiration, Will Sumner, our close family friend.
When I rode to the beach a few weeks ago, I passed an area of the trail that was overrun by weeds. This narrow little slot alongside the gorge was morphing into a jungle.
We packed our electric hedge trimmer on the bikes along with some hand tools. We made short work of the weeds and chucked them over the metal fence into the ravine below.
Willie and Christie were close friends of my parents. Their kids slotted in very closely with my three younger siblings. In the early days of the home video craze, we shared a VCR with their family, trading it back and forth week upon week.
Willie was a wry and masculine presence in our lives. Their family lived on the slopes of Mount Abraham in a great big field just a short distance from our house. When trees obscured the views on the Lincoln Gap Road which wound its way over the mountain, he'd rally out with a chainsaw to restore the vista.
Thirteen years ago, give or take, he was mowing with his tractor up behind the elementary school, serving the community, doing his own thing. His tractor overturned with him beneath it and he was gone. Thirteen years ago, this impossible news struck me down like a thunderbolt to the heart.
On the way home, we passed this vista.
We paused in the mist while I contemplated clearing the view.