Yesterday’a morning peek out the window showed me mist, fog, wind and dark clouds. I was not too hopeful for a ride but by about 11:00 I could not deny the (one) sun break and no rain so I saddled up. I did not go far and did a shortened version of my neighborhood loops that I have in reserve for just such a day ;’) .

I know I have written a brief story about the history of “The Stump”, but as a reminder, sometime last year I came upon the ’designer’ while she and her husband were walking their Grands. She told me the tree was very special to her ”kids” and they pleaded that she not have it taken down. She (I have learned her name is Mara) had the tree cutter-downers make as good a ”bench” as they could and has kept it decorated all year round.

New display today.

This time as I cruised up to their driveway they were both working in their garage and she gave me a big hello wave and then came to chat with me. She said she told her daughter that ”this lady comes by and takes a photo of my stump and I hope I got this one done in time”!!!!! Imagine, getting the new display done in time for me!! I told her to never worry as I come by often and would return if the new display was not up yet. We chatted for quite a while and I learned a lot about her, and she some about me. Her name is Mara, so ”The” Stump is not ”Mara’s” Stump. I will probably write a little more about Mara at a later time. She righted something in the display before I took the photo. It was such a delightful and valuable highlight of my ride on this day.

Nearing the end of my short ride, I had quite the drizzle of rain fall upon me, so I pulled over for a photo of one of the golf course holes and had some shelter under a tree (not the tree my bike leans against). The rain did not last long, and of course I was well dressed for it (and the cold).

What a great day this turned out to be, especially after the gloom of the morning weather. People can make such a huge difference in life and bring such beauty to the day. Now I have my ”Shawna Route” and my ”Mara’s Stump Route”.

7 response to "JANUARY RIDE #9"

    • By: NancyG Posted: January 18, 2023

      VERY rewarding. It really made my day. I do 90% of my riding by myself, and almost never talk to anyone so this was a definite bonus for the day.

  1. By: gregblood Posted: January 18, 2023

    Great story today, Nancy. I can’t wait to see what Mara comes up with next. Also, it seems so exotic to see a golf course open for business. I haven’t seen that around here for nearly three months.

    • By: NancyG Posted: January 18, 2023

      I will definitely post any new display on Mara’s Stump throughout the year. I will try to figure out how I might be able to print photos at the end of the year — or maybe 6 months would be easier — to give to her. We will see what I come up with.

      I don’t think golf is a game to play in the snow and ice of YOUR town and environs. 🙄

  2. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: January 18, 2023

    Great story and glad you met Mara — she is very creative!

  3. By: Bill Stone Posted: January 18, 2023

    I prefer Mara’s stump to the over-the-top inflatable decorations at the house down my street, although a couple of weeks ago those folks moved away, so I think it’s the end of the line for the local extrava-flatable-ganza.

  4. By: NancyG Posted: January 19, 2023

    I am so glad that you all appreciate Mara and her contribution to the neighbors (and me) with her stump. I hope to see her more often on some of my rides and have more chatting with her, but just seeing her renewed displays will be enough.

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